You know what word I hate more than all of the Web 2.0 buzzwords combined? Policy! If I’m attempting to get something resolved with a customer service representative, I know I’m getting shafted when this word pops out. It’s like a magic shield that’s supposed to protect the employee, and stop the consumer in his tracks. “Woh holy shit, you said it’s your company policy that I get fucked out of my money?! Oh gosh, I’d better calm down and hang up the phone.” What a show stopper argument! The ultimate word of customer service fisticuffs! It just “makes sense” you know? It’s a policy that’s ass raping my stink hole, so that makes me feel better.
Part of the reason this word makes me cringe, is because I’ve been on the other end. Many moons ago, I worked in Gateway 2000 phone tech support. (Back when it was called Gateway 2000, and Ted Waitt was holed up in California snorting coke off a hooker’s ass) I’ve had to tell people they are absolutely fucked, and there’s “nothing I can do about it.” I used the P word, many times… and I felt horrible doing it. I knew all of these people were being screwed out of their money. Gateway computers were shit parts stuffed in a white case with a cow spotted logo. Calls were randomly monitored, and I couldn’t let people return their systems for a refund. In fact, I had a limit of 3 permanent returns. Going over that number was “grounds for termination.” If my average call time was over 12 minutes, I didn’t get a raise. There was a reason why I had to be a dick to customers — I would be fired for thinking out of the box and using common sense to assist people.
I was fired from Gateway 2000.
Have things changed since then? I’ve stayed far away from call centers since that experience! Being on the consumer end now, I still hear the same bullshit lines I used to use. I can see right through the words and it instantly pisses me off.
My hate has nothing to do with any anti-corporate movements, and has no political agenda. There’s a reason why Gateway went down the shitter, it was a bad company, with a shitty product, and horrible customer service. But it still took 20 years to die, and still made a few billion dollars. I just wish the process of consumer feedback to companies was quicker.
Are consumers smarter than they were 12 years ago in “the bubble?”
I think they try to be, but it’s difficult to get unbiased information with fake Amazon reviews and Google PageRank stuffing. There needs to be a more rapid process that cuts demand to shit products, in favor of an intelligent purchase.
Just my ramblings for now. Please comment if you have some epiphany that solves the entire economic transaction system of the web.