In the 70’s when I was starting my career, the motto then was, “The customer is ALWAYS right!” Also, telephone numbers were answered almost immediately by a human being, as we still do in my company. Satisfying unhappy customers was THE priority. Here’s what has happened, the realization that serving the chronically unhappy is not profitable or wise. In fact, having them as customers is financially and emotionally costly. Morale suffers and they take a tremendous amount of time, so time is money and you are paying out and not getting anything back. Companies have tried for years and finally are giving up on satisfying the emotional needs of every single client. Now, the expectations have changed. In today’s world, if your product has a defect you return it. No one is there for you to “vent” to. You decide to get a new one or not. No one has a complaint or customer service department. I recently complained to Amazon about a product I bought that was charged at a different rate than advertised. The difference was $13. Amazon basically told me to shove it and their rep also told me that they don’t represent the consumer, they focus on the seller. How about THAT for customer service?! Yes, I still buy from Amazon. My job as the frontline phone person is to ask YOU questions about the call. First, what is the location of your property? We ask because we don’t give free technical advice or any guidance unless you are a customer. We also need to know where you’re located so we can determine how we can help you. Second, what is your name? First and last. If you don’t want to be forthcoming about your name, how can you expect me to help you? We don’t owe you the benefit of our expertise if you choose to be impolite and uncooperative. Third, what is the purpose of the call? It is amazing to me how confused people become when I ask that question. Is it to set up an appointment? Get advice? Ask a question about a door? So, this is all we ask and it is surprising how difficult it is for people to answer. We believe in excellent customer service but balk at abuse. We believe that we are as valuable to the human race as you are and expect professionalism on the phone. Please don’t call when you’re eating. Please don’t call when you are talking to someone else. Please extend the basic courtesies that you also expect from us. Today’s customer service goes both ways. Help us help you!