A Few, Not So Good Customer Service Examples


I received an automated call last weekend from Waste Management saying that my garbage is going to be delayed one day due to the Memorial Day Holiday. Trouble is, we’re not clients of WM. In fact, we weren’t clients of WM last year or the year before. One would have to go back about 6-7 years to find we were originally clients of Waste Management.

I appreciate them using technology to keep their customers updated on garbage pick-up. I just don’t appreciate being called during every holiday for the last 6 years to be reminded when I’m in no way associated with WM. How many other ex-clients get those automated calls even years after severing the ties? Regarding current clients, I hope they at least appreciate the service because I certainly don’t. No Empathica Service here.


On Tuesday, I received a post card from Gleason & Elfering offering an air conditioner tune-up special for $99. A $129 normal price so a $30 discount on getting my air conditioner serviced might just work. The issue though, the postcard was received on 05/29/12 and the expiration date on the postcard said 05/30/12. According to my May 2012 calendar, that’s the next day. So, in other words, I would officially have 1 day to decide to schedule an appointment with G&E to get my air conditioner serviced at the discounted rate.

Look, I’m sure they may have some flexibility with the dates but who knows? For me, I’m not going to bother. If the business isn’t paying attention to detail within their office, what assurance do I have they’ll pay attention to detail when they service my air conditioner or furnace? No Empathica Service here.


Regarding tonight’s Miami Heat and Boston Celtics matchup, the game was scheduled for broadcast from 7:30 pm until 10 pm. Truly, ESPN knows it will go much longer.

With 3 minutes or more between quarters and some timeouts taking well over 2 minutes, I’ve noticed the coverage is later than what I’m used to. A few years ago, viewing a basketball game would require 2 hours of your time. When networks sneak more commercials during halftime or add extra time in between periods or longer timeouts, the coverage will last 30 minutes longer, if not more.

Mind you, ESPN and TNT knows what they’re doing and for that, I’m calling foul — and not the defensive variety! With the coverage being stretched, they know the game’s coverage might be 30 to 60 minutes longer. If they know this, why are they scheduling the game to only take 2.5 hours? Mind you, the first 10 minutes or so of that block of time is still pre-game. Is it an honest mistake? I think not. I’m wondering if they don’t want to advertise these Eastern and Western Conference regular playoffs games, without OT, will take between 2.5 and 3 hours. And we all know why, it’s not that the game is any longer than the typical 48 minutes. No Empathica Service here.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.