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Thread: Loosing site of the customer isnt it sad...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Loosing site of the customer isnt it sad...

    Today I receivedmy bill from Bell Canada. Bell provides me with Telephone, Cell, SatelliteTV and Internet access and I have been with them for years. But.....that don’tmean I am a happy camper.

    It totally saddens me to observe how these large corporations operate and howin my not so humble view they have totally lost their way.

    All of them sprout customer service, service excellence etc, every possible newbuzz word marketing hype wordsmithing gimmick in the book. They flow like the Niagara Falls. But I haveto question just how these organizations survive. Do they really think we sostupid.

    Along with my bill this month I received a leaflet titled " Importantupdates about the Terms of Service from Bell.

    So upon opening it I read the following sentence

    You will continue to receive the quality services you have come to expect from Bell, though now under ourUnregulated Terms of Service (UTOS), which are enclosed for your reference.

    So this got me to thinking.......

    1) I aint been a happy camper for so many years but the competition seems to mimicBell with every move so no point in changing btdt before.
    2) When I complained in Dec and suggested I move to another provider, I was transferredto a customer retention department, they more than halved my Bill.....
    3) My Bill is now down to $108 for everything. How are they now paying thestaff with more than 50% of the previous margin gone or how do they think Ifeel knowing they were ripping me off for all these years before I complained.
    4) I live in a country where growth in population is derived mostly fromImmigration with Immigrants arriving mostly from countries that were not Englishspeaking and so most are English as a second language people how are theysupposed to understand this legal document that I think many average people wouldneed a lawyer to interpret even if they are fluent in English.
    5) Was there any consultation with the customer before the terms of theircontract are changed...there is an assumption something like the regime I grewup under that big daddy knows best what you want so big daddy has decided foryou. And I don’t mean my father.

    6) If you couldsee the font size ( less than anything my printer could print and still belegible) on this pamphlet for the terms and conditions, I think the averageperson would need a magnifying glass to read it, never mind their base ofpaying customers many of whom I would say use reading glasses daily.
    7) Just how much time equaling money was spent by the corporate overheads inthe process of compiling and wordsmithing this pamphlet and its terms andconditions and how much did that improve the primary product they are offering.

    The real jokeis we have government regulations to protect this corporation which in my viewis like protecting something that don’t deserve protecting. If ever there was acase for deregulating this company would make the perfect example of whatshould not be protected in my opinion.

    How do youoffer quality services with your focus being directed towards the legalese andnot the service.
    How do youoffer quality service with less and less income to provide such services and inso doing force a process of outsourcing to countries where labor costs less. Allin order to get by on the now reduced income and further degrade theperformance of the service you offer.

    I would beteverything I own (which aint much J but its what I got) that one could wipeout 60% of the corporate overhead at this organization and the servicedisruption would be zero in fact left to the guys who really do the work I betit would actually improve. J

    Since when didyou need what would be in normal font a 5 page terms of service legal documentto be able to supply $108 of service per month. Especially when the customer can terminate the“contract” with 30 days notice. Are corporations now that desperate to hold onto a customer that they need to bind them into the contract against their will.

    This is a fineexample of how a company has lost its way. They should be ashamed of themselvesall those who work in their corporate offices shuffling paper around, attendingmeeting after meeting and one committee after another and have never climbed aphysical ladder or been to a customers site to deal with the problemsthemselves.

    Ooops I forgotshame or personal embarrassment seems to be a think of the past.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Outside the beltway
    Rob the little guys who see this happening and offer great service and put there customers 1st are the ones who are making it. Good Read.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::

  3. #3
    Corporations, in amongst themselves are "self serving" by nature. Which means that as long as the stockholders are happy and making money, nothing will or should change. Corporations are a vital part of any capitalist society though, and I have always felt that as long as you know where they are coming from...(making a profit, or beating analyst's estimates) then I am not surprised as to the level of customer service or humam interaction the offer.

    Case in point is 2 rivals, Home Depot and Lowes. Home depot has cleaned Lowes' clock when it comes to same store sales and profit per share for the past 2 quarters. So why would Home depot change course or run a new customer service practice up the flagpole? They shouldn't. Lowes on the other hand has increased the Customer awareness with 2 new programs that will show analysts that Lowes customers are happier customers. Also they have shifted some SKU's in lumber and power tools, 2 notorious low margin goods, in order to bring profit levels up.

    As for a corporation feeling shame or embarassment, it will never happen unless they go public with a scripted apology designed to enhance their customer base. Also, the more government regulations in place, in my opinion, the more it will hurt the companies ability to increase earnings per share.

    Another huge cause is the employment base. In the 60, and 70's retail jobs were in high demand and looked on as an honest living. Nowadays, kids coming out of college do not want to work the hours or deal with the customers anymore.

