What happened to Customer Service & is it gone forever?

What happened to Customer Service (real, actual customer service) & is it gone forever?

Well, where is it?

Name one entity where it still exists.

What do we have to do to get it back?

I don't think we will. I think it is gone forever.

That is what /they/ want, after all.

Every single place that I attempt to deal with these days - sucks - big time.

Comcast - cancelled (my services).

Capital One - closed (my accounts).

My doctor - not going back there.

Bank of America - still have them, but there is no (& has not been for ages now) actual customer service.

No matter where you call, what you want to do, all you are connected to are robots (automated answering machines).

And then, when you do (better said, if you) actually get to speak with a PERSON, they are apt to be a third-party service provider rather then someone who actually works for the company you want to speak with.

Latest.  Capital One (credit card). I get an email, my statement is ready. I log into their site to get my statement & it says it doesn't recognize my "device". Oh, but it can authenticate me. They'll text me (I don't get texts) or they (a computer) can call my (Comcast since cancelled) phone. Or, & here is the great part, I can all this telephone number which they provide. And yes, you guessed it, that telephone number goes to a robot (automated answering machine - you know, that alternative to a PERSON). And that robot says - again, you know - that, due to "heavy call volumes, expected hold time is 30 minutes"...

So yes, then you go seeking out the Office of the President of Capital One... And when you finally get to speak to a person, they won't provide you with a way to access them. Instead they'll provide you with an telephone number to call, which, yes you guessed it, sends you to yet another robot...

So any thoughts on a good credit card provider ;-)?  You know, one who provides actual customer service?

(In days of old, Capital One used to advertise, you call, we answer.  And they did. No more.

In days of old, I messed up - big time.  Instead of making my Cap1 credit card payment to Cap1, I made it to Chase (credit cards) instead.

This was a LARGE mistake.

Once I realized, I called Capital One, told them I paid Chase instead of Cap1, but I'd have them the payment (already late) to them, forthwith.

And they said <get this> OK, & that they'd take care of the finance charges & fees that would hit my account.

I didn't even ask them to do that.  They simply told me that they'd do that.)

Do you think any of that would happen these days?

Most any company out there, no matter what their product is, is essentially in the customer support business.

And yet the can't even provide anything even resembling mediocrity where support is concerned.

They'll jump through hoops to sell you.  After that, good bye.

(About the only place around that I can think of that still has good customer support, is Aldi (food stores) of all places.)

Anyhow, no support, then don't look for my $$.

My $.02 :-).

  • Speak of the devil...

    Someone from Bank of America actually called here, yesterday.

    Spoken with him a few times now. Made clear how I feel their "customer service" is crap.  It is.

    He's local.  If he weren't, i.e., if he was an 800#, I wouldn't have even bothered.

    Anyhow, he listened, we'll see how it goes.

    Maybe he'll be able to do something constructive for us (not that we really have much in the way of needs).

    But... at least having an actual, real, live - yep, one of them, person, who does answer a phone, who will return calls.

    One day, I'm in the not too distant future, I'm going to get him to actually stop by & see us (& buy us lunch!).

    (In the old days, there were actual real people that you dealt with, that you knew, & that knew you.

    This guy, he's only a beginner. And given that BoA is certainly not going to give him much leeway...

    But we'll see how it goes.)

  • And while we're here...

    I get this letter in the mail, "EXTREMELY IMPORTANT" (text & linked, below).

    Very generic letter.

    Speaks of a company "engaged by" Wells Fargo.

    Extremely Important - of course.

    Now I'm not about to call the number in the letter (no telling...), so I log into my Wells Fargo account & call their number (which is different).

    (And after the automated phone mill), the guy I'm speaking to says, "yes, we've had a lot of calls about this... i don't know why they sent a letter like that?..."

    So instead of sending a letter that there is proxy vote & you can call this number to vote, they send out meaningless rubbish, that makes one waste their time to try to figure if it is legit.



    Shareholder Name
    Address 1
    Address 2
    Address 3


    July 2021

    Re: Your investment in Wells Fargo Funds

    Dear Valued Shareholder:

    We have attempted to contact you regarding an important matter pertaining to your investment in Wells Fargo Funds.

    Please contact us immediately at 855-928-4485 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time; or Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

    This matter is very important and will only take a moment of your time.

    Broadridge Financial Solutions has been engaged by Wells Fargo Asset Management to contact you.

    Thank you in advance. We appreciate you taking the time to respond.



  • BoA read your messages here, I bet :)

  • If you want them to call you proactively, just miss a payment or two. Of course, they'll hit you with fees and trash your credit, but at least they'll acknowledge your existence:-). Unfortunately, it seems that customer service is a dying art. Companies have automated and cut staff so much that the few employees they've kept are overwhelmed and tired of being abused on a daily basis by mistreated, angry customers, so apathy and defensiveness sets in. The sad part is that so long as they all suck equally, it does no good to drop one and switch to another, they'll just trade customers. It's even harder to quit doing business with them in general, as we all need to do our banking, have internet and be entertained 24/7. 

    Amazon has a different take on it. They've outsourced and automated as well, but programmed their computers to give customers plenty of flexibility to return things or get credits, even for ridiculous reasons. I guess they've calculated the potential losses from the few that will abuse the return system or claim lost packages are a tiny fraction of the cost of having employees to actually investigate lost packages or inspect returns. I saw a special on CBC where they tracked some Amazon returns and found that many new, undamaged products go straight to a shredder. It's cheaper to shred and discard everything than it is to have employees to sort, clean and repackage items even for outlet sales. So much for the environment as tons of product ends up in landfills daily. People like the ease of returns and accept the shortcomings in exchange for speed and convenience. Somewhat understandable as they likely work at Comcast's or BOA's call center and get screamed at all day, they are too tired to shop locally:-). 

  • I've found that companies that value their employees have WAY better Customer Service than companies that just put a human in a chair to answer calls. It shows. A happy employee is one that will actually give a shhhh....about the reputation of the company and the own performance. I'm not sure how big companies expect to pay someone nominal wages, and basically lock them to their desk chairs, and expect that employee to represent the company well. Typically Customer Service is front line staff, and any interaction with that staff is a reflection on how that employee feels about the company they work for. I find that well paid CU staff are WAY more cordial and willing to go an extra mile to help a customer. 

  • I think it has a lot to do with the middle class of the US investing their money in financial investment firms such as Blackrock and Vanguard and others who then take your money and purchase shares in all of the major US companies, but here is where it goes wrong.  These financial firms don't allow you to vote the shares that they purchased with your money.  These companies vote for you.  Basically they are stealing your votes and then implementing changes at these major companies that benefit their financial firms and benefit the wealthiest and most powerful people that own a majority of these firms.  This is why the majority of people in the US so often don't agree with decisions made by these companies.