Thursday, September 02, 2004

Customer Salevice

This all started when I decided to move. Having been in my apartment for four years, and having never been late with my rent, I informed the management of the move and was told to pay my last month's rent with a money order. "Why," I asked. "Aren't my checks any good."

"No," I was told. "Everyone who leaves has to do this. What is the reason why you're leaving?"

I wanted to say, "Because of service like this," but I didn't. I was too disgusted to talk.
I went to my bank to buy the money order and, rather than get fast and adequate service, the teller tried to sell me a car loan. Then, she tried to sell me car insurance. Finally, after I said, "No. All I want is my money order. That's why I came in," she gave me the money order.

And it occurred to me that one reason why customer service has so painfully faded from our memory is because service has been replaces with salevice. Everybody's trying to sell me something! Well, I'm not buying! Link-rosoft, my employer (thank you for your condolences), sells routers and then proceeds to sell services that the router will not work without. Rather than buying the product you wanted, you're stuck having to buy the services that make the product you wanted work when the product should have worked in the first place!!

I say it's time we stop this nonsense, we stop allowing salevice to replace service. If some company does this to you, replace merchandise for help, sales for service, I say we tell them to go screw themselves and find someone who can be happy doing honest business - you remember what that is, where we pay for a quality product supported by a manufacturer and are provided with it.

Today, I called Earthlink, and I was ecstatic to cancel my service. After years of being put on hold and having one broken modem replaced with a modem that only worked a bit better, I was more than ready to tell them to screw themselves. But, of course, I knew that the guy who answered the phone wasn't the source of my problems. Even after I was on hold and pushed through the meat grinder of the automated operator ("Push 5 now if you love holding. Push 6 now if you can't live without being on hold. Push 7 now if being on hold makes you orgasm."), I didn't take my tempter out on the guy who answered.

But then, he started in with the Salevice. Even after I told him, repeatedly, that Earthlink provided nothing but horrible equipment with even less adequate service, he kept trying to sell! "Have you thought about carrying your service with you? Perhaps trying a higher-tier of service?" "Would you like to pay to have your email address reserved in case you ever come back to Earthlink?" No! No! You don't understand! I hate you people! You suck!

Okay, I still didn't let him have it like that. "No," I said. "I'm canceling. I don't want Earthlink ever again."

"I'm sorry to hear that," he said as though he'd read it a hundred times before. "And why are you canceling your Earthlink Account?"

"Because of service like this."

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