The Truth Hurts

Truth.jpeg

So I purchase some nutrition bars from a prominent online store. 


If you click on 2 boxes (12 bars each), they charge you $30. 


But if you look over a little on the website page, they have 24 bars for $24. 


I contact customer service and start chatting with them about this. 


Basically, I wanted the difference refunded to me. 


Surely, not a lot of money, but more the principle of it. 


They are charging 2 different amounts for the very same thing! 


The lady on the other end of the chat asks me to forward her the link for the product. 


I comply. 


She says, “You see that link is 2 boxes for $30!”


I say, “No, that’s just the primary link to the product, and it has 2 different prices for basically the exact same thing.”


She says, “On that link you sent it has 12 bars x 2, which is different than ordering 24 bars!”


I’m thinking, Oh really!  What math class did she take in elementary school???


And then for good measure, she adds socking one to me:

“Truth Always Hurts!”


At this point, I couldn’t believe my chat “ears”.  


Aside from her “truth” not being “the truth” in any universe…


I was in shock and said something like “How dare you.  You are incredibly rude.  Put your supervisor on.”


She says: “Well, my supervisor will tell you the same thing!”


I repeated once more: “Please let me speak to a supervisor.”


Finally when I got the supervisor, who was a more normal, reasonable person, and also could do simple arithmetic, she immediately apologizes issuing me a refund. 


She asked if there was anything else she could assist with.


I asked, to confirm again, “Are you a supervisor?”


She responded affirmatively. 


I asked her to review the chat with the prior customer service rep and asked, “Is this how you want your company represented to your customers?”


Needless to say, she was flabbergasted by what she saw from their outsourced “customer service” representative.


She assured me she was flagging the chat for review by management and that this outrageous behavior from this company representative would be addressed. 


To me, it is amazing that our companies not only outsource the manufacture of our vital goods, but they also outsource customer service to people that barely seem to speak the language, can’t do basic math, and have zero customer service skills. 


This does not bode well for American competitiveness–in the age of Coronavirus or at any other time. 


I believe that this truth hurts much more than any company’s horrendous customer service. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Telework Lessons from Coronavirus

 

So we’re all stuck in the house teleworking because of Coronavirus.


After a number of hours, I hear from my daughter that her laptop stopped working.


Apparently the battery overheated. 


Like a good millennial, what does she do?


She puts it in the refrigerator to cool down.


And sure enough, when she takes it out, it’s working again. 


Next problem of the day is where the VPN circuits are overloaded (too many people trying to login from home).


And when you try to call the help desk, of course all you get is a busy signal. 


We sure are learning a lot during this Coronavirus outbreak. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Airplane Art

Why aren’t airplanes really decorated like this?


It would be so much more fun to get on a plane that displayed some pizzaz!


All we hear about are plane delays, cancelled flights, mishandled baggage, and involuntary bumping.


Oh, and don’t forget the ever more cramped seating and the entertainment system that is habitually broken.


How does this industry get away with all this crap? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Now Dat’s Customer Service

This was a sign that talks to a real customer service orientation:


“Suppose we refund your money.


Send you another one without charge.


Close the store.


And have the manager shot…


Would that be satisfactory?”


Actually no, that’s not good enough!


While you’re at it…


Bow down and kiss my filthy feet.


Flagellate yourself with 40 lashes using a wet noodle. 


Give me a complimentary supply of whatever the crap is I was buying for life.


And after you shoot the manager, hang him from the tallest tree for everyone to get the message.  LOL


Now dat’s customer service!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Give Me That Fridge Handle

So we got a new stainless refrigerator. 


A cause for celebration!


It get’s delivered and afterwards, I notice that the door handles are installed unevenly. 


I call the store and they agree to send their guys out to us again to fix it. 


Well, the handles were on the wrong doors and they switch it so that now they look even, but in the process, they break the handle on one of the doors so that only the top is attached to the door and the bottom is blowing in the wind (and ready to scratch the door). 


With this second installation debacle, I call the store again and not a happy camper!


