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20034 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2013 at 6:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-25 09:16:21 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: Vegan Meat Popsicle: Bomb Head Mohammed: The point is ....
.. etc ..
I want to make clear: I'm not critizing americans. being overdemanding snowflake customers (and, as you've illustrated, rude know it alls who have the instant ability to come to definite conclusions "retarded", "shiatty") based on the flimsiest of understanding-- is what americans do. I can no more criticize this than I can criticize a bear for shiatting in the woods and not a toilet - it's just the way things are. but, it's just a shame since, as i said, the net result is higher costs for the american consumer.. because they feel they have a god given RIGHT to speak to somebody, even if actually if they had a modicum of patience they would have found out that the automated services work well. In the UK, for example, I routinely run into phone systems that say "If you'd like to do this, please log into your account online, click on x and y. thank you ...


As far as can be seen, you're the only one behaving as a rude know-it-all in this thread. From your earlier statement:

" If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional, whether they admit to it or not. For example, this is why on any given airline flight in the USA, you have half the flight with special requests, be it their kosher gluten free whatever meal or special consideration for some claimed medical condition"

I've had to take my wife to the E.R. more than once at all hours of the day for extreme stomach pain, blackouts, and tremors until the doctors discovered she has a sever intolerance to gluten (Celiac Disease). So for you to make the hypocritical blanket statement that people who request gluten-free meals are entitled, over-demanding snowflakes (who are no less apparently lying about a medical condition)... well, as you put it, it is easy to come to the conclusion that you are "retarded" and "shiatty".
And that is completely aside from the kosher portion of your statement - I'd like to see you go to Israel and call them over-demanding snowflake liars for practicing Jewish dietary law. Jerk.
 
2013-01-25 09:20:04 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: My business caters to a somewhat tech savvy/well off demographic internationally. If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional
.....
while occasionally i biatch and moan about the costs involved, well, we still make money so I can't complain too much.


I find it fascinating that you interpret it that way. It isnt "exceptionalism"... its that Americans feel that if I'm giving you my money, I'm going to be serviced the way I want. If you dont want to meet my demands, by all means, dont take my money. Its how business and competition work.

We're buying a service, even if you're just selling a product. If you arent willing to provide that service with your product, then you'll just be beaten by competition that does meet customers needs/wants.

I'm not competing with other customers to make myself feel special... im making YOU compete for my money.

/I'm a business owner.
 
2013-01-25 09:20:38 AM

GAT_00: Let's do a little math.  Let's assume a lifespan of 80 years.  So that's 0.5375 days/year, or 774 minutes.  Average out to every day, and that's 2 minutes, 7 seconds every day on hold.  That seems unlikely.


You obviously don't deal with Steris or Philips Medical on a day to day basis.

Now that I called you two out by name- what are you going to do about it?
 
2013-01-25 09:21:16 AM
You should exchange your wife for one that doesnt break down as often.
 
2013-01-25 09:26:42 AM

henryhill: You should exchange your wife for one that doesnt break down as often.


Advice I sure wish *I* had taken long ago....
 
2013-01-25 09:26:46 AM

GAT_00: Let's do a little math.  Let's assume a lifespan of 80 years.  So that's 0.5375 days/year, or 774 minutes.  Average out to every day, and that's 2 minutes, 7 seconds every day on hold.  That seems unlikely.


I was on hold for 45 mins a day for two weeks straight trying to get my car sorted out when I got rear ended. So, that's nearly a year's worth of hold time for just one incident. That doesn't even include my joys with Verizon ...
 
2013-01-25 09:28:11 AM

henryhill: You should exchange your wife for one that doesnt break down as often.


Haha :) Luckily it all went away after we found out she couldn't process gluten and she stopped taking any in (this was about 8 months ago). No more phantom stomach pains (drs said it was because her intestines were twisting and contracting on themselves. She described it as someone trying to dig their way out of her stomach with tiny knives... wonderful), no more black outs, no more vertigo, no more tremors. Perfectly stable model of wife now. :)
But that does in fact mean she has to ask for the gluten-free menu/meal when eating out (gasp! what an over-demanding snowflake!).
 
2013-01-25 09:31:42 AM
comcast?
 
2013-01-25 09:34:21 AM
Here's a great idea - and 100% true...

NJ unemployment has been backlogged with hold times for years, thanks to the great recession we are still in.

