Their customer service stinks…

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Well – if you’re following this series you’ll have seen that the focus has been customer service from both sides of the equation.  And, it seems, the more I focus on this area of business, the more doozies I see.

It seems to me that there are times when some of the bigger players in the market need what I recently referred to as a ‘good slap upside the head’. Not very grammatical, but pretty descriptive nonetheless – particularly after my most recent foray into the world ot customer service.

Today, I’m not sure that I have the perspective to use this to illustrate a lesson on what customer service should be after enduring the frustrations that surely can’t only be happening in my limited universe… so perhaps today, it’ll just be a good old rant.  Read on, if you dare…

My pet peeve today are financial service institutions and their lookalikes.

Example one:

Financial institution that spends countless hundreds of thousands of dollars on creating advertising and public awareness campaigns to endear themselves to the public and presumably gain market share seems to have a different goal on the ground.

Consider these examples:

First example:

  1. Institution changes their ‘system’ so that now one cannot divide deposits up into different sub accounts of the same account at the point of deposit
  2. Can no longer print a succinct 1 page receipt of deposits but now must print 3 full pages to document 1 deposit
  3. after record profits, decides they now need to increase service fees
  4. sends clients with mortgages and lines of credit a letter saying that although the prime rate is virtually non-existent, they need to increase their lending rate to lure more depositors – and even though clients may have a signed contract with a fixed rate, they MUST now sign an amendment allowing the institution to increase their lending rate at their discretion and without notice.  After a mass exodus of clients they sent out a retraction, but too late, most had voted with their feet.
  5. Tells a client of 16 years good standing that they can no longer accept deposits of checks made out in the CLIENT’S OWN NAME!!!! But that the client should now register that name as a business name even though its a sole proprietorship and the government does not require it.  Furthermore the client should a) open a new account to accomodate this but b) should be aware that charges will now be double.  I absolutely kid you not….

Second example:

  1. Financial institution lookalike catering to small businesses and performing the role of merchant account for online transactions – probably the largest institution of its kind in the world – who, of course, shall remain anonymous.
  2. Issue arises with customer not receiving an email notification of a recently made purchase and being alerted to the purchase by their customer who calls to find out when it will be processed.
  3. Institution puts customer through to customer service who checks their account, the account settings etc and finds on problem.  Sends a test email which is recieved.
  4. Customer double checks every email setting, server setting etc on their end and has been receiving emails without a problem during the time in question.
  5. Customer service to customer:  “Well we’ll have to put you through to tech support, after all it’s not our issue.”
  6. Tech support says, “we don’t deal with those kinds  of problems, go back to customer service”
  7. Customer tries to plead and tells Tech Support about the entire process they’ve just been through with customer service.  Tech support is adament…. “It’s not our problem,” they say, “you HAVE to go back to customer service.”
  8. Unhappily customeris put on hold for customer service.  Eventually gets through and tells them the whole sad story for a third time, whereupon customer service says, “Oh Tech support really needs to help you.”  Customer nearly cries.
  9. Customer support relents only to go through the identical steps that didn’t work the first time around.  Afterwards, they INSIST that the customer go back to Tech Support.
  10. Customer has no choice but to agree… and begs to be put onto a Tech Support supervisor.  Of course, customer support cannot / will not do this.  One wonders if it’s an equal opportunity thing or are they just shy and don’t want to brag about their elevated status as a supervisor that leads them to have rules that no supervisors may be identified.
  11. After an interminable hold, Tech Support is back on the line.  For the 3rd time the customer is dragged through the process which has already failed twice.  Eventually Tech Support says, “We’re sorry but we don’t know why this is happening on our end and therefore it must be your problem.  There’s nothing more we can do.  We can try to continue looking but we may or may not get back to you on this…. in the meantime, have a nice day.”

Okay then….

As I indicated in the last article, it’s about time that some in the present commercial ‘Roman Empire’ be brought to account. As the recent global upheaval has had little effect other than to make most of these institutions more arrogant and even less customer friendly, I shudder to think about the circumstances that could achieve a change.

All I’m able to say right now is ‘GRRRR’!  TGIF ;)

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