August 23, 2009

What happened to Customer Service?

Customer service is supposed to involve a series of activities and I was always under the impression it was originally designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or their service has met the customer's expectation.

I have to argue the fact that the quality and level of customer service has decreased big time in recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a corporation. I personally believe that providing a high level of customer service is the only way to grow your business in these times. But hey folks, the decline also started when they send people out to the customer's home and they can't speak "English".....that would be problem number one! This is a big issue with me. This is my country and I feel like the foreigner!

So, our major companies that have survived the economical crisis still need to listen up and pay attention to put their level of Customer Service back on track. I was one very annoyed and disappointed customer and I certainly made that known to the Company and I also demanded restitution for my inconvenience and my blood pressure rising!

During 1962, I applied for my first credit card after graduating high school and was thrilled. This credit card was one of the most difficult to obtain many years ago. Their reputation of standing behind their products was impeccable so I remained a loyal customer for 47 years until my very last purchase .......I'm livid, not because of their products but because of their “Customer Service”.

When expecting delivery of my new appliances, I never anticipated such a change of events from a reputable company that I have done business with for years. Years ago, they were always absolutely fundamental in ensuring my major purchases to arrive on time and in excellent condition.

However, this recent delivery and installation started the trickling effects of a disaster starting with the dryer "ON" button not working which required a second delivery. Then they could not fit it in the closet that houses my appliances. All it needed was for them to be pushed back one more inch. I guess the first set of delivery guys (who could not speak English) created the onset of events. The second set of delivery men (who also could not speak English) annoyed me even more. They forgot to hook up the water hose. The Steam Feature dryer requires a water hose.……..geeze! Talk about imbeciles! I paid for new vents and brackets but these guys loved using masking tape instead! Mind you, the new vents and brackets were mandatory to buy.

After many calls I had to place for the appliance is dancing like crazy and the noise is terrible. I guess a “Level” is no longer used?????.......Finally, I got through to Customer Service after a handwritten letter and also a written email sent with furry banging on my keyboard.

Their third trip back to my house, I demanded a gentleman that had to be born and raised and educated in the United States and could speak perfect "English". Finally, my request was provided. This gentleman took care of all the issues and I now can do laundry! I think they sent the Professor of Technology…………I was extremely impressed and finally a satisfied customer but my nerves were rattled prior to this.

That was a long two weeks! Hey, I was starting to run out of clean bloomers! LOL

Well, if anyone is searching for the perfect washer/dryer. I do have to admit that Kenmore Elite Front Loader is an amazing piece of technology. They have three computers inside. A Steam Feature that you will love. Saves on a lot of clothes not going to the "Cleaners".

Also, saves on less ironing. Uses less electricity. Gosh, I hate to iron. For people with allergies, this Steam Feature and Sanitizing system is excellent. The best part for me is that I no longer have to bend down to remove clothes from the dryer, etc. I have a bad back. They are pricey but worth it.

FYI: The tech (the educated one who speaks English) that services many stores said I made an excellent choice, as the Kenmore is even better than the LG, Bosch, etc. The product is also made in the good old U.S. of A! I originally wanted to purchase the LG. So, I at least made the right choice. Actually, the price factor made that choice for me and the 20% off and additional discounts for purchasing a color they wanted to get rid of because they had too many of.


  1. The company is trying to save money, and so they hire the only people who don't demand 20 dollars an hour to start...usually spoiled/entitled (young) americans wont stoop to this level and they have to hire immigrants who are willing to do any job for any price. Sadly those men probably lost their jobs, and Sears just hired another poor untrained sap and will throw him at some unsuspecting person who just wants their dryer hooked up.
    Bottom Line, when businesses start thinking about people and customer service instead of the almighty dollar and their bottom line, thats when people will get good service again.

