Good News from Thu, 28 June, 2012:

Services in trouble

This morning I called the service number. My new computer wouldn’t start up. I explained that many other people have had the same problem, could there have been something wrong with the installation service? “Listen, we’ve installed 600 computers and we’ve only had trouble with around 50 of them, not all of them,” came the blunt reply. It turns out that the customer was wrong, once again.

Total anarchy is afoot when it comes to service providers. Customers no longer have the right to expect their order signed, sealed and delivered. It is perfectly normal to have to call the company up and demand repairs. Which of course have to be paid for. Not that it’s my money we’re talking about, but it still galls me.

You have to practically beg for anyone to come over in person and help you. Many operators try to minimise the risk of actually having to come face-to-face with the customer. Services have been transferred to the internet and problems are dealt with over the phone. Despite this companies show very little interest in improving their phone services.

The inadequate level of Finnish phone service can in part be explained by the fact that queues are long. Listening to elevator music for half an hour will make anyone delighted to finally make contact with another human being. The overwhelming gratitude will make the caller forget to expect friendly service. I understand perfectly that customer service is tough work, having been there myself. It is not, however, fair to take that out on the customer who is paying for the service.

As consumers we have the right to demand better service. If companies want to offer services, they need to make an effort to develop them. Attitudes also need some adjusting. We need to be able to give feedback concerning that as well. We don’t have to take everything that is thrown at us. But above all we should remember to say “Thank You” for good service.