You’re Not That Hot Anymore. Are the institutions of our society failing us, or just failing to live up to their over the top narratives? A bad customer service experience leads into a discussion – presented as sort of a rant but meant as a question – about whether the business models and technology that seemed so forward five to ten years ago don’t seem that way at all now. Technology companies, Internet Service Providers, consumer products, office supplies, services, health care, travel, utilities and all kinds of services in the western world seem to have stopped progressing in terms of service to the customer a few years ago. No longer is it good enough to deliver a great product or service, you have to have an ‘amazing’ story, be saving the whales, or making your product in some aboriginal prefecture where you pay fair wages and post the obligatory pictures of building schools, or handing out water at the local marathon or breast cancer walk. What happened to buying a toaster that works, and when it doesn’t being able to rely on a customer service approach that says, “Yep, here’s a new one”? Instead you get protocols, upsells, long waits at the help desk (with the same three songs that play over and over) bored, surly or overwhelmed ticket agents, or admissions ‘techs’. The gauntlet of nose-ring festooned ‘greeters’ sporting ‘man-buns’ or just plain mean city, county, state and federal workers is actually the new normal. We need to talk about it, and we need to fix it. Is the problem that companies are spending too much time saving the whales, and not enough time saving the customer? Or is it excessive government regulation, poor economic growth, or we’re just not as competent as our ‘amazing’ history and resume says we are? No institution in our society is more dangerously corrupt and incompetent than the government, despite what the politicians say about Wall Street. What can be done? Meanwhile…still on hold with customer service. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate. (Editor’s Note: Podcast 429 isn’t done yet, and will be on the way…so here’s podcast 430. Don’t worry you didn’t miss one.)
Comcast Customer Service Sucks. Close out the week with a podcast down in the bunker by the wood stove. A consumer advocate blogger breaks another national story about how bad Comcast’s customer service is. When a woman tried to cancel her cable service, the company allegedly refused to allow to her do so, and sent a late bill notice in which the customer’s name was changed from ‘Ricardo Brown’ to ‘A**hole Brown’. The story was picked up by CNNMoney and the rest of the mainstream media, and now Comcast has once again apologized. “It might take more than a few years for us to get our customer service straightened out” says a company spokesperson, or something like that. How are business models that seemed so great five, ten or twenty years ago looking more and more tarnished? What is the future of television, and cable delivered television. If Comcast is any example of how the industry operates, hopefully there is no future. Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman is on the warpath again, this time saying the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program is exclusively responsible for making people in the top 5 percent income bracket in the US richer. How is this era different from other ‘income inequality’ periods in US History. Does the Cocaine boom in Miami in the early 80’s prove, when business generates money (as opposed to central banks) everyone benefits? Meanwhile, the fastest growing business in the United States isn’t an industrial company or even technology, it’s legal Marijuana sales. Legal weed sales grew 74 percent in one year. Breaking news! The Obama Administration is telling banks to keep quiet about regulations targeted against gun owners and gun stores. More breaking news! More Americans are putting their cash in the mattress. Does that surprise you? And, the Minneapolis Tribune finds yet another negative story about North Dakota. Sponsored by Depotstar.