Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

GoDaddy sucks again…

18 Nov 2017

I don’t know why I expect different results when I have to deal with – even though they’ve proven time and time and time again that they do NOT care about customer service. And today was just another example of poor customer service, and an overall failure of the people answering the phones AND a supervisor.

Here’s what happened: I got a domain renewal email, sent to an address I haven’t used for *YEARS*, about a domain that I haven’t used, touched, worked on for years. I searched my password vaults for any hint of information connected to this ancient email address, or the domain, or GoDaddy – and found nothing.

The first thing I did is to check the WHOIS record, and sure enough – all three contacts (technical, administrative, and Registrant) listed my name, a very old mailing address, and the ancient email address. The domain is for a small non-profit that I use to serve on the Board for, as well as doing web / internet / technology for, so I knew how this was connected, but I have no memory of what I ended up doing with the domain in question.

GoDaddy sucks again... | DaveTavres.comThe next thing I did is to try to sign into to make sure that a) there wasn’t a credit card on file that would get charged again, or b) to update the information so that the nonprofit was correctly listed on the account. Here’s where the frustration started. I entered the ancient email address – where the domain renewal email was sent to – and the domain that was listed IN that email, but kept getting this error: "Invalid domain and email combination" – so I was finally forced to call GoDaddy.

So, at 8:06am PST, on a SATURDAY morning, I called GoDaddy, just to get the automated system that told me it would be *19 MINUTES* before someone could help me. Yikes. Can you imagine if this was during the middle of the day on a weekday?! So, I choose the ‘automated callback’ option. And about 20 minutes later, I get the callback.

The first woman is as friendly as I would expect, having to work at GoDaddy, but the first several comments and questions are NOT anything related to "How can I help you?" Instead, it’s "What’s your call-in PIN?" and when I say I don’t have that, she says she can’t help me unless I have that PIN. Then she proceeds to send me a password reset to the account that is connected to the phone number I’m calling in on – but that is NOT the account I’m calling about. Shockingly, she doesn’t ask about my phone number, or what the problem is – she just sends a password reset.

I ask her to just listen to my problem so that she can understand what the issue is – to which she responds that she can’t help me unless she can get into my account. I explain that I’m not calling about the account connected to the phone number that I’m calling from, and I again ask if she would just listen to my issue. And SERIOUSLY, she again insists that she won’t be able to help me without the PIN, and asks if I got the password reset email. UGH!!*!*!*!*** *MORON!*

I ignore her ignorance, and start explaining that I got a renewal email to an ancient email address, etc. And again, she says she can’t help me. That was the end of MY patients dealing with an idiot, so I ask for a supervisor – to which she responds that a supervisor won’t take the call unless they can get into the account. WHAT?!?!



GoDaddy sucks, yet again! |

She puts me on hold, and several minutes later a different woman gets on the call and announces herself as a supervisor. BUT, instead of starting out with "How can I help you?" She BEGINS with "I’ll need your PIN to access your account.

So, I try to explain the same thing I explained to the first woman. And now this supervisor is playing the same broken record. I BEG her to please just ask for the email address or domain name from the renewal email – but she REFUSES, explaining that they ‘only have a white screen in front of them with a box asking for a PIN’ and there’s nothing she can help me with. Unbelievable!! I tell her that I’ve been in software and web development since the early 1990s, and I KNOW they have the ability to look up domain names, but she insists that they can’t help without a PIN. So I push her, asking ‘How do you help people who don’t have their PIN, and don’t have access to the email?’ – to which she responds with the typical time-wasting-answer that GoDaddy is famous for, and says I’ll need to go through the ID verification process, which can take up to 3 business days.

Still, no help – from a GODADDY SUPERVISOR – and my frustration is boiling over now. This is NOT a difficult issue to figure out. But now GoDaddy has proven once again that they (mostly) employ idiots, and that GoDaddy apparently doesn’t train their employees on basic customer service.

So, I hang up, and call right back. BUT, since I know that they are too stupid to think on their own, and rely solely on their caller ID, I block my outgoing number and call back. This time I only have to wait for 14 minutes. And when the "customer service" person answers, I get a get this time – who starts out the same way… NOT with "How can I help you?" but, "Can I get the phone number on your account?" To which I say, "No, I’m not giving you a phone number, I want you to ask me what the problem is first." Then he explains that he can’t do anything with an account without the PIN. *!)*@%&!)%$!@(*%!%**)$


So, I repeat the same story about the renewal email, and I tell him that the previous two IDIOTS that I talked to refused to help – including a supervisor. Then he asks, "Can I get the domain and email address from the renewal email?" ****WOW!!!!**** Someone with a brain!

So this guy starts typing and searching… and while he’s typing, I’m venting about the previous two morons I talked to, and told him that customer service like that is why I stopped supporting GoDaddy – and why I flatly refuse to help anyone who uses GoDaddy.

