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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Do They Even Call It Customer Service?

I have a hypothesis.

The quality of customer service you will receive from any given place can be pre-determined according to the saccharine sweetness of their "on hold" messages.

MDAnderson Cancer Hospital has a wonderful "on hold" message- calming music, assurances that everyone is treated as a beloved individual, care is first class and top of the line technology...

...and then they answer the phone.

I'll be the first to admit that I believe MDAnderson's doctors, surgeons and (most of) the staff are the best in the world. I'll be the first to admit that I believe my husband is alive because of these same people. We've met wonderful professional compassionate people at MDAnderson.

However, the dissonance of the "on hold" messages, repeated over and over and over again sort of grated on my very last nerve as I was waiting to talk to someone regarding each latest "oversight" on the part of the medical staff- oversights that resulted in him going essentially crazy for almost a week, kept him crazy and starving for over 2 weeks, deleted his memory and ravaged his body and it was very clear to me that they were NOT interested in him as a beloved individual, the care was NOT first class, and they may have the coolest technological toys, but the people in charge of running said toys could use refresher courses in basic human patience and compassion.

We're trying to build a house. Like most other folks, we'll need some sort of loan unless those lottery numbers I haven't checked yet are finally going to pay off...

Lemme check...

...never mind...

...so we'll need a loan.

Due to multiple expensive health issues, our credit scores are dismal. Our builder has a banker that they work with exclusively- a small town bank that's supposedly going to finance our home.

The "on hold" spiel says how very clever I am to have chosen a small home town bank, how all the people are friendly and they're at work every single weekday to meet all MY needs- and make all MY dreams come true even when the "other" banks say "no" because they look at all the important things and not just our credit score.

They said "no".

On accounta our credit scores.

I bought this camera. It's a very nice camera and I was very excited to get it- my first brand new Kodak Easyshare- the other 2 I've had (and loved) were refurbs and the very inexpensive models, this one is from their Professional Line.

There is something wrong either with the USB cable or the camera's slot the USB cable fits into because it won't transfer to the computer.

I spent hours and hours and hours on the telephone, in online chat, and composing a letter to the "I am the person you contact when you've not gotten help anywhere else" person at Kodak. The best they could offer was to send in the cable for a replacement, then if that didn't work, send the camera back to the distributor for a replacement.

Except for the "last resort Go To" chick- she never answered me at all.

Every time I was put on hold, either via telephone or waiting for an online person to help me (I gave up after THREE HOURS one time), I heard (or read) that my call was VERY important to them, and they'd be with me as soon as they could to answer all my questions.

Questions I might have regarding my "ready right out of the box" camera.

But it's ok. I finally got the help I needed for my camera without all that hassle.

The kid at Walmart sold me a memory card and card reader for less than $20 total and in five minutes this afternoon.

Call any Walmart store. You'll get a bare bones store directory- no promises of care or rosy visions of knowledge and compassion.

And yet...

Boggles the minds.

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