Poop emojis all around
-not in instructions behind a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield-
That's the sort of info you ignore at your own peril.
I am remembering an old Bloom County Cartoon where Opus gets mad at a service rep on the phone, I think airline, and hangs up and calls another. The same voice answers and says something like: "Ha we've bought them too." So plus change.................?
Am I too nihilistic or just too old?
A personal fave of mine:
I think Musk is being a little more nefarious with Twitter than the more typical corporate posture of mere disrespect for the consumers of their product -- I think there is a deliberate attempt on his part to flood the zone with shit and disinformation. And of course the trolls, who live by the mantra "you will be forced to listen to my opinion and take it seriously" are happy to oblige him.
There is another very real factor in shitty customer service, though - customer entitlement. Most people genuinely believe it's okay to bully and traumatize the poor asshole they finally get on the line. They think that's their absolute right, as a customer.
I'm here to tell you, having worked at many call centers - there's always a grey area. There's always a sweet spot between what I can do and what I am required to do. There's always a place where I can decide "yeah you're cool I'm going to really lean in and get you taken care of". Or, alternatively, where I can decide you're a garbage person and I quote the standard script at you until you get off my phone. (I personally would never deliberately hang up on you or transfer you to Wales, but accidents can happen.). Customers don't want to hear it and I'd never say it out loud at work, but callers have much more control over the kind of service experience they have than they want to admit or take responsibility for. Speak to me pleasantly and with respect and you will be astonished what I can do for you. Start out screaming "YOU FINALLY FUCKING ANSWERED THE PHONE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE" and you're gonna have a bad call. Also, heavy sighs and phrases like "well is there anyone else there who knows how to do your job" are going to get you sent to someone's voicemail, too. Be nice. We're people too, and you hacked your way through that nightmare phone tree because you need us.
One of my customers has a problem with a piece of extremely expensive electronics I installed in his airplane. My own troubleshooting could not determine the cause, so I called the manufacturer. We're a dealer, so you'd figure that might get better service. Not really.
After a 20-minute wait, I finally get the service tech. He requests all my dealer ID info, enters it, verifies who I am, etc. I describe the problem. "Have you looked at our FAQs?" he asks. Yep. "Okay, I'm going to send you a link to the FAQs," he says. And hangs up.
Back into the phone tree and a 15-minute wait on hold. New tech. Go through the same process. "Have you read the FAQs?" he asks. "Yes, and don't you dare send me a link to them because the answer isn't there," I say.
I finally get to describe the problem. Tech is baffled. Back on hold. Ten minutes later, disconnected.
Back into the phone tree . . .
If only all customer service rose to the level experienced by the guy stuck on an airplane in a snowstorm for hours, who noticed the airline magazine listed the company president, looked up his home phone number, called it and got the president’s wife who was so appalled she had the airport rescue all the passengers. That’s several levels above the usual “Let me speak to your manager,” although that works, too. My kids taught me the way to bypass the robot voices: babble incomprehensibly. Some automated systems then default to a human. Meanwhile, a shout-out to regional cellular service Cellcom where you always immediately get a sympathetic human being no matter how stupid your problem. PS: Swissair is the absolutely fucking worst along with Lufthansa.
Last year for my birthday I got a Home Depot gift certificate for a hundred bucks. I'm on a the 6th year of a three-year remodeling project so of course I owe those guys somewhere between a shitload and a fuckton of money. I went in to pay my bill and right as I walked into the store there was a stackout display of Milwaukee power tools. (Hmmm tools) A landscaper buddy of mine had an battery operated 8 inch Milwaukee chainsaw he spoke pretty highly of - he been clearing a lot of fence rows and said it was invaluable. I thought about the mile or two fence line that I needed to clear and before I knew it I was heading home from Home Depot with a 8in chainsaw.
I didn't get a chance to work on the fence row until late February of this year. My landscaper buddy was right, it was the perfect tool for the job. After a couple weekends work I couldn't believe how much I got done. Then, I was cutting on a multiflora rose bush the size of a small Airstream trailer when a grinding noise came out of the saw which, up until that point, I had considered marrying because I loved it so much. I said"Fuck" as one does in that situation and put the tool away, putting the tool and it's unfortunate state out of my beautiful mind.
