Monday, April 27, 2009

Rave/Rant: Good vs. Bad customer service

The other day, when I had trouble with JungleDisk and Amazon Payments, JungleDave (presumably a Human) responded within 15 minutes.  That’s good customer service.

Yesterday, when a piece was broken on my kid’s Fisher Price toy, I called their 800 number, went through a short automated phone system which then told me I could talk to a human after a 4 minute hold.  After 3-4 minutes a HUMAN came on the phone, who assessed my problem, quickly transferred me (with less than 10 seconds hold) and the second HUMAN solved my problem by sending a UPS ticket for the return of the broken part and a promise of a replacement.  Total time on the phone was less than 10 minutes.  That’s good customer service.

And Saturday, when I tweeted to @amazonpayments about my lack of Human response from their customer service, he/she responded, and kicked the necessary chair to get things done.  That’s also good customer service.

What’s BAD customer service is this email that caused me to tweet @amazonpayments in the first place: Customer Service to me Apr 25 (2 days ago)

Greetings from Amazon Payments.

I'm sorry, we don't provide phone assistance. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us from the below link to make sure we receive your message:

Amazon Payments allows you to use the payment methods that you already use on to pay for goods and services online wherever Amazon Payments is accepted. With an Amazon Payments Account, you can make secure purchases from 3rd party (i.e. non-Amazon) web sites that accept Amazon Payments, without having to re-enter your payment information. Also, there is no cost to you when you make a purchase using Amazon Payments.

Amazon Payments keeps your payment information private from 3rd parties, and you are not required to disclose your payment information stored in your account when you make a purchase. Amazon Payments provides you with the same trusted payment experience available on Amazon today, leveraging proven fraud detection and risk management capabilities. Learn more about Amazon Payments at:

Thank you for your interest in Amazon Payments.

Customer Support that does not allow human to human contact and instead relies on repeated form letter responses are like badly designed low-flow toilets.  They’re intended to save, but end up requiring far more effort to get anything through, and typically they just stink.

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