Customer service these days seems to be lacking, when they should be excelling. I was talking about this topic with a co-worker yesterday over lunch. We both agreed that providers of goods and services need to be even more attentive to their customer base these days, especially in light of the fact that the economy is in such a mess.
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My wife had received a call from our local Time Warner sales staff, suggesting we could save money by purchasing their bundled voice/data/cable package. We looked at the numbers and decided we could. At that time we used Dish Network for TV, Vonage for voice, and Time Warner/Earthlink for data. It seemed like a no-brainer to her. She pays the bills, and it makes her life easier to pay fewer, especially when a 3 year old is demanding your undevided attention, or the laundry needs to get done, or the house needs to be cleaned, etc, etc, etc.
Our Dish contract at that time had 2 more months before it expired, so it was suggested by our helpful sales person that we cut over our phone immediately, along with data, then TV when Dish expired. This seemed the easiest path to take.
It so happens our tennant upstairs (we own a two-family) decided to move out around the same time. Steve cancelled his service, and moved to the other side of town.
CUSTOMER SERVICE FAUX PAS #1: Make sure the people remaining in the house don't still have service with you before you decide to clip the $%*(@#$ cables to the house.
CUSTOMER SERVICE FAUX PAS #2: Make a better effort to restore servcies to said customer, instead of making them wait 24 hours, on a weekday.
During one of our discussions, it was determined by our sales person that our data service cancellation needed to be confirmed with Earthlink. I called them, got my confirmation number, and reported it to Time Warner. I find it interesting that even though Time Warner resells Road Runner and Earthlink, and can START services through either one easily enough, they cannot access Earthlink customer service data, and consistently push their customers to Earthlink for ANY service questions.
CUSTOMER SERVICE FAUX PAS #3: Don't make your customers do the footwork you should be doing, or impliment a system THAT WORKS.
My wife discovered that she wasn't able to pay Time Warner via Bill Pay, her preferred method, since Time Warner didn't have our correct account number or something to that effect. She asked them to send paper statements until it could be figured out.
Two months passed, and a couple of contacts made by us to obtain a bill, until it was discovered that Steve (our old tenant) was getting our bills at his new address. Graciously, they allowed us to pay the mounting debt in installments, and corrected our mailing address. This process probably only caused a loss of 4 hours of my wifes life.
We also seemed to initially have issues with the phone service dropping off, and poor signal quality on certain channels. It took numerous phone calls to get them to come out to the house, and when they finally did, they determined that the service at the telephone pole was old, and needed to be replaced.
That was the nearly the last straw for my wife. What pushed her over the edge was when we wanted to have another room added. They wanted $60 for this service. Two days later, we had Direct TV installed, and Time Warner was dead.
CUSTOMER SERVICE FAUX PAS #4: When you view the service screen during your customer support call, and you see multiple accounts of past service issues, ASSUME THE CUSTOMER MAY LEAVE YOU AT ANY POINT.
Just recently my wife called Time Warner on a billing principle issue. Seems that $6 has been following our month to month bill, and she's NOT going to pay it. Why? Because she paid what they wanted, when they asked for it. The service person actually started elevating her voice level when she was trying to explain that she felt she paid what we owed, and didn't want to pay another dime.
Needless to say, it's likely that my wife will be switching us to another ISP, and also voice. They WILL loose our business, due to their apathetic view on customer service.