When I’m done with my rant / venting, he has finished searching and confirms what I had already done, that all three of the contacts in the WHOIS record are for my ancient email address. And he APOLOGETICALLY says that he can’t help, since I don’t have / can’t get access to the GoDaddy account, even though the WHOIS info has my email on it. As a software and web geek, I fully understand and I start to fawn over him for actually being intelligent and trying to help. He surmises the same thing I already had – that when I transferred the domain over to the non-profit (ages ago), they never updated the WHOIS contacts – BUT – he can send a password reset to the user on the GoDaddy account, which should prompt them to call in – AND – he is able to leave a note on the account attached to that domain, explaining what we had just talked about. WHEW!

I thank him profusely for actually helping me, and for being smarter than the previous moron and the idiot supervisor. So I ask if I can talk to a supervisor to give him kudos for giving GOOD customer service. He happily accepts my thanks, and puts me on hold.

A few minutes later, the supervisor picks up the call. And yes, you probably already guessed… it’s the idiot supervisor I talked to 20 minutes early! I literally laughed-out-loud and said "Oh, it’s you." Then I went on to give him every compliment I could – as well as doing my best to backhand her for being a moron, and showing her that an underling was smarter than she was on how to search for a domain.

I finished by telling her that I hope she learned something from the experience, but I was quite sure that she wouldn’t, but I hoped that the guy who actually gave good customer service WOULD see that kudos come through. I’ll never know.

In closing, ***DON’T USE GODADDY!!!!*** I’ve had at least a dozen problems over the years with my PERSONAL domains / web hosting / files / email – plus COUNTLESS problems when handling issues for clients. GoDaddy is NOT to be trusted. They do NOT care about customers. They do their best to confuse, confound, frustrate, and just take your money. So please, PLEASE, *PLEASE*, use ANYONE else for your domain registration, web hosting, and email hosting. And just don’t even bother trying to use any of their other services. In the long run, you (or your tech person) will be hating life. And if you don’t believe me, just do a Google search for "GoDaddy sucks".

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Posted in Business, Customer Service, Reviews, Technology


Review: Petersen Automotive Museum

13 Oct 2017

Review: Petersen Automotive Museum |**To Petersen Automotive Museum: If you do see this, do NOT respond to *ME* – respond to all of the people who try to come to the museum who have to park blocks away**

Review: Petersen Automotive Museum - FAIL | DaveTavres.comOn Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at about 11:15a, we got to the Petersen Automotive Museum – with our internet-purchased tickets in hand – but were turned away from the parking garage. On a WEDNESDAY at 11 am. How is that possible? Because the Petersen Automotive Museum doesn’t hold parking for patrons of the museum. Apparently, they don’t even hold enough parking spaces for people who have purchased regular admission tickets AND Vault tour tickets the day before arriving.

Instead, the Petersen Automotive Museum wants museum visitors to park… well, anywhere you can find a spot on the street. However, there is very little street parking near the museum. After spending $125 million on the renovation, they chose to ignore paying customers so that they could rent out their parking to nearby office buildings.

On this day, there wasn’t a big car show, or movie screening, or special guest. This was a normal Wednesday morning. And even though the Petersen Automotive Museum has 3+ parking levels, they sadly forgot WHY they have a parking garage in the first place – for the people who want to go to the museum! And for those who say this is a “public parking garage”, I see no signs that say that, and I the parking tickets have Petersen Automotive Museum logo printed right on them. And if it IS a “public parking garage”, the Petersen Automotive Museum needs learn how to negotiate with the city to get enough parking to serve their customers.

Petersen Automotive Museum parking is ATROCIOUS!! | DaveTavres.comDuring our Vault tour, there was a total of 8 visitors. Most of the group had to be 60+ years old, but NONE of the other visitors were able to park in the MUSEUM PARKING GARAGE, because they garage was ‘full’, so they had to walk several blocks to get there. And this isn’t a tiny garage either. A guestimate, using Google Earth images of the garage, is that there are over 700 parking spaces in the garage – but apparently there aren’t enough for paying customers.

Yes, I completely understand that there is money to be made by renting parking spots to nearby businesses – but when you inconvenience the people who want to come visit YOUR business, you’ve completely missed the point of customer service.

How can the Petersen Automotive Museum fix this problem?

A few incredibly simple ideas come to mind:

  1. Look at the number of tickets and Vault tours that have been purchased online and hold AT LEAST that many parking spots.
  2. Look at the data from their daily ticket purchases to come up with an educated guess based on how many tickets are usually sold on a Wednesday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, etc.) and hold that number of parking spaces for Museum visitors.
  3. Sell parking tickets online along with the admission and Vault tour tickets – then hold that number of parking spaces (yes, I know this is repetitive, but if the Petersen Automotive Museum ever does see this, they may not understand the simplicity of these ideas without pointing out the obvious.)
  4. Install parking counters like MANY malls in Southern California, to display how many spaces are actually available, since we saw SEVERAL open parking spots as we walked through the garage to get to the entrance.


I’ve been to the Petersen Automotive Museum many times and I’ve never been so upset with them. Most people drive a long way to get to the Petersen, so having to hunt for parking blocks away from the Museum just exacerbates the frustration of LA traffic. In the future, I’ll be sure to share this story with anyone who is even thinking about visiting the Museum, being sure to tell them that it’s not worth the trouble. Just go to one of the many other car museums and experience in the Los Angeles area.

