Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why should I care Customer Service's computers are down? 

They changed carriers here for my Wall Street Journal subscription a couple of weeks ago (the old guy, named Rick, who had done it for over twenty years, is now going to run a Santa school -- he must be planning on that recession lasting through '09) and as I feared the new fellow is not as reliable. Today marks the third day in a row I have not received the paper, so I finally relented and called the Journal to report the missing papers. They make you type in a 12 digit number which you would know if you had the paper, but you don't. (They ask for a phone number alternatively, but which one? Most of us have three.) So hang up, go online to find the subscription number. Can I input the missing paper report there? No. Call again. Input the number, which only gets you to a queue.

After twelve minutes someone answers. "Our computers are down today, so I can't help you with your account."

Excuse me? I've been here for 20 minutes (OK, 12 on hold, but eight more to find the numbers and get through the screens to get to hold.)

"Sorry sir."

I wanted to report missing newspapers the last three days. Can you help me with that?

"I can copy down your information and get a report out when the computers come back up."

So you CAN help me?

[sigh] "Yes."

Until the sigh I wasn't sure the call center was in the US. If you can't help me, don't answer the blanking phone. If you can help me, tell me how rather than tell me your computer is down. I don't care about your computer. I am the customer; I'm not in a business relationship with you to care about YOUR problems while I am paying YOU.

That Kindle 2 is looking better and better.