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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Anti-Customer Service

Anti-Customer ServiceNothing bothers me more than poor customer service. I’m notorious for having miserable experiences with tech support. Everyone in the office can attest that I rarely have a good tech experience but there comes a point where poor customer service really becomes anti-customer service. It goes beyond bad support from uninformed or poorly trained employees. Anti-customer service is when a company just refuses to provide good customer service. It’s not an act of omission, but an act of commission.

I had such an experience the other day. (Go figure!)

First, let me start with a story of good service. I was talking to a rep of our water company about a overcharge on our bill. When the person I was speaking with placed me on hold she had inadvertently disconnected the call. If I had a dollar every time that happened to me I’d be dining with Donald Trump! But here’s the kicker… she called me back!

Yeah, that’s right, I cat a call back. I’ve never been called back when the phone was disconnected. NEVER. Until now. I was impressed.

So fast forward two days later when I’m on a tech support call with my web host. I first spent 10 minutes on hold in the queue before I finally got a live person. After explaining my issue I was placed on hold, only to be–yep, you guessed it–disconnected. Did I get a call back? Not on your life. So I go through the motions again, call, wait on hold, talk to support, etc. While I’m on the phone, the issue I’ve been having for the past several hours has cleared up, but I certainly don’t appreciate having to wait on hold twice due to the original support person’s ineptness with a telephone. I spoke with a supervisor and asked for a free month of web hosting for it. The supervisor I was talking to at the time didn’t have authorization so he put me on hold to IM his boss. My request was denied. Refunds are only given to outages in service, poor customer support does not qualify.

The hang up was only poorly implemented customer service. Offering me nothing for my trouble of having to call twice and wait on hold twice was anti-customer service.

There is a difference between not getting good service and support and a company screwing something up and not doing anything to remedy it. I hate bad customer service, but I walk away knowing I can’t do anything about it. Anti-customer support is the equivalent of being forced to drop trou and grab the angles, if you’ll forgive the vulgarity. Anti-customer support is much more than not giving a client what they want or expect, but its forcing the client to pay for the companies screw ups. These companies have no business being in business.

Updated: A customer service survey came in my email box after the call. Normally I ignore these but not this time. I answered the questions and in the comments made note of what happened. I got a response back sympathising with my bad experience, but no mention of a free month of support (I mentioned it first in the survey comments). I responded back, again noting the anti-customer service I’m receiving by not even being granted my request of a free month of hosting. This time the response back came with a promise to give me a free month. Issue resolved. But does it seem right to you that I had to go through all of that just to finally get some customer service?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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