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Thread: Corporate buyouts...
11-28-2007 07:27 PM #1
Where I live, we had a dinky little phone company. Started way-back, by some local guy. It was great. They got DSL to me before people in most places had it.
Then, a few years ago they got bought by a somewhat bigger company based in North Carolina. That was a pain only when the DSL went out. If you called the local support number you're supposed to, you'd get some first-level guy in NC who was following some damn checklist, asking me stupid question like I'm an idiot. You'd have to tell this guy all kinds of irrelevant stuff so he could fill in his checklist before you could get to the Level-2 guy. Then, the Level-2 guy would check some box on his computer screen, and a work order would go out, and it would take 3 days. But there was a work-around for that. The tech guys who were local not only had a clue, they also gave me their cell number so I could bypass the BS and get it taken care of right away. Once, I needed to run a length of Cat-5 between houses that was about 30% over the spec-length. Some wire would do it, other wire wouldn't. They just gave me a box of good wire. Why? Because they want to take care of their customers, that's why. That was the local company's position forever, the attitude that got instilled in them, and the company always made money.
A few months ago, the NC corporation got bought by some even bigger corporation. Next thing you know, just calling the main local number for the phone company changed. Before, you'd always get some nice lady who would help you or else find somebody who could. Now, all the sudden it's "Your call is very important to us. Due to high call volume, wait times are longer than expected, yada-yada". So, after being on hold for too long, I just got in the car and drove to the little branch office in town where I could talk to somebody who gives a damn. Guess what's not there anymore. So, I drove on to the main office in the next town. Guess what got moved to a new place that nobody knows about. I finally called one of the cell numbers I have from one of the tech guys, he told where the new location is. You gotta know where is, you won't be driving by there by accident. Big new fake-gothic McMansion office building.
So, they're not saving money. They're spending big money on a new fancy big building. God knows why. But in the process, they get rid of the nice lady who answers the phone, and get rid of the little offices that were convenient to everybody. Same thing happens every time. Big companies worry about whatever they worry about, but it's not customer service. To them, dealing with customers is just a cost to be minimized, not an essential part of running the business properly. So instead of good customer service, it's phony lies in tape-recorded messages about how important you are, which they play forever while you're waiting on hold forever. When it comes to providing good service to actual people, it's just another case of market failure. They do not want to deal with you. They just want your money. AFAIK, it happens every time. When it comes to stuff like this, size matters. And bigger is *not* better.
ps: My local little one-horse bank just got bought too. I can't wait to see how that turns out.
Last edited by rshackelford; 11-28-2007 at 09:16 PM.