15 October 2007

Customer NON Service

I think I understand why the United States economy is really just one of consumption and NOT of actual production of anything anymore. Over the last month, I've had the misfortune to deal with a lot of people in the service industry as well as the retail industry.

The service I have gotten is putrid. About four weeks ago, I took a week off of work so that I could get a lot of things done around the house prior to the arrival of "BabyLo". I had lined up a large variety of service industry professionals to come to the house to give quotes or provide services for things like finishing our basement, fixing our powder room, installing cabinets in our utility room, doing that cool textured finish on the garage floor and other types of things.

Between missed appointments, "running lates", scheduling cock-ups and every excuse known to man, only ONE of the tradesmen I worked with was on-time, billed me accurately and took the care with my house as he'd take with his. That was Bernie the plumber. Bernie earned my business for life with that.

For a week that I had perfectly scheduled out (for MY life) that left me plenty of open pockets to do errands, work on projects in the house that only _I_ could do and basically just be ME, I was left hurried and rushed to get the things done that I felt I had to get done.

This horrible service issue has continued over the last four weeks with the most recent being CompuBiz, from whom I bought a new color printer/scanner. I ordered from them because they had an excellent rating from Mysimon.com and they also had the lowest price. The printer arrived damaged (the inks had exploded within the printer and there was ink everywhere). I called and actually was responded to on the next business morning by CompuBiz. They took a day to tell me how they wanted me to ship the product back to them and then told me that FedEx would just be stopping by our house to pick it up either Wed or Thurs. Both days went by and FedEx never showed (for some reason I doubted CompuBiz because frankly, FedEx is always here when I need them to be). When I called back to CompuBiz on Thursday night, I was told that my contact there had left for the day. This was 20 minutes prior to when they supposedly closed. I asked to speak to his manager, and was rudely dumped into his voicemail. I left a nasty message and then called back because I wanted to talk to the receptionist who was rude, and instead a male answered the phone. I asked to speak to a manager and he stated that they were closed. I asked him what time they closed and he said 5:00. It was 4:50.

Americans want to know why so many companies outsource or offshore their customer service and frankly a LOT of pieces of business. It seems that service in this country has basically gone to shit, so why not go somewhere where it at least costs less and frankly is better at times. Canadians are pretty reliable people and also rather intelligent because they have education guaranteed to them. Indian people are really intelligent and when they can understand and work with the cultural differences between the US and India, they too provide amazing service at a high quality level.

Folks, if my random sampling of the service industry is any bell weather of what the rest of America is experiencing, no wonder why our economy is in the shitter.

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