“Wear Em Down” Customer Service

It seems a large number of companies have adopted a marketing strategy I would dub the “Wear Em Down” method.  Have you run into this recently?  As I was trying to re-balance my embattled 401K funds, some companies required the proverbial act of congress to relinquish my money.  They literally required so much of my time and persistence, that I considered just letting it go.  It was “Wear Em Down” 101.  Jackson National was the worst.  They still have my money and they are probably hoping I cant’ figure how to jump through all the hoops to move it .

Pershing Funds lists a customer service number, but there is no way to reach a live person.  After holding on the phone for 45 minutes and being re-directed to the same menu multiple times, I had used up my lunch break!  I wonder if they have done a regression analysis that shows them how many hours they need to keep customers on hold until they give up and go away.   Wear Em Down Intermediate Level!

My insurance company may have achieved the “Wear Em Down” Sensi level.  While they do have working customer service number, they require all kinds of supporting paper work from me, my company, and my family’s doctors.  Then they randomly stop approving claims for issues that were resolved in the last painful round of administration.  When I tried to resolve simple issues on their website, the process of receiving a password required a phone call!

I have a special soapbox rant for the internet companies that lie in the cyber bushes and then ambush my home page, attach themselves to this blog, and then give no way to contact them or rid myself from them.   After hours of trying my chices are to give up or call the Geek Squad.  Go Fetch and Play Sushi Entertainment are THE WORST!

Some of the hallmarks of the Wear Em Down technique are: no access to live assistance, excessive paper work requirements, and communication hours that are prohibitive for working parents.  Even my Dr. Office is guilty of the latter.  His whole admin staff takes a lunch hour and won’t answer the phone.  Well, for the working Mom, that is the time to make a personal call for things like – Dr. appointments!  Have they ever considered taking lunch in shifts?

Now, there are some institutions that are very customer friendly.  For example, American Funds was a dream to work with.  But for my part, when ever I feel the Wear Down tactic coming on – I intend to call the company out on it!  I am going to calculate my hourly fee and I will invoice the company for my time that they are wasting.  When they call to protest the invoice, I’ll put them on perma-hold.  Maybe that will reduce the Wear Em Down tactic!

One Comment

  1. Posted December 4, 2009 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of one of my frustrations with doctors’ offices. If I make an appointment at 10:00 and show up on time, shouldn’t I see the doctor at 10:00? Why am I always sitting in the exam room for 20 minutes waiting? Isn’t that why I set an appointment?

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