Where is our playing field?

Today we buy products and services. Then the products and services break. Invariably. If we’re lucky, we bought something that won’t break for a long time. If we’re less than lucky, it’ll break right after the warranty expires, as we all know.

That’s when the problems really begin. Not because the product broke, but rather because you have to get it serviced. And to get anything serviced now you need to talk to multiple people (or more likely recordings of multiple people), then wait multiple hours and frequently end up paying a significant amount. It’s the hours that add up more and are more painful than anything else.

  • How long do you wait on the phone?
  • How much time did you take waiting for the service technician to arrive?

Time, as my co-worker says, is our most valuable asset. We just wasted tons of it.

The problem is that we’re at their mercy. They have the knowledge and the tools. They have the power. To make you wait. We have only need (and hopefully enough money and time to pay for the need). If we choose to fight them when they give us a sliding 8 hour service window and then miss it, we again have to spend our time on the phone talking to multiple recordings only to loose the battle in the end. And wait.

We need to stop raging the battle against the companies on their playing field. But where is ours? The only option we have is to vote with our wallet. Change companies. Once one has left you speechless for the time they cost you, switch. Except that these days there are surprisingly few companies in important markets and they’re all equally as bad (go call all the cell phone companies for an example). Where do you go then?

Local services and business still offer the best service almost always. But for some reason, we’re not willing to pay the higher cost up front for the better long term care. Immediate gratification knowing we received the lowest price wins out more often than not.

Many rating sites exist for rating products.

Why is it that so very few exist for rating quality of service of a company?

2 Comments

  1. Zen and the Art of Traveling Said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

    […] day (or night). Fighting it, in the end, never had any significant effect because, as I’ve mentioned previously, you’re the visiting team in a game where the home team has a huge advantage. In the end I […]

  2. The Art of Waiting Said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 11:42 am

    […] in life we find ourselves waiting. Waiting for a plane to come, or a train to go. Many times, as I’ve said before, we have no control over when we’re forced into the waiting state. Other times, however, […]