Bad Customer Service

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Bad Customer Service

Postby Serenity » 25 Mar 2007 15:35

Since this forum already has a thread for "good" customer service, let's here from the dark side. Ellen Roseman's Saturday consumer column in the Toronto Star has some splendid examples involving good old Ma Bell!

Chris DeGoeas is a frustrated customer of Bell Mobility. Now that wireless numbers are portable, he plans to go elsewhere.

"I don't want to be handcuffed to a company that does little or nothing to help you, knowing you have to stay," says the home- repair contractor, whose number is in all his advertising.

Last August, DeGoeas got a notice saying he would be getting a single bill that consolidated his Bell wireless and home-phone services. To keep them separate, he had to call a toll-free number.

A consolidated bill arrived in October, despite his instructions. It seems Bell had no record of his call, even though he wrote down the name and identification number of the customer representative.

"Over the next four months, I spent countless hours trying to get this resolved. Sometimes I waited on hold for 45 minutes, only to be disconnected." DeGoeas has separate bills again, but he's still itching to leave. Once he contacted me, Bell fixed the problem and offered a two-month credit on his home phone and $30 on his cellphone.

Goodwill gestures are something new for Bell Canada, part of a campaign to polish its image and show customers it cares.

"Our ultimate goal is to serve everyone appropriately. We regret the times we don't," says Bell spokesperson Paolo Pasquini.

"But there's a fine balance. We're in a competitive industry and we're resetting the cost structure, while trying to deliver quality service to the customer."

Will this charm offensive succeed? I have my doubts.

Like a large ship going full steam and not easily steered in another direction, Bell has lagged in customer service.

But rerouting calls to India probably won't help.

Bill Maguire, a Bell ExpressVu client, returned from a holiday this month to find no satellite television signal. He called and spoke to a call centre in India.

After a 62-minute chat produced no solution, he was asked to climb on the roof and check the wiring to the dish.

"I told the service agent that I was in my 80th year and had no intention of climbing on the roof," Maguire says.

Bell fixed his satellite connection after he contacted me. Finding the installation was wrong from the start, it gave him a month's credit on his bill and a reversal of the $75 service fee.

Maguire had already dealt with a call centre in India when he had a problem with his Bell Sympatico online service.

"People there are unfamiliar with our climate and social outlook," he says. "Every time, it takes over an hour to even come close to resolving a problem, as they leave you hanging on the phone to ask questions of someone or read their manual."

Paul Bigras, a Bell Sympatico customer, was also rerouted to India when he called for help with his email.

"The person required three attempts to find my personal information in her system," he says. "She kept me on hold five minutes while she spoke with a technical rep, only to hang up on me mid-sentence, while asking more questions. I got hung up on another three times over the next three hours.

"The irony here – Bell being first and foremost a telephone company – is that while we're on hold, we're constantly reminded of how important our calls are. Or are they?"

The Indian call centres take calls that were already outsourced to Canadian call centres, Pasquini says.

"The issue is less about an international vendor than it is about a customer not being served appropriately. Whether that occurred at a vendor in Canada, a vendor in India or even at our own call centres, we will seek to remedy the situation, and use it as an example of how we can improve service in general."

Ross Baker called Bell's technical service about the intermittent static on his home phone.

Given an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. window for service – isn't that rather large? – he booked a day off work. But the night before, he got a computer phone message, saying all was well and his appointment was cancelled.

"Ironically, when I called back, I had almost too much static to make myself heard," he says. "After 45 minutes trying to find a supervisor, I had no satisfaction and was treated like dirt."

A customer service rep gave him a 1-888 number to escalate his complaint. Guess what? The number was out of service.

Baker had a technician come to his home at 10 a.m. on the day he booked off work, once I got on the case. But he is concerned about "the undertone of exasperation that emanated from all the customer service people who had to manage the resolution of my issues."

What do you think? Has Bell's service improved? All advice is welcome and I'll publish the highlights in another column.

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Postby Bylo Selhi » 25 Mar 2007 15:48

Actually I started the "good" thread in reaction to the existing "bad" thread ;)
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Postby YogiBear » 25 Mar 2007 17:32

Recursive customer service threads? :shock: :lol:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby tedster » 29 Mar 2010 10:45

