Wednesday, May 21, 2008


There used to be something gratifying about talking to customer service. You had this feeling that everything would be okay. The woman on the other end would call you by first name and you would call her "Mary" back. You'd talk about the weather in Phoenix and she'd say, "I've always wanted to visit Vermont. Now let's get your problem taken care of."

These days, Mary has changed. She's still warm and friendly. She still says she wants to help. But she's powerless. She doesn't know how to help. She asks you to do the same thing over and over. She says things are fixed, but you have to call her back the next day to report, "No, it's still the same problem. What do I do now?" Only this time, it's not Mary anymore. It's Bob. And he has no record of your phone call with Mary. Service is a time suck.

Or is it me? Are my expectations too high?

I just want everything to be fixed. Right now. I don't want any more 20-minute holds with the bill payment department. I don't want to be shoved from one customer representative to the next. I want my packages to arrive on time and in good condition. And I want this to be my last game of musical cars, as I try to get to the repair shop for the third time this month.

Please and thank you.

I'll stop whining now.

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