I had low expectations for good customer service due to the pandemic and impact it had on all companies. However, those companies that were good remained good and those that were bad became worse. So, let’s go through the issues I had during 2020.
I hope never to have a customer service issue, I don’t like calling them, but if there is a problem I prefer to resolve it through their self-serve website. If I have to talk to a human there is a problem. If I have to go on social media that means I am seriously not happy.
A domain supplier and web host.
Probably the easiest company to deal with this year. Virtually 100% uptime of my website. When I had a query it took longer to answer than it normally did, about an hour or so, but that is certainly better than any other company I have dealt with.
There were some hiccups when they migrated from cPanel to their own Site Tools which took me a little while to resolve. See this post.
HSBC UK and Canada
I’ve had issues with HSBC before but on the Canadian side, I haven’t had any problems with this year. Since I can talk to someone directly it has certainly helped a lot.
On the UK side, it’s very unfortunate that they rarely respond to me and don’t have a point of contact in the same way I have in Canada. It’s quite unfortunate that I have to struggle when they could make life easier with one 5 minute telephone call once or twice a year.
HSBC generally has a bad reputation globally due to some actions they have taken over political circumstances so I’m just wondering what the future holds for them.
Shaw is an internet and Cable TV provider in Canada, we cancelled our service with them as they were so bad.
Shaw has certainly declined over the past 3 years. This is what I have found:
- Internet speeds jump around from what they are contracted to supply to me from 300Mbps down to 65Mbps. It’s unpredictable what it will be from one day to the next. When I called once they fixed it within 2 minutes. But, when I bring the issue up again they either ignore it or say something bizarre.
- We’ve had ongoing issues with the breakup of picture and audio on numerous TV channels. They will either dis-believe me it’s happening stating there is no issue (when there is) or never fix it.
- Their TV system is called BlueCurve which they contract out from Comcast/Xfinity. Within BlueCurve you have apps such as Netflix or YouTube. Via BlueCurve, Netflix is not displaying subtitles correctly, other Shaw users tell me this is affecting everyone plus also other cable companies that rent the same system from Comcast. The problem is, Shaw will not admit to me there is an issue at all, they have even lied about it. I just don’t understand why they can’t be honest and forthright with their customers. Bizarre.
- Shaw Business have a web hosting option and through a client, I had the misfortune to have to use their system. I have never seen a clunky mess in all my life, probably the worst web host, and I’ve experienced some bad ones in my time. Their cPanel was a mess. Information wasn’t feeding into the cPanel correctly. PHPMyAdmin wasn’t installed. Didn’t display the domain. They had an outdated version of PHP. A simple customer service query took over 1 week to answer as they outsource the whole function to another company. I’m beginning to wonder what else Shaw outsources, maybe their project management of these companies are bad?
- The final bill came after we cancelled, and they couldn’t even get that right.
So, the result of the above has been our move to Telus Internet and TV. Telus installed fibre in our area and their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal was too good to pass up. We shall see how that goes.
Domain and web host.
Three of my clients use the GoDaddy system, they are not as horrible as Shaw (see above) but they have issues I wish they would resolve.
- Too much downtime on their system, often it doesn’t meet the uptime as their contract promises customers. This is something I am closely monitoring.
- Their customer service:
- Makes a promise and doesn’t deliver, doesn’t meet the expectations they set themselves
- Provides contact for further queries but that person never responded to emails
- Logging into their cPanel is very problematic, keeps logging me out whenever I try and do something.
- FTP doesn’t work properly on all plans.
We have been with Telus Mobility, the mobile phone part of their company, for about 3 years now.
The good news is that I’ve never had to contact them about anything in 2020. Yay.
The installation of their TV and Internet service went well, see this post, the network seems more stable so far. The Telus guy who performed the installation did an excellent job, ensuring we had everything we needed. So, as I said, we’ll see how it goes.
Earlier in the year I had an altercation with a member of staff at Costco. They had implemented social distancing but couples of course could stick together. We were told off by an employee for not social distancing, straight couples weren’t being told off, only us, a same sex couple. This is the first discriminatory statement anyone has made to us in years and I was pretty angry by it. After a while the employee was made to apologize to us. I hope he learned a lesson.
Generally Costco staff are very good and jolly so I was taken aback by this incident. I did write to Costco about it to provide feedback in a constructive manner but they never replied, this told me a lot on how they handle cases of discrimination against their customers…ignore it basically.
I haven’t had any issues with Amazon this year, I try to avoid doing business with them anyhow, I don’t like their brand but unfortunately for some things, there are no competitors with the products I need.
One incident concerned me, a delivery arrived at about 9 pm and the member of staff had been out since 11 am without a break and nothing to eat. I find this quite troubling and another reason why I don’t like to give business to companies who treat their staff so poorly.
I engaged them to print off our annual Christmas newsletter. Unfortunately, they messed it up but I really couldn’t be bothered to ask them to fix it. I just won’t use their printing service again. The customer service person there is never happy no matter how cheerful I approach them. I have used UPS for printing before so I will go back with them in 2021, never had an unsatisfactory service from them.
We went into Staples a couple of other times, for non-print services, and they were ok.
There are other companies that I haven’t mentioned here, supermarkets have done particularly well during the pandemic, most staff have managed to cope despite members of the public’s bad behaviour towards them.
Good and bad spots like other years but as I said my expectations were much lower this year.