Archive for the ‘Impatience’ Category

Service of What’s Going On? We Were Nice to One Another for a While

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Image by Methawee Krasaeden from Pixabay

Certain friends would reprimand me when I complained about service. They’d say, “The person is paid so little. What can you expect?” That was never a viable excuse for me. I don’t think that clients or customers should be penalized for that reason.

Today there’s a new excuse for bad behavior or flaunting the rules. Some say “Oh, but the poor things have been cooped up so long because of the pandemic.” So? I should be put in danger or yelled at because somebody is sick of social distancing or wearing a mask and is asked to do so? I feel no pity. And there’s another difference: The perpetrators of grouch and grump are customers.

We are so spoiled. If this was a traditional war would these people go for a stroll during bombing while whining that they’d had enough of being stuck in a basement or subway platform? This is a kind of war–against a silent enemy we can’t see.

We’ve recently seen fisticuffs over mask-wearing on national news between passengers on planes.

Apt Cape Cod friend’s comment on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “Please let your staff know that there are more nice people in the world than not-so-nice ones! Jocelyn”

Neil Vigdor wrote about “The owners of Apt Cape Cod, a farm-to-table restaurant in Brewster, Mass., [that] drew a line in the sand against customers’ rude behavior since being allowed to fully reopen.” In his New York Times article he reported “The verbal abuse from rude customers got so bad, the owners of one farm-to-table restaurant on Cape Cod said that some of their employees cried.” All one waitress had done was to tell a customer that the restaurant wasn’t yet open so she couldn’t submit his takeout order. He blew his top.

Vigdor wrote: “So Ms. Felt Castellano and her spouse, Regina Felt Castellano, who is also the head chef and co-owner, announced on Facebook that the restaurant would close for part of that same day to treat the restaurant’s employees to a ‘day of kindness.'”

The attitude is spreading like a rash. Here’s an example of what another industry is faced with. An excerpt of a comment by Liese Swann on Apt Cape Cod’s Facebook page follows: “My spouse works in home improvement retail, part of management. The stories he comes home with now are simply unreal. He hung up the phone on one abusive customer, and his staff looked at him wide-eyed and said “We can do that?” They were mightily cheered when he said yes. Some of these customers threaten to call the state AG’s office because the manufacturer can’t supply their order fast enough! As soon as that phrase comes out of their mouths, management has no choice but to cut off the conversation and refuse their calls…..they cannot comprehend that their kitchen cabinets or new washer and dryer set simply can’t be conjured up out of thin air. And they throw temper tantrums at people who have no control over manufacturing and shipping. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Nasty bares its ugly teeth where I live too.  I was sad to learn that tenants in my apartment building are acting badly. We had been so good for so long!

We have received almost daily notices from building management requesting that we please continue to wear masks in public spaces because of the rampant Delta Covid-19 variant that, wrote the manager, is up 23 percent in our neighborhood. Another reason he gave: so many tenants travel internationally. [He didn’t mention our proximity to a major NYC hospital and its many specialty satellites.] In one reminder the manager wrote: “Some residents have cursed at others for asking them to comply. This behavior is unacceptable. We all want to feel safe.”

Are people continuing to keep their cool where your life takes you or have you begun to see fraying at the seams of good behavior? Do you excuse the short-tempered people because Covid 19 has confined them and they are fed up? What else do you think is going on?

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Service of Patience Rewarded

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Photo: wayneelsey.com

My husband used to tell me to slow down. I’ve only now begun to heed his advice on occasion. It paid off this time.

I scratched my eyeglasses badly, right in the middle of the lens. Reading through the smudge was driving me nuts. I finally reached out, on the Internet, to the company that had my recent prescription to order another pair and immediately heard back. I sent the invoice number, [proud that I knew just where to find it from a while ago], and subsequently heard nothing. I figured they couldn’t do it.

I described my experience in a follow-up customer service survey and forgot about it. Maybe I was getting used to reading through the distortion. Truth is, I dreaded having to go to an eyeglass store in person. I’m still Covid-cautious.

On Sunday I received an email from Jessica who said she was the supervisor on the Customer Experience team. She wrote: “I feel awful that your experience wasn’t up to snuff—that’s not the kind of Warby Parker customer experience we pride ourselves on, and I see where we fell short in our previous email thread about re-ordering some reading glasses. If you’re still interested, I’d love to offer my personal assistance with ordering a new pair of Yardley in Blue Marbled Tortoise with your reading prescription.​”

We spoke the next day and I asked if I’d be paying the same as for the first pair. She said that because I’d had to wait too long to reorder she’d given me a $30 discount. Nice surprise!

