Companies playing on your good will.



I’ve noticed a trend with companies over the past two decades, that started within the offices, then it pushed it way past there until it reached consumers.  I’m not talking about the normal trickery they use in marketing, or in normal day to day operations.  No, I am speaking of when things go wrong for the company.

Let me give you an example;

A few years ago I had ordered my husband a tablet from a company, via online purchase.   The website had a expected shipping and delivery date.    I patiently waited, and waited and waited and the expected delivery date went by, I called the company.

They apologized profusely and made excuses as to why they didn’t ship yet and then the agent on the phone fell silent.  Expecting me to respond the way most people respond.   With empathy for the company’s situation as to why they didn’t ship.

Only here is the issue.  I know these tricks.  Working in call centers for almost ten years, I know the way they manipulate the customers.  They play on your empathy.  They teach this in the classes (training) for the agents when they are hired.

When the company gives you a sob story, and that plays on your human emotions.   The majority of people, respond with “Oh okay.”  or “I understand” etc.  And then wait, and wait.

Now when this happened to me, my response was not what the agent expected.   I responded to her by pointing out that, whatever the issues the company was having in shipping out the product had nothing to do with me.   That was their problem.    That when I ordered the product online, and received a shipping date, I expected it to be on or around that date within a few days at max.

The agent, never having received this kind of resistance, was shaken.   I could her the tremor in her voice and so I asked for her supervisor to deal with this problem.

The supervisor tried the same tactic and I said the same response.   Your internal issues at not being able to ship a product on time, is not my problem, and not my issue.    She in turn agreed and tried again to play on my humanity, by pointing out that she was “only” mentioning it, to explain the reason.    Which I responded with a polite but firm, “That is nice but the reason has zero bearing on getting this solved”.

At which point she said she would call around and find my product and get it shipped, which was something she stated they normally don’t do.  And then she found it and called me back.  She explained that she had the product in a store, but the catch was they wouldn’t ship it and it was in a city that was three hours away.     No thanks.  I stuck to my guns and asked “So how are you going to get it to me?”.

This is just some of the ways they try to put the responsibility on you. Or rather get you to assume responsibility for finding a resolution to get you off the phone and not have to do the work of solving the problem.

All companies do this when something goes wrong.   Office workers will recognize this, as it is a tactic that many bosses do when something goes wrong.   They put the problem on you when they screw up.

Moral is, don’t let these companies off the hook.   They are profiting from this hugely.   Gaming companies who have online multiplayer games cite costs when people complain about membership fees or micro transactions etc to give you an example.    They will use their problems to get you to pay more money putting their problems on you.

They will try different tactics, like season passes, downloadable content, etc.    These are all forms of gauging the customer.   Putting the problem of the costs of running these games on you.

Don’t fall for it.  It’s time we take control back as consumers and not fall for their trickery. Keep the responsibility on them for fixing the problems, because they are responsible.  Not you.



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