Customer Service can be wonderful, easy, and painless.
Last night, it was none of those things.
I was locked out of a website that I needed to get into. After trying several different magical incantations, I gave up and called Customer Service. Since the Help Desk was going to be open for another 30 minutes or so, I thought things would go smoothly.
The first automated message really, really, really wanted me to fill out a ticket on the website. Yep, the same website that I wasn’t able to get to. I declined the invitation.
The automated system punished me by playing music. Not just bad music (that was predictable), and not just music interrupted every 47 seconds by a message (I’ll get to that in a minute), but music of varying volume. In the space of 6 seconds it would go from regular volume to undetectable by human ears, making me wonder if a) I’d been cut off, b) I was in spot with bad reception (even though I hadn’t moved), or c) if I was being transferred to a Helpful Person. I, of course, immediately assumed that a real person would answer the phone during one of these sound deficits and I would have no idea, the person would then hang up on me, and I’d have to call in again. Which would be awful. Especially because the help desk was only going to be open another 23 minutes.
The message which I heard more times than seems reasonable: “Thank you for your patience. Please try using our knowledge library by logging onto www.ourwebsite.com. We look forward to helping you.”
This was clearly a bunch of hooey. Not only do I not have patience in this sort of situation, they clearly didn’t look forward to helping me. 13 minutes until the help desk closes.
Since a few thousand polite invitations to use the website didn’t work, the automated system switched tactics. The music changed from Bad 1980s Music (Designed to Soothe) to What My Least Favorite 3-Year-Old Niece Recorded Over the Weekend (Designed to Annoy). Where the first batch failed to reach its goal, the second succeeded brilliantly.
I was, indeed, annoyed. 7 minutes left.
(And I thought I didn’t have a blog topic. Ha!)
Did I mention the crick in my neck from doing the ear-shoulder-phone-hold so that I could document the process (and by “document the process” I mean “type”)? I was
With EXACTLY 42 seconds until the help desk hours were over, “Adam” answered the call. I’m pretty sure that’s not his real name since he stumbled over it. I’m also pretty sure that “Adam” and his friends were all sitting around waiting until the last possible second to take the remaining calls for the day. (Seriously, who waits on hold for 33 minutes and 18 seconds these days? Yes, I looked. I had to know.)
I explained my problem to “Adam.” He punched a few buttons. No change. He punched a few more buttons. All fixed.
Very glad to have it all fixed. Very un-glad to have the worst “hold” experience on three continents. (I actually wrote that on the survey they promptly sent me.)
Hope no one keeps you waiting today.