It’s no secret that customer service is not a real thing these days and that companies actually go out of their way to prevent it. It’s no secret that “customer service” departments are actually the worst place to go within a company for customer service. In fact, on top of all the methods of preventing customers from receiving service that you’ve probably experienced, my persistence in matters has caused me to see the big guns on several occasions. Before we begin, let me provide a short list of extreme tactics companies have used against to prevent giving customer service:
- Terminated my account (Lycos)
- Terminated my employment (Walmart [because I was working there at the time and I was the one providing customer service – and providing customer service is in violation of Walmart policy])
- Closed, deleted, edited, or otherwise prevented a support ticket or post from being seen by others and/or answered by the company (Google, Lycos)
- Hung up the phone on me (Google, Dell, Sony, Lycos, PayPal, AT&T, and many others. I can’t recall them all. This is actually their first course of action in most cases because it’s so easy.)
- Sent a cease and desist letter (PayPal)
- Changed their contact information to prevent further contact (The Better for Businesses Bureau, PayPal, Facebook)
- Kicked me out of their store (Best Buy)
- Conspired with the Better for Businesses Bureau to have my complaints silenced (The BBB, PayPal)
- Threatened legal action (Google, PayPal, AT&T)
Now, this list could go on, but I’ve made my point, and that is how far a company is willing to go out of its way to prevent giving customer service. It should also be noted that none of these tactics have ever caused me to give up and, in fact, have only strengthened my resolve. As they should if they try them on you. The legal threats are just bluffs unless, of course, you’re actually committing a crime or causing a liability. And, sometimes, even then.
Now, this is customer service as compiled over the last three years. So, very recent stuff. But, has there ever been any real customer service? Well, I don’t recall perfect customer service, but I vaguely recall a time when they at least appeared to be trying…
“Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to fix your bill before the due date. Just pay it in full and we’ll reimburse you next time.”
“No. The cheque was for $72. Your cancelled cheque is wrong. I’m seeing our deposit right here.”
“I’m going to have to terminate your account because you [won’t let this issue rest].”
*Exit flashback transition*
Hmm… Maybe I was being nostalgic. It seems that they were just as resistant before. Maybe my increased persistence allows me to fantasise that, when I was more complacent, there actually was such a thing as customer service.
But, you know what? That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be! The non-aggression principle says we shouldn’t initiate force, threats of force, or fraud, but that we can respond with such to reclaim what is rightfully ours. Customer service is rightfully ours. If we all handled customer service the way I do, it would actually exist within the week. Go forth and be rude to call centre reps for being fraudulently friendly and deceptively unhelpful. It’s okay. They’re not real people, so they don’t have feelings like you and me.