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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"No Reply" Customer Support

I'm still struggling to get Verizon to give me my trade-in phone rebate. My current problem is that I have two phones and two rebate mail envelopes. However, there is no indication which phone belongs in which envelope.

Presumably, if I put the wrong phone in the wrong envelope, then I forfeit my rebate.

I'm so annoyed that they're making me jump though so many hoops to get the rebate.

They sent me some "customer support" E-Mails. It comes with a "no-reply" E-Mail address. If you try to reply to the E-Mail, it bounces.

What kind of geniuses thought up this? "Let's make sure that our customers can't contact us!"?

Why can't I just answer the E-Mail and get a response? Why make it so hard? Do they intentionally not want feedback from their customers?

It isn't hard to combine E-Mails and customer support tickets. For example, FogBugz does this.

Why intentionally make it hard for customers to contact you? When did things go from "The customer is always right!" to "Treat the customer like garbage."?

The problem is that each industry is organized via a monopoly/oligopoly. If I drop Verizon cell phone, AT&T and the handful of others are just as bad.

Our Verizon landline phone hasn't been working for more than a month. With Time-Warner, it doesn't work all the time. If I drop Verizon, the only other landline option is Time-Warner. If I drop Time-Warner, the only other choice is Verizon.

Goddamn it. The Bittorrent "illegal downloading" filesharing websites are run by volunteers, and they give me better service than Verizon and Time-Warner? Why is that? Why can't a for-profit corporation give me decent customer support and a product that actually works?

The reason is they have a monopoly. They know that if I want a phone and cable TV, there's only a handful of choices. They all hire the same braindead consultants to set up things for them. For the filesharing websites, if it was a POS, nobody would use it and go elsewhere.

If you have a monopoly/oligopoly, it makes no difference if you mistreat your customers. You can afford to ignore their E-Mails with "no reply" addresses. You can afford to have a useless website. You can afford to make customers wait for an hour for support. In a free market, if you mistreat customers, you lose them. When you have a monopoly, there's no market penalty for disrespecting customers. Verizon and Time Warner know that I have almost no other options, so they can afford to mistreat me.

Why can't I get a simple rebate rather than get a runaround? Why can't I just E-Mail customer support, instead of this stupid "no-reply" E-Mail trick? Why doesn't my phone work? Why doesn't the cable work? Does nobody know how to do anything anymore? Are all the competent workers unemployed, while psychopaths and parasites are running things?


Anonymous said...

>Are all the competent workers
>unemployed, while psychopaths and
>parasites are running things?

Very probably.

Master Doh-San said...


Master Doh-San said...

"Sue the bastards."

That'll get their attention.

FSK said...

"Sue the bastards"? That shows ignorance of how corrupt the legal system is.

For example, the Supreme Court ruled that "mandatory arbitration clauses" in customer service contracts prevent class action lawsuits.

Besides, in a class action lawsuit, the only people who get anything are the lawyers.

Are you seriously suggesting that I spend $10k+ in legal expenses for my $100/month phone service?

Verizon and Time-Warner know that they have a monopoly. They know that justice isn't available through the corrupt State legal system. There's no recourse.

Anonymous said...

steamroller says:
FSK, the rebate scam is one of the most successful. They know you will probably screw-up and then it will cost you. In offering a rebate they know you will snap at the bait and if you are persistent they will finally give it to you, but they also know you are as likely to give up, so if it goes past the limit - they win again. It is all a cost-of-business gambit. If it sticks, they made money, if it doesn't they merely made a bit less. The bait is carefully considered while at the same time, they know the statistics of marketing will be incentive to screw you - and you will still tell everyone you liked it.

FSK said...

If the rebate were $0, I would have bought the phone anyway.

I wish that they would just deduct $100 from the price, rather than diddle with me for the rebate. However, that assumes I'm not dealing with scumbags who have a monopoly.

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