Giving All Zeroes

I am fortunate that my local Acura dealer is only several miles away from our house.  When my car requires routine service, I can hop out of bed, throw on some jeans and a T-shirt and be there in less than five minutes.   A smiling auto service rep is happy to check me in and either offer me a ride home or a loaner.  The service is expensive but prompt.  They wash and detail my car.   It’s everything I’d expect from a upscale auto dealer … until I arrive to pick it up.   Then the smiling service rep informs me that customer service is very important to Canyon Acura, that a quality control representative will be calling me and Acura expects nothing less than fives on all aspects of the service.  If I forget to check the caller ID before answering in the next week and a half, an overly-pleasant voice on the line will tell me how important customer service is to Acura.  I’ll be asked to rate my Acura Service Experience on a scale of 0-5 (0 = totally crappy and 5 = orgasmic) in such categories as Promptness, Friendliness of Service Personnel and Neatness of the Customer Lounge.   I grudgingly give fives because I don’t want to cost anyone a job in this economy.

For years, I’ve avoided going into banks, preferring to deal with ATMs, but as treasurer of this year’s Men’s Retreat, I needed to open a business account.  I was greeted at the door by a young man in a suit who introduced me to the bank manager who introduced me to the business account manager.  All three were smiling like they’d achieved banking Nirvana.  I told them I needed an account for only a few months but they treated me as if I were a Rockefeller, providing me with a checking account, a savings account, an ATM card and a Mastercard, all part of our free business package, Mr. Eyes.  It took me an hour to get out of there and now, every time I walk in to deposit checks, I’m greeted with the same grinning enthusiasm.  A smiling teller chats with me as I wait for my checks to be totaled, asking if I’m having a good day and if I have plans for the weekend, Mr. Eyes.   This week, the bank called so I could rate their customer service.  I gave all fives through clenched teeth.

One of my favorite words is obsequious which, according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary means marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentivness.  Being called obsequious is not a complement.  Miriam-Webster’s example for obsequious is Eddie Haskell, the annoying friend of Wally Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver.  When I do business with a company, I expect to be treated with respect.  I do NOT want to be fawned over.   I expect them to do what I’m paying for efficiently or I take my business elsewhere.  I do NOT feel I need to fawn over them for just doing their job.  I have always gone out of my way to report exceptional customer service … when someone goes above and beyond to help me out … but I hate obsequious customer service.  Next time, I’m Giving All Zeroes.

How about you?  Do you hate obsequious customer service?  If you do, join me in Giving All Zeros 2102!

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3 Comments on “Giving All Zeroes”

  1. territerri Says:

    Ah, I see your tags on this post. I THOUGHT that was your inner curmudgeon speaking!

    I have to say, though… I kind of agree. I’d rather have good and sincere customer service, not just the appearance of it.

  2. Jeni Hill Ertmer Says:

    Two votes, back to back, to get rid of the pain in the dupa “sucking up” stuff pertaining to customer service! I think I’d be asking them to please NOT be calling me with a survey because there is the off chance in doing that, they would awaken me from a cat nap and that could have really serious consequences! As any niceness previously shown would fly out the window of my memory and I would turn into a major curmudgeon -usually referred to as a mega bitch! Just wouldn’t be pretty, not. at. all!

  3. Art Kennedy Says:

    I found this rant by searching Google for “Obsequious Customer Service” – good ole Google! Yeah! Just be courteous and efficient and thank me ONCE!


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