I can remember a time, not too long ago, when my peers were very upset with federal employees and a large bureaucratic, inept federal government. Today, businesses in America have become the new federal government. Of course, the federal government is still as incompetent as it ever was, but now businesses have become just like the government.
How can that be? Well, I suppose those pods we saw the government leave on the doorsteps of businesses could be the answer. But my better judgment tells me that American society and business is on the decline… and a rather steep one at that… perhaps like falling off a cliff.
If you contact a business today by telephone or email or on line, you will find a bureaucratic process in front of you. Typically, the process is so inept and filled with “glitches” in the system that were never ironed out before presenting it for public consumption, that you will give up after the first hour. And some say that this is by design. The companies know that if they set up a difficult communication system, then a majority of their customers will not take the time to break through the barriers.
In effect, customer service of today’s businesses is exactly like the service still offered by the federal government – non-existent. Let me give you an example. I attempted to contact a business the other day and after several minutes of letting the system know I wanted to communicate in English and finally getting a “representative,” somebody answered the phone with a foreign accent, who was obviously struggling to speak English. Neither of us could understand each other, so I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor had the same accent and same difficulty in talking to me. I think I am going to study Spanish so that I can actually communicate with somebody.
I am retired, so I am fortunate to have so many hours to waste on waiting for somebody to get back with me. When I go online, they indicate that they will get back with me in two to three business days. After the fourth business day, I go online again and send them another message, and they tell me that they will get back with me about “not getting back with me” in two to three business days. And this goes on and on without end.
If you are lucky enough to get to a “representative” who speaks clear English, they will not know how to help you. The businesses either don’t train these employees or the employees cannot be trained. Actually, it is probably a little of both.
I was talking to one young lady about signing up for a business program and she told me that I first had to register and then I could apply. I was fine with that. She spent about fifteen minutes registering me and then told me that I had to call back to apply for the program. Since I already had spent thirty minutes waiting to get to a “representative,” I asked her why I had to call back. She said that was what she had always done. I asked her why she couldn’t just enter all the information she had for my registration into the application? There was a long pause. Finally, she said, “Well, I guess that would be easier for both of us.” She did it within less than a minute and all I could say was, “Omigod! What has happened to American business?”
American business has become the new federal government. It is just as incompetent and bureaucratic as our government.