This is my annual review of customer services experiences over the past year, 2021. Again, companies are facing many difficulties with staffing and supply chain issues relating to the continuation of the pandemic. So, I am being patient as I can be with companies, however, many can be their own worst enemy. The key for these companies, I believe, is not to over-promise and conduct themselves on a “best endeavours” basis.
I pre-ordered items only to find out that there wasn’t enough to go around, so I received nothing. I wasn’t too bothered but I did have to scramble round to buy them elsewhere. One book I pre-ordered was cancelled, according to the publisher, however, Amazon still has it on their site and I’m still on the pre-order list.
Most of their drivers are absolutely miserable but I guess they are under pressure from the company to meet targets, I don’t think Amazon is too kind towards them.
I live in a neighbourhood with a lot of seniors many of whom have become injured as a result of people speeding. So, I witnessed an Amazon driver speeding and decided to report it to the company. The whole process of reporting was very painful, I don’t think this is in the staff’s ordinary daily workflow as it appeared they struggled in taking down the details. After the call I was left in doubt on whether they would take the issue seriously, reporting to them though would be better than having to deal with one of their drivers knocking over a senior.
I ordered books from Chapters and their level of service was very good using Canada Post to deliver. They can be more expensive than Amazon but being a smaller business I felt better using them.
I ordered an iPhone and FedEx delivered it to the wrong address. They left it on the wrong doorstep and did a runner, they were supposed to get the COVID equivalent of a signature for it but failed to do so. I heard from other neighbours who say FedEx is always delivering to incorrect addresses.
So, I tried to reach out to FedEx to find discuss how we can work together to ensure parcels are delivered correctly. Despite reminders, it took 3 months to be able to connect with a human being there, it was extremely frustrating. The manager I spoke to, based in Montreal, was helpful and promised to work with the local FedEx office to improve service levels.
Since I spoke to that manager FedEx has miss-delivered at least 3 times. One of their vans even drove over the green area of our fountains. Nothing changes. Having said that, other delivery companies behave in pretty much the same way.
This is the first year I have nothing to say about them, it’s usually stressful but didn’t have to contact them at all.
Two times I tried to order something from their website and on both occasions, their website failed. The first order suggested they had 6 in stock, I ordered it, but a member of staff called me saying they had none – obviously a major issue connecting their website with the real-time inventory at the store. The second-order looked as though it went through but was rejected within 15 minutes.
So, I wrote to London Drugs asking for feedback on why these didn’t go through, they never responded. So, I will not be ordering anything from London Drugs online again.
Having said that, I did like London Drugs but I will have to avoid their website.
Shaw to Telus
We moved our cable supplier from Shaw to Telus about a year ago, we’ve not had any issues with the actual service. We have had a couple of short downtime issues but that is something all companies cannot escape from.
We’ve had very poor or no signal to our Telus mobile phones since we moved here, it’s the same for Rogers, Bell and other companies. Telus recommended we get a tower, this was agreed to by our community, but then Telus changed their mind about it leaving us all in a pickle about our poor service. We connect our mobiles via WiFi but the signal is poor on Telus than it was on Shaw. Rogers might be interested in putting up the tower so we’ll see what happens.
This company is the best ever for hosting websites, never any issues, but the price reflects that good level of service.
However, 2021 was an extremely bad year for them in particular with email. They had a whole period of email downtime when, from what I could see, was a SpamExperts upgrade or reconfiguration. This tested their customer service skills and I found:
- They attempted to keep the issue as quiet as possible saying nothing on their Twitter account.
- Any updates on downtime were placed within the logged-in area of the site. Keep having to log in to review updates was a nuisance. Other companies have a transparent status page.
- The downtime updates weren’t detailed enough and they would vanish quickly so users couldn’t find out what the problem and resolution was.
After the issues were resolved I noticed there was a serious lag on emails appearing in SpamExperts, so I could review messages that have been quarantined in a timely manner. This went on for weeks and weeks, from what I gather SpamExperts wasn’t that responsive to the problems they had, so, Siteground couldn’t effectively communicate with customers without proper updates from them.
I just got so fed up with the ticket I had opened with Siteground with no updates I just told them they should close it and I would have to accept this to be the level of service now. Siteground didn’t want to close it so it remained open for another week or so, they then reached out to suggest it should be closed. So, I’m not sure if they are actually working with SpamExperts in the background now, certainly, the issue is not resolved and most likely ever won’t be.
The post has been very sporadic. The year started with very poor service via USPS but I believe that was a politically orientated mess. Post between the UK and Canada has been very good or very bad; one parcel arrived in 5 days, another took 2 months.
Supermarkets are doing an amazing job during the pandemic but we are careful which ones we go in. We noticed the more local the supermarket is the worse the customers are, mainly how irresponsible they are with wearing masks and social distancing. There were small pockets of supply chain issues in supermarkets but nothing that really affected us.
More customer services issues than previous years, most of it just reflects companies’ issues dealing with the pandemic, some where they could just minor adjustments to prevent complaints in the future.