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October 27, 2009

Efficiency or Service

I really despise push button answering systems. It tells me, in no uncertain terms, that this company puts efficiency over customer service. Efficiency that doesn't reduce my costs, but increases their profits.

Banks are wonderful at this sort of "finger in the eye" approach to customer service, but today I came across the hands down champion.

Telstra is an Australian monopoly in the field of Telecommunications. So much so that they still get away with charging internet usage per downloaded information. (The restrictive practice that when abandoned by AT&T helped launch Web 2.0)

When you call these people there is no codes or sequences to press in. (Too easy) Here they use voice recognition software and you have to tell them what you need.

And when you are sitting in the middle of a crowded office, yelling out "Bill Payment! Bill Payment!" again and again, (because "they're sorry but they didn't quite get that") you start to wonder whether this company takes all of its business advice from knuckle head incompetents, or whether their ultimate ambition is to be entirely friendless in the world.

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