Last November I bought a humidifier (removeable tank no filter) made by Honeywell. I bought it from Cdn Tire. 3 weeks ago it started to "gurgle" all night long, so that I cannot sleep. I clean it weekly with vinegar. So before schlepping to Cdn Tire, I called Honeywell. Their solution, ship it back to them at my cost and they will send me a new one!! I told the woman that it did not make sense for me to spend $20.00 plus in postage for a unit that cost me $55.00. She said, too bad.. or words to that effect. That being said, what could be the cause? :shock:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Pickles » 29 Mar 2010 12:28

tedster wrote:Last November I bought a humidifier (removeable tank no filter) made by Honeywell. I bought it from Cdn Tire. 3 weeks ago it started to "gurgle" all night long, so that I cannot sleep. I clean it weekly with vinegar. So before schlepping to Cdn Tire, I called Honeywell. Their solution, ship it back to them at my cost and they will send me a new one!! I told the woman that it did not make sense for me to spend $20.00 plus in postage for a unit that cost me $55.00. She said, too bad.. or words to that effect. That being said, what could be the cause? :shock:


I dunno. Stop using carbonated water in the tank?
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby tedster » 29 Mar 2010 13:24

Pickles wrote
I dunno. Stop using carbonated water in the tank?


As usual, you are corrrect. You do not know. :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby newguy » 29 Mar 2010 13:28

tedster wrote: it started to "gurgle" all night long, so that I cannot sleep.
The problem is once you learn to sleep with the gurgling sounds, you won't be able to sleep without them. :lol:

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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Peculiar_Investor » 29 Mar 2010 18:21

Almost started a Dell Hell thread, but I'll put it here instead.

Based on a deal that I saw on RedFlagDeals, http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/dell ... st10345073 Here's what's happened:

  • Feb 20th, I placed an order
  • Feb 20th, Dell acknowledges order in email, indicates Estimated Delivery Date of 03/03/2010
  • Mar 1st, Dell sends email "We regret to inform you of a delay in your recent Dell order #xxxx. If your order has not shipped within 5 business days, we will provide you with an update. No further action is required from you at this time.
  • Mar 8th, Dell again sends email "Unfortunately, your order is still delayed. We are working to establish a new shipping date as soon as possible. No further action is required from you at this time."
  • Mar 29th, Peculiar_Investor wonders what's up with the order, goes to http://www.dell.ca, logs into account, checks status. Order shows as Cancelled, WTF :evil:
  • Mar 29th, Peculiar_Investor calls Dell 800 number, waits in Q patiently, finally reaches a rep. who asks order number and name, then transfers me, where I wait in Q again, then Click! I'm dropped. WTF2
My only other Dell experience is captured here.

Sign me a VERY UNHAPPY ex-Dell customer.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby tedster » 29 Mar 2010 19:07

P-I wrote
Sign me a VERY UNHAPPY ex-Dell customer.


Did you at least get your money back? :shock:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Peculiar_Investor » 29 Mar 2010 19:18

tedster wrote:P-I wrote
Sign me a VERY UNHAPPY ex-Dell customer.


Did you at least get your money back? :shock:

Fortunately, my CC was never billed.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby adrian2 » 30 Mar 2010 09:32

Peculiar_Investor wrote:Sign me a VERY UNHAPPY ex-Dell customer.

Ditto as per my previous experience with Dell
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Shakespeare » 30 Mar 2010 09:34

I've bought two laptops and a desktop (this one) from them with no trouble.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby kcowan » 30 Mar 2010 10:24

Shakespeare wrote:I've bought two laptops and a desktop (this one) from them with no trouble.

Were they specials? I get the impression that it is the specials where Dell have the most trouble?
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Shakespeare » 30 Mar 2010 10:30

Were they specials?
They were normal 'special deals' (i.e. available for a week or so) not the extra-special deals available for an hour or two :wink: that some people try to get.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Bylo Selhi » 30 Mar 2010 11:49

I've bought several dozen Dell desktops and servers over the decades. All but a handful had problems, typically a bad RAM module or hard disk. The penultimate Dell experienced a motherboard failure, probably due to capacitor plague, after about three years. Dell's customer service can be difficult if you can't prove the problem's theirs, but if you have the goods, e.g. a diagnostic printout or relevant Event log entries, they've been pretty good about making things right and doing it fast.

I'd buy more Dells without hesitation -- if I ever buy another desktop.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby tedster » 30 Mar 2010 13:49

I bought my ebooks from Dell and I have a friend who has bought 2 desktops from them. He is very positive about their Customer Support. If at all possible he is more computer dumb than I am. :thumbsup:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby vince2 » 29 Oct 2010 22:21

I bought a ASUS eePC 1018 from Bestbuy online about 3 months ago - lovely little netbook, small, lightweight, fast enough with enough USB ports and a long battery life and a handy 250Gb HDD. A few days ago I tried to switch it on, the "ON" light comes on, the wifi light comes on, and the HDD light flickers briefly and dies and not even the BIOS loads. I repeat the whole procedure a couple of times, remove the battery, reinstall it, charge it, but nothing happens.

