Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Service With a Smile?

Customer service. It's what makes many companies, and breaks so many others. I am not a business owner, so I don't know what it's like to deal with picky and difficult customers. However, I recall quite vividly having readers call Southern Living, when I was a writer there, and complain. I once had a reader call to complain about a hotel recommendation I made in a story. When I asked what they didn't like, I kid you not, the answer was "It rained the whole time we were there and the thunder kept us awake because it was so loud." I thought it was a prank from another writer, but no. People are crazy and complain about everything. I became one of those complainers today.

I have been slaving over making a photo book on the website, My Publisher. It's my first one so it has taken me an inordinate amount of time and has been super challenging. Okay, that's fine and good. That didn't frustrate me, though, simply because that's what I call "user challenges." I didn't know what I was doing so it took a long time. When it came time to order the blasted thing, that's when the trouble started.

I tried and tried and tried to order the book and a "technical difficulties" message seemed to always appear. I had a voucher I had bought, but, of course, I couldn't use it with the book I made. Problems kept occurring so I called the 1-800 customer support line. Support is not what I got.

The idiot (that's the kindest term I can come up with) on the phone told me my computer must be old or I needed to restart my router. I explained that the issue was with the site, but started the router to appease the moron (another fitting description).

Still wouldn't work. I asked to speak to a manager. "I can't transfer you to a manager or anyone else," he said. I asked him, "Is there a cleaning person there or a security guard at the door? I'll speak to them. Anyone but you. Please." Long story long, he took my number and told me someone would be in contact within 48 hours. I ended the conversation with this: "Let me just tell you one thing. I am going to save every penny I have. If I find a penny and pick it up, I am going to save it. All of those saved cents will go into taking out an ad. The ad will say "My Publisher is a horrible company. Don't ever use them."" He didn't say anything.

My point? Honestly, I don't even know. I just know these two things:

1. My Publisher sucks.
2. Customer service is crucial.

Do you have any company you this has horrible customer service? Let me know and I'll add them to the list. Thanks for letting me rant.

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