B's Take On Customer Service
wife Bernadette has had to endure countless stories from me about
customer service, and now fancies herself a customer service critique
specialist. When she comes home from shopping, she relates some
of the stories or tells me about events with her family. Here are
Cousin Nancy's father died recently. Nancy called the Veterans'
Administration to report that Harold was deceased and asked that
the benefits be terminated. The "specialist" on the line
told Nancy that he could not speak to her about her father's account
- Harold would have to call in himself. "He's dead you idiot!"
Nancy yelled - "he can’t call in!" Cousin Billy
told his wife that she was using words that were too big - she shouldn't
have used "deceased" and "terminated." Our government
Bernadette went to a fabric / home good store to look for drapery
weights -little, tiny weights you put in the hem of a drape to make
it hang straight. She asked the clerk where she might find these
weights. The clerk pointed overhead to the huge signs suspended
from the ceiling, and said look in the "decker" section.
Bernadette looked up to see a sign that said "Home Decor."
Bernadette, forever the English teacher, told the clerk that the
word was "decor" derived from the French and pronounced
it for her. The clerk said "whatever." No said Bernadette,
it is not "whatever," it is "decor." - and if
you're going to work here you should at least be able to correctly
pronounce the names of the departments.
Our washing machine is a GE Monogram - roughly four years old.
When we built our Florida house, we opted for a credit on the appliance
package and upgraded to the Monogram series. The machine is operated
by a touch panel across the top which lets you make the selection
for water temp, size load, etc.
Last month, the panel gave out and the repair was going to be $278
for a new panel and a $100 service call. Bernadette wrote to the
CEO expressing her displeasure over an appliance which lasted only
a few years. Pretty soon she gets a call from an administrative
assistant named Abby. Abby promptly and condescendingly tells Bernadette
that she will "in good faith," comp the part and we will
have to pay only for the service call.
Abby repeats that this is a "good faith" measure which
she does not extend to all customers but is doing us this special
favor based on Bernadette’s letter. "Good faith,"
Bernadette repeats - do you think I bought the washing machine in
"bad faith?" Do you think I picked it out and said: "Gee,
I hope this doesn’t last 10 or 20 years - I hope it breaks
down in 4 years so I can have it repaired for almost $400. What
the h--- are you talking about?"
Bernadette doesn’t have a lot of patience and does not "suffer
Here's a tip for you especially if you're on the wrong end of some
"Poor Customer Service." Bernadette has had good results
when writing letters to CEOs.
Her letters state her case and do it with a sense of humor which
grabs the reader's attention. It's more than a complaint, it's a
comic request for help.
If you have a customer service story you want to share with the
rest of the world use the space below.
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