Who Told You That?

Think about it. You call up tech support or an on-line major retail store. The person on the other end of the phone line is quick. They almost solve your problem before you describe it. They give you a meticulous to do list that supposedly will make all your problems go away. You thank the nice person, hang up the phone and take care of another one of your many duties. You are not worried because you wrote down all their instructions. Often asking them to repeat a step to ensure you have correctly interpreted their instructions.

Now it’s late in the evening or early in the morning hours. You have time to correct the error in which you received the instructions. You get past step one but cannot get past step two. You read the instructions again, in fact, several times to ensure you have it right and still no progress. Sadly you realize the nice person did not know what they were talking about and wasted your time. Now you have to call the company back but can’t do that until they are on duty. So you sat there exasperated over wasted time and effort.

How many times have you run into some situation that required correcting and found the person that provided the fix-it-all gave you the wrong information? You know how it goes, as you finally call the company back and get another customer rep. You repeat the instructions provided and the first thing they say is “Who told you that?” The one question you don’t want to hear in your lifetime.

This entire ordeal has put you into confusion mode. Its like the twilight zone of customer service. You begin to wonder if this new rep knows is familiar with the subject. Why didn’t the previous company representative just hang up when they realize they can’t help you with the problem? The solution was obviously not on their script to which the company directed them to use when helping a customer.  You have had that happen to you too. Sometimes they just don’t want to be bothered with you, so they hang up. Or, heaven forbid, you get a hater on the other end that recognizes you are not one of them and disconnect you.  That’s another scenario that gets on your nerve. You take those personally because there is something about their voice or attitude with you that lets you know it’s personal with them.

Or, please God, nooooooo! You never get to talk to the company rep as the website throws you onto a community page. It’s where the company figures if you read someone else problem it may be similar to yours.  Then hopefully you can solve the issue on your own. Each time you try and contact a live person, the website refers you back to the community forum. Is it just me, or is this the norm, especially for some software company’s these days?

I got so frustrated with one worldwide software company the other day; I just canceled the order.  Do you know it took that action actually to get a response from them? Not a voice mind you. They had the nerve to send me an email asking why I was dissatisfied with their product.

At one point last year, I thought customer service was on the rebound. I am no longer sure as small, especially software and portals located in Silicon Valley; companies cut ties with a large number of help-desk workers. Those individuals who would answer a phone and try to help you solve a problem have almost become extinct. For others, you are bound to run into the “Who told you that?” question.

Before I left the rat race and at a time when computers were being introduced to office workforce across this country. I remember one a lady calling me to her desk. She wanted help because she could not get her mouse to work. She was rubbing the mouse across her monitor screen expecting? It was all I could do to hold back the laughter at that time because she was a friend, smart and a very nice lady. She just had no clue about computers.

Then there is the old standard question of ‘My computer won’t work.’ The first troubleshooting answer is to make sure the unit is plugged up. Or ‘Where is my Internet?’ A question asked as they are trying to purchase an item on Amazon.com. They are always surprised when told they are on the internet. Normally their first response, “Is that it? I thought it would be larger. So that’s the World Wide Internet?”

We all have read the stories from “help desk workers” at software or hardware companies. People using the flopping disk drive tray as a coffee cup holder. Lately, they are fielding questions like, “How do I remove a sesame seed from my keyboard, Can I turn on the coffee pot with my computer, or one of my favorites, How do I pirate software?”

Through it all, I still think the worst is to hearing the question “Who told you that?”  Since we  probably didn’t write the persons name down, we can’t really answer the questions. In addition, most will not give you their complete name because of company policy. If you have a name, your answer may be something like Mary or Mike. You can almost hear the company rep laughing at your futility. Their response may be, “Well, I don’t know who that is but here is the right way to solve your issue.” As if you have a choice. You are now to believe they know what they are talking about…because?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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