The past few months have seen a recurring issue called “customer service”. This topic has provided me with a constant flow of material for my comic strip series, as you’ve probably noticed.
Just recently, I had to deal with a renovator who couldn’t, a plumber who wouldn’t, a gardener who didn’t and a local council who are now immortalized in one cartoon sequence. However, my most interesting encounter was with a large and well-known company, which requested an account update.
They sent me two conflicting letters with three different options. After wrestling with their website for some time, I succumbed and tried phoning them. My skepticism was well founded because, after going round in circles again, I finally surrendered and called the last remaining phone number…..
“Here is Marjorie, your automated assistant. I’m here to help you. What would you like to do today?” No comment! “You can choose from the options or just tell me.” Eventually, I did tell her and was then connected to a non-automated assistant, presumably for dealing with difficult people.
“Hello, I’m Tracy. What can I do for you?”, she asked. “I’d really like to meet the guy who programmed your automated system”, I said. “Hah! You and ten thousand other people!” she replied. “I couldn’t find the entry on your website”, I said. “That’s because there isn’t one!” she responded. This was beginning to sound like “Alice in Wonderland”. “Marjorie didn’t help me either”, I continued. “I know! She’s not much use”, said Tracy. “I’m your only hope and unfortunately our website is…”, “under construction!” I said. She giggled. Wow! A real person! Later, I returned to their website and completed the customer survey. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard from them since!
Recently, I’ve had some problems with Pleb the Plumber. Their phone greeting was always, “Hi, it’s a great day at Pleb the Plumber! How can we help you?” My response was always “It’s not a great day for me, especially when I’m phoning you!” Yesterday, I called “Misfit Motors” and they said, “Hi, it’s a great day at Misfit Motors! How can we help you?” I really hope, for the sake of everyone else, that this nonsense is not catching on!
Meanwhile, I have a kind of sinking feeling about the future of things. Is the world really going downhill, or is it just me who’s getting older? Ah! I know! It’s definitely “both” of those things.