Bad Tech Support, Bad Customer Service

I am going to touch on a subject that has affected all of us at one point when dealing with technology.  That moment when you have to call support and instead of getting help, you get a helping of crap.  I plan on not holding back on this blog post, but will keep it professional.  Allow me to explain.

Approximately 8 months ago, I ran into a problem with an Office registration key.  I contacted support, and was transferred 7 times.  That’s right, 7 times, over the course of nearly 2 hours on a single phone call.  On the 7th transfer, I was on the phone for over half an hour.  I decided that I had enough and was going straight to Redmond on this one. (Microsoft’s HQ)

I contacted the main number, and got a lady who was curt from the get go.  Maybe it was her having a bad day, or maybe she’s like this all the time.  Should it even really matter or get in the way of her job?  No.  Anyway, I explained very calmly my situation and that I wanted to talk to someone in executive complaints.  She directed me to their website.  I explained to her again that I really did not have confidence in their website customer service handling my issue, which was still not resolved, so I wanted a different department.  She then blew up at me saying some choice words, which included personal insults about my listening skills, and then hung up.  Yeah….

Now this all occurred while on the clock with my employer, so we typed up a letter, put in an envelope and mailed to Redmond.  That was in September.  It’s now near the end of May and not one single response.  Even though we provided facts and figures on the tens of thousands of dollars in Microsoft products that our company had spent, it did not even merit so much as a “We’re sorry” type email.  When I confronted them on Twitter, Office responded with the company line of “We take customer service seriously”, and when I reached back out for help, I got nothing.  Hey, at least they are being consistent right?

Here is the deal, I work in support/consulting.  We have a bad reputation in the support field as being a place that people will contact at some point for help, but that they loathe doing it due to dealing with the scenario that I just explained.  Frankly, it really irks me that this sort of stuff goes on, because it’s a problem with management.  That is to say not hiring the right people.  In an effort to get the phones answered, quality is sacrificed by hiring people that are not knowledgeable, or even if they are, lack an ability to empathize, improvise, and solve a customer’s issue.  What it can ultimately lead to is someone walking away from a product altogether.  That is a sad state of affairs.

Those reading this I am sure have run into this problem before.  I want everyone to know that not everyone in support is like this.  There are very good people in support who actually enjoy helping people solve their problems with their computers like myself.  However, if you run into bad support, let that company know.  Yes, Microsoft did not respond to me.  However, if enough people complain, companies will make changes and social media is powerful.  It was powerful enough to get the official @Office Twitter account to respond to me.  Perhaps it can do more for you.