Posted On: Monday - May 17th 2021 10:29AM MST
In Topics:   Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity  Customer Care
The phone number above is NOT, I repeat, NOT the Peak Stupidity customer care line. We don't have one because we just don't care that awful much.*. Who knows who you'll get on that line, but I would bet money on one thing: You won't get a live person on the other end without going through some phone menu.
We haven't got into the Curmudgeonry very much lately, so it's about time for a quick one. I just plain don't like unnecessary phone "tree" systems whether tone-operated or voice-operated. In fact, I've NEVER partaken in the latter yet, and gotten away with it so far. That's not easy at times - learning the right combinations of "0"s and other numbers in an order that will not result in one's being hung up on takes some memory skills. (If you're gonna call again, when you get the Rosetta Stone of the system down, WRITE IT DOWN! Example: "Wait 5 seconds for the 'Por hablo Espaniol...' crap, mash 1, mash 0, 0 again, then 4".)
One of our vehicles has had a crack in the windshield for a couple of years, but this spring, once the sun got high, it decided to grow**. We noticed it go a few inches each time in about 3 steps already, so that's it. Luckily insurance covers this one, as this vehicle has got the comprehensive coverage.
Good deal - I'll get something out of all those years of premiums and no claims. (I should be thankful anyway.) Bing.com showed a number of places to get this done. One was near a friend's place, where he could pick me up to hang out while I waited. However, the one nearest him had an 888 number shown vs. local numbers for the others. Seeing as I wasn't shopping based on cost this time, that phone number alone made my decision for me.
I know I've written this stuff before, but there's times when a phone tree does help the business get one routed to the right person or makes you do the work of entering information, saving employees some time, as opposed to the customer! Maybe that brings prices down, I dunno always. However, when calling the auto parts store for a price or availability, ordering a pizza, or calling the hair cut place to see when they're open****, I don't want to give my life story. Just get it over with, and answer the damn phone like a human being! It's not like we're gonna do it fully automated anyway, so you waste 30 seconds to a minute (this is for small business, not even Big-Biz) running me around, and then "hello".
Publishing that 888 number rather than a local number cost the auto glass business $550 this morning.***** Nice going, guys! The other place had a girl that answered right away. I checked whether they could get the windshield for my year/make/model, they could, and so we simply did business.
Small business owners or potential small business owners: Please keep this in mind. Someone has to answer the phone anyway. Think about skipping that phone system. We know you're not a huge place with 100 "associates" who are "busy serving other customers and will be with you shortly, so in the meantime, say your, I dunno, favorite Major League Baseball team..." If that's what the idea is, you're not fooling us all. Just get someone to answer the phone WHEN THE CUSTOMER CALLS, and, while you're at it, think about not telling her to reel off a 15 second greeting either.
Hey, I've been there, long ago. Yes, depending on the business, you may get from 5% to 50% of the callers actually doing business. (I was on the low end of this.) Still, they are more likely to do business when they don't get pissed at your computer voices and hang up, or not call up in the first place. Just sayin'....
* I would expect that our regular readers understand that our offering of Peak Stupidity alerts was also done in pure facetiousness.
** Be really careful about spraying washer fluid, or water in general on the windshield when it's been out in the sun with any existing crack in it, especially if you have a dark-colored dash. There are two factors that work in concert: 1) The top of the dash radiates to the inside of the glass, heating it way up. This gives the inside of the glass a tendency to expand against the constraint of the outside, which is cooler and even cooler when sprayed with water. 2) There is a chemical effect from the bi-polar*** water molecules (as I read about in a paper long ago) that increases crack growth in glass.
You've got the big thermal tensile stress on the outside of the glass from the differential temperature, then the water exacerbates it due to both factors.
*** Yes, those crazy-ass water molecules!
**** If you're closed, why not go to voice mail, with the hours? If you're not, well, don't waste my time.
***** Yes, they billed the insurance company that much. I asked, and it would have been only about half that if it were me, paying cash.