Saturday, April 27, 2013

Customer Service?

Have you noticed there is very little customer service left in the States?  You can never find someone to help at Walmart and even if it's a 24 hour Walmart  - and the electronics department doesn't open until 9 AM, at least at my store.  If you do find someone, chances are they don't work in that department.....  If you call any office (except mine, it seems), you'll have to listen to a voicemail forest, pressing different numbers to try to get someone to talk to - if you're lucky.  Most of the time, you get to talk to a machine and maybe get  a call back in a couple days - or not.

I use internet in numerous places, mostly at home and at a couple different offices I work in.  In all those places, I get the message that my browser is "not responding".  This could mean that it will wake up sometime soon, far in the future, or never.  Usually, I get out of the program and go back into it.  It's frustrating.  Sometimes it's just slow.  I've had better, quicker service in places like Trinidad and Venezuela.

At home, my provider would give me a "great deal" if I had a home phone - also known as landline.  The deal would get better if I had a TV to connect to their great service.  All I need or want from them is internet service - good, reliable internet service.  And for that, I pay quite a bit per month because they penalize me because I don't want a phone or TV.   For the price they charge, I would expect great service, I would really like to get great service.  They entice you with the fact that it's "road runner", assuming we're all going to think it's really quick.

A few nights ago, I was on the computer at home on the internet.   I have a laptop with a router, which means I can take the computer anywhere in the house and it still works, very convenient.     Anyway, the other night, all of a sudden, it stopped working.  No excuse, no storms in the area, nothing going on.  I went in where the modem was and of course, there were no lights blinking.  OK, cable was out, according to my modem. 

I called up the service center and got some woman on the other end of the phone who told me to reboot the modem, which I had already done - I've been through this before with them.  Then, she said it looked good on her end and it should be working.  OK, but there are still no lights on my modem.  Somehow, she learned that I had a router and told me that must be the problem - she told me to disconnect everything - again - the modem and the router, both from power and the incoming cable.  After half a minute, she tells me to connect it all together again.  Then it magically works. 

She started telling me that every once in a while, the router needs to be "refreshed" and there was nothing wrong with their service.  Seems like I never had that problem at work, where there is also a router.  Also, the router in question is relatively new, having only been in service for a couple months.  The previous router worked for a few years without being "refreshed".  I told her that and then asked her where she was.  She had a bit of an accent I couldn't place, I knew she wasn't in India - I know that accent.  She told me she was in the Philippines.  I don't know how long that's been going on.

As a side note, that same company supplies the company I work for with internet - I had to call their office one day.  Seems that I can get a human on the phone but the office that takes care of the business accounts doesn't open until 9 AM.  What about the businesses who open at 8 AM?

Betty Karl

1 comment:

  1. Betty, I bet I know which company you use (not naming names). Here's the trick we learned after the lady in the Philippines took my information and promised to put in a request for service. Right. From the Philippines. Which would probably happen in a week or so.

    The local office is a good hour from here, but my husband happened to be passing it and decided to stop in. The lovely lady there (a local) called the service technician, who lives near us. He happened to be on his way home and arrived in half an hour. AND he gave me his card so I can call him directly. (Oooh, love the country.)

    No, this didn't stop the Internet from just going off into some blank nothingness when it feels like it (and yes, we also have a router), but it did keep me from cancelling the service and buying a satellite dish.