Working as a contractor, I've found myself needing to collect unemployment in between contracts over the past couple of years. As such, I've needed to talk to an actual human to mak sure my claim was being processed correctly.

But I can't sit there for "between 2 hours and 4.5 hours". So, what they implemented was a callback system. ou give them your number, you don't lose your place in line. And sooner or later that day, you will get an actual person calling you back. (It's actually an automated system that calls. The rep probably doesn't even know the system simply brought you back into the queue.)

It's a great system. I don't know why more services haven't adopted it.
 
2013-01-25 09:40:25 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: NewportBarGuy: Pressing 0 usually works for me.

Fark Business School case study: [ take it or leave it, i dont care ]

My business caters to a somewhat tech savvy/well off demographic internationally. If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional, whether they admit to it or not. For example, this is why on any given airline flight in the USA, you have half the flight with special requests, be it their kosher gluten free whatever meal or special consideration for some claimed medical condition that should award them the better seat or more carry-on capacity or whatever. good or bad, it's how americans are - people who spend so much time as consumers that gaming the system has become part of the system for them.

this is true, by the way, even if the net costs of such activities are quite high "dead weight" - there's a good reason why the US's "discount airline", Southwest, is typically 4-10 times more expensive than Ryanair for similar routes and those credit card "rewards" in total do have a cost if *everybody* gets them.

But I digress. The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (the others waiting on hold are not as important as you, after all!). the whole customer service flow is based on an "expectation of special/exceptional treatment" that americans have. while I am an american, i've been living abroad long enough that it took me some time to really comprehend this cultural thing and while occasionally i biatch and moan about the costs involved, well, we still make money so I can't complain too much.

and of course the ultimate irony is that many of those americans (not you necessarily) who routinely demand special treatment are more or less blind to it and in fact often themselves biatch about others who receive ...


People became "exceptional" about the time air carriers doubled their prices, started asking the customer to pay for their own fuel (you know- that extra two to three hundred they charge on top of the listed ticket price), discontinued snacks and reduced meal selection, and charged for head phones and additional beverages. Maybe it was those fees you gathered from take on luggage and additional luggage, the reduction in destination choices and the way they've managed to pack about 20-30% more passengers than they did 10 short years ago- or maybe those two hour check-ins and searches are what did it. And you have the gall to whine because someone is looking for a little something exceptional after all these inconveniences that you have heaped on them? You must be either way too young to remember when airlines actually provided a luxury service or far too stupid to care.
 
2013-01-25 09:44:00 AM
jonrey: "I've had to take my wife to the E.R. more than once at all hours of the day for extreme stomach pain, blackouts, and tremors until the doctors discovered she has a sever intolerance to gluten (Celiac Disease). So for you to make the hypocritical blanket statement that people who request gluten-free meals are entitled, over-demanding snowflakes (who are no less apparently lying about a medical condition)... well, as you put it, it is easy to come to the conclusion that you are "retarded" and "shiatty".
And that is completely aside from the kosher portion of your statement - I'd like to see you go to Israel and call them over-demanding snowflake liars for practicing Jewish dietary law. Jerk."

all well and good. why then, do these things happen SO MUCH MORE OFTEN in the USA? please explain. I have no doubt that your sob story is true. but do people in europe and asia not also have bodies and religions and potentially special needs? why is the queue at the airline desk in the USA for special cases several times longer than it is in europe EVERY TIME? the very fact that you feel the need to regail me with your tell of woe and then put me down is The American Snowflake Mentality, even if at some level you feel it to be true. Again, I'm not criticizing - this is NOT a criticism - it's just the way society has evolved to make you. This is not bad (well, you calling me a jerk when all I'm trying to do is make a relatively dispassionate analysis is objectively bad, but that's another story) - it's just the way it is.
 
2013-01-25 09:48:43 AM
on hold = time enough to rub one out

lifes lemonade, amiright?
 
2013-01-25 09:50:50 AM
Stupid Americans. They feel entitled to decent service just because they pay money for it. If they weren't so lazy, they'd just pay for a service and then fix the problems themselves. I always use the automated phone line, when I have a problem I want to be given fourteen different options to spend more money as opposed to getting my original problem fixed.
 
