Just ask /dev/null


Revently I've had service-related questions for both HP and Sony. No problem, they have nice feedback/question forms on their web sites, so you just ask and get a response within two business days or as soon as possible.

Problem is, it looks like my questions have gone to the Great Bit Bucket In The Sky. And no one cares about them there. Complaints? Questions? Just ask /dev/null.

A complaint to Wired magazine subscriptions in autumn about missing issues was processed slightly better, but it was hard to believe that the answers I was getting weren't written by bots, they were so unclear and imprecise. I finally got a missing issue in the mail and a refund on my credit card without them asking for the credit card number.

What worries me the most is that quality of service seems to become an obsolete concept. Give us your money, get your stuff, shut up.

On a positive note, I've had a pleasing experience with Apple's service when I ordered my Powerbook in January. A question about delivery date was answered within ten minutes by a real person via email, with precise information about how to track the delivery on their website.

As business becomes more and more open, I'm afraid companies who do not take customer service seriously will follow the way of dinosaurs. Business Darwinism at work ;-)