Several years ago, a radio announcer told a story that I’m sure a lot of us are quite familiar with in these modern times when life gets more complicated than it should. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, 100 yards from a well-known department store. One day he decided to phone the store to ask if they had a particular shirt in stock. One operator transferred him to another, and then to another, and then to a fourth operator. By this time, the man found the whole process ridiculous. If he knew that his local store had the shirts, he would simply walk there and purchase them. He then asked the fourth operator where she was located. Well, she was definitely not in Newton, Massachusetts. She was in Mesa, Arizona. Why should we be connected to Mesa, Arizona to find out if the store around the corner has a particular product in stock? Did they forget how to check local inventory and return to the customer on the phone with a direct yes or no answer? Is that too difficult to figure out any more? Why does life have to be so complicated?
One of these days, when I call my local Papa Gino’s to order a tuna sub, they will connect me to a place on the other side of the country where a customer service rep will take the order by reading from a script, have me repeat the order seven times, and then ask me ten times if there is anything more they can do for me. Oh, and all of this will happen before they repeatedly thank me for calling Papa Gino’s.
My local newspaper, the New Bedford Standard Times, has its customer service department in the Philippines. No offense, but how does someone in the Philippines know how we feel in New Bedford about our delivery service?
I’ve spoken about these problems multiple times in the past, but it seems that nothing has changed. Prices for many items continue to stay high while the quality of service still remains relatively low, or, in some instances, nearly non-existent. I know that this is not just an issue for the visually impaired community, either. This is rampant throughout any industry serving any group of people, and frankly, something has got to give. How else are we ever going to have faith in these companies that we continue to support?
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