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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,425
# 32
10-20-2012, 07:28 AM
So here's the deal for me:

I have maybe two service issues with business firms a year typically. This past week, I had a spike of them, all together.

I went to vote. They had my address wrong. They say, "Go ahead and vote. We'll fix it."

I went to return curtains to the department store after I'd bought too many. I hesitated at the door because they didn't have anyone to mark it with a sticker showing that it was paid for merchandise. I had an employee say, "Come on in and take it to the service desk. We trust you." I took the curtains in and got a refund.

I had an ISP outage that lasted two hours. They said, "Huh. There is an outage in your area. We'll text you when service is restored and give you the month free." I never asked for a credit. I just asked if they knew of an outage.

I have a rewards card with a national coffee chain. The employees were not sure how to redeem my free drink at the local university. They said, "They should honor the deal. We'll make sure they have adequate training materials. Take a $15 credit for your troubles, on us." I never asked for a credit. I just asked how I should redeem my free coffee.

I have an artist working on a comic book. His wife is recovering from brain surgery and he doesn't have a lot of money but his workload is spiking up and he's been knocking out the easy stuff first. He has done basic work for four pages. He said, "It will be the end of November before I can do this. I've missed two deadlines. I can give you a full refund." Not prorated or anything. Full refund. I said, "I think you're worth the time. If you want out because you're not enthusiastic, I'll take the refund. If you want to do this, take another month." And he said, "Thank you. I'll have it done."

I login to Tribble to test rewards. Jeremy is in chat. I get told that my progress doesn't count and that I'll only get credit for unspent currency (which I should since it's unspent). I get told that I'll have to spend the same Dilithium and DOffs as everyone else and that my progress is reset but that it's okay because the system is fine for new players. I get told that the whole thing "has been decided" and "is non-negotiable."

And I think, "Man. I know the coffee business and I know they operate on a tight margin. And they gave me $15 I didn't ask for because I had a question. And I come here with a concern about my status collecting pixels and my concerns get dismissed as 'non-negotiable.'"

And then I think, "This is exactly the kind of business approach Jack Emmert is always complaining about with other companies. Gaming and otherwise. Does Jeremy know what he's talking about? Did he have the same conversation with his boss? Is he playing goalie between me and customer service? Is this a system he's proud of and unwilling to compromise on because that's generally a bad sign for a game designer's career? Is somebody forcing his hand because I think he'd play devil's advocate on this point if he were hosting STOked? This all seems pretty undiplomatic."

And Cryptic was the sore thumb that stood out, out of a week of service incidents. And it stood out for me as a pattern of behavior.