Customer service

What ever happened to customer service? This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately. So I thought it warranted a blog post.

Whenever I can, I like to deal with small owner-managed businesses. But for some products and services, this is not an option. For example, telecommunications, banking, insurance, major appliances, and even groceries.

It seems to me, the most important thing for large publicly traded companies is keeping the shareholders happy. And that means all decision making centers around making a profit. Which in turn means growing revenue and cutting costs.

Customer service appears to be irrelevant, at least from the customer experience point of view. They may talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. And employees don’t seem to fair any better. Most don’t make a living wage while the companies continue to report record profits and corporate executives take home millions in compensation and bonuses.

Rogers

The first company I’m going to shed some light on is Rogers Communications. And trust me they deserve the spotlight. Many of you probably don’t know this but my ex-husband passed away unexpectedly before Christmas. It’s been a difficult and upsetting time, and one of the many things that needed to be dealt with was moving mine and my daughter’s phones from his account to my own account. Should be simple, right?

I first brought the death certificate into a Rogers Outlet and then the Executor of his estate also had to come in. After that, it took 8 phone calls to customer service, 3 calls to their credit bureau dept, 2 more trips to a Rogers outlet, an online complaint to management, a phone call from the management office, and a phone call from the President’s office.

I literally spent over 12 hours on the phone, one call alone was 4 hours. I don’t know how many times I had to repeat the words, “But he’s dead”. At the end of the day, they did waive the balances remaining on my iPhone and my daughter’s iPhone. So there’s that and I am grateful. But it took an insane amount of time and effort to simply transfer our phones to a new account. And honestly, I was only able to spend that amount of time because I haven’t started my full-time job yet.

What ever happened to customer service by Colleen Kanna, B&W close-up photo of a woman's hands holding an iPhone by Marjan Grabows on Unsplash.

Many frustrating phone calls

And let me be clear, I’m not blaming the Customer Service Reps. They were polite and tried to help me as best they could. But they’re bound by so many rules and scripted responses. Their systems don’t talk to one another and they’re not allowed to call you back. What? You have my number!

Tips for dealing with Rogers

Should you need it (and hopefully you won’t), here are a few tips for dealing with Rogers:

  1. Always call customer service first thing in the morning. Their hours are 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. You’re least likely to be put in a queue listening to their ads and elevator music. It’s also the time of day when the managers are in so if you need to escalate, there is someone there.
  2. Always ask customer service to make detailed notes of your situation and get the Interaction ID #. Then the next time you call, you can just give the new rep the ID #. They can read all the notes to get up to speed rather than you reciting the whole story over and over again.
  3. Finally, use the Resolve your concern link that goes directly to management. They promise to reach out within 24 hours and sure enough, a manager was on the phone to me within 24 hours.
  4. And if you really need it, I have the phone number for Micheline in the President’s Office.
Home Depot

The next company that receives the runner up award for poor customer service is Home Depot. If you’re a member of the COKANNA Coffee Shop, then you may have seen my post about the delivery of our new washer and dryer. In a nutshell, they show up at our door, 3 days late, but that’s not the problem.

The delivery person informs us that the low ceiling in our basement laundry room makes it unsafe for them to bring the front load washer in. And let me be clear, they got it down the stairs to the basement. It was just unsafe for them to carry it through another door to the laundry room. They were able to carry out the old top load washer and dryer and safely place the new dryer in the right spot. Just not the washer because it weighed more. He wouldn’t even hook up the dryer because apparently both have to be done at the same time. So since he couldn’t bring in the washer, he wasn’t hooking up anything.

Photo of our new washing machine sitting in the middle of the basement where the deliverymen left it.

Our new washer sitting in the middle of the basement.

After several phone calls and another trip to the store, two different delivery men show up the following week. They easily move the washer into the next room…the laundry room…and connect up both the washer and dryer. A few days later, I receive a follow-up call from Home Depot apologizing for the inconvenience and a $50 gift card. I really appreciate the follow up and gift card. At least they’re making an effort to keep their customers happy.

And finally you may remember my fridge fiasco with Whirlpool around this time last year. It took 5 months, 8 service calls, and 4 different repairmen for my refrigerator, which was only 4 years old, to be repaired.

I rest my case.

Shop small business

So whenever you can, please use, support, and buy from local small businesses. You’re way more likely to get good customer service. If there’s a problem, you can speak with the owner and get it resolved quickly.

With COKANNA, I always strive to give you a quality product with great customer service. And if I screw up because that does happen from time to time, I make it right as soon as possible.

P.S. Don’t forget my Closing Down Sale is still on. I mostly have the Maddison Bamboo Zip-up and the Linda Bamboo Tunic left at 50% off. There are a few mostly small sizes left in other styles at up to 75% off. And I still have some cancer care accessories available.

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support local breast cancer organizations who treat the whole person and not just the disease.