The personal website of Chris Coyier

Something Vaguely About Customer Service

This, by Derek Sivers, is amazing:

It made me feel like a dick, because I was a bit snarky with customer service today. See, I’m moving, and I need internet service at my new place. So I went to Comcast, which serves my area. Their website is pretty decent. I was able to use the web to set up new service. Well, almost.

A bit whiny, but it’s feedback. I submitted my SSN with the request for service. Then the “last step” of checkout sends you to a crappy looking and weird Java applet to chat with someone from the company. Of course, this is outsourced to someone who can’t speak very well. They paste in user scripts. They try and up-sell the shit out of you. It’s awkward. Worse, they ask you for your SSN AGAIN. Which you have to cough up otherwise you can’t finalize the appointment.

So after my tweet, of course some dude from Comcast notices.

But did Steve actually read me tweet? It doesn’t really feel like it. I said something very specific about Comcast checkout. I don’t like the chat at the end. It feels sketchy and uncomfortable. So when he asked me if there is anything he can do for help, I told him:

I heard nothing further from Steve.

Did I make Steve feel bad? I dunno, maybe. I didn’t tell him to lay down and die. I told him how he really could help me, even if it’s something that he obviously can’t do anything about (part of the problem). I feel a little bad about it but I’m not sure I regret it. If you aren’t prepared to have a conversation about my experience with your product, than don’t offer to help me.