Unfortunately we are seeing a customer relations trick that is designed to stiff-arm the consumer more and more.
The other day I asked a Netflix employee to transfer me to his superior. The employee was not willing to solve the problem that Netflix had created. I suspected that the employee was following company policy so I wanted to move the issue up the chain of command.
The Netflix employee told me that he was not allowed to transfer my call to anyone up the chain.
I fired them.
Also last week I heard two UTEP students talking about difficulties they were having with different administrators at the school. They told each other about having been denied the ability to speak with someone higher up the management chain.
We deserve better
It is not just a trick. I, too, have noticed a troubling trend towards ignoring customer service, and a general, “I don’t care” attitude. They no longer believe in that old adage about the customer always being right. And, that is because too many monopolies have killed business competition.
> They no longer believe in that old adage about the customer always being right
That approach works well in high-margin, high-touch industries (cf. Nordstom) where service costs are more than offset by extravagant prices. In industries with thin margins, expensive customers get fired or leave by attrition.
In my experience, callers who played the “customer is always right” card (speaking generally here, not about this thread) were the most obnoxious, abusive, unreasonable and profane. A monthly $9.99 subscription to Netflix does not entitle one to abuse employees. I’ve had death threats, threats to drive up to the building with a U-haul trailer (right after the OK City bombing), threats to beat in fellow workers’ heads with bricks.
One of those threats was from a guy who wanted the product replaced under warranty because his dog chewed it. Another was because a guy set his product on fire then wanted it replaced (the evidential photo he submitted had the gas can and propane torch still in frame) Another was a guy who lived on a peninsula with a dock and boathouse but claimed to only run his device in fresh water 22 miles away. It was encrusted with salt.
Older consumers remember the old levels of service and want both the new low prices *and* the old high-quality service. That expectation stresses out everyone involved.
Younger consumers are used to low prices and automated self-service (web, chat, phone, kiosk), which will be the ongoing reality for us non-wealthy types.
There are two jobs everyone really ought to do in their lifetime: food service and telephone support. It’s quite an experience.
Aside: I suspect the inability to transfer up is *partially* related to the increasing number of callers who automatically want a supervisor, even before talking to a 1st tier agent. That “trick” accomplishes nothing and annoys the very people who are in a position to help.
Netflix is not alone. It is a growing trend.
Why I don’t “bundle.”
Post your experience on Twitter with a couple of hashtags like #netflixproblems and #netflixsucks and you will get a response.
AT&T has the same policy.
Think twice before you sign up with AT&T. My employer tried to cancel their Internet and telephone service for a period of 11 months. Just when he thought the services were cancelled, without any notice AT&T disconnected their telephone service. The company was without telephone service for 4 days.
T Mobile has horrible practices.
You can sign up for service and make payments in a store but you cannot cancel service.
You have to call a number, survive a thousand transfers to cancel and then the cancellation order never goes through.