THERE IS NOTHING AUTOMATIC ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

THERE IS NOTHING AUTOMATIC ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

A prediction: Brand satisfaction in the not too distant future will be measured by how returns, cancellations and customer service issues are handled. Actually I am not going to spend money on any brand, in any store that doesn’t have a clearly displayed and fair return or cancellation policy, starting now! And if I am treated badly while requesting a refund or exchange I will share that experience with all of you!

As a consumer nation we spend far too much of our disposable income on brands that frankly are taking us for granted, and have been for far too long. To paraphrase that great quote from the 1976 film Network – we’re mad and we’re not going to take it anymore!

In just the past month three major corporations owed me refunds that had not shown up on my credit cards statement when promised. So I carved out time to call each one and ironically the “customer service” representatives all said the same thing: “Ah yes Ms. Bennett, we see you are owed a refund, and I see it is being processed now.” Funny thing in all 3 cases the refunds were deposited the next day to my credit card account. Hmmm maybe they were just waiting for my call? What if I had not called?

Most of us do not have the time, temperament or desire to stay on top of purchases, returns, credits or the lack of!

And what is this fabulous new service “automatic renewal”? Far too many of the annual subscriptions I agreed to last year are now letting me know how wonderful it is that they are automatically renewing AND automatically billing my credit card. And, I in turn am now turning off this spigot of fees and have even cancelled my magazine subscriptions and several annual memberships.

These are the same services, websites and magazine subscriptions that are showing up on Spokeo and tell too much of my story to anyone who cares to go to this site where all my online information is gathered in one place! No thank you Facebook and the other sites that have hidden “opt out” locations. So in other words you will tell all my personal information unless I ask you not to? Who told you it was OK in the first place?

I live a great life, but have no desire for anyone/everyone on the planet to know where I live, how I live and to feel free to just charge me for another year of their services!

Brands need to pay attention, because many of us truly are going elsewhere.

If you know of a brand that understands customer service and has a clear return or cancellation policy let me know! I’ve started a list of the good and bad brands and am happy to share in a future column.

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