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How Customer Service Dies at USAA (and Other Places)

Oh, customer service. Of endangered species, you are perhaps the most endangered. Companies with formerly great customer service seem to be abandoning it in droves. Take USAA, the big insurer (of which I have been a member since about 2000). I had the misfortune of credit card fraud on my account, through no fault of my own, and after resetting my credit card with one division, the other division "didn't get the memo." 


Two late fees later, I got an envelope through SNAIL MAIL with an alert. So I call into the call center to reset the credit card and are first told that they'll waive the late fee, and then oops - that they can't. The computers are clearly in charge.

Next, after listening to platitudinous message after message from the Customer Service (SIC) rep, I ask how to file a complaint, and she says, "Oh, we don't have a Complaint Number or Department." We can't actually file a complaint.

So basically the bottom line message was, "Sorry …

How to Get a Negative Review on Yelp - the Chik-fil-A Way!

This is how companies get bad Yelp reviews. Step one. Offer breakfast (which, to be honest, is very good as "fast food" goes at Chick-fil-A), but only serve it to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Step two. Have an employee literally run out at 10:30 am and flip the signs to lunch. Step three. Be so popular with your breakfast that you have a pile up of cars in the drive thru. Step four. When a car pulls up at 10:32 a.m, having literally been the "next car in line," tell the occupants - Sorry! It's lunch time now (10:30 in the morning for LUNCH?), and that it's too bad. They can't get breakfast. Step five. Let said occupants sit in car for about 5 to 7 minutes while they wait for the other folks ahead of them to get their food, and let them listen to the cars behind them bark into the drive thru - WHAT? NO BREAKFAST? You're kidding me. Step six. Let said occupants, drive hurridly through the drive thru (without getting any food), and be starving while they g…

An Email Sign Up Should Convey the Value Proposition

An email sign up should convey the value proposition. One "easy" thing to do is to show past email newsletters or alerts, so users can see what they "get" by signing up.

Here's REI's email prop: