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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm used to calling customer service of various companies and getting people with accents, and oftentimes heavy accents. I'm fine with that. It exercises my brain, I suppose.

Anyway, today I was calling Hotwire to ask a question about an airline ticket I wanted to book. When I made it through the phone tree, I got an employee who answered in what sounded like another language. I said, "English please" as I wondered if I had mispunched a number in the tree. I was actually very surprised at the response I got, "This is English. If you can't understand me that's YOUR problem!"

Hello? What did you just say?!? I quickly realized this was not a person I wanted to deal with on my phone call. I said, "Oh, sorry. Is there someone else I can speak with?" He said if I wanted someone else I would need to hang up and call back. I asked for his supervisor. He said no, that I was being rude. I said that I hadn't meant to be rude, but that I honestly hadn't realized he was speaking English. I once again asked for his supervisor, to which he hung up the phone. The click of the phone is understood in any language, I suppose.

Paul and I have been appalled over the past few years how much customer service has disintegrated. We're not difficult customers ... unless there is need for us to be difficult. :) We are usually very easy-going and laid-back, but I am often appalled at how poorly people treat their customers. Apparently they haven't heard the statistics about how much cheaper it is to keep a customer than to get a new one. Sigh -- I guess they'll have to deal with their own consequences as I shop elsewhere!

1 comment:

Josh G said...

That is disturbing, unsettling, and still quite surprising. But, maybe because I have worked in Customer Service nearly my whole working life. But, come to think of it, what kind of business does not require some interaction with customers? I do think of internet business where you just post pictures, and take money. However, you do need some sense of customer service.