Why are all the companies trying to get you off the phone for support?

imacintel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 12, 2006
1,581
0
[rant]

Why do they have to do this? I find it so annoying How they are always saying before you can make your selction on what you want to do, ohh, go to our website for support. I think this is being very rude and unfriendly of the companies. The worst company is creative. You have to go down so deep into the site to even find a order phone number.The best are probably the banks, they are not always trying to get you off the phone.


[/rant]
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,208
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Because the cost of helping someone over the Internet is less than 10% that of helping them over the phone.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,681
661
Colly-fornia
Indeed. Companies are looking for ways to cut their customer service costs, and web-based solutions seem to provide them with one way of doing that.

Whether it will cost companies enough customers to reverse the trend we have yet to see...
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
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Of course you also have the automated voice systems that try to determine what you need and respond. Sounds like a human, but with the "brains" and temperament of a computer.

Computer: Please say what your problem is.

Me: My money wasn't credited in the right month.

Computer. I think you said "My monkey was a crackhead in a fight club." Is this correct?

:rolleyes:
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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Colly-fornia
riciad said:
I like web-based solutions for customer service. Fantastic if you hate making phone calls like I do.
See, I find them to be a giant pain in my ass for two reasons. First is that I have a dial-up connection at home, which makes applet-based chats nearly impossible to use, and second they assume you're using Windows.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
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riciad said:
I like web-based solutions for customer service. Fantastic if you hate making phone calls like I do.
If it's a simple question or something like a billing problem, I much prefer to handle it via e-mail. It takes me a few seconds to shoot off an e-mail, and they get back to me when they've had a chance to look into things. Much better than waiting on hold forever.

But for interactive things like troubleshooting, I haven't had much success with Web-based solutions like chats. They usually end up not understanding what my problem is and tell me to call their customer service line. :rolleyes:
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
WildCowboy said:
But for interactive things like troubleshooting, I haven't had much success with Web-based solutions like chats.
Especially if it's your internet connection you're having problems with.
 

riciad

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2005
354
0
Ireland
WildCowboy said:
But for interactive things like troubleshooting, I haven't had much success with Web-based solutions like chats. They usually end up not understanding what my problem is and tell me to call their customer service line. :rolleyes:
You're right there I suppose, but I'm one of those people who will go to extreme measures to avoid making a phone call to the extent that, if possible, for example, I sign all contracts as Pat rather than Patricia so if none of my daughters are available to impersonate me I can rope one of my sons in instead.
 

imacintel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 12, 2006
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The only company that I find has helpful online support is Apple. Creatives it HORRIBLE.They list 4 different battery problems with your Zen. All the same answer. And it doesn't even help me!
 

tobio

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2004
146
0
London
My favourites for online support are Microsoft, I have emailed them two fairly easy questions about xbox live recently, expecting them to have a check sheet of easy answers to give me. Both times, a day or two later I got this:
Due to the nature of your issue, we recommend you to contact us at xbox support 0800 587 1102, so we may investigate this issue and be able to assist your better.

Thank you again and have a great day.
and this
Thank you for your email. In order to respond effectively
to your email we need to investigate further. Therefore
please contact the Xbox 360 Customer Support team on
http://www.xbox.com/support/contact/
Tel: UK 0800 587 1102

Kind Regards,

XBOX Customer Care
Sometimes it is just easier to speak to a real person on the phone, but ironically enough I have tried to get technical support from MS for our volume licence subscriptions over the phone, and got about as far with them as I did with those emails.

9/10 times for me google groups is the best way to get help with things technical, and these forums of course. The thought of dealing with most official tech support channels fills me with dread.
 

Osarkon

macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2006
2,161
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Wales
I had this problem with apple, and being on hold when i'm on a pay as you go mobile cost me £20 in one day. In the end I rang them up and got through, and asked them to ring me back because I was short on credit and i'd wasted £20 already. They said they couldn't do that, so i told them to stop lying because one of their representatives had done it earlier that day (which to be fair, they had) . Well that shut them up, and they rang back in 5 minutes. As a result, 2 hour phone call (which didn't solve anything incidentally, apple support was appalling) was almost entirely paid for by them;)
 

Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,680
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England
Many companies appear to have decided that customers prefer low prices to having quality support. I don't see signs of that trend changing. 15 years ago it was very different.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,911
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Does anyone find it annoying?
YES. Especially when I call charter (our ISP) to report an internet outage. Nothing is worse than "Please visit our website for several self help options!" when your internet connection is down. If I could visit your website for self help options, I wouldn't be on the phone, would I?
 

imacintel

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 12, 2006
1,581
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You see, On creative's site it says this:

Q: Why won't my battery charge?
A:Try charging your battery.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
You see, On creative's site it says this:

Q: Why won't my battery charge?
A:Try charging your battery.
To be fair, one of my colleagues came over last week to ask me to have a look at her iPod since it wasn't starting and she assured me that she'd charged it the night before. Nope... no charge whatsoever... turns out that she'd plugged it in but not turned the socket on. Doh... so telling someone to be sure they've charged it isn't entirely dumb
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
YES. Especially when I call charter (our ISP) to report an internet outage. Nothing is worse than "Please visit our website for several self help options!" when your internet connection is down. If I could visit your website for self help options, I wouldn't be on the phone, would I?
Indeed. In the past 10 days, BellSouth has had DNS problems, which they don't consider problems because it isn't an outage, even though you cannot get to various websites without the IP address.

At one point, things were working slowly and I got to the report a problem page and when I selected the list box for year, it said 2002 and 2003, even though the page was supposedly updated in 2005. Of course, the reason I'd rather use a website is because I don't want to talk to "Ryan" in Bangalore and go through the whole assessment only to be told that there is no problem because the network status page says that there is not.