Irony Service

Why we are doomed…

Well I guess the the term “self fulfilling prophecy” come to mind, as well as “‘learned incompetence”  with my experience of getting a couple keys made.

My daughter recently moved back to the area for Philadelphia and we needed some keys so that they could have access to our storage spot that they would have more room in the apartment. SO my wife took the key over to Home Depot, and the guys their decided it would be a good idea to have a race in making the 2 sets of keys, maybe good idea for them bad idea for us, in that some of the keys work, some don’t. This becomes a major pain in the ass, I really hate having to deal with redoing something because some knucklehead couldn’t be bothered to verify his work…

SO now I am at Lowe’s with a good key, and I see the the Minute Key machine, I decide to go all in, and give it a try. I hit the screen, inert my key, swipe my credit card and less then 5 minutes later i have what turns out to be 4 perfect keys. Thinking back to the duo of racing key cutters at Home Depot, I wonder if they even realize how easy it is to automate them right out of a job. My attitude about retail is that every customer you meet is an opportunity to shine, which is something most in retail don’t get nowadays. As profit pressure increases, along with the demands for higher wages I gotta think those jobs out there that help a lot of people make ends meet are just going to be automated out of existence, as the attitudes of those working in retail continue to go south.

apple Service

Customer Service

Apparently there is no middle ground, when it comes to customer service. It is either very very good, or just plain sucks.

On the top of my list of doing it right, is Garmin, Direct TV and Apple, and at the bottom of the list is Eye-Fi and Mozy…

I have several recent examples of the good and the bad. I’m going to start with the good.

On the very top my list of great customer service is Direct TV.
They are just outstanding, a few weeks ago I had a problem with 2 of my receivers, on Sunday morning I called them and my call was answered immediately by someone on the U.S.A., and we walked through a few steps to see if the first of the boxes was really dead, it was, replacement was requested in the system. The second box, a DVR box, needed to churn on some of the things we told it do so instead of chatting for an hour or so while it did its thing I opted to call back if the reformat reload didn’t work, which it didn’t. I called back, call answered on the third ring, they were aware of my issue, we tried on more thing, it also failed, I was informed that since it was the second box reporting an issue at the same location that someone from tier 2 support may be following up with me in the next 24 hours, ok I request that they call me on my cell if it is not today (Sunday), the next day I’m on the road to Philadelphia and I get a call from tier 2 support, they ask me to try a couple things, I explain to the guy that I am about 200 miles away, and that all the steps he need to check had indeed been done. He was happy and said my box was on the way. The following morning my wife calls me to tell me that there are 2 Direct TV receivers that just arrived, and was there anything special that needed to be done, I told to follow the instructions that came with the equipment, about 45 minutes later I get a txt message that both boxes are operational, old hardware is boxed up, and scheduled to be pick up.
Thats is great customer service…

Next on the list, almost a tie, is Garmin.
I bought a new GPS at the beginning of the month, and on the Saturday before Thanksgiving after a kayak trip I plug the GPS into the computer to download the data, and it has a message that it cant find the system files. I look online to see if I can find out what the problem is, and I try the things I find with no success, it late I’m tired, so I just pop off an email to them, figuring I’d get a response sometime Monday, I get an email overnight that tells me to try A B and C, I give it a go, and no luck still a brick, I send another email, and a few hours later I get an email with an RMA number and where to ship the unit to and they’ll get it back to me 5 to 10 days after they get the unit, Monday I ship the unit to Kansas for repair, supposed to be delivered on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but apparently Garmin is a decent place to work and they are actually closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I am a little bummed thinking that it is just going to add more time before I get my GPS back. So Monday around noon I get the FedEX email that the GPS has been delivered. No I figure that I will have my GPS back in a couple weeks, no biggie. Today I get home and I notice a small box on the steps, not even thinking it is my GPS, I pick it up ask the wife what she was expecting, she responds nothing she’s ordered is expected arrive until next week, so I look at the label, and I see it is for me, and it’s from G International. I am a little shocked, it’s Thursday they only got the thing on Monday, fixed and good to go. If I had a complaint about the whole thing was that I had to drop the $15 to ship a broken GPS that was only 2 weeks old

Number 3 on the list is apple.
A couple weeks ago I ordered 2 different computers on 2 different days, both with applecare, the first machine arrives as expected, I get them set up trying to do the applecare registration, and it keeps being rejected by the system, I give them a call, they tell me that there was a data entry issue on their end, and they would take care of it, 2 days later I get confirmation that all is now good with that machines applecare. A couple hours later the other order arrives 2 Macbook Pro’s check 2 applecare for MacBook Pro’s well not 2 but 1 for a MacBook Pro and a second for an iPhone. I make the call, and I kind of ask sarcastically ask why the cant seem to get something as simple as a little box right, and she ask why, I told her what happened earlier in the week, and she apologizes for the mistake and gives me a $100 credit. problem solved customer happy.

So now we have the not so great customer service…

I had a couple of problems with my eye-fi card for my camera.
One was that it was getting very hot, to the point of being able to feel it outside camera, it was forgetting networks, and sometimes not even working. I send eye-fi tech support an email, a day later I finally get a response, asking me questions that were answered in the original email, all that is in my post from back in September, Making a long story short it took nearly 3 weeks to get the card replaced, not so great customer support.

