May 14, 2010
Companies have added yet another obstacle to talking with a live person about a question or concern: fees. More businesses are subtly discouraging calls to customer service agents by charging for the conversation, as well as directing people to websites or automated phone systems. Some banks, computer companies, travel agencies and satellite television and cable companies are adopting this practice. Consumer groups worry the trend will only continue as companies look to cut costs.
July 5, 2012
Our power was restored late Monday afternoon - about 65 hours after the storm. However, during the outage more than a dozen attempts to get information from Baltimore Gross and Eccentric about their priorities and a schedule for restoring power were all unsuccessful. BG&E policy seems to emphasize public relations over providing customers with solid information that might help them cope. This bias is evident on the outage web site, in their automated reporting system, and, most glaringly, by their employee's inability or reluctance to offer any details about priorities and a tentative schedule for restoration in a given neighborhood.
November 28, 2010
You've called a company's 800 number and gotten nowhere. Your problem perplexes every customer service representative you reach. You've spoken with countless supervisors and still can't resolve the issue. It may be time to resort to the heavy artillery: executive customer service. Consumerist.com, a blog that popularized the phrase, has made a franchise out of tracking down those high-level executives and staff who are behind the workers manning the phone bank and often have the ability to tackle customers' most nightmarish problems.
November 12, 1997
The state Motor Vehicle Administration in Glen Burnie has expanded operator-assisted hours for customers.The hours of the Customer Service Center are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.The toll-free number for Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington is 1-800-950-1MVA; for Glen Burnie residents, 410-768-7000.Pub Date: 11/12/97
March 21, 1999
Dear Mr. Azrael:What recourse do we have for dealing with a mortgage that's charging late fees, but the cause of the fee is actually their delay in processing?We were recently charged a late fee by [our mortgage company], but my payment was not processed for over 20 days after it was mailed. It was mailed from Baltimore to Pittsburgh in late January and was not processed until Feb. 17, 1999.They charged me a late fee of $67.50. To this point we have not been able to get any help through their customer service line, which takes over an hour to get through at times.
November 5, 2000
Recently I had a great idea while waiting on hold for Customer Service. That's pretty much all I do these days: Wait for Customer Service. My call is important to them. They have told me this many times in a sincere recorded message. They can't wait to serve me! They will answer my call just as soon as they finish serving the entire population of mainland China. It's my own darned fault that I need to speak to Customer Service. We made a really stupid homeowner mistake: We moved to another house.