    From a New york Times article dated 8/4/09

    And then there’s the issue of who’s running the show. Where have all the merchants gone? Their kids are lawyers, hedge-fund managers, computer programmers, professors and a thousand other things. The people running the stores today come from all different backgrounds. Many of them did not work their way up from the sales floor or have generations of family history and training to prepare them for the job. Perhaps they are even over-educated.

    Yes, over-educated: too important and too smart to relate to those common customers. You see it all the time in big business. A big company buys out a successful company and begins to “save” money by cutting back on things that “the customers won’t notice.”

    Remember .....corporations are self serving. Right or wrong, it saves a lot of high blood pressure problems when you think of it that way!

    Great read Rob
    Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!

    The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Rob, obviously I know nothing about the company your talking about. But the problem is wider than your country. My example that has happened in our family, The Reader's Digest. I grew up reading that as a kid. It was a standard. It was the first magazine my wife and I bought a subscription for. Eventually we learned to not renew our subscription but to switch first Lou was the subscriber then I would buy a subscription when hers ran out. Why? Long time subscribers paid way more money than new subscribers! It was ridiculous. In fact we eventually quit subscribing because the content in my opinion really decreased. I did see a copy of it lately in a dr's office, thought it had regained some content, but not enough to urge me to subscribe again. I don't like playing games with my money. Don't like companies that rely on me knowing their shell game in order to get the best deal. I just refuse to become a consumer of their product.
    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake.

    I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place.

    Premier Bovine Scatologist


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was a member of this gym that has locations all over USA and in Canada. I stayed with them for about 15 years and cancelled my membership last year. I did it because they kept raising my dues each year. In the mean time they were offering sweet deals to new members. The last renewal notice was in the amount of $188/yr. After the cancellation, they sent me an offer to re-join for $140/yr. I didn't respond. Then a few months later I got an offer to re-join for $99/yr. I had joined another gym though.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Southeast Pa
    It seems standard policy to mess with the good customer and reward the bad.

    Most don't agree with me; but I think the 12 items or less cash registers in grocery stores and such are the worst. There I stand with a 200 dollar cart of groceries and they give special service to someone buying a candy bar. Seems wrong to me..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Do they really think we sostupid.
    They know we are. They've got us PAYING to watch COMMERCIAL television. As soon as your pay TV service aired the very first commercial and you didn't cancel, they had us ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    They know we are. They've got us PAYING to watch COMMERCIAL television. As soon as your pay TV service aired the very first commercial and you didn't cancel, they had us ;-)
    Having spent over 30 years in cable television engineering, I gotta say that's not the first time I've heard that! It's one of the first things I heard when I got into CATV in 1970 and some people just had trouble with the concept. They would go out and buy a rooftop antenna that got blown down in a storm, then buy another, etc., etc., etc. Try to explain back then that the cable company was their "antenna" and provided all the maintenance for free and it didn't matter. They still called it "pay TV". Then, Premium Movie Channels and Pay-Per-View movies came along! Oy vey!!!

    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    They know we are. They've got us PAYING to watch COMMERCIAL television. As soon as your pay TV service aired the very first commercial and you didn't cancel, they had us ;-)
    Glenn this is such a good point. Given it was 1975 before i first saw television, when we first got it it was provided by the state (regime) and was line of site vhf or uhf transmission. State mimicked our former colonial masters methods and so we had a "annual" licence fee. Of course the argument for commercials was to provide revenue to reduce the cost to the taxpayer.
    Years later (like 10 or more) we got satellite tv but again very restricted (pay service) . This was a private entity but with very restricted license. Cost was a huge premium per month just like North American cable service. Initially the attraction was....yup commercial free.
    Yeah right did not last long after they got setup with a decent subscriber base. Catch was people would pay anything to watch anything but state propaganda.
    In this sphere of life, i like a friend of mines thoughts. He is quiet a character and huge advocate of personal rights and he says....i buy a piece of land.....if something comes through the air onto my property why should i pay for it. So he is all for satellite piracy being non criminal i think he has a point. Strange thing though neither of us give it a try

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Foster View Post
    It seems standard policy to mess with the good customer and reward the bad.

    Most don't agree with me; but I think the 12 items or less cash registers in grocery stores and such are the worst. There I stand with a 200 dollar cart of groceries and they give special service to someone buying a candy bar. Seems wrong to me..
    The reason they have the "Express" line is because the people who only want to buy milk (this visit) will not come back if they have to wait behind people with full carts every time they go to the store.

    The best solution is the one banks, airlines, etc. use, which is the single line for multiple checkers. That arrangement will provide the "fairest" and generally the fastest route to get out of the store.

    My complaint is stores which do not have self checkout stations. It's unusual to find a line at the self checkout so I can get through and out the store fastest that way - no matter how much stuff I have.

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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