Three calls later, the store agrees for me to come over and literally take the handle of the fridge on the showroom floor to replace my broken one–which I promptly did!


Third times the charm…no more broken door handle. 


As for the one in the store, let’s just say you can only open the left door for now.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

This Is The IT Help Desk

This was a funny true story that happened recently. 


Someone found a roach walking around their desk in the office. 


Not knowing who to call…they call the (IT) Help Desk.

Hello. What is the asset number on the device you are calling about?

Asset Number! You don’t need my asset number.

Well, what is the nature of your problem?

I’ll tell you what my problem is. The problem is that I have a cockroach walking around on my desk!”

Ah, do you know that you are calling the IT!!! Help Desk?

Ah, yes I do. Can you give me the number for who to call about this roach?

Ah, you are calling the wrong number. Why don’t you try finding out who your facilities person is?

Facilities person! But you guys are the Help Desk! Can’t you tell me how to get help to get rid of this roach? And by the way–where there is one, there are definitely more.

Ah, We don’t typically handle roach problems, but thank you for calling the Help Desk. {{click}}


I know many organizations are moving to Enterprise Service Desks where you can call and get help for all sorts of issues at work. 


Even then, I wonder if the employees answering the line will be trained in who to call to get a Roach Motel or some Raid. 


Perhaps this is the next evolution of support.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Monday Signs

Starting a new week…


Pick a sign for your desk:


– Good morning let the stress begin

 

– Step away from my desk and no one gets hurt


– I found your nose, it was in my business


– I’m pretty sure I have no idea


Which one would you pick?


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Give A Fire Truck

Sometimes, others can get negative at you in life.


People are unhappy. 

 

Complaints are rolling in. 


It seems like you can’t do right.


But you have to have a thick skin or as one colleague told me:

You need to be like Teflon and have it all just roll off you.


And this book title reminded me of this:

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”


Yes, we do have to care about doing good in what we do. 


It’s just that we shouldn’t “give a f*ck” when others are just wanting to tear us down and enjoying it. 


Constructive feedback is good. 


But destructive negativity at every turn is just hurtful.


It’s also a way for others to not take ownership.


We all need to do our part to make things better in this world. 


Sure, no one does everything right and no one is perfect. 


But everyone needs to try their best, and when others just want to beat on you…


That’s a completely appropriate time to not give a firetruck. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say YES!

Really liked this sign on my colleague’s desk.


It says:

Start With Yes


I remember an old boss who used to say:

Don’t make me get through no to get to yes. 


The idea as another colleague put it is to:

Keep a smile on your face and your focus on the customer; everything else takes care of itself. 


Basically, it’s all our jobs to make sure that the customer’s needs are being met. 


That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to differentiate between requirements and desirements or that we need to deliver the yacht in the first go around.


As a 4th colleague put it:

The customer is in the water. They want the yacht. But I can give them a boat. It gets them to where they want to go, and they no longer need to swim. We can work our way up to a yacht.


Good analogy analogy and good things to keep in mind for customer service excellence! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nitpicking To Death

It’s funny some people go straight for the kill when they don’t like something. 


Others may nitpick you to death. 


Always! looking for something to henpeck at.


It comes out as you’re stupid, lazy, incompetent, and even worthless.


Why can’t you do anything right (read: the way I would do it)?


If only you would change this, that, or the other thing then it would all be better!


But even when you do manage to change this, that or the other thing–guess what? That just sparks the next round of destructive criticism and never being satisfied.


Hey, since when are you so (f*ckin) perfect?  


Or as the old saying goes, “Who died and made you G-d?”


It should not be about grabbing some sadistic pleasure out of torturing other people with narcissism, judgmentalism, endless criticism and naysaying.


Instead of tearing down, let’s focus on the big picture and what success looks like.


How can everyone contribute to that vision and effort?


Customer service doesn’t mean personal servitude. 


There is such a thing as being a team player, identifying when good is good enough, and driving forward rather than seeking to derail or even go backward. 


Competency is not just for service providers, but for the customers. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)