The card has been working great since I got the replacement, there are things I’d change, more about that later.

Then there’s mozy, I am done with mozyhome, I still use mozypro at work, they seem like they are completely companies, never a problem.
Basically I contacted mozyhome customer support, sent them my logs, they lost them I sent them again they forgot to get back to me for a week, it wasn’t until I asked why am I paying you guys for a headache, when BackBlaze is working on 2 of my other machines without a hitch, and I am moving the impacted machine to BackBlaze as well, do I start getting responses from several people at mozy… I am sure if I wanted to spend the time to deal with this we could most likely resolve the issue, but I don’t have the time, hell they even offered to have a tech call me, but enough is enough…
I had an initial problem with BackBlaze that was resolved in a day or 2, and no one forgot to get back to me.

Basically all you have to do to provide decent customer service is just treat your customers right, don’t ignore them….


Yucky Starbucks…

I go to starbucks probably a lot… Enough that I get at least one of those survey receipts a week, once I got 4 or 5 in a week… The thing I’ve noticed is that I never get one of those surveys at a YUCKY Starbucks, but I’ve also noticed that I end up getting duplicate receipts at the yucky stores…

I thought that they closed all the stores for the night a couple weeks ago to re-train all their employees on how to make a proper cup of coffee, apparently the staff of the Falls Church Starbucks I visited the other day didn’t get the memo on the training, and I received the worst drink I have ever had at a Starbucks.
So I left the following at the Starbucks Customer Service Site

This store has to be the WORST starbucks on the planet, and I will NEVER return to this store again. 
The person at the register was to busy chatting to what appeared to be an employee that had just stopped by, one person was acting busy polishing stainless steel, and avoiding eye contact to help.  The “Barista” was clueless, I’ve had better drinks out of machines at WAWA….
I walked in the store at 3:14 there was 1 person ahead of me in line, and I walked out of the store at 3:22, seven minutes to get 3 drinks that all tasted like crap. I would have returned then, but I was headed home and wanted to beat the traffic, and from the employees attitude, I don’t think it would have helped….

I wonder what their response will be…
I know 8 Minutes out of my life, what’s the big deal… Probably would be upset over the time, it’s the 8 minutes for Yucky Drinks that gets me…

Can’t Hear You Now…

Tonight I spent some quality time with Verizon tech support.
It seems they are having capacity issues in my area, because nightly between 5 and 9 the bandwidth is hideous, were talking close to dial-up hideous…
It took an hour of, “No there is nothing wrong with my equipment, your network is having issues” to having to settle for them to send a tech out Monday morning when there wont be an issue, because the days are usually ok. I understand that the network is going to degrade some during peak hours, been doing this network thing for a few years now, but dropping to 10 percent of advertised rate is ridiculous. I am not kidding my 3Meg pipe drops to 300K during this time frame on weeknights, and after 9 it will start ramping back up and usually by 10 were back to full speed. Prior to a couple week ago when this problem started, I had no issue with the 3Meg pipe. I could be doing my thing, my wife doing whatever, and both kids doing the youtube thing while IM’ing  with their friends, and there was the occasional hiccup, but normally unnoticeable.
So attempting to call verizon, very long hold times between 5 and 9, go figure 20+ minute hold times, and I really want to talk to them when this issue is happening, I finally get them on the line while this issue is occurring. After dealing with the usual Q&A did you do this and did you do that, and well your modem say it is provisioned for 3mbps, must be YOUR network, or YOUR computer. No it is on your(Verizons) end, laptop goes and hooks to a 5M pipe everyday without issue, well maybe your systems administrator configured you laptop strangely. The systems administrator at work would be me, and that wouldn’t explain why the 5 other machine on my network suddenly have the same issue at the same hours nightly… No I am not running any file sharing services, no I am not currently streaming video, and the only thing hooked up is one laptop, connected directly to the DSL modem, so we have effectively eliminated any of my network, and oh by the way my desktop is connected to the neighbors wireless with less then 20% signal strength and is getting better throughput then the machine directly connected to the DSL modem.
So I finally tell the tech, give me an email address, I’ll send pictures and screenshots, or better yet I’ll fire up iChat via the neighbors link, and you can see exactly what the heck is going on… He finally concedes, and offers the tech, but not sure what that’ll do, because I am convinced that the issue is further up stream then that, and not happening during the day, so the tech is not going to see anything. I’ll be calling Cox (ughh, that whole story in itself) to come out and hook me up with their highspeed, may I’ll do it while I’m dealing with the tech.
Well it is after 10 and guess what I have full bandwidth, as it did the same thing is does every night, but seems to happen a little later on Fridays…
Now we can contrast this “Customer is always wrong, until proven otherwise” attitude, I took my truck to the car wash at the Malbon Bros. Wednesday, and purchased the middle of the pack wash. Thursday walking out to the truck on Thursday I see that essentially the entire middle third of the front end didn’t get washed. I call them up, and the guy on the phone says bring it on down, and they’ll take care of it. I walk in tell the guy that I called, I point to my truck, and he hardly even looks out the window, and hands me a code for their top of the line carwash, and says that I should drive in slower so the initial sprayers can do a better job, and if I still wasn’t happy to bring it back during the day when the detailers are there and they would fix it. That was it, no questions asked… Needless to say I will be back….