Monday – itis

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It is rare that I go off about things, but the last few days have proved to be a futile breeding ground for things to get on my goat.

Starting with Monday (and yes, it is only Tuesday now).

Having got my hands on an iPhone, my first bill arrives in the mail (on time mind you). I notice that that bill format is new, and working for the company I know this means I have been migrated to the new billing platform.

It was inevitable but I did not expect it this soon. I also notice that one of my mobile numbers is missing (I have two) and only one has been migrated. Also considering the offer I took up was 8 days prior to my bill cycle end, I want to know why my charges are not pro rated.


Regretfully I call to make an enquiry, only to be answered by someone who should NOT be taking to customers at all.

Everything was a HUGE effort and it was evident in her voice. Having been on the other end of a phone at some stage in my life I don’t get rude or snippy (I know what it is like to have a bad day) but this was rudeness at it’s most extreme.

The call lasted less than a minute, because the girl could clearly not answer my questions, so she hung up on me.

I called back and luckily the next person was extremely helpful and actually gave good customers service.

I hung up satisfied.

However, when I went to make one complaint and provide one compliment to the relevant areas, neither person had left notes about my call.

It works both ways. If we can’t identify you, you can’t get a commendation or a black mark.

Moving along to Tuesday.

We are busy testing a certain new product integration. This testing involves at least 10 areas, many systems and loads of staff.

Needless to say when somebody calls you and says “This is broken” that first thing you ask is. “What is broken? ” and the next question is “How is it behaving to indicate that it is broken?”

If the response you get is a blank stare, and a “Well we don’t’ know exactly, but it is broken.” it is quite difficult to trace the problem.

Any minor detail will assist so you at least know what area to look in for the ‘fault’.

Unfortunately some people just don’t want to help you to help them. They would rather say “I have a problem, you find it, identify it, and fix it.”

Strangely enough the ‘fault’ ended up being in the system that was owned by the person reporting it.

Go figure.

Commonsense people, that is all I ask. Let’s apply it in real life instead of knee jerk reactions to things that ultimately end up making you look like a complete fool.

Internet censorship

One of the things that I am quite passionate about is the subject of internet censorship.

I find it hard to come to terms with the concept of people allowing a government to legislate for parental responsibility, and internet censorship is one of those areas.

There will always be people who are too lazy, too busy or who really just don’t care, about the content that their children are looking at on the net, but is that an excuse for a government to legislate to force ISP’s to have filters placed on their servers?

Is it the vocal minority that ruins it for the rest of the self policing majority?

The debate always comes down to choice, or viewer discretion. If you find something not to your liking to turn it off or no longer watch it, so why don’t you do the same with your children?

If we can police ourselves why do we expect the government to legislate to ISP’s to perform this function?

If on the other hand we can’t police ourselves, then don’t you think it is time to start taking responsibility for your actions?

Back from the dead

Well at least that is what it must seem like.

I noticed that when I uploaded a video today I have actually been a member of YouTube for two years.

Yes, that is right two whole years. Unbelievable considering I think I have spent 12 months avoiding the place.

Now, that is not meant to be as bad as it sounds.

In the time I have been away I have been spending a grea deal of time learning what work/life balance is.

And it took getting sick to make me realise this. For some strange reason just when I thought life was great, I came down with some mystery infection that sidelined me. Going to the gym was a chore but I pushed through it even when the antibiotics I was given and the drug treatments left me feeling tired and lethargic.

I gained weight and became upset as a result, but somewhere inside the old me was trying to get out.

The me that flips the finger at the doctors and refuses to give in. Ok, I do still have to have surgery in the next few weeks, but now that I feel like me again, the world is a much better place.

So hello world, I missed you.

In order to provide a high quality of customer service, you need to be a customer yourself.

We sometimes forget what it is like to be a customer and this is often where we fall down.

 

When I first started at the company I work in, I started in the customer service department.

I will admit that I was more resolution focused (I worked in faults) and was sceptical about the KPI’s or ‘stats’ we had to meet.

To me it seemed to make sense to resolve the customer’s fault at the first port of call rather than half fixing the problem resulting in them calling back in several times.

 

I always made sure that at least once a week I ‘was a customer’ by contacting a service provider I was with, to keep abreast of the trends in call centres, and to see what our competitors were doing.

 

To this day, high quality customer service is a priority to me, and if I have a bad experience somewhere it will colour  the perception I have of that company.

Rightly or wrongly, often the quality of service (or lack thereof) will dictate whether I return to a store in the future.

 

So first impressions and quality of service do count.

Yes, you may have days when you just can not face another customer, or you may get abused (yes it does happen more than you think, especially more so over the phone) but how you deal with it can literally make or break the business.