  2. Yikes , over a 2 week period?
    That appliance would've went back with credit due!

  3. Hi Rose,

    I can sympathize with you and your "Sears" event. Last summer, a month and a half before I was leaving for a trip to Calif., my dryer broke. I called Sears, they sent someone out to assess the problem and he ordered the part. It was supposed to arrive in 3 days. It didn't come, I called customer service, a woman who barely spoke English said they would re order the part and it would come in 3 days. It didn't. I kept calling and getting nowhere (they kept saying the part was in the mail and on-the-way) until finally, after 4 weeks, I was told the part was backordered, but they would make sure I'd get the part before my trip which was now only a week away. Not one single customer service person spoke English as their first language. But I did manage to get the part number from them. Meanwhile, I was billed on my Sears card $155.00 ( they precharged for the part and labor!!) The part still did not arrive. Two days before leaving for Calif., I called a local appliance store. They had the part, I went and picked it up (it was $15.00 ) and a friend installed it-----it took him only 15 minutes. Later, I called Sears back, had them remove the charge from my bill---which they did. Two weeks later, when we got back from Calif., the Sears part had come in the mail. I still have it, didn't return it. I figure it's a fair exchange for all my stress and since I had to drape stuff all over the house to dry, and ended up buying lots of new underwear to take to California.

    I recently had to choose a new Primary Care Physician, and I requested one who spoke English as their first language. I had to laugh at myself, because when my mother was recovering she used to get cleaning help and nursing care from social services and she would also request "American people". The first time I heard her request "Americans", I was horrified but now I know exactly what she was going through.

  4. Glad you have your washer and dryer working now. It can be a hassle, and service has declined. It should never take three visits :o)

  5. No body was stupid enough to say "you are lovely when you are mad!" were they?
    Sometimes frustration drives you bonkers.

    And Customer service is not what it used to be, that is for sure.
    The language? Anyone who has to converse with a customer in this country should be required to speak English. It is not the person who is sent, it is the idiot who sends them!!!
    Anyway, glad you got the kinks worked out, and the product is good, and your blood pressure is back to normal.
    Sherry & Jack

  6. Hi Rose,
    Good for you for insisting that the job be done right. For a minute there, I was afraid they were going to take you to the cleaners!

  7. I'm glad it all "worked out in the wash," and yes, my Mom actually says that. In this case it applies! I've heard excellent things about front loaders--sounds like a great choice! Hugs, Beth

  8. Hi Rose,
    I enjoyed your story about poor customer service and FINALLY getting satisfaction.
    We've all 'been there', especially lately with the poor economy and all the layoffs. Fewer workers=less service.
    Anyway, I'm glad you can finally do your laundry! LOL

  9. Your new washer and dryers do sound nice. Sorry it took all that trouble to get it hooked up. What were they thinking. It seems it's hard to get good help for many these days. No one wants to work and the ones that do are overloaded. I know there are many out of a job but it's there if you don't mind or can do the manual labor. 'On Ya'-ma

  10. Rose,
    What a mess! You just naturally expect the tech guy coming into you home is supposed to know what to do. Calling customer service was the natural thing to do, but even so that was a challenge. Having worked phone sales for 35 years I can just imagine what you went through. It was a rewarding career but I'm glad it's over with. English speakers in Florida Far and few apart I would guess.


  11. I had my problems with my air conditioning company this week. There are no foreign speaking peoople, so what is their excuse? They
    were suppossed to come yesterday morning at 10:00 am. I finally got in touch with them at 2:30 for them to tell me they didn't get the part yet. Today again they were to show up at 10:00 am I had to call only to find out they would not be at my house until after noon. Thank goodness they finally showed up to replace the part that took all of ten minutes. I guess they think just because we are retired we have all day to wait for them.I told them I was busier now than when I

  12. There is no more Good I mean really good customer service today!! It is what the competition loves!!! I have walked out of many stores, then went and spent more money, got a follow up phone call WITH my Sales Person to see if I was satisfied. I even got a Thank You card (Not from Kiehls) but from the employee himself!!! I can get Kiehls products from Niemans, and Saks all within 25 ft. from me!!! I now choose to walk to Newbury St. and go to their boutique!!!!!!!!!



    I SELL $ 6,000 HANDBAGS!!!!


  13. Customer service reps are dredged from the bottom of the barrel because the companies won't pay high enough wages that would attract intelligent and competent workers.

    What's left over is anyone who can breathe and walk. Abilty to speak and understand well is optional.


  14. We've had actually have had "many" times where phone calls , etc you get someone who can not understand you.
    Now anytime my husband has to make a phone call or someone calls us for anything he request someone who can speak the English language, plain and simple. this works like a charm and we can move on faster.
    Glad you have clean bloomers!!! enjoy.