This proposed customer service bill of rights is an attempt to force marketers to respect customer’s time and needs or pay a penalty. There is no reason that customer service abuse should not be penalized. Every customer should have the following rights:
1) To have my precious time respected by the company’s customer service department in every situation and to have my issue resolved in a single phone call or e-mail by one representative who speaks clearly, is easy to understand and has access to my customer records.
2) To be treated with courtesy and respect as a customer who paid money to the company with the expectation of service that cares about my individual needs.
3) To have adequately trained representatives who know enough to actually solve my problem and who will provide me with a case number I can use for a credit if I do not receive great service, as well as the ability to call back or email the same representative should the need arise.
4) To receive quality customer service – including an easy-to-use menu with a minimum of clutter to quickly reach a representative – OR be compensated for my time and effort.
5) To rapid access to a live person from a company with sufficient staff so I am not kept waiting on-hold for more than five minutes, or I will receive a negotiable credit on my next bill. I also have the right to receive a negotiable credit on my next bill from the company if the first customer service rep does not have my records or cannot solve my problem and has to transfer me.
6) To receive a negotiable credit on my next bill from the company if I have to speak with more than two customer service representatives trying to resolve my issue. I also have the right to receive a negotiable credit on my next bill from the company if I ask for a supervisor and none is available.
7) To receive a negotiable credit on my next bill from the company if I am billed incorrectly and I have to call or e-mail to fix the problem, or I am given the wrong information to fix my problem by any of their representatives, compelling me to call back or send another e-mail.
Ernan Roman is president of Douglas Manor, NY-based consultancy Ernan Roman Direct Marketing.