May 24th, 2013


Bad customer service solutions?

Since last August, I've changed my email address on dozens of mailing lists, and in that time I've only had problems with two of them: Travelocity, obviously, and Men's Wearhouse. The latter was somewhat less irritating, because they sent out fewer emails, but other than that the situation was very similar: I contacted their customer service department after I continued to receive emails at the old address after three attempts to change it via the automated system, and had to get back in touch with them three more times before the emails stopped, 22 days after I first made the request. (And I didn't start receiving emails at the new address until nine days after that.)

The reason I know exactly how long it took is that I still have all the emails I traded with Men's Wearhouse. Hey, I've got unlimited storage and a good search function, so why not? When I pulled up those old Men's Wearhouse emails, I made a startling discovery: Men's Wearhouse and Travelocity appear to use the same customer service management tool. The formatting and design of the emails are identical, and the incident numbers are generated using the same pattern of YYMMDD-012345. The Men's Wearhouse emails came from an address in the domain; entering that domain into a web browser directs you to Oracle Customer Service and Support Solutions.

A coincidence? Possibly, but maybe the problem isn't that the customer service teams at Men's Wearhouse and Travelocity are incompetent; maybe they're using incompetently designed and/or implemented customer resource management tools! Maybe Oracle is to blame for these problems! Not that I care who's to blame; I just want the emails to stop.

Speaking of which, they haven't. Less than five hours after I submitted yesterday's post, I received another promotional email from Travelocity. And I got another one as I was typing this entry. Both were duly forwarded to customer service. They responded within hours to the first six forwards, but they haven't yet responded to the one I forwarded this morning, so I think they're just ignoring the problem now, hoping it goes away by itself. So I copied the CEO on the second forward. Hee.
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