I’m curious to hear from those around the globe in terms of their customer service experience whether you’re buying a coffee or purchasing a car. The more liaising I had to do this week with various service providers, the more I realised just how poorly trained these customer service representatives were in their respective industries. To paint the picture, I was liaising with Volkswagen service centre with regards to updating my navigation system with the latest maps only to be told that it would cost $500 to do so. I couldn’t believe it and of course challenged this fee, especially since the sales rep never mentioned any ongoing costs associated with updating the navigation system.
As usual it had to be escalated to the service manager who proceeded with even more excuses by referring me to the sales manager as it didn’t have anything to do with the service centre….blah…blah. Here we go I thought, this is going to take a while but I wasn’t going to let it go. I cautioned the service manager that his sales rep engaged in unethical and misleading on-selling of the navigation system without informing the customer of ongoing costs associated with updating the navigation system. I proceeded to plead my case that had this information been disclosed by the sales rep, I would have stuck to a $60 tom-tom which plugs into the internet and away you go…..no hefty $500 update fees. I was frustrated by the blame game between the sales and service centres and threated to go to Volkswagen directly as I was clearly mislead and was not prepared to bear the costs of updating the navigation system.
To cut a long story short, my persistence paid off as the service manager rings me to say that he had spoken to the sales managers and Volkswagen would bear the costs of ….wait for it… now it was $700 for the upgrade. I will say it now and continue to take it to my grave…..even if I only had one day to live, I would still want the honest answer. How on earth will we become a better society unless we are open, honest and transparent? I have never had an issue paying for a service, so long as you are transparent with your fees and charges AND you actually carry out the service I paid for.
Are you like me sick and tired of being shafted by poor customer service?
Do you think its lack of education/training/transfer of knowledge in their respective industries?
Are managers really managing or merely passing the buck when they should be focusing on poor performance and identifying the gaps?