Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bizarro Customer Service World

We live two blocks from a fancy new shopping street. They do that very, very evil thing where they have Muzak OUTDOORS. I've learned to live with it, but last week, the music was much louder than before, and also, they'd changed the repertoire to the most annoying Baby Boomer era pop hits that you could possibly imagine.

The Technical Staff theorized that they'd chosen the music to chase away teenagers, who have been causing some problems in the area. I decided to write to the management company and inform them that whether or not they were repelling teenagers, they were certainly repelling us and our more-than-teenage income.

I assumed this was one of those things where all the email would accomplish was getting something off my chest. I figured I wouldn't get an answer, or at least, no more than a form letter.

Well, imagine my flabbergastation when I got an email back almost immediately. The woman said she'd look into it the next morning - it was already after the end of the business day when she answered - and even asked what kind of music I would prefer.

When I walked down the street the next day, nothing had changed, and when I remarked cynically upon this, the Tech Staff opined that they probably had to have a week of meetings first.

And indeed - yesterday, I got the following email:

I just wanted to follow up with you and let you know that we have adjusted the volumne on the Muzak System and we have made some changes to the types of Muzak.

Thank you so much for your comments and please let us know what you think of the changes.

I have not actually checked out what they have done yet - it's been raining, but also, I'm just enjoying the moment.

If this weren't weird enough, I just had an experience with the cable company that was remarkably similar. It requires too much tedious technical detail to explain, but suffice it to say, it was so far beyond their usual level of competence and service that I wanted to say to the woman "Excuse me? Don't you know you work for the cable company? Are you sure you won't get fired for this?"

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