 

It’s hard, sometimes unrewarding work, but you do realise that you have the power in your hands to make a difference, and one satisfied customer via word of mouth can do more good than an expensive marketing campaign.

Train Wreck Hilton

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid353549946/bctid987243677

The media storm that is Paris Hilton, continues to hold many of us in it’s embrace.

It like watching a traffic accident, you just can’t take you eyes off the whole thing, and it makes for great viewing figures. For those of us watching that it that it.

I guess it’s because we have such a morbid fascination with ‘seeing the wealthy get what they deserve’ that the train wreck that is Paris at the moment makes for compelling viewing.

I for one do wonder what is going on in her mind right now given her supposed ‘tenuous mental state’. It can’t be healthy to be Paris, and it can’t be healthy to be her right now.

I eagerly await the next installment.

Internet Blamed for Teen Suicides

With such a large rang of topics to choose from this week, I had a little trouble working out which one to go with.

I guess, to stay with the theme of a few things I have vlogged about I thought I’d write about the seeming resurgence in blaming the internet for everything from suicide to rape.

Two articles of interest this week caught my attention, probably because, as with all news media, it is slanted towards what they want to see and read.

The stories published always seem to be one sided, and in some cases have a complete absence of the facts.

Not that I have done a course in journalism, but do they ever complete a subject in integrity? (ok, snide remark aside).

So, getting back to these two articles.

One a follow up article on the apparent suicide pact by two Victorian teenage girls that was connected to ‘My Space’ ( at least they were implicated in it because the girls happened to have a “my Space” account as many teenagers do), and secondly a teenage rape victim, apparently lured into meeting a man she met on the internet.

At a really basic level, the concerns we have for our children are the same concerns our parents had for us when we were that age. Albeit the methods and the means of meeting up with people was the plain old land line telephone.

But the fact remains that regardless of the technology that facilitates it, teenagers will continue to be an enigma to their parents unless there parents make an effort to understand them.There is no point in blaming technology for contributing to everything from youth suicide to rape.

(My mother blamed Dolly magazine for heavens sake, for contributing towards the downfall of society and banned me from reading it) so it’s not a new phenomena that parents look to blame the things they don’t understand.

People are inherently afraid of what they don’t understand, and although we might use technology in our daily lives, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we understand how it impacts our children.

What we do know, is that often it is a lot easier to talk to people in cyber space and discuss our inner most feelings with people we have never met, than it is to discuss things with our own parents.

Sad as it may be, this has been the case for eons.

That is not to say there are exceptions to the rule.

Years ago (probably too many to care to remember) the scourge of parents was drugs (and it still is to an extent) parents often either turned a blind eye to their children taking drugs, or failed to see the signs.

Now, we have a similar situation with online suicide pacts and social networking rapes.

With parents crying foul they didn’t see the signs but blaming the internet.I think the bottom line is here, we don’t always know what our children are doing and regardless of the method of how something is done, kids will be kids.

They will be curious, they will defy us, they will go behind our backs in order to do something they want, even when we forbid it. And if we are looking for someone to blame it should really be ourselves, not the internet.

Sure it certainly assisted in the facilitation, but it is not the cause.

Let’s take time to look at all the facts before we jump to conclusions and commence news media scare mongering about the net.And who really has more of a motive to create an internet backlash than the print media?

Think about it.   

Totally Random

Does the way in which we identify ourselves within society actually stereotype us?

I ask this question today, because over coffee this morning (which I drink while reading the online newspaper) I read several articles about cultural diversity particularly relating to ‘Muslim Australians’.

Now I am wondering why this warranted a write up, as I have no recollection in recent memory (or past memory for that matter) about any write up’s conducted on ‘Buddhist Australians, or Hindu Australians or Catholic Australians.

What is it about Muslims that makes so many people so curious, that in response the paper devotes a whole section to it?

Ok, so over the past few years Muslims have had there fair share of bad press (in much the same way the catholic church weathered the storm of paedophilia stories) but I guess the main thing is that people in general fear what they do not understand.

This type of fear can only breed hatred, and we all know what people are capable of doing in the name of hatred.

So in an effort to educate the masses (or at least those that read the paper this weekend) Muslims, or the followers of Islam were the topic for discussion.

Whether or not the article was accurate is always something that remains to be seen (we all know that inaccuracies do sneak into articles) but on the whole I thought the articles were positive in nature without any effort to engage in scare mongering for once.

But to get back to the first point. If I identify myself, or align myself with a group, society will put me in a box and label me (stereotyping) and I may not necessarily be what I am labelled.

I guess this is something we have to fight against most of our lives, those images, perceptions and misconceptions that are thrust upon us just because we adhere to a way of thinking or a way of life, or even dress a certain way.

When we will stop judging others by the way they dress or by what they look like?