S/SS/NSSS guide to dealing with Customer Service
I notice a lot of complaints come from dealing with any given companys customer "service" dept. Customer service usually cements whatever we feel about any given company.
Just like life, dealing with a "rep," is a game that is won or lost depending on knowledge. The one mistake people make is assuming that they're dealing with someone who cares about them. Dont get me wrong, some reps do, but they are mostly the rookies or people that wont be there long. C-reps care about the companys reputation and doing just enough to keep their job. CRs are taught that consumers who have a good experience with a company might tell a few of their friends/strangers, that it's a good company. People who have a bad experience will tell the whole world(look at all the suckage here). In most cases when they hear your problem they can fix it.
In many cases reps are covering for problems they know about but know wont get fixed(READ:buying time). In some cases, they have no idea about your problem and now need to figure out who to go see to solve it. All companys use the reps as a buffer.
Reps can fix many things by themselves(billing/basic tech stuff/etc). For tech things reps cant fix, they send out a work order and the 1st available tech gets back to you. Problems that aren't tech related may get sent to their manager,etc.
Before calling or after calling once and not getting everything resolved, DO SOME RESEARCH: internet, other people, read their manuals, service contracts, etc.
Problems with a company:
*You should know exactly what your paying for:services, warrantees, etc. Know your legal rights.
*When calling be polite(at first).
*Get the C-reps name(full if possible) and ext.
*Write down the name, ext. and the date/time.
*Write down your basic request(s) and the response(s).
*If they say the request needs to be passed off to someone else, ask them if they take request by hand or by computer. What ever the answer, ask them if they can put a little smiily face in the heading.
This sounds silly but that little smiley face could push your request through faster. It implies that your a nice person or the rep likes you. Most will do this for you.
Things go bad section:
*Try to get the same rep. Ask whats going on and for straight answers. Document all. Mention BBB(better business) or for electrical, water or gas your Public Utilities Commission(CPUC in Cal).
*If it doesn't sound like its getting resolved or you have to call back, ask to speak their manager. It should get fixed ASAP.
From bad to worse:
*Call back and talk to the manager. Ask to speak to their supperiors, since they can't or are unwilling to fix your problem.
They usually wont go to the next higher person, but you should document all. Tell them you are filing with the BBB and that your lawyer will be sending a letter to them. If its a utilities company(elect/phone/etc) tell them your calling your public utilities comission.
BBB charges big fines to companies that screw people, its the one thing that keeps us on level with any company. Most lrg comps expect some complaint and allow for it . Its when enough complaints are sent though, the fines grow and they lose a lot of money$$$. So do your part and complain.
Public Utilities Commission is designed to protect your rights against the big utilitie companies: water, electrical, gas, etc companies. REMEMBER THIS: if you use the commission, don't ever ever be late on your electrical or gas etc bills. The said company will shut you off the minute a bill is late(the greedy :8) 's).
Feel free to add or flame, I learned most of this stuff from customer service training. Got a different job but the info was priceless.