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Friday, Dec. 9, 2005 at 1:21 pm

Customer Disservice

By Josh Hay
December 9th, 2005


(what’s this?)

The holidays came early for me this year when my desktop at home literally started smoking, so I need to get a replacement fast. I find what I need at Tiger Direct, and decide to break the bank for 2nd day air shipping. My order goes through, and then I receive a cryptic email saying something about my order may require something from the Credit Department prior to shipping, for security  reasons. On the email there is a link to check the order. A day after their email, the order has still yet to begin processing.

I call them and the customer service agent tells me if I can’t get my credit information verified within a half hour my order won’t get shipped today. Why do I need my credit verified, I’m not financing this PC?  I’m less than thrilled, but I’m transferred to a credit agent who exclaims they haven’t begun to process my credit card order. When I placed the order online, there were none of these issues. After a long and involved process, I was told my computer was finally being shipped. Excellent.

I asked her to transfer me to a customer service manager because I wasn’t informed of the delays. I asked the manager for my extra shipping costs to be refunded because there won’t be anything expedited about my shipping. He told me they sent an automated email about the credit problem and I was supposed to contact them, except the email explicitly stated I should wait to be contacted. He then acknowledges the computer is on backorder and it will be shipped until the 15th. Now I’m very upset.

The manager tells me they can offer me a similar system with the same specs for the same price. Upon checking the site, we find a machine, but the manager now tells me they can only give me a machine at their cost, which is $200 more than I spent.

Is paying online with a credit card too difficult to process in real-time? Is it to much to “assume” when shopping online that stock indicators will be provided at the Point of Action? Is it too much to ask that communication be accurate and timely when unforeseen errors arise? Sadly, this is level of customer service, and online experience is out there, and on sites who truly should know better. What happens in this rave new world of customer empowerment? Well, I think you just read about it…

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Comments (1)

  1. You had me smilling. The one singular problem is that with the onset of computer technology, CRM, order systems, and remote phone centers those who should care and those who would be normally involved in the inline order process are now removed. Our decision making is now in the hands of automated junk. The incridible thing here is that this IT junk is designed by people who haven’t a clue about business or business processes let alone customer management. Less 5% of the IT developers have any kind of biz degree and less than 3% of that have any mid level experience managing outside of an IT firm. Need I go further. Customer service took a big kick in the mmmm because of this now dependency on computer generated data and analytics designed by people who haven’t a clue. People make decisions based on this artificially induced intellegence and lulls the organizations to sleep. What a mess. Managers need to get off their butts and back into the interactive stream and make a difference. 10:1 the call center was contracted as an outsource initiative and probably has never seen the web order system. The web order system was probably outsoucred to IT company who has no clue about customer interaction and the good management that should know probably has never used the order system. Good article it further exposes a trend on the false provado the new brave world has brought. Don’t get me wrong here, IT has its place as support systems not replacement systems.

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