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Browsing all posts in Customer Service? What’s That?.

Downtown Host – Hilariously Bad Customer Service Ethic (Teachable Moment)

This is an example of an hilariously bad customer service ethic. I’ve never seen anything quite as obvious as this, so it’s a great teaching example on how NOT to run a company.

The webmaster I work with at my company (manages about 65 websites for us) sent me this rude chat from Downtown Host. I had just asked her to ask them about an alternative option for nameservers – boring story, but it was to be a simple question. There was no reason for this to stop working suddenly – we hadn’t changed anything – so I wanted to use an alternate route for DNS.  Here is her email with the chat below.

Kind of bizarrely rude. First he chastises her then “hangs up” on her. Then I read their instructions on how to get “friendly” support and it explained a lot. It’s a great example of how NOT to treat customers, and really says that this company should get into a business that doesn’t involve actual customers because they seem to really “annoy” them.

I’m in a business that deals with customers who are in extreme distress much of the time, so I thought this is one of those great teachable moments.  If anyone on our call center team had the attitude described in this customer service screed, they’d be out of a job.

I read this through a few times, thinking it HAD to be ironic, but I honestly don’t think so. Here is their extremely rude “our customers are real douchbags” instructions:

What Not to Say to Your Customers

Their point 11 is particularly illuminating: It doesn’t matter how much money you pay us, we are going to treat you like a jerk whether you pay us six bucks a month or a hundred bucks a month.

This has to be the BEST example of a bad customer service ethic I have ever seen actually publicly promoted.  Usually this is the garbage people just do – they don’t brag about it.


P.S. Turns out they knew this was going to be an issue – they had tweeted about changing a server and the impact on people who use their own nameservers. So why such hostility when it actually comes up?  Makes it even more of a sign of a doomed company.

A Lesson in Bad Customer Service: Arrowhead Water

I’m in the middle of a move. Moves are tough. It’s nice when companies make it easy for you. My financial institutions do: my bank, my credit card companies. The US Postal Service does too. They all let me process a change online.

Apparently water delivery requires some special security regulations regarding address changes. I can’t do it through my online account. I have to call.

I first sent in the online form that allows me to choose the subject “Change my delivery address.”  I’m e-mailed back. No can do. Call us. Not sure why they bother to allow that subject to be selected on the form.

You can imagine the call. Lots of voice prompts asking me questions, then finally a voice informing me I’m finally at the right place, but I’ll probably have to hold for 25 minutes. To change my freaking delivery address?

I email again explaining that if they can’t change my delivery address, cancel my service. I’m not going to hold for 25 minutes.  Of course, no one reads the email. They send me the same automated message: no can do via email. Maybe they have a saved voice imprint that they check against my voice during the call to ensure I’m not a neighbor trying to steal Vera’s water?

This company seems to have some serious problems with technology. For one thing, the site is in Flash.  Every few times I go there, it requires me to do a software update.  Now, I have the $1200 Adobe professional suite with Flash, but apparently that’s not going to work for them.  OK.  Now shut down your browser to install this.  “It’s Easy!” they inform me.

Not easy enough. I have built and managed hundreds of website. There is no reason for their site to require special downloads. It’s a freaking site for ordering water!

It just seems the customer does not come first at Arrowhead. They need a new IT department and a new customer service attitude.

OK. Moving brings the rant out in me.

I just can’t go back to the wretched service of Yosemite Water.

When Good Customers Go Bad – Tender Greens in Culver City

Nothing will send customers running out the door faster than the clerk/host/order taker who is chatting up his buds while you wait in line. Tender Greens in Culver City has great fresh salads, and usually pretty efficient service. But if they want to keep that reputation they should probably rethink this hire (guy on right with quote over head). Continue reading →

Delta SkyMiles – Even with 70000 miles there is no such thing as upgrades

I think once and for all the airlines should admit that upgrades are a load of hogwash. To qualify for an upgrade you have to buy a class of ticket that costs almost as much as the first class ticket already. In fact, if you buy an expensive coach ticket (more than normal fare) because of a later reservation, then ask to upgrade, they will ask you to buy a higher grade of ticket that seems to actually cost MORE than buying a first class ticket in the first place. Continue reading →

How Verizon Wireless and Poor Customer Service Saved Me $400

I’ve written previously on the upside of bad customer service at TJ Maxx (it saved me money because I left before spending it). I experienced that again today at the Verizon Wireless store on Jefferson Blvd. in Culver City. Continue reading →

Time Warner Support Call 1 Hour 8 Minutes 52 Seconds

And this isn’t the first call to try to resolve the problems with the Comcast switchover. And it is not yet resolved – he will check in with central command or some such thing and get back to me “in a few days.” Continue reading →

Could the Coyote Please Finally Kill the Roadrunner because Time Warner Cable Will Be the Death of Me

One thing we all counted on in Southern California if we had Comcast High Speed Cable was RELIABLE SERVICE. Now that Comcast sold us all down the river for a deal to trade territories with Time Warner, top-notch customer service is a thing of the past. Continue reading →

To Send an Ear-Shattering Scream, Press Two

With Congress often suggesting ridiculous bills to satisfy those who contribute oodles of money, I often wonder why they don’t extend this ridiculousness to bills that would simplify life for ordinary human beings. Continue reading →

Florida Update or The nth Circle of Hell at Tampa General Hospital

My father is now starting his fourth week of hospitalization and it looks like he will be discharged tomorrow or Sunday. He is thrilled to be going home to say the least. For 1 week after his surgery he was allowed no food or drink. Can you imagine not even being able to sip water for a whole week?!! You have never seen someone so excited about a bowl of clear broth – and I don’t blame him. Continue reading →

Why I Bought My Expensive New Keyboard at Comp USA and not Best Buy

I wanted to get a new mouse and keyboard so I can work in my chair with my leg up on an ottoman. My laptop is a bit heavy so I prefer to keep it up on a table, but then it is a long stretch to type on it. I went to Best Buy because it is a mere 1 mile from my house. Continue reading →