Galway City Tribune - Opinion Piece
I was shocked to receive good service!September 27, 2012 - 8:37am
We’ve all feel moments of utter hopelessness when dealing with those who dare to describe themselves as ‘service providers’. Just the other side of desperation and rage, you refuse to feel insignificant because you’re human, while you know you’re not worthless because you’re their customer, goddammit.
Yet you’re beaten up by menus, holding patterns and reiterating the same information to humans and machines, rendered indistinguishable.
Being simple in some ways, I have hope in my heart each time I enter any first round of telephone menus. If it all goes well then shufti shufti, I move on. But when I am lied to, misled in any significant way, treated with disdain or negligence, then I tell them I’m thinking of writing about it.
Not a champion of consumer affairs, I’m nobody’s Esther Rantzen. As you long-suffering colyoomistas know, it’s just that I write about any insignificant morsel that might drop into my wormhole.
Unashamedly, I do it for myself, but also for us, all of us who are habitually treated like scum by those at the receiving ends of bills and direct debits.
It’s not a case of pompously roaring ‘Do you know who I aaaaaaaam?’ because they have no idea. But big corporations loathe bad PR, sending bots crawling over our blogs looking for keywords, so when this scribbler stamps his foot, ooh look, a higher level of service appears, where all of a sudden I’m called by their PROs, lovely to deal with, because that’s their job.
Oh and the computer voices have gone. Pure human it is, up on this new level.
Don’t we all deserve that service?
Out of the blue I get a call from a bloke called Ciaran Maddison, from our internet provider Airwire. Apparently they’d been upgrading the network in my area and it looked like I wasn’t getting as good a connection as I should have. Could he come round with his engineer and try to improve our set-up?
On the other end of the phone I was waiting for the punchline, but it never came: no call-out charge; no service charge; no upgrade charge. They just wanted to help.
A couple of days later they arrived at the house with a cherry picker, changed the globular thingy on top of the wireless mast on the roof with a concave thingy (blinding you with nerdy tech-speak here!) and then they fiddled about a bit here in my office.
I asked Ciaran if he worked in sales or support, and was truly shocked when he explained that he was in fact the co-founder and co-owner of the company, alongside his colleague Martin List-Petersen.
So the owner of the company had called me, offering to improve my service and then made the house call himself. Even though I’m well aware that staff wages are the single biggest drain on a small company’s resources, I told him I was very impressed by his and the company’s attitude.
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.