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Old 03-04-2020, 06:06 AM   #16
agillator
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One common thread I see in all of this: we tend to stay within the 'customer service' organizational box. I had a problem with a major service company once, well actually many times, and decided to get in some more 'obnoxious old man' practice. They made the mistake of putting a real administrative phone number in the phone book. To make a long story short I bludgeoned my way up the actual corporation ladder with 'I'm not mad at you but need to talk to someone with authority' almost at the top of my lungs from secretary to secretary who were always willing to pass me up higher just to get rid of me. Finally I was talking to an actual executive vice-president. He solved the problem because he knew he didn't want me going higher. OK, it was a lot of work, probably not worth it for that specific problem. But I now had a phone number, which I used the next time I needed a problem solved, and the next time, . . . . And the damn fools never changed the phone number.

The moral to the story: we are trained to be 'nice' consumers, to be 'sheeple'. Sometimes, when you refuse, you can get something done. The most terrifying, but useful, words may be 'I realize this is beyond your authority so let me speak to your supervisor'.
 
Old 03-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #17
noordinaryspider
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Thanks, Hazel. I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade or beg for spare change, I just find these sorts of discussions interesting and informative. I also feel that many of the developers who worked on the projects that were acessible and interesting to my as a non-technical windows user felt that nobody ever benefited from their work. It was a mistake to be so afraid of being human. I should have corrected people who assumed that I was a talented 13 year old boy who would grow up to get a degree in IT, write code, and volunteer for the FSF. I didn't mean to steal something, I was just too tired and busy to deal with our cultural assumptions and the way all of us tend to label other people.

When my phone rang at 8 AM this morning, I remembered this thread, picked up my receiver, and spoke in a cheerful if somewhat too fast tone of voice, "Hello, what are you trying to sell me this time?" and David hesitated for a minute, but regardless of whether it was actually the same David or a different David, a very sweet and heavily accented voice replied without a hint of anger, "I am trying to sell my organs." I replied very dryly and without malice that I would be interested in buying some kidneys but I was only going to use them to feed my dogs and he deserved better than that and wished him a great rest of his day.

And then I changed my outgoing answering machine message to reflect the reality of my current circumstances and unplugged my receiver. Without caller ID, it works just fine as a substitute for the pay phone that used to be around the corner.

@agillator, thank you for the words. Less is better when you're struggling with a completely unfamiliar language. I go into fight-or-flight when they catch me unaware and I'm mad at the poor Customer Service kids for not being my veterinarian. It's not their faults. Their lives are much worse than my own.

I guess I also have to call some of the numbers on some of the auto insurance ads in my mailbox even though I don't wanna. It beats sitting alone in front of my computer trying to convince a bunch of AI that Ronald Reagan is still president and Windows 95 still sucks until I finally get to die, anyway.

I didn't know that. Thank you for telling me. Maybe it would be fun to try to write a very hokey and campy bot to do that for me. You kids get off my lawn anyway.
 
Old 03-04-2020, 04:50 PM   #18
fido_dogstoyevsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
...Far too many businesses--well, business executives--have used that notion as a justification for doing anything, however amoral or immoral it might be, as long as it increases revenue.
I's only short term revenue they're after, and many times at the cost of destroying the business.
 
Old 03-04-2020, 06:08 PM   #19
jefro
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My electric co-op has all sorts of smart devices in their grid. I have a sort of circuit breaker on my street that was not reporting. The service crew was on road looking up at pole when I drove past. It used to be an auto reset but they changed it to a manual type to make it slightly safer. They could see the meters on that area of town not reporting so that's what alerted them to drive out.

Smart meters are not a scam at least in my co-op service. While they don't save money they allow you to do what you always had the ability to do. Go outside and read meter (which I had to do for 20 years) or get smart meter and see it on app or web page. Yes, I do monitor energy use with it. It doesn't save energy but lets me move and watch loads in real time.

Last edited by jefro; 03-04-2020 at 07:24 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2020, 08:26 PM   #20
dogpatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agillator View Post
One common thread I see in all of this: we tend to stay within the 'customer service' organizational box. I had a problem with a major service company once, well actually many times, and decided to get in some more 'obnoxious old man' practice. They made the mistake of putting a real administrative phone number in the phone book. To make a long story short I bludgeoned my way up the actual corporation ladder with 'I'm not mad at you but need to talk to someone with authority' almost at the top of my lungs from secretary to secretary who were always willing to pass me up higher just to get rid of me. Finally I was talking to an actual executive vice-president. He solved the problem because he knew he didn't want me going higher. OK, it was a lot of work, probably not worth it for that specific problem. But I now had a phone number, which I used the next time I needed a problem solved, and the next time, . . . . And the damn fools never changed the phone number.

The moral to the story: we are trained to be 'nice' consumers, to be 'sheeple'. Sometimes, when you refuse, you can get something done. The most terrifying, but useful, words may be 'I realize this is beyond your authority so let me speak to your supervisor'.
Excellent advice
 
Old 03-09-2020, 08:15 AM   #21
rokytnji
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Quote:
You have to fight for every little thing nowadays.

Wait till it becomes water
. Already started out here.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/ne...eir-livelihood
https://www.npr.org/2013/06/15/19203...owns-the-water

Probably won't be a British problem <rain>. But a whole area bigger than Britain is being effected as the world changes.

I'll be dead but my grand kids might have to fight for a canteen.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 09:17 AM   #22
hazel
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We have floods at the moment. Half of Wales is under water and the next couple of days are bringing another two weeks' worth. That's climate change too. We just have it in a different form.
 
Old 04-04-2020, 01:52 PM   #23
noordinaryspider
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The robocalls mostly stopped so I have been leaving my little old lady landline plugged in lately. I do use the internet, so I was aware that this was temporary and that many of the call center kids are considered "disposable" "useless eaters" and would be forced to go back to work.

So when I got a robocall yesterday, I pressed #1 to speak to a customer service representative about lowering my homeowner's insurance rates (I am a renter and have never owned real estate) just because I am a little old lady and you kids get off my lawn. When I got a human voice, I told him that I only speak English but that I am worried about him. He told me he wasn't trying to sell me anything, ma'am. I replied that I wasn't going to buy anything, but I did want to make sure that I didn't support his boss. I asked if he was in Brazil and if he had gloves and hand sanitizer. That got enough words out of him that I could tell the difference and recognize a Mandarin accent or at least place him "somewhere in Asia" rather than "somewhere in (South) America".

Communication either broke down completely or transcended language after that. I'm still not sure which it was. When I asked him, as if he were a friend of a friend, what I personally could do to make things better for him personally, he let his knowledge of my language shine, informed me that I am a "F**** (expletive denoting female dog deleted)" and that the kindest and best thing I could do for him at this moment in our shared global health crisis would be to "Go to (h-e-double hockey sticks)".

I know you're not supposed to take LOL and ROTFL literally and it was the telephone and not the internet, but I couldn't help myself. Of course I agreed with him and thanked him profusely, since the information was delivered in the same self-deprecating and annoyingly polite tone of voice that customer service salesmen always use when they tell you that they are calling from Microsoft and they have detected a problem with your punkyouter.

I wanted to share this little anecdote because I thought it was funny and might cheer someone up. I don't have any children so I don't have to worry about my nonexistant grandchildren. If I did, I would need all the cheering up in the world right about now and it still wouldn't be enough.
 
Old 04-05-2020, 02:50 AM   #24
hazel
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Lovely!
 
  


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