2013-01-25 09:51:53 AM

GAT_00: Let's do a little math. Let's assume a lifespan of 80 years. So that's 0.5375 days/year, or 774 minutes. Average out to every day, and that's 2 minutes, 7 seconds every day on hold. That seems unlikely.


Obviously, you've never called AT&T tech support before.
 
2013-01-25 09:52:21 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: NewportBarGuy: Pressing 0 usually works for me.

Fark Business School case study: [ take it or leave it, i dont care ]

My business caters to a somewhat tech savvy/well off demographic internationally. If we've learned anything, it's that our american customers always believe themselves to be exceptional, whether they admit to it or not. For example, this is why on any given airline flight in the USA, you have half the flight with special requests, be it their kosher gluten free whatever meal or special consideration for some claimed medical condition that should award them the better seat or more carry-on capacity or whatever. good or bad, it's how americans are - people who spend so much time as consumers that gaming the system has become part of the system for them.

this is true, by the way, even if the net costs of such activities are quite high "dead weight" - there's a good reason why the US's "discount airline", Southwest, is typically 4-10 times more expensive than Ryanair for similar routes and those credit card "rewards" in total do have a cost if *everybody* gets them.

But I digress. The point is this: our USA telephone systems are actually designed knowing damn well that very many an american considers himself , or rather, acts as an entitled little snowflake who has some god given right to jump the queue (the others waiting on hold are not as important as you, after all!). the whole customer service flow is based on an "expectation of special/exceptional treatment" that americans have. while I am an american, i've been living abroad long enough that it took me some time to really comprehend this cultural thing and while occasionally i biatch and moan about the costs involved, well, we still make money so I can't complain too much.

and of course the ultimate irony is that many of those americans (not you necessarily) who routinely demand special treatment are more or less blind to it and in fact often themselves biatch about others who receive ...


Don't make the availibility of "tech support" part of your selling feature when you pen a contract then. Some of the largest companies in tech sales offer a lot of incentives for us to buy their product, and the availibility of tech support can make or break whether that contract or a sale will be renewed. I know of at least couple contracts- and at least another two on shaky ground -- that have been concluded or will be soon ending their contracts with us as they have failed to keep up in their support of the items they have been contracted to maintain.

Sounds like you've entered the land of the high and mighty and are just too good for the the common folk (ie. your customers)and our concerns with the quality of the product or service you provide That's a great business model- hope it works out well.
 
2013-01-25 10:21:27 AM
clowncar on fire: Sounds like you've entered the land of the high and mighty and are just too good for the the common folk (ie. your customers)and our concerns with the quality of the product or service you provide That's a great business model- hope it works out well.

It's just amazing that you read this into it, since it's completely wrong.

What you seem to have completely missed from my message is the fact that we have *built a whole infrastructure designed around the unique demands and expectations of americans.*

as i said, we have no problems. we make money. it's just that (of course, i'm painting with a broad brush here), americans demand to be treated differently and have an expectation to be treated as special cases far beyond what is, umm, "penned." as i have said in multiple messages, im not saying americans are worse because of this - it's just how american society has made them. we cater for it, we keep them happy, and we make money. their demands end up costing them more than they think, but that's the way it is. it's like the idiotic us for profit healthcare system: you overpay and get worse outcomes, but by golly you'll defend it because it's what you're used to.

though honestly, i will say that your assumptive, aggressive, incomprehensive response typical of so many others here is a bad feature of americans.

but, you know, here I am in the land of the "high and mighty", so what the hell do i know.
 
2013-01-25 10:34:32 AM
The purpose of the voice tree system is to answer as few calls as possible. If the company actually cared about answering calls they would have a system where you could add your number and they would call you back when someone was available. Or they would just hire more people to answer the phones.
 
2013-01-25 10:55:01 AM

Bomb Head Mohammed: jonrey: "I've had to take my wife to the E.R. more than once at all hours of the day for extreme stomach pain, blackouts, and tremors until the doctors discovered she has a sever intolerance to gluten (Celiac Disease). So for you to make the hypocritical blanket statement that people who request gluten-free meals are entitled, over-demanding snowflakes (who are no less apparently lying about a medical condition)... well, as you put it, it is easy to come to the conclusion that you are "retarded" and "shiatty".
And that is completely aside from the kosher portion of your statement - I'd like to see you go to Israel and call them over-demanding snowflake liars for practicing Jewish dietary law. Jerk."

all well and good. why then, do these things happen SO MUCH MORE OFTEN in the USA? please explain. I have no doubt that your sob story is true. but do people in europe and asia not also have bodies and religions and potentially special needs? why is the queue at the airline desk in the USA for special cases several times longer than it is in europe EVERY TIME? the very fact that you feel the need to regail me with your tell of woe and then put me down is The American Snowflake Mentality, even if at some level you feel it to be true. Again, I'm not criticizing - this is NOT a criticism - it's just the way society has evolved to make you. This is not bad (well, you calling me a jerk when all I'm trying to do is make a relatively dispassionate analysis is objectively bad, but that's another story) - it's just the way it is.


