Has anybody ever used the "new" chat feature when contacting customer service? A lot of companies, like Verizon and Dish use chat windows as an available option to discussing your issue with customer service. At first glance, this has many pro's:
- You can usually get a hold of somebody a lot faster, which also means no terrible hold music with a voice that comes on every 6 seconds tricking you into thinking you've gotten through. (every time!)
- You can hide the fact that you're talking to customer service because it's easy to alt+tab the window when your boss or nosy co-worker walks by.
- It promotes my strategy to avoid all human contact whatsoever, by talking to a machine that I can only assume has a human on the other end.
It all sounds well and good, and I suppose when it works, it's great. But after my second attempt at one of these chat stews, I think I'm pretty much over it. I much prefer the dullard on the phone that is annoyed with me as I am with them, and will do whatever it takes to get me off the phone as soon as possible.
My first time IMing customer service was with Verizon, after an "update" to my smart phone basically wiped out everything on the phone. Thanks Verizon. I spent an epic 45 minutes chatting with a Verizon techie trying to get the whole business resolved. In the end, much like any call with tech support, the Indian in me took over and I fixed the problem before they could figure out what the problem even was. Some heroes can fly, and some can read minds. I have the ability to fit into any racial stereotype you see fit for me.
My second attempt at using this chat feature happened about 10 minutes ago, when I contacted Dish to find out the cheapest way to get somebody over to my apartment to remove my Dish. Dish has this great customer service program where some douchebag guy who talks about all his sexual conquests will come over to install your satellite. He'll install it wherever you want, at his own peril (think: leaning over a small apartment balcony with no hope of me helping him if he starts to go overboard.) The guy later told me that the slow forward button on the DVR remote is good for watching porn, so you'll forgive me if I didn't give a crap about this dude's safety or life. But I digress. So I get on this chat with Keeley(ID:BVR) who tells me that Dish does not remove their satellites. I'm thinking, what are you NSA? Then I tell her that yes they in fact do, but charge money for it. I love knowing more than customer service about their service...that they provide customers...
She then automatically counters with a $95 price. I tell her, wait, I thought if I sign up for the protection plan ($7/month...cancelleable at any time) then it would only cost $15 for the equipment removal. She says, "OMG HELL NO YOU ASS CLOWN HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT?!?!?!"
Or at least that's how I read whatever response she gave. I then asked her for a waiver or some reduction in that fee, and she begins to respond to some other question I never asked. Classic case of typing in the wrong IM window? No idea. The point is, without having that phone interaction, it was impossible to plead, beg, cojole or any other verb to her, to help me out at all. The cold world of IM has no emotion except the angry caps lock, and I wasn't prepared to escalate our conversation there just yet. Instead I told her that she was confusing and probably wrong. Then I just closed the window....which is not nearly as satisfying as hanging up on somebody.
Short story long, I called Dish back and they immediately charged me the cheaper price for the removal.
Crap, I forgot this was supposed to be my advice column day....Uh....ok, how's this: Don't be a jerk, use the phone!
Artist's Rendition of Keeley(ID:BVR)