Customer Disservice

I’ve always resented the term “consumer”. I know that in economic terms it is a fundamental concept which simply means one who spends money in exchange for goods or services. But, for me, it conjures up imagery of sheep or livestock grazing in blissful ignorance at how short and unhappy their lives are going to be. Which, incidentally, is how economists and businesspeople view the rest of us.

And how little they think of us is reflected in how they deal with us. Sometimes I think the term “customer service” was invented as a joke by a bunch of drunk business owners. Then, when they sobered up, they realized it was still a joke but since they didn’t really care about normal people anyway they just kind of ran with it. It’s not unlike the way I came up with terms like “Concerned Citizen Reporting For Jury Duty” or “Attentive Traffic Court Attendee”.

“Americans are not very happy consumers. We’re frustrated and angry—and for good reason. More people than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy, according to a new report from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. And when there is a problem, we’re less happy with the customer service we receive.

The number of households experiencing “customer rage” — they were very or extremely upset about the company response when they complained — jumped to 68% from 60% in the last survey, in 2011.

More of us are expressing that rage by yelling and cursing at customer-service representatives than two years ago. Yelling rose to 36% from 25% of the time, while cursing jumped to 13% from 7%…

…Other key findings from the 2013 Customer Rage Survey:• The percentage of people with customer service problems rose to 50% from 45%.
• Most of those who complained (56%) said they got absolutely nothing as a result, up 9 percentage points.
• The product most often responsible for enraging us is cable or satellite TV.
• Though many people associate the government with customer-service issues, 98% of the most serious problems stemmed from private companies.” – USA TODAY

Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time on the phone with a corporate entity knows how utterly pointless and aggravating the whole process is. And there’s a good reason it’s that way. The job of customer service is not to serve you at all. The moron you’re talking to on the phone is there to provide a buffer between you and the people you’ve foolishly given your money to. It’s frustrating because, in the end, it’s their job to waste your time, confuse and even lie to you in the hopes that you will just give up and go away. Or better yet start screaming and swearing so they can simply hang up on you.

Your call is not being “recorded for quality assurance”. It’s being recorded to help corporations and the army of psychologists they employ find new ways to get what they want from you. They don’t give a fuck if you’re happy or not, which is why this survey is kind of meaningless in the end. American capitalism long ago became less about making a good product or offering a reliable service and more about how to get away with simply taking your money. The goods or services offered are more of an afterthought if they’re even thought about at all. But I guess that’s only fair because, quite often, paying my bill is kind of an afterthought. So, you know, touche’ motherfuckers.



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