Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Customers schmustomers

Customer Service amuses me. In no other situation is such rude and vehement complaining so richly rewarded. It seems to me that a better business model would be "here is our company's token of appreciation for not complaining..." CS is all about damage control: keep as many customers as happy as possible so they will keep giving our company money.

What I absolutely hate are companies that charge ridiculous fees and use nonsense to try and justify it, banking on the fact that most people either won't know or won't work up the ire to do anything about it. And I absolutely love it when those same companies are eating crow because their idiot customers aren't as idiotic as they thought. It absolutely makes no sense to me that in this economy, companies would do anything that would alienate potential customers.

Case in point: US Airways (or Err-ways as I like to call them) recently recanted its policy of charging for sodas and coffee on domestic flights. It seems enough people just wouldn't put up with being nickel-and-dimed when they already paid several hundred dollars for the airfare in the first place.

The source of today's diatribe: Verizon Wireless. The nation's self-proclaimed largest provider of wireless phone service has recently started charging an extra $30 a month for people to use a smart phone. Worse, they are using absolute mullarky to justify this charge. I wanted a smart phone, but I could never justify increasing my cell phone bill by almost 50% to buy a smart phone, so I've been asking questions. "Well it costs a lot for us to implement and maintain our 3G network, it's the largest in the country, you know" said one walking acne boil. That's fine, how about I just not use the dial-in network and use the Wi-Fi at my home and school, that way I don't have to use your super-expensive (although expansive) network. "Nope, doesn't work like that. If you want this phone, you have to have this data package. That's our policy."

That's your policy? A $30 a month charge for a phone that runs Windows Mobile? No matter how I try and reason with these people, nothing changes, no one listens. People are losing their jobs, losing their houses, cutting back in any way they can... I just hope they don't plan on selling a lot of these. Maybe then they might actually listen to their customers who present a valid argument and work something out.

Or they can wait a couple of months, realize that people are leaving in droves, and try and unring the bell.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Studying... and not

I decided (or had help deciding, I'm not sure which) to study to take the MCAT... partly for fun , and mostly to see what kind of score I can get. I realize how odd that sounds, rarely are the words "MCAT" and "fun" used in the same sentence.

So now that I've decided to start studying for the MCAT, I've come up with lots and lots of things to do instead of study! The kitchen needs cleaned! What about the bathroom?! There's lots to do on the internet! Hey look, something shiny!! It's not even a conscious decision where I say "I don't want to study, what else can I do instead?" ... it's more like I suddenly realize in the middle of the afternoon, hey, I had all this time I could have studied, and instead I looked at blogs all afternoon!

My latest diversion has been the Dune series by Frank Herbert. The first one was awesome, the second was a little weirder, and by the sixth book, they're just downright kooky. But since when has that been an excuse to stop reading, just because you have about a thousand other things you could be doing with your Saturday afternoon!?