Customer Service Gone Wild

By Larry Teren

Customer service in today’s world is an oxymoron. You can say that maybe I tend to overreact or expect to get satisfaction at my convenience rather than at the one providing service. It seems, though, that more and more the only time you get a helpful, glib, clearly understood, sympathetic customer service representative is when he or she asks you to rate the assistance he or she just provided.


If you agree with me, read on, otherwise you will think that I make this stuff up or over-embellish the facts. Here is a recent situation that caused me to want to get my pound of flesh in retribution:

Continue reading “Customer Service Gone Wild”

The Best Buy is What Makes You Happy

A noted financial analyst on the radio said the other day that a long-time, big-name electronics retailer is hurting but will find a way to survive. Other so-called experts are saying that this major retailer is headed for the pile heap as have others in recent years. That in itself is no big deal as one hears such things all the time. Except, that there are not too many long-time, big-name electronics retailers around anymore. This one may be the last of the bunch.best_buy
Continue reading “The Best Buy is What Makes You Happy”

Surfin’ USA

This is not about Malibu Barbie and beach boy Ken. This is about that dreadful disease that attacks the elderly- using the friggin’ tv remote control channel changer.

Despite being a member of the Medicare club for about fifteen years, Ma still appreciates the roses, especially this year’s NBA MVP, Derrick Rose. She is very much into sports, specifically the NBA playoffs this year. The other evening, she called to ask if I had just watched Miami hand it to Boston to finish off their mini series. I told her no- that I was busy working, making a living. She ignored my dig and continued with the fact that Memphis and Oklahoma City were about to start playing but that she was tired and going to bed. Well, she is old, you know. (Hey, stop cursing me)

In this round of the playoffs, all the games aired so far were on the TNT cable network. That was easy for Ma to find. It was channel 32 in her Chicago cable television system. Only five notches away from 37 which was home to the Cubs and Bulls broadcasts that were not on good old channel 9.

But, then the NBA governing body did a sneaky thing and decided to spread their wealth around and allow more broadcasting companies to pony up to them for the rights to televise the precious playoffs. This meant that ESPN was able to share in the glory. It also meant that the third game of the series was to switch from the memorized channel 32 to some other.

Ma called me when the game started with panic in her voice. “Where are the Bulls?”

I replied caustically (as usual), “what do you mean where are they? They’re playing in Atlanta.”

“No, idiot,” as she spoke her favorite name to remember me by. “I mean, what channel?”

I proceeded to explain that this game was on ESPN.

“Well, what channel is that?”

I replied, “how should I know? We have different systems. 49 is TNT by me, 32 by you. ESPN is 32 and 33 by me, depending on if you want ESPN1 or 2. Try surfing through the 30’s. Maybe it will show up.”

She calls back and says, “What’s wrong with you? I’m on ESPN and it is a volleyball game.”

I explained to her that I was indeed watching a basketball game and she had probably settled onto ESPN2.
Continue reading “Surfin’ USA”