I think in these circumstances we sometimes do need to laugh. At least we can be amused while we wait. (Thanks aurora, for making me smile)
And besides it's not so much the waiting that’s a problem for me (good things take time), but what I perceive to be the office ‘ethos’ of customer support in the UK. I myself work in a customer oriented environment (a free debt advice service) and deal with the public as about 85% of my job. I have to say that if I or my department gave our clients the level of service I (and from reading other topics, other Alienware customers) have received, we would expect at very least a reprimand and at most, to lose our jobs.
That is not to say that any of the individual customer support agents are at fault, many of the agents I have spoken to have been courteous and helpful... as much as possible
. It seems that Alienware the company (at least in the UK) has an ingrained lack of communication skills and no desire or inclination to develop any. Their procedures seem deliberately complex and commercially spun, very seldom do they keep customers informed about issues raised without the customer chasing them up for answers and, when dealing with clients on the phone or by e-mail, seem to deliberately give vague and difficult to interpret answers. While I understand the desire not to put one’s head on the proverbial block, from my experience it is the fear of management’s reaction to keeping a client informed and providing a straight answer that leads to this style of non-committal answers.
Please make no mistake, I think Alienware are great. Their systems are great, their prices are good, the style is wonderful and the phone is always answered in less than a minute... but, in general, customer service leaves much to be desired. In my opinion
, Alienware should invest, not in improving their e-mail systems (I still remember when you got a real e-mail, not a multi-coloured, semi-automated response) but in modifying their customer focus. If a free service can provide the level of service that we do to client’s who pay us nothing, Alienware should be able to do just as well for client’s who are spending 000’s with them.The above comments represent only the authors opinions and do not profess to represent the actual Alienware office culture.