Customer Service Can Be A Pain In The Ass

Customer Service these days is an adventure , especially on the phone. Many horror stories on the subject have been written so it is not my intent to add another. I might add that I have had some pleasant experiences dealing with “representatives”. Still more frequently than is good for one’s blood pressure bad experiences do develop and overshadow the pleasant experiences. It has become obvious to me that the horror story has its beginnings one minute into a call when you suddenly realize that the person you are talking to is bored by their job and could care less about your problem. Is it possible that “Customer Service Representative” is one of those jobs that American citizens would prefer not to do? Illegal aliens have come to the rescue in labor intensive jobs such as picking fruit, plucking chickens and landscaping but I’m afraid they are not a viable alternative for manning the customer service phone calls, although Spanish would be more welcome than the garbled English practiced by many customer representatives. So how do we eliminate the problem of dealing with an unknowledgeable, rude customer service representative? Eliminate the problem which necessitated the phone call in the first place! Most inquiries deal with health insurance coverage and product quality problems. Obviously all that has to be done is to simplify health insurance coverage and make product quality the hallmark of product marketing. Healthcare insurance problems? Universal health care, that’s the answer, the rules are the same for everyone and not subject to dispute! The product quality issue calls for a more complex solution. Why not complicate the tax code even more and establish a Product Quality Tax Credit Ala the Earned Income Credit. Of course this should be available only to those having less than fifty thousand dollars in taxable income. I’m sure IRS statisticians could work out a formula basing the amount of credit on projected costs of defective products purchased by people in various tax brackets. To keep this credit under control a new Federal agency would have to be created which would establish quality scores similar to credit scores and apply these to retailers. Retailers with unacceptable scores would be monetarily penalized much in the same manner that credit card companies raise interest rates for cardholders with low credit scores. Retailers with low quality scores faced with profits being eaten away by poor product quality penalties would surely drop vendors responsible for selling junk! The vendors in turn would find sweat shops willing to further punish workers making junk or in a moment of weakness they might resort to domestic manufacturers. It seems like a lot of trouble to fix a problem caused by an unknowledgeable, rude representative and I’m sure in the final analysis it would only create a need for call centers to handle tax credit and product quality score questions and problems. Doing so creates more sorely needed jobs but it would only serve to continue the problem it was supposed to solve in the first place - the pain in the ass caused by some customer service phone calls. Would a better solution be to attract knowledgeable and courteous customer service representatives by paying them more?

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