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Letter: whatever happened to customer service?

Line engraving by B. Hübner, 1775, after G. Locher, 1774 via Wikimedia Commons.

I don't know when it started, but I have noticed that customer service is almost nonexistent lately. You call a company and you get an automated system that tells you to push all these numbers, then after you do that, you are put on hold for a while.

While you are on hold, you get a recording telling you that your call is very important and to stay on the line for the next representative. Then a bit later you get another one saying all their representatives are still helping other customers, your call will be answered shortly and to please stay on the line. One time I was on hold so long that the system hung up on me and I had to do the same thing all over again. Then sometimes when you get a real person, they don't seem to understand what you are saying or give you the wrong information.

When you go into a store and you ask where something is, either you're told to ask someone else or they point to a general area and say over there and leave you to try to find it, or try to find someone who can help you. I have also had some clerks that have been rude to me and other people.

This is not every place, but it seems to have gotten worse as the years have gone by.

Cecilia Hill