No, I felt the need to 'regail' you with my 'sob story' so that perhaps in the future you will think twice before making blanket statements, as you now understand that maybe, just maybe... some people have actual legitimate reasons for making special requests. Certainly not now, I can see... but at least it puts the seed of empathy in there. And please understand that me calling you a jerk is NOT a criticism - it's just how society has evolved you to be. It's just the way it is :)
 
2013-01-25 11:34:50 AM

RembrandtQEinstein: The purpose of the voice tree system is to answer as few calls as possible. If the company actually cared about answering calls they would have a system where you could add your number and they would call you back when someone was available. Or they would just hire more people to answer the phones.


My ISP does that(iinet in Australia) if the estimated wait time is more than five minutes I'll use it. Fantastic idea and I wish more organisations would use it. I was on the phone with one of their guys for about twenty minutes last month AND waited about thirty minutes from calling for them to call back. I would have lost nearly an hour if they didn't have such a service.
 
2013-01-25 11:54:36 AM
I went to the article thinking it would be about the "instant" background check to buy a gun. Apparently not.
 
2013-01-25 01:37:34 PM

ComaToast: What could be improved is the 'hold' music they play. Fed Ex used to have a jazz loop nightmare played at several decibels over normal speaking volume. Customers should be given a choice : press 1 to hear Skrillex, press 2 to hear headache relief commercials, press 3 for the suicide hotline...


I called into one that had Led Zepplin tracks playing. I told them that was the best hold experience I had ever had .
We also have a client who used to live DJ the music for their hold service.
 
2013-01-25 01:44:58 PM

Bomb Head Mohammed: It has nothing to do with being entitled, it's just that the rules don't apply to you because you assume that everybody else, including those who design the voicemail systems are idiots and that you should be able to speak to a live, expensive person NOW NOW NOW because you have no patience for machines... let the others who have time to spare talk to machines. if this isn't entitlement mentality, i don't know what is.


YOU CANNOT DO CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH A COMPUTER.


Customer service requires a HUMAN BEING to PICK UP THE GOD DAMN PHONE and TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMER. And yes, that cost money. Deal. You get what you pay for. Pissed off customers also cost money.
 
2013-01-25 03:01:49 PM
This is why I don't hold for *anybody.* If I'm put on hold, I hang up and try later. Screw them for wasting my time.
 
2013-01-25 04:04:59 PM
While I understand the frustration of being on hold for so long, I think people need to chill on wanting everything within less than 2 seconds! Like someone said earlier, if you are gonna be on hold, put the phone on speaker phone and multi-task. People need to start thinking about the guy on the other line. We (because I work in a call center) deal with sometimes HUNDREDS of calls each day and we are trying to treat each call with the utmost respect and correct info DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE GET YELLED/CUSSED OUT.

So yeah, please, be nice, even if you are waiting on the phone for a very long time.
 
2013-01-25 07:26:01 PM
a call to DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the military payroll office) will ALWAYS result in a long time on hold, and their hold music is just one track played over and over: "We're in this love together" by Al Jarreau.

For those uninitiated: Linky
. Not a RickRoll, but you'll sure wish that it was.

There is a special layer in the hottest, deepest depths of hell for whoever at DFAS came up with that idea.
 
2013-01-26 05:14:57 AM
Reminds me of the last time I tried to call Hewlett-Packard. After 2 hours on hold I decided that if they were going to waste my time I'd at least waste a little bit of their money. Drove around to all the payphones I could find (been a LONG time since I've owned anything made by HP), called their 800-number and got into the queue, left them off the hook, and went home. Don't know if my phone died before or after they answered... sometime after I went to bed.

It's funny, though. You call the sales line and someone's on the line in seconds...
 
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