Lost touch - fuck big corporate

My mother was telling me something that very much surprised me the other day.   She called her insurance broker and before she gave any information, the lady had her account pulled up, and was asking how us kids were doing.  She remembered my mother after years and years of service.  This is unheard of now a days... but I hear stories all the time about how things used to be when everyone shopped locally at "ma and pa" outlets.  There is one lady at the corner store who tried to set up my bf with her daughter, and she still asks me about him... but that's the only real example of my experience of this that I can think of.

I'd like to compare this to something that happened to me and the bf the other day.  Lately we've been missing a few channels on our TV.  Usually they come back, but it's been 3 weeks and they are still not working.  After my bf discovered that part of his pricey sports package was also not working, he called the service provider to see if they can fix it.  At first, they didn't believe that it was going on that long... even though he explained that he was waiting to see if they came back, like they usually do, before going through bullshit customer service.  They ended up giving us a discount for a week.. instead of the 3-4 weeks that this has been an issue.  That's cool - whatever.   But we still needed it fixed.  So he tried to schedule a time for a repair technician to come to our home to fix the problem.  They told him that someone could come on Dec 7th between 8am and Noon.  Problem with that was - it was Dec 7th - 2pm when my bf called... hours after they said they could get someone in.   Obviously the agent was only reading off of a computer monitor.

Similar but not as ludicrous things happen all the time... whenever I need to deal with customer service, and even counselors i talk to in person regarding my EI claim, and the "teacher" of the self study program, it's all the same.  No one cares.  Everyone is just putting in their time, and following company protocol, only to the point where they can keep their jobs.  No one goes above those shitty expectations. No one cares.   I assure you, if that call center rep was one of 4 employees at the family's small communication company, they would be much more eager to please their customers.

That's why I believe that whenever you can, support small local business.   That way you can deal with people who actually care about sales, and customer service. You know... they mean it when they say "Thanks for choosing us, I'm So-and-so.  Can I help you?", and not just following a script presented to them by a customer service department/ supervisor.   With these big companies and organizations, with many layers of corporate hierarchy, it's hard to find someone who gives a shit.  Either you're talking with someone at the bottom of the employment pyramid, or you have to be on hold for hours hoping to be connected with someone who worked hard enough and cared enough about their job to get a promotion.  Hell in most cases, these call centers are not even a part of the company you are trying to contact, but instead contracted by those companies to meet customer service demand, at an affordable price.

Besides... by choosing local companies for the sake of better customer service, you are supporting your local economy, and defending the most basic aspects of capitalism - which is the potential to do well by hard work.   You know.. it's supposed to be the best quality equals the best success.   If I could choose a small town communications service provider.. I would.  I've even switched from a brand name bank to a small credit union that only had a couple locations... and it was worth it.  I'm not being nickled and dimed to death by fees some department of lawyers and accountants made up, and the people sometimes remember who I am by looking at me.    Hell... when I had work.. the bank teller asked me what I was doing, and we had a short conversation about it, and how her son was doing the same thing. Try that next time you call customer service somewhere...
Uploaded 12/09/2010
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