Has the internet and technology ruined traditional Customer Service?

United States
July 16, 2008 8:33am CST
It seems to be so hard to locate any phone number to have a real person talk to you the phone when you need support. All I wanted to do was find out why Aetna will not accept my claim and in order to do that, I have to sign up for the website. Then, I can only submit a request online for them to contact me. What happened to the traditional 800 number that we could call? And what's worse, is that when you can call the number, you have to go through a huge voice tree to get to the right person. The traditional ones don't annoy me too much, but those voice recognition ones drive me insane. "I'm sorry, I couldn't understand you. Can you repeat that?" After you repeat it 5 times, you start to get frustrated! I don't want to have to wait up to 48 hours to ask why someone hasn't paid a claim for something I have paid into and did not have a deductible for, and is currently ruining my credit at this time. It's not only this website, its many I've been to. You have to search pretty hard most times just to get a phone number to contact someone. Yellowpage numbers are often not in service any longer. What's your view on this?
3 responses
@kiley4 (72)
• United States
16 Jul 08
I have to agree a little bit, deemazing. I have felt the same way. I think there should be two numbers. One is an automatic automated system: sometimes I just want a balance for my account or something that is logged somewhere, nothing difficult. Other times there should be a direct number for persons who are hard-of-hearing and those, like you and me, who just want a human to answer a question that a machine will not be able to. I love how quick the internet is, but there is no reason for a company to have you email a request as the only option for customer service. Maybe I don't mind waiting 48 hours for a response and maybe just maybe I have to give someone else an answer based on the company's answer so I want their answer ASAP, not 48 hours from now. That's part of why I love the new customer service call centers who have home workers. Those are the people who can give you the answers based on what is in front of them at all times of day or night and there's still a manger somewhere who can answer a deep company question just-in-case.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jul 08
Yes, and I don't like feeling like my question will be lost in thousands of email requests. Most times, I am trying to call because of some type of emergency situation and those are the times there should be an option available to speak with a representative. Actually, the option should always be there. The internet should not be the only way of doing things. This is similar to where I used to work in their recruitment department. Our new guidelines for hiring were to be that anyone who was to be hired would have to fill out an online application. Believe it or not, though, there are a lot of production level employees who do not have internet access other than a library. The workers we employed were mostly from low-income neighborhoods and you cannot expect that someone will always have internet access. Sure, they could use the library but it often times takes a long while to be able to use a computer there. Overall, I just feel like a company, especially a large one like Aetna, should offer more than just one way of communicating with customer service.
@kiley4 (72)
• United States
16 Jul 08
I completely agree. Not everyone has Internet. And it is still a luxury to have it at home. My husband is out of work right now, unfortunately and since we just needed another income of some kind he went to apply at McDonald's up the street from us. They sent him back home to fill out an online application. You can't even fill out an application at McDonald's anymore! It's stupid.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jul 08
Also, try faxing a resume to a company and see where it lands you...
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
16 Jul 08
Well i would not blame this on the internet. I would blame it on the company's ability to manage their CS department. I work for an ISP and while we have internet support we also have many phone lines. I think the company has to take initiative to stay in touch with the customer.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jul 08
This is most certaintly true as well. It wasn't so much the internet I was placing blame on but that companies RELY so much on the internet to do their work.
@pkraj111 (2460)
• India
16 Jul 08
We are not upto that technology levels in my country.So i really am not bothered