There was a time, far back in the annals of history, when customer service was just that. We, as consumers, played a vital role in the Capitalist society. Manufacturers, service providers, worked hard to ensure we received the best possible product because, to be sure, if they didn’t their competitors would.
They were the glory days of the consumer. Except, we weren’t called consumers then. We were customers.
A ‘consumer’ is an organism that gobbles up things. A ‘customer’, according to Wikipedia, is:
…the recipient of a good service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration…”
So the term ‘consumer’ is incorrect. We are all still customers, though the corporate world has quite forgotten it. They prefer to think of us as gullible fools, which sadly some of us are. Hopefully, there are still a few who are not.
This morning, we received a letter in the mail. It was in a nice, posh envelope with fancy writing – though the line above the address, which looked like this:
…gave cause for suspicion.
It was from our TV service provider, DishNetwork, and they seemed overcome with gratitude that we were their customer.
Opening the envelope revealed an equally posh little card, again extolling our virtues as their customer:
Was this to be an invitation to dinner with Joseph P. Clayton, himself…
…President & CEO of DishNetwork? (He didn’t buy that suit at Walmart!)
Or, mayhaps, a world cruise – all expenses paid by the company – in recognition of our valued custom?
Alas, no, it was simply a not-very-cleverly-couched attempt at informing us they were raising the monthly rate by another five dollars:
For those of us with less than 20-20 vision, the relevant paragraph reads:
“Starting in February, the monthly price of all core English packages will increase by $5. And if you have a DISH DVR, your service fee will increase by $1.”
It then goes on to illustrate all the many wonderful features that make it okay to charge another $60 a year, though when reading carefully it rapidly becomes obvious the benefits are non-existent.
I wonder how many people are employed by Dish Network solely to come up with ways of conning as many of their customers as possible? No doubt, they all coin in fat salaries for their clever ideas.
If they were all sent packing, and the company purchased cheaper envelopes, there’d be no need to raise their prices.
Do they really think we’re fooled by glossy envelopes and overly-sentimental, insincere, platitudes?
This condescending attitude towards the customer is prevalent in corporate America – try to make him/her feel important while squeezing a bit more from the bank account.
How much annual revenue is produced by every DishNetwork customer paying an extra $60 to $66 a year?
I can tell you.
Approximately, seventy-five million dollars.
Frankly, it stinks.