What is true customer service?

I hate dealing with customer service – for ANYTHING! Especially since most of it is done via the internet ‘chat’ service rather than an actual person which, in my humble opinion, is a shame. I have very rarely had a positive customer service experience so whenever I have to go through the ordeal of getting help via ‘Chat Help’ I feel my anger spiking before I’ve even started typing! It makes me ask the question: What is true customer service?

My worst experience so far was through the Disney Store – our daughter was bought a gift by another family member for her birthday through the site and when it arrived I was charged $20 by UPS for their brokerage fee. Considering the gift wasn’t even worth that much I was a little taken back and asked why I had to pay. The very nice UPS guy said it was because the sender hadn’t marked ‘gift’ on their declaration form but if I contacted the Disney store and asked them to send a form stating that the parcel was indeed a gift, I could get my $20 refunded. With that info I set about emailing customer service and an infuriating saga began.

I will cut this story short but over the course of TWO WEEKS I went back and forth arguing my case. Every reply that came back was a pre-written answer which meant no-one was actually reading the question. Having started out calm and polite I ended up getting so angry I wrote an email blasting the company for their lack of service and customer care and swore never to shop with them ever and, furthermore, I would contact as many friends and family as possible to make them aware of how crappy the online Disney store really was and tell them never to use the site.

It was after that that I finally received a human response; A site director wrote a grovelling apology stating he was upset to learn how my case had been treated and offered a $50 gift card as a consolation prize. I deleted the email and the card – the damage had been done and I was not going to let them use a gift card as a win!

The same thing has happened today only this time it’s a technical issue with my mobile phone and in true crappy chat help fashion the ‘person’ on the end of the line is not reading my question and I am repeating myself several times over. IT’S INFURIATING!!! You know you are in trouble when answers come back in under three seconds. Then, if you type something not matching their automatic responses you wait 5 minutes for an answer; they actually have to think and try to find an answer themselves! That’s far too complicated, right?

If you work in customer service, which I have done, one of the first rules is to listen to what you are being told and try to actually care about the issue at hand in order to find the best solution but unfortunately it seems as though that train of thought long since left the station.

Thus ends today’s rant! If you have experienced a similar situation I would love to hear about it. Am I in a minority who feel this way or is this really how customer service is these days?



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