Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here We Go Again!

I just attempted to download a copy of my monthly bill from Walmart’s website. Even though I went to the URL printed top of all of my Walmart bills, after 10 minutes of searching its site I was still unable to find a download link. So I called the phone number on my Walmart bill that was listed right below the website URL. I was greeted by the ubiquitous “Press 1-Press2” automated call system which I bypassed by repeating the phrase “operator” until I wore out the machine and it changed tactics, asking me for my Social Security number. As there was no way in hell I was giving that out I continued repeating “operator” at every prompt until a mechanized voice finally said, “I understand you’d like to speak to an operator, is that right?”

So the fine folks at Walmart transferred my call to an overseas phone center in the Philippines. That’s right, yet another American company – the twelfth I’ve called this week – is outsourcing jobs overseas while unemployed Americans are looking for work. Every American business that does this should be publicly vilified. Immigrants are not stealing American jobs; greedy American corporations are sending the jobs overseas.

A nice Filipino lady informed me I could sign up to receive all my bills electronically. I told her I didn’t want to do that; all I wanted was a copy of this month’s bill. She told me that was not possible unless I signed up for electronic billing to replace receiving my bills by mail. In fact, despite telling her I was not interested in signing up for electronic billing she proceeded to attempt to sign me up three more times.

Once again, here is an example of what’s wrong with American business: An American business that goes out of its way not to have human contact with its customers by employing automated call systems; makes it difficult for customers to obtain the information they need; outsources jobs overseas; and employs foreign workers who are unresponsive to the needs of its customers.

American businesses need to trash their automated call systems and go back to the days of hiring American workers to answer their phones and speak directly to their customers. American businesses need to make it easier, not more difficult, for customers to interact with them. American businesses need to hire Americans and make their products in America to support our country and our citizenry, the way we as consumers support them by buying their products and services. And American corporations need to be responsive to the needs of their customers: this means listening to them; engaging with them; and having employees who are capable of, and empowered to, assist them.

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