Are you usually impatient? Have you found that patience, especially during the pandemic, can have its rewards? When you order from a vendor do you always demand to get service yesterday even if you don’t need it that fast? Have we changed the kind of oil to apply to the squeaky wheel?

Photo: inc.com

Service of Automatic Payment Relationships

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

computersuckingmoney

I couldn’t get on my website or blog during Hurricane Sandy so I called the company I pay for my domain name–jmbyington.com–to find out if the weather was causing the glitch.

payment-dueI learned that I was nine days late in paying them.

“Impossible,” said I. “For over five years you have taken $X a month from my credit card. This never happened before!” The customer service person’s answer was: “We don’t recommend that anybody pays that way.”

That was the first I’d heard this. On Tuesday, I paid for the next year.

If sucking money monthly from a credit card doesn’t work, why:

1) Do they allow this form of payment?

2) Did it stop working all of a sudden after 60 months and

3) Weren’t they curious to find out why I left them after all this time? The man said they’d sent me an email. [My fault: It went to an account I never use.]

nailincoffin1This experience represented just one more nail in the coffin for automatic payment relationships for me. No way!

When a blue slip of paper with a headline “Free Automatic Payment Service” landed on my desk after I opened the invoice from my mortgage bank, it went directly into the trash.

A friend told me he had similar problems with his cable TV/Internet access company that gave him credit card grief and that he’s heard of nightmares with another domain-selling company. It immediately sends a debt collector after you under similar circumstances.

Do you use automatic payment systems for services or supplies?

vacuumsuckingmoney2

Service of Selective Impatience

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

staring-at-a-watch

Americans suffer from selective impatience. We fall for impulse purchases at checkout counters and demand to own high-priced items the second they are launched and put them on credit cards when we can’t afford them. We want to own a house this minute–we can’t wait until we’ve saved enough or generated sufficient income to cover the down payment and upkeep–and we’re the leaders of fast-food. As you read this paragraph you can envision our collective finger tapping.

lines-at-a-bridgeOn the other hand we wait in long lines to attend movies and sports events and for coffee at overpriced specialty shops, accept to be parked at bars for hours after table reservation time before being seated in tony, overbooked restaurants, stand still for 20 to 40 minutes waiting to cross a bridge at rush hour so we can commute by car, line up overnight to be one of the first to own the latest Apple tech toy and wait for hours for service and deliveries.

Those who can pay to shorten the wait. In “The Wait-Time Misery Index,” in The Wall Street Journal, Ray A. Smith reports that UPS customers pay $40 a year and a $5 per package premium for deliveries within a two-hour period. Crate & Barrel charges $89 to ensure a two or three hour delivery window.

Smith asks if you’d wait four hours for a friend who is late for dinner. “No,” he wrote, “but your cable company thinks this is a reasonable window of time to wait for service.”

I wonder who makes the rules that impact a client or customer’s time. These timekeepers act as though everyone can sashay to their desk whenever or select when they feel like teaching, nursing/treating patients or meeting deadlines.

ironing-clothesWhile waiting for a delivery in Atlanta, one woman in Smith’s story ironed 50 napkins and four tablecloths. I suppose you can line up such projects when waiting for service, repair or delivery, but should you have to?

Smith wrote “‘I see companies using the two-hour window as a significant marketing thing,’ says Bruce Champeau, Room & Board chief operating officer. The furniture retailer has had a two-hour window in effect since the mid-1990s. ‘It’s a matter of respecting the customer’s time,’ says Mr. Champeau.”

Why do we sell ourselves short? Shouldn’t this be standard and therefore nothing to market?

Smith continued “To make deliveries within a two-hour time slot, more companies are investing in software that helps determine the most efficient route. The technology can shave time off trips by taking into account speed limits, for example, and estimating how long a stop will take based on service type.” This is so elementary, it boggles. Invest in software? So many sophisticated GPS systems are free or incredibly inexpensive and have been around for years. And software isn’t going to calculate what an employee familiar with how the product works and how long it takes to fix, can do best.

Smith points out that lack of information is part of the frustration when waiting and notes how New York’s subway system lets passengers at some stations know how long they have to wait for the next local or express. I love this service, which I first saw in Paris years ago. But if you’re expected to attend an 11 o’clock meeting and you’ve been waiting for a delivery or repair since 8 am, what good is it to know that someone will be at the house by 2 pm?

Do you have a routine you follow when you have to wait for delivery or service? Do you pay a premium to shorten the wait window? Are you a selectively impatient person?

 nycsubwaytime1

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