Tonight I am going to deviate from my usual posts because I just need to get something off my chest.  Some days, like today, I just want to scream in frustration at the sheer lack of customer service that I seem to be encountering more and more.  Whether I am in a store or I am dealing with one of the many different companies that provides some required household service for our home; it never ceases to amaze me how little some people (at least the ones I have had the unfortunate pleasure to encounter) seem care about the jobs they do.

I have stood at courtesy counters (now there is irony for you) and been completely ignored by sales representatives who were too engrossed in personal conversations to recognize that I could have flagged down and landed a small plane with my wild hand-waving attention-getting gestures in the time it took for them to notice me.

I have been yelled at by a checker at the supermarket who didn’t like how I put my groceries on her conveyor belt (my shampoo bottle fell over when the belt moved forward and this annoyed her), to which my response was a resounding, “You’ve got to be kidding me?”

When I just recently called to inquire why a service tech was a no-show at my house, I was told, “you must have gotten the date wrong – we have them scheduled for tomorrow” to which I replied, “Oh no no –  first of all I verified the date multiple times when I made the appointment, AND there’s no way I would have scheduled this appointment for tomorrow because I am WORKING tomorrow.”  You might think that my response would have in some way generated an “I apologize for the mix-up” or something like that – negative.  Rather the representative then asked me in a snotty tone, “So do you want to reschedule?” By this time my patience was a little thin and I replied, “What do you think?”

I have also waited for return phone calls from companies that never came, emails from contact people who have yet to answer me, and contractual promises that took months to complete when the time frame promised was weeks.

And today took the cake as I was involved in a three-way phone call with both a store I had an issue with, and their national headquarters in the hopes of rectifying the situation.  While the national headquarters rep was phenomenal in her customer service skills (thank god – someone who truly cared about the job she was doing), the store rep was beyond rude.  In fact, he was so rude to both of us, not only in how he spoke to us but in the fact he hung up on us, that she decided to report him.

I just don’t get it.  Is it not reasonable to expect that services rendered in whatever capacity will be done right the first time, will be done with respect to me, the customer, and will be done without an attitude?  Don’t companies want employees who will embody qualities that will garner business rather than chase it away?  How can I in good conscience speak positively about a company that has treated me poorly or done a lousy job in the service provided?  The answer is simple – I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong – there are many hardworking and dedicated people out there who are the embodiment of what customer service can be and should be – like the national headquarters rep I spoke of.  However, to those whose performance is less than stellar, you give others a bad name with your lousy people skills.  Maybe I caught you on a bad day – however bad days can’t be excuses for bad behavior.

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