Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Customer "Care"

Background: I worked customer care for about four and a half years. I moved from answering calls primarily from internal wireless customers, to being a second-tier representative. There, I dealt with escalated calls, problem situations, and monitored calls. I would then coach the care representative on what they had done well, and what could be improved. I do know what good customer care looks like.

I recently tried to ensure my Xbox Live membership was not automatically renewed. MicroSoft will let subscribers renew on their own, but not cancel. This is odd from a company that has made its money by supplying computer hardware and software. Most companies prefer online interactions for customer care actions, since customers can usually handle their own affairs without needing to involve a care rep. This means faster, more efficient service for the customer, and reduced cost for the company. Forcing customers to actually call in to talk to someone is clearly designed to make cancelling less convenient for the customer.

Hello John,

> This is Joyce, with Microsoft Xbox Support services.

> I understand that you would like to turn off your account's auto-renewal on Xbox Live. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with this concern.

> Be advised that you can turn off the auto-renewal setting on your Xbox Live account by calling our phone support line. Our phone support line will verify your account information and they can automatically turn off the renewal date on your credit card on file.

> Thank you for your time and understanding.

> Thank you for visiting If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

> Best Regards,

> Joyce

> Microsoft XBOX Support Services



How exactly have you helped me? You appreciate the opportunity to assist me...and then, you don't. Thanks a lot, for absolutely nothing other than wasting my time and making me even more pissed at MicroSoft.

Please do not fraudulently charge my credit card.

John Shirley

Hello John!

> Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am Jay and I will be helping you today with this issue.

> As our valued customer we are sorry to hear that you have issue on turning off the auto renewal.

> We know how frustrating it is when you have an account issue. However, all cancellations, billing questions, inquiries, and account or subscription problems are being addressed through our phone support line. Email support lines do not have the capabilities to process your request. We may require personal information verification which cannot be divulged over email. When you call, immediate action will be given to your inquiries or request. Thank you for your time and understanding.

> To expedite service, please provide Service Request Number 1148711893 when you call.

> Thank you for visiting We hope that we were able to assist you, and that your experience with our customer service was positive - something we constantly strive to improve. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

> Best Regards,

> Jay

Hi Jay!

Thanks for replying to once again tell me how MS wants to take me for every dime they can wring. Since you are able to determine enough information from me to allow me to renew, you obviously have enough information from me to allow me to cancel. Too bad you don't even have the stones to admit it's a revenue-control measure.

While we're here, let's talk about business etiquette. Are you my friend, Jay? Family, maybe? Do you know me in other than a business capacity? No? Yet you, knowing my last name, and without invitation from me, call me by my first name. I don't know your last name, or I would extend the courtesy of calling you "Mr. X". Because I don't know you, Jay. But you're certainly not my friend.


("Mr." or "Lieutenant" to you, you badly trained drone)

John Shirley

Sunday, February 13, 2011

From the FWIW Files...

A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you. (07:46:50)
07:49:55 We apologize for the delay.You are next in the queue. A representative will be with you shortly.

Agent Patricia has joined.
Patricia : Chat ID for this session is 02131117510. (07:50:05)
Patricia(07:50:10): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our Verizon chat service. How can I help you set up your new service and save with a Verizon bundle?

You(07:50:25): Hi, this is J Shirley. Good morning, Patricia . I was interested in setting up internet svc in 22211, and wanted to ask about military discounts.

Patricia(07:51:25): You will qualify for the online offer and discount.

You(07:51:55): A general online offer, or a military-specific offer?

Patricia(07:52:35): There is no special military-specific offer.

You(07:53:10): I see. I was sent a link by Verizon to my military email, but the link did not work.

Patricia(07:54:20): Yes, it is because there is no speical military discount

You(07:54:31): ...but it looks like that may have just been a Verizon wireless link...

Patricia(07:55:16): It will apply for wireless service.

You(07:55:26): ...but the link does not work.

Patricia(07:56:01): It will apply for wireless (Cell phone service).

You(07:56:26): BUT. THE. LINK. DOES. NOT. WORK.
You(07:57:11): If I try to drill down on the link, it says, about:blank

Patricia(07:57:36): You are looking for Internet service and the discount will apply for only cell phone (Wireless service)/.
Patricia(07:57:51): So that link will help you to place order for Internet.

You(07:58:16): What? Are you an English speaker?

Patricia(07:58:46): So that link will not help you to place order for Internet. *
Patricia(07:58:51): Yes

You(07:59:21): Patricia, maybe you can help someone else who's a little less pissy this morning. Have a pleasant Sunday.
Your session is now closed.
Thank you, have a nice day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011