Friday, June 13, 2008

Mr. Customer - Bend Over and Take It

You hear it all the time from friends, family and acquaintances. You see it all the time on the news. What is it you may ask? I'll tell you - "more and more companies offer a poor customer experience" - and what's more they really don't care!

In the last month I have had absolutely terrible service from my television provider, Dish Network, on more than one occasion. I am constantly losing my signal, they installed my second receiver in the wrong place and want to charge me $99 to fix their mistake, my neighbors and I are fighting over changing channels on each others receivers, my main receiver had to be replaced and now for the ultimate insult -- they are going to charge me $29 for their technician to come to my house to figure out why I am having a problem with their service!!!! This is my second go around with Dish Network and now I remember why I threw them out more than 6 years ago. Why does a company think they can dump on their customers and keep them? In Dish's case it is because of an 18 month contract that I won't be renewing and if you are thinking about signing up with them I strong urge you to reconsider.

Example number 2: My girlfriends experience with ADT. ADT is a provider of alarm and security services to homes, business, and government. They installed a system at my girlfriends house and she pays them each month to monitor it. Twice in the last month the alarm has gone off in the middle of the night for no reason and not performed as advertised - ADT's answer - give us $25 and we will come out an look at it again! Considering she had to pay them once already to come out and "fix" it the first time does it seem reasonable or responsible for them to charge her again. Companies like ADT don't get that bad news travels fast and users of their services influence new customers - like me - I was considering ADT for the new alarm system at my house but now they are disqualified for simply being stupid.

Example number 3: My friend Jason's experience with United. Suffice it to say he does a much better job of explaining his frustrations than me because I don't fly United, but here is a synopsis. He used miles to fly his wife and child to Israel in first class and they were treated like second class citizens. I know United is having financial issues, but again don't they understand it takes a lot more work to gain back a customer than to keep one happy?

I have come to the conclusion that I won't use any of the companies named above if I don't have to - take note Dish Network, ADT, and United Airlines - I think you all suck and my dollar will go a lot further with one of your competitors. If I want to pay someone to abuse me I will seek out some type of government service or find a practionier of BDSM - I don't need you to treat me or anyone I know like shit. Word travels and in the Internet age I am sure that more than one person will read this and it will factor into their decision of where to spend their dollar and in these tough financial times losing my purchase might not hurt, but as word spreads I am sure the impact will be real. So keep treating your customers like mushrooms and making us pay fees for baggage, to service your equipment, and put common sense to the side and suffer the consequences.

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