I phone Bestbuy, and they tell me that I must phone the manufacturer. I phone Asus - the technical support gives me a few things to try - no success and then tells me that I must work through Bestbuy. I get back to Bestbuy and they tell me that I must contact my nearest store and ask if they will be willing to accept the computer couriered to them. The following day, I phone the store and after passing through customer relations, I end up at one of the Geek squad members, who informs me that I must bring it into their store (cannot courier it) in Edmonton and sign an official receipt for it. By this time my patience was beginning to run out - so I take a $400 computer to Bestbuy so that it can be repaired and in the process spend another $400 to get there, stay there and travel back and after this whole episode, I have just ended up paying $800 for a $400 computer that has just been repaired.

I pointed out to the employee that people who buy online do so because they are not close to a store and they do not seem to have a system set up to deal with electronics that fail, and having to travel to bring it in, is a very stupid system that totally defeats the point of being able to buy online. (I really try to be PC but plain stupidity gets to me)

I contacted Asus again, and this time got through to a representative that understood my predicament and arranged for a RMA number and that I can sent it in for evaluation and repairs.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby tedster » 30 Oct 2010 09:31

In late August I bought Trudeau oyster knif. Last Sunday, I opened and oyster and the tip of the knife broke off. I went to the fish store from which I bought the knife and the clerk demanded a receipt, gave me a lecture, and then gave me a new knife. I told him that if he had skipped the lecture, I would have left happy. I got home and tried to open an oyster and the tip of the knife bent! How am I going to get my money back? I sure as hell don't want another Trudeau knife!
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Nemo2 » 30 Oct 2010 09:52

tedster wrote:In late August I bought Trudeau oyster knif. Last Sunday, I opened and oyster and the tip of the knife broke off. I went to the fish store from which I bought the knife and the clerk demanded a receipt, gave me a lecture, and then gave me a new knife. I told him that if he had skipped the lecture, I would have left happy. I got home and tried to open an oyster and the tip of the knife bent! How am I going to get my money back? I sure as hell don't want another Trudeau knife!

Geez.....wasn't the name enough of a tip-off? :wink:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Bylo Selhi » 30 Oct 2010 10:01

Nemo2 wrote:Geez.....wasn't the name enough of a tip-off? :wink:

I'll keep that in mind next time I'm looking for a brush :P (unless, of course, I'm looking for something to sweep dirt under the rug.)
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby Nemo2 » 30 Oct 2010 10:04

Bylo Selhi wrote:
Nemo2 wrote:Geez.....wasn't the name enough of a tip-off? :wink:

I'll keep that in mind next time I'm looking for a brush :P (unless, of course, I'm looking for something to sweep dirt under the rug.)

:lol:
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby CROCKD » 17 Jun 2011 14:15

Here is an article in the G&M on rude salespeople.

Tired of rude salespeople? Get in line

It seems to have struck a nerve as there are over 350 comments. All the usual suspects are there.

The commenter I liked the best was the one who said

Just walk out with your stuff.
Works for me, I love poor sevice= free goods.


Years ago I was in a restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas with a NZ friend of mine. When it came time to pay the bill and leave, the waiter studiously ignored us. As we were the only customers in there at the time, this got me severely pissed off. Finally I said to my friend 'Well I'm leaving that should see some action.' My friend a less activist type stayed. A while later he came pounding up the street behind me so I said 'Well did you pay the bill?' He said 'No. I just left too'
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby augustabound » 17 Jun 2011 18:25

I wouldn't have the stones to leave with the merchandise, I worked too long in retail with parts in loss prevention.
I do just leave my cartload the front of the store at WalMart when the lines are long and they refuse to open more cash desks.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby CROCKD » 06 Jan 2012 22:19

Spoiler Alert: If CBC Market Place is on your Friday night viewing in a western time zone you may want to skip this.

Just finished watching Market Place to determine Canada's worst store customer service. Doing a coast to coast survey by Leger Marketing the 3 worst stores were WALMART, CANADIAN TIRE and ZELLERS.
The program also had some dissatisfied customers, used some test shoppers with hidden camera and included an interview with Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star.
It also had Dave Carroll, the well known singer of UNITED HAS BROKEN MY GUITAR.

The 'winner' was ZELLERS followed by CANADIAN TIRE and then WALMART.

ZELLERS and CANADIAN TIRE upper management refused to be interviewed.
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Re: Bad Customer Service

Postby AltaRed » 06 Jan 2012 22:43

That does not surprise me. Their stores are disorganized, chaotic, worn, and sometimes dirty. The staff is robotic. The only reason I think people go to shop there is to bottom feed on quality and price.

Disclosure: I will occasionally go into all 3 to pick up something I've seen in a flyer or online at the most competitive price. I go straight to what I want and then get out of there as quickly as possible before the grubbiness rubs off on me.
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