A month or so later I realized that it had been almost a year since I bought the saw and I should probably do something about returning it before I ran out of time was really fucked.
I dug out the receipt and looked up Milwaukee Tools online. There was a three-year warranty on it.
I was taken to a warranty claim page. I had to enter my info and scan in the receipt.
Then I explained what seem to be wrong with the saw. They told me my saw qualied for warranty repair and sent me FedEx label I could print.
I boxed up my saw and took it with me to work the next day. I was able to throw my FedEx package in with all the FedEx packages from work.
The next day I was notified that my package had been received at the service center in Louisiana. I grimaced a bit at the Louisiana stuff. My experience with Louisiana is that everything outside of the French Quarter is a shithole. The next day I was notified that my package had been assigned a service tech. A couple hours later I got another message saying that the saw had been repaired and would be shipped to me that day for receipt the following day.
They provided a routing number for tracking. The next day the saw was sitting on my front porch when I got home from work. It worked perfectly fine.
Before I got a chance to use it very much my son-in-law borrowed it. He returned it when he was done. It was broken again. Anyway, I had an excellent CS experience completely without any human interaction. Maybe that's the key.
"Caligula syndrome. (I’ve written about that too.)"
[sigh, accompanied by soft eyerole]
Of COURSE you have. That's why we are here! You're the BOSS!
Capitalism isn't about building better mousetraps anymore. It's about making stuff worse but not so worse as you go someplace else. Freakanomics made their bones talking about guys only buying underwear in the good times. Now underwear is so crappy it only lasts a few washings.
When I worked for a medical office software company that, over the years kept getting acquired by shittier and shittier companies, they eventually rolled the Documentation Department—which was responsible for all online help, user guides, installation guides, tech manuals, etc.—into a “User Experience” team with the designers, and put the designers in charge. Then basically the designers played all day, held a few pro forma conference calls with customers to hear about their needs, and then ignored that and designed the software to look like the cool toy they thought it should be. The Documentation Department and programmers were left to make the actual product and communicate how it worked. And we were the only ones who paid attention to actual deadlines that had to be met, while the UX team let us all bask in their creativity.
I guess what I’m saying is fk late stage capitalism and its greedy, chaotic bullshit.
'bluecheck dipshits'...thanks for the chuckle. Yes, we've segued from the age of built-in obsolescence to the era of willingly accepting inadequate sub-par service and/or just plain broken bullshit because there ARE no alternatives... until you level up $$$ and even then, expect to s*ck the c*ck of your tech overlords because waddayagonnadoaboudit?
**shakes fist: Maytag washers used to last 3 generations! << non sequitur alert
Apropos this here, I refer y’all to Cory Doctorow’s theory of enshitification.
Of course, unrestrained capitalism results in a norm, as it were, of sociopathic greed. As for Elmo, he’s a Trump-class narcissist so of course when he’s embarrassed into buying Twitter, he doubles down and makes it a shitty. As a result, it’s still useful enough but a miserable experience.
BTW: I had a glitch for a couple of hours a week or two ago when I was limited in what I can do. IIRC, a reason, long since forgotten, was provided.
Too: experience tells me that narcissists -- in my case, alcoholic ones -- make awful employers in all respects. Meanwhile, whatever one might say about Elmo, he’s a documented shitty boss, more so if one believes that a few of his baby mamas were coerced to whatever degree into having sex with him. (OTOH, other rumors say a bunch of the kids resulted from IVF. No idea and DK what the overlap there is nor do I care.)
But, you know, life with Elmo is too soon whilst still living in the Trump era.
Parker Molloy has a good post about what's now being called "Enshittification"
I'm not on Twitter myself, but I can imagine the dilemma faced by anyone who's a writer (or any kind of artist, really). You've got to stay, because social media is the only way to be heard and seen. Easy for the rest of us to unplug (and then feel morally superior for doing so) not so easy if reaching an audience and making a living requires you to use these shitty platforms.
Elmo's sitefuck is still going strong this morning, but doesn't seem to occur on the mobile version. Given time, I'm sure that will change.
“Your call is very important to us. That’s why we intend to leave it hanging from this phone tree for a couple of hours so we can admire it.”
(Times past, when I’d hear people griping about the post office or the DMV, suggesting that they should be “run like a business,” or even privatized, I’d respond “So how did it go, that last time you called your cable company?”)