My internet provider is huge. When I call them, I get one of those annoying computer generated voices asking me questions that I have to answer by pushing buttons on my phone. There aren’t any real people to talk to at first and they’re only open during the daytime. My internet provider also provides telephone, television and cellphone service.They employ people around the world. They should have someone make up a rhyming slogan for them that uses the world “horizon” since they’re so large.
I’d like to choose another, but I can’t where I live. And for the giant they are, they provide me service with the old copper lines. And their tech support leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t call them anymore. I fix my own problems because they can’t answer me with solutions.
A few months into my service one of the techs asked me for my email through their internet. I told them I didn’t have one. He insisted I did. I said, nooooo, I don’t. He started searching for one. Oh yes you do, he told me. Someone, somewhere, apparently, had set one up for me. I’ve never used it. I’d call that overstepping boundaries. I still won’t use it. I have a problem with using an email account that I didn’t set up.
I believe they’ve lost sight of their customers. You can’t go to their office to pay your bill. They don’t have an office. They’re too big. As a matter of fact, when I call my “business office”, the person that answers asks me what state I live in. How sad is that?
Driving recently, I happened across a building that sat all by itself and the letters painted on the building said “South Canaan Telephone Company”. The building looked like a set from a movie studio. But it was real. I even called them to see if someone would answer the phone or if a computer would. A woman actually answered the phone. How refreshing. On the 2nd ring. We chatted for a few minutes. My burning question to her was this: “Can I pay my bills at your office?” She told me I could. She said, “Absolutely. That would be the building right across from the mini-mart gas station in town.” Again, how refreshing. Making contact with humans.
Something we as a society have lost. We have this urgent need to get things done and hurry on our way. Don’t stop and smell the roses, we tell ourselves. Don’t bother to chat a moment and really ask the other person how they are. Because after all, that might take some time off your busy schedule. It could interfere with your busy life. Those two or three minutes are so valuable you need to keep them to yourself, you think.
Right? Just as you get aggravated waiting on the phone with those computer voices, and pressing the keys to be taken to yet another person or department, you want to be treated like a human when you reach your destination. So many times your aggravation builds and when you do reach your final destination, you blow. That person at the other end doesn’t deserve your anger.
So keep it real. Lose the anger and direct it where it belongs. Throw your frustration at the large corporations that have desensitized Americans to what we used to know and be. Tell corporations that you deserve to be treated with respect and cordiality and you will respond in accord.
Bring back the one-on-one customer feel to business. But remember, it works both ways. Say thank you where it’s deserved. And when you’re unhappy, shoot an email or letter to that company and let them know. Stand for your rights and beliefs. Tell them you’re a human being who wants to be treated as one and not as a computer glitch.
Let American giants know we don’t want to take it anymore. Sound familiar? It should. It’s been said before and will resound over and over until somebody gets it right.