FedEx Implements Customer Repulsion Support Method

I was referred to the FedEx support number to resolve an issue with a shopping cart. The referrer told me that they were very helpful. I tried to call – and was shoved into a frustrating and fruitless loop.

I didn’t mind the “press one for this, press two for that”. At least a computer can UNDERSTAND that. After I did that, I was greeted by a recorded voice which demanded to know what I wanted. I’m supposed to tell it, and it is supposed to understand. Only what I needed was pretty complicated. I took too long in replying, so the recorded voice helpfully suggested things I might say – none of which was remotely close to what I needed. I didn’t need help printing labels, and I didn’t need help with their online site.

I took a stab at it – “I need help setting up our shopping cart.” Clear, and a whole lot neater than saying, “We can’t get commercial ground to show up during checkout, and your people told my people that I should call you to find out what the heck you mean when you tell me to generate an XML transaction request to send you so you can diagnose the problem.”

The voice said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Here are some things you might say…” and went back to the same unhelpful things that it offered before.

I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to play games trying to guess just exactly what a computer wants me to say to get in the front door. I feel like I’m standing in front of Ali-Baba’s cave trying to guess the right password. Hmmm… I didn’t think to try “Open Sesame”, but I doubt the computer would be smart enough to get it if I did.

Are they TRYING to drive their customers away in frustration? While that might be a terrific way to contain support costs, it is NOT an effective way to retain the customers.

At this point, because of the complexity of setting up cart interfaces with FedEx, we warn our clients that it is fussy and aggravating. They now rate even higher on my “Beware” list. I’ve never been fond of them anyway, because they are inherently dishonest about how they handle rural deliveries (they are not the only shipper that does it – you can pay for overnight shipping, but you won’t get it in a remote rural area, you’ll get the item overnighted to the nearest big city, and then sent the rest of the way by Priority Mail, meaning overnight shipments take longer than 3 or 5 day shipping). Their own service reps don’t even know this, but it is standard company practice.

They also are not the only company that has decided that voice recognition is the way to go for telephone support. It has to be one of the most inaccurate, and unfriendly ways of handling things! I HATE talking to computers. It makes me feel like a child being forced to play with a talking toy. That particular technology is one that already offends me, but add to it the inaccuracy behind it all, and it leaves a high percentage of people frustrated because they cannot get past the automated genie who demands that you say just the right thing, but isn’t about to tell you what it is!

It begs the question…

Who, REALLY, thought this was a good idea? And how in the world did someone with so little sense EVER get into a position of enough power to actually do anything about it?

Yes, I’m feeling catty today. A headache and a bad encounter with a senseless system will do that to me.

One Response to FedEx Implements Customer Repulsion Support Method

  • You can always do what I do, I say Billing. Why, because they send you to a person and then that person can forward you to the right place. Bingo, you have gotten around the computerized door genie. Just be prepared for a long wait twice. 🙁 Take care and God bless.

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