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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model 257

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-until-they-have-your-money dept.
jammag writes: A new trend has emerged where tech companies have realized that abusing users pays big. Examples include the highly publicized Comcast harassing service call, Facebook "experiments," Twitter timeline tinkering, rude Korean telecoms — tech is an area where the term "customer service" has an Orwellian slant. Isn't it time customer starting fleeing abusive tech outfits?
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

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  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:45PM (#47732275)

    What do they mean "tech companies"?

    The abuse began back when telephone menus replaced human operators, music-on-hold by the hour became the norm ("Please stay on the line. Your call is VERY important to us.") and service in general became self-serve or no-serve.

    And hasn't been solely a tech company thing. It's been an every company thing.

    In fact, I dropped a pest control company in favor of a competitor because the competitor didn't run me through phone menu hell just to get them to come out, inspect, and get paid.

  • Re:"abuse" (Score:4, Informative)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:49PM (#47732325) Homepage
    agreed, Lets stop trying to lump twitter changing their web page, and facebook experiments at the same level of comcast harassing customers. there is a major difference between the 3

    no one pays to use FB or twitter, as such if they change their page for whatever reason, so what? if you dont like it go to myspace or whatever else is around or make a new site

    comcast harassing callers, and the new info dropped about their 20% upselling grade for techs is a legit concern when it comes to customer dissatisfaction. I think you are watering down the severity of comcast when you lump in twitter and FB making changes to their pages
  • Re:Free market (Score:3, Informative)

    by eneville (745111) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:20PM (#47732603) Homepage
    Indeed, the phrase "you get what you pay" comes to mind. The moment big corporations in the UK (BT, I'm looking at you) off-shored their customer service things went downhill for the ISP. However, in that void PlusNet grew (from Force9) into a very successful ISP who promotes northern broadband and they do indeed have UK call centres who you can understand. They may be marginally more expensive but it goes to show that people in the UK are starting to vote with their feet and choose a company that they can speak to. I'm using PlusNet and BT as an example as they're mostly interchangeable in terms of media.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:25PM (#47732651) Journal

    Perhaps it was habit? Perhaps it was that the gas was 5cents cheaper a gallon?

    A nickle a gallon? I'd buy gasoline made from pressed baby kitties and the condensed death agonies of the last endangered whales on earth for a 5 cents a gallon less than the local competitors.

    I guess that makes me part of the problem.

    And, of course, as other responders have pointed out, the BP pumps were stocked from the exact same local distributor as the Shell pumps across the street, and the Exxon ones up the road, and the "independent" one across town... and quite possibly all from crude from the platform and oil field that went "boom!".

    So unless you were willing to completely give up all petroleum products (including textiles and agro-chemical based foodstuffs), or drill your own well in your own back yard and build your own refinery, you aren't going to be able to avoid feeding the machine you hate. Welcome to the 21st Century.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:27PM (#47732665)
    That "15 pages" is very misleading. I don't think RackSpace Hosting (#12) and a cellphone case store (#16) count as "ISP's"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:18PM (#47733063)

    The "free market" rewards greed in all forms. It is intended to reward these behaviors.

    The entire purpose of capitalism is to turn the greed in human nature into a force of productivity. But the side effect is that it rewards that greed. One of the only things that can keep that greed in check is regulation. But that has a side effect of creating a separate power base and thus regulatory capture and barriers to entry and so on. So what's the next step? How do we watch the watchers? We need a new framework for productivity but I am confident we can find it. Civilization and democracy has reliably marched forward. The world has (mostly) ended slavery, brought reading and writing to the masses, eradicated diseases, put a man on the moon, and so on.

    This science of "how much the consumer will endure" is not limited to tech companies -- nor even customers. This is the approach of the corporation to all matters, legal, financial, PR, lobbying, etc. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. Sure there are a few good corporations, and some acts of altruism and benevolence. But the "free market" rewards greed.

    So we need a new framework for productivity, and we need to start looking now.

  • Re:Free market (Score:4, Informative)

    by NotSanguine (1917456) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:24PM (#47733105) Journal

    No. The execs have realized that they can get fatter paychecks if they eliminate "cost centers" that don't deliver positive cash flow. You know, things like infrastructure upgrades, maintenance and customer service.. Anyone not working in the executive suite is viewed as a liability to the company and needs to be eliminated to reduce the pesky overhead involved in having real employees.

    There. FTFY.

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

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