June 18, 2006

Annoyances part 2: Customer Support and Plain English

Customer support sucks. It’s the mythical universal constant: no matter which company you’re talking to, or how, customer support just plain sucks. It does not matter whether you’re using chat, email or the phone. I haven’t had a pleasant experience yet.

I hate PR-speak and false politeness. Here’s something managers don’t get: when I’m using customer support, I’m already a customer! You don’t need to advertise any more. Get it? The only result more whining will give you is that I’ll be too annoyed to use your shop again.

Here’s a recent transcript of a chat I’ve had with a Sify representative. Actually, this is one of my best experiences. Judge for yourselves how bad the really bad chats have been. BTW, CSR=Customer Support Rep.

CSR: Chat request accepted:
CSR: Good Evening
Me: Hi
CSR: How may i assist you?
Me: About my order: big damn number
CSR: Please be online
Me: I had sent an enquiry earlier too, enquiry numbner: slightly smaller number
… time passes …
Me: Hello?
… more time passes …
CSR: Please stay online
… even more time passes …
CSR: Thanks for being online
CSR: You have placed an order for “DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE”
Me: Ya
Me: When is that book going to be delivered?
CSR: Your order is in process and the same will be delivered to you at the earliest
… wtf? …
Me: Can you give me an estimate of how long it will take?
Me: Some definate date… will it take a week, a month?
… a lot of time passes …
CSR: It will be deliver to the recipient by next week
Me: OK Thanks for the info.

Notice the stock phrases used. All right, you probably won’t notice. I’ve chatted with Sify enough times to know that every rep. uses the same phrases. Each and every damn time. Seems they hire people who can’t type, or don’t trust enough to type well. There’re probably some scripts running to handle common replies.

Notice the nonsensical sentences. “Your order is in process and the same will be delivered to you at the earliest” WTF! I knew that. “It will be deliver to the recipient by next week”: I can’t even begin to describe just how wrong that sentence is. I give up.

This was one of my best chats ever. The others made me want to physically hurt someone. Please, just reply to me in plain English. Don’t use the third-person point-of-view. Even bots talk better than this.

Of course, I can always be happy that I didn’t have to face this.


Rachna said...

hmm...i got 'v'll revert to you' at least 4 times.

Ankit said...

Yup, that keeps happening. I always listen to some music, or go about reading some news site when dealing with Support; can't bear it otherwise.