I Have a Gripe

March 27, 2011

Customer Service and Verizon

So, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t done a post in a while. This is for good reason. Verizon left me without a phone or DSL for exactly one week. Now, I would like to say this is an isolated incident, but it is unfortunately just another round in the joy of being a Verizon customer.

About every eight months, we loose our phone and internet service. And every time it takes a week to get it resolved. The funny thing is that it is the same issue each time. I call, tell them it is a problem on the pole. They dispatch someone to come three or four days later. They check the house and the basement and determine that yes, it is a problem on the pole.  They dispatch a “splicer.” He doesn’t show for two or three days. I pitch a fit and then it is resolved right before the end of the day on a Friday or Saturday. The resolution (according to Verizon)? They needed to create a new splice. Big freakin’ shock.

Where we live we only have copper, so there is no Fios in our future. Here is the biggest joke. As I ask others about their service with companies like Comcast and Cablevision, they have similar thoughts I have about Verizon. “The service is great, but their customer service sucks.”

Customer Service. Let’s think about this term. Service to and for the customer. These large companies call it “customer service” and have “customer service departments,” but do they really care? Honestly, I doubt it.

I remember as a kid, my mother going to East Orange to the “phone company” (in the good ‘ol days of Ma Bell) to pay a bill, resolve an issue or exchange a piece of equipment. You know the people who worked there and they knew you. They were your  neighbors and members of the community. Now? You have no idea where you are calling and more than half the time, it is on the other side of the world.

Small businesses understand that a big part of their business’ success directly relates to their service to the customer. As small businesses become major companies, customer service seems to fall by the wayside.

Companies like Orvis, LL Bean, Starbucks and Cabela’s are a few exceptions that come to mind. These companies never forgot what customer service is all about. Why? They have a passion for what they do and that passion shines through each and every day to their customers.

How much money is wasted by big businesses managing customer complains and screw-ups? Companies like Verizon should consider taking a page or two from the playbooks of Cabela’s and the like. Ultimately, they would have better customer loyalty and a more satisfied customer base.

March 12, 2011

Letter from Roger Goodell – Shameful

Filed under: Economy,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 4:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appealed directly to the fans by emailing out a letter to everyone on their mailing list. I received this email and I was outraged.

I sent Mr. Goodell the following response:

Dear Mr. Goodell,
I received your email to the fans of the NFL and wanted to express my outrage for everyone involved.

In today’s economy people are out of work, barely hanging on to their homes and truly struggling. And what is happening here? Both sides are fighting over how to split up the billions made by the NFL. I think it is important to remember it is the fans who pay the outrageous ticket prices and purchase over-priced jerseys. In my opinion, all involved are incredibly selfish and insensitive.

The players make millions doing exactly what they want to do. Add to that the endless opportunities for product endorsements and the potential for television analyst jobs after their playing career has ended.

The owners spend more and more on mega-stadiums and expect the fans to pay, often in the minimum triple-digits, for tickets. Add to that the cost of parking, some food and a souvenir of some type, and you can could be looking at a thousand-dollar day for a family to see a game.

Meanwhile, the NFL, and you specifically Mr. Goodell, sent out a letter to the fans of the NFL saying “First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.” Well, I would have to say sir, the fans are last on the list of all those involved.

I would like to remind you all of the ramifications of the last lock-out. It took a long time to win back the fans of the NFL. If it happens again in the midst of so many struggling to make ends meet, the NFL will suffer more now than the last time. It will appear just as it seems to me – millionaires fighting over billions.

Shame on all of you,

Do I think he will see or read this? I highly doubt it. However, the NFL, the players union and the owners need to understand exactly what is at stake if the season goes to a lock-out and doesn’t happen. As usual, many who make millions, even if they are self-made, have forgotten what “normal” day-to-day life is all about. Honestly, I doubt they really care.

March 11, 2011

Wayne, Flooding and Taxes

Filed under: Finances,government,Manipulation,New Jersey — alvb1227 @ 1:39 am

So as I sit here with my laptop listening to the pounding rain, I decided to check out the weather coverage on NJ.com. I came across the following caption:

“Paula Bush who has lived on Hobson Ave. in Wayne since the 1950’s crossing the avenue to check her brother’s house. They are hoping to have their houses bought out so they can relocate. Flooding along Hobson Ave. in Wayne, NJ, along the Passaic River. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)”

I almost choked.

I remember reading awhile back about potential buyouts for Wayne and was able to find that article on NorthJersey.com and I am just as sick now as I was the first time I read it. I even did a blog post about it awhile back.

Now, I do feel bad for those who suffer through these floods year after year, however, everyone in Jersey knows that Wayne is the state’s flood capital. If you were stupid enough to buy a house in a flood zone, especially in Wayne, then I’m sorry, but you get what you deserve. Why should we as tax payers buy you out? Everyone is screaming about wasteful spending. Well, this is wasteful spending.

These are not people who suffered through a freak flood. We are talking about homes that flood year after year after year. I remember as a kid going to the Willowbrook Mall and watching my mother navigate the car through multiple small ponds in the parking lot. Mrs. Bush and her husband should know this, since according to the caption they have been in Wayne since the 50’s.

It is no secret that Wayne floods. The real secret is how the government is trying to push these buyouts through without people knowing.

March 3, 2011

Support for Suspended Philly Teacher

Filed under: Education — alvb1227 @ 2:20 pm
Tags: , ,

In a recent post, I shared my opinions about a teacher that was suspended for blogging about her students that are “lazy, whiners.” Well, in an update, this teacher is receiving tons of support! The school system? Not so much.

“Ms. Munroe, by her own actions, has made it impossible for her to teach in this district,” according to a prepared statement read during a school board meeting. “No students should be subjected to such a hostile educational environment.”

Hostile educational environment? Seriously?

Many, however, are coming to the teacher’s side showing support. Paul Carpenter of the The Morning Call, wrote a great editorial and commentary about the entire situation, citing blame all around.

“Nevertheless, commentary that is not soothing to students, no matter how rotten they are, is not well received by the hand-wringers who feel all young people should be lovingly patted on their heads at all times. I’ve never been able to discuss stupid, criminal or lazy students without angry parents and others attacking me for being ‘insensitive’ or ‘insulting.'”

Mr. Carpenter is absolutely correct. More and more teachers, and the school system as a whole, are expected to be both educator and parent. That is, until the educator needs to reprimand the student. Then the parent is all of a sudden involved. Shameful.

Additionally, instead of the school system using this as a way to show parents they need to take a more active role in their child’s education, what are they doing? They are reviewing and establishing policies for teachers that blog. Oh yeah, that makes sense.

I echo Mr. Carpenter’s comments:

“If society does not like the message Munroe’s blog delivered, it should not kill the messenger. It should think about being more demanding and getting a lot tougher on the students who attend public schools.”

Public school goes beyond a “right.” It is a collective responsibility and students and their parents need to take that responsibility seriously if we expect our future generations to be able to lead this country forward.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: