I’m wearily climbing back on my tiring high horse about corporate customer service, well-known corporations which talk a great game about the quality of their customer service and customer loyalty but which, in reality, fail to deliver – and take their cue from Muhammad Ali and the “rope-a-dope” trick.
In the past month I’ve been plagued by two instances of corporate “rope-a-dope.”
I remain determined to see it through, encouraged by partial success in one instance and total frustration, over a long period in the second.
So I’ll move along and acknowledge, when pushed, communications giant Telus finally came through for me – maybe even twice. I still fail to understand why they appear to need to be dragged into making good on their digitally-recorded claims that “your business is important to us.”
Pursuing consistent high speed internet service “is important to me”. I pay for it, every first of the month – but for the couple of years I can’t claim to have been getting that from Telus. This was our second round of “rope-a-dope.”
I have to recognize two special service people, one in town and one in Edmonton, who I hope are appreciated by their employer, because their individual efforts on my behalf are all that stands between Telus’ reputation and tatters.
Being older and retired doesn’t mean I don’t have “enough” to do. But I am stubborn and sometimes I get mad enough to demand more. My guess at 14 hours on the phone alone with Telus over the past 60 days may not be dead on, but it’s not far off.
My immediate problem may have been solved by these two “beyond the call of duty” individuals (one of whom stayed at my house after working hours and did find an answer – I hope. Only time will tell. But I don’t have any more “rope-a-dope” energy to expend with Telus, which has offered me a refund on by bill for my inconvenience.
I wish I could say the same for Sears Canada. I’ve been a loyal customer for 50-plus years and Sears is well represented in my home with merchandise “they stand behind” – including a stove, fridge, dish-washer, freezer, TV, washer and dryer, lawn-mover and so on.
But ask me if I can get them to budge on recognizing that my expensive four-year-old convection kitchen stove which, even after a recall repair, still went into the same fault, putting my home and family in danger with a burner that would not turn off short of unplugging the stove.
Fortunately, on the day I was going on vacation, I noticed it and made the service call.
I also called the Terrace contractor who I know handles the Sears service contract in Kitimat.
I delayed my vacation because it was the long BC Day weekend and they could not come till the following Tuesday.
Still, as promised, the independent business people who shoulder the real burden of representing the reputation of Sears “service” did come.
They isolated the problem and fixed it, later presenting me with a very significant bill, (just under half the original value of the stove) which twigged me to why Sears appeared so all-fired evasive in dealing with my complaint.
This may have been a bigger recall issue than I know.
It took me a month to elicit the direct phone number of the corporate customer service reps, (ones up the line from those who deal with normal whining customer service requests.) I got it by e-mail on Friday last.
Basically, we are in dispute over when my twice-extended warranty expired, if I was adequately informed, and whether a notified safety recall problem which occurred even after a preventive service re
pair, is my problem or theirs.
My view, and I stick with it, is it’s theirs.
The fault was a tiny $148-retail value miniature computerized mother-board, a part that can be replaced by a service man in five minutes (if he has one in hand).
It controls an on-off switch on a high heat plate and mine would not go off or move. It remained on high. That’s why I stick by my position – which exposes me to the wall of indifference that frustrates thousands of people daily throughout our country.
If my house burned to the ground no doubt fire investigators would have pinpointed the cause. But if my family had been in the house …what then?
I’m still mad about the indifference, the delays and the recorded voice-routines so I will resume punching in the “rope-a-dope” drama with Sears service (and the muzak) today … wondering who’s the dope?