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Posted in Automotive, Business, Customer Service, Reviews, Reviews


Please Just Say "I Don’t Know"

28 Aug 2017

I suppose it’s human nature to want to look smarter than you really are. But when it comes to customer service, there’s nothing worse than having someone try to help you when they know less than you do. People often fall back to circular talking, trying to say the same thing in different ways, mainly because they don’t know the answer to the question – but they don’t want to concede that fact.

Please Just Say "I Don't Know" | DaveTavres.comSomething I learned very well as a Guest Relations Host at Disneyland was that it’s okay to say “I don’t know… but let me find out for you.” That phrase is powerful and helpful for everyone. The customer won’t get a sense that they are getting the run-around, and the person trying to help doesn’t feel trapped into circular talk. Saying “I don’t know” may not feel good – but it will drive (a good person) to educate themselves on whatever the topic is, so that next time they don’t have to say “I don’t know,” but they can then speak with authority on the issue.

I recently had an hour-long phone call with a business “consultant” who refused to employ the any form of “I don’t know.” The first 10 minutes were the normal niceties and small talk, then we got into my questions. Questions that I have spent a lot of time researching and thinking about – but I wanted a “professional’s” opinion. What I got instead, was someone who knew all the catch-phrases, keywords, and hot topics that they effectively recycled multiple times in the conversation, without actually saying anything. It was very frustrating.

If she had said some form of “I don’t know”, we could have gotten out of the circular talking, and focused on the things she DID know. Instead, I wasted 30 minutes trying to change the topic and questions, but she was stuck. She kept trying to give answers to the previous questions, but she didn’t know what she was talking about. And even when I did try to focus on her experience, she would loop it back to answer the questions I was no longer asking.

I’m sure it’s a subconscious thing that we all do to reassure the person we’re trying to help, as well as ourselves, that we can figure out whatever it is that needs figuring out – but we can’t. If we don’t already have the answer to straight-forward questions (i.e. questions that have a clear answer), no amount of talking through it will give fully satisfactory solution.

Ultimately, if you can’t help the person at all, go find someone who can. Or go find the answers. Everyone will be better off, and you might actually create some trust in the process.

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Posted in Business, Customer Service


Review: Capital One | Spark Business Banking

08 Aug 2017

Bad Customer Service: Capital One's Spark Business Banking |

I recently started a small side-business, filed the incorporation paperwork and looked at business banking options. One of the options that came up was Capital One’s Spark Business Banking.

I filled out all the questions, uploaded the documents they asked for… and never heard back from them again. No email. No phone call. And when I sign into the website, just a message that they have reviewed the documents and will be in touch. But apparently that does not include calling potential customers, or putting a notice on the website after you sign in.

It’s been over a month now, and I need to deposit a check, so I called the number on the website (844-88-SPARK) and talked to someone who was very bubbly, but did not actually listen to what I explained. I told her twice that it had been over a month since I uploaded the required documents, but had not heard from them – to which she responded "How long has it been since you submitted the documents?"

Ultimately, she explained that since they had not heard from me in over a month, that they "closed the account" (an account that wasn’t even opened,) and that I would have to re-apply.

Bad customer service, as usual. If Capital One’s Spark Business Banking can’t be trusted to call me when there’s an issue OPENING an account, how can they be trusted with my money?

Review: Capital One's Spark Business Banking | DaveTavres.comReview: Capital One's Spark Business Banking |

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Employee empowerment

31 Jul 2017

One of my hobby websites recently got hacked, which caused a bigger problem on my web hosting account. It happens. It’s fixed now, but the incredible frustration that came from it wasn’t caused by the hack itself, but by the bad "technical support" people.

Employee empowerment | DaveTavres.comI’m very aware of businesses trying to keep costs down so they can increase profits and put money back into the business for further growth. BUT, at what cost? It’s *VERY* unlikely that I’ll continue to recommend my current web host because of the run-around I had to work through recently.

I worked tech support MANY years ago, when call queues and ticket counts weren’t as important as they are today. Thankfully in the early 1990s, I had great teachers, trainers, and co-workers who worked pretty well as a team. Sure, even I got cocky after hearing the exact same calls over and over again, and I didn’t always listen to the customer. But, the early 90s was a different time. I had tons of training, helping people using Windows 3.1, who were trying to use the internet. I’m confident in saying that I had more knowledge and training about Windows and internet technology than 99% of the customers who called in. Today though, there are a lot of people smarter than first-tier tech support.

I think the biggest lesson any business / leadership / management can learn is to empower their employees. That means, let them take the time (reasonable time) to work through a problem. Or, if they aren’t completely confident in their solution, let them escalate it BEFORE the customer becomes irate, or just ditches the product / service. Yes, ticket analytics are important, but NOT more important than customer service. Period.

A2Hosting | DaveTavres.comA2Hosting caused me, literally, hours of frustration and anxiety, as I tried to figure out the solution to the problem, simply because the first several "techs" wouldn’t let go of a wrong premise – even when I told them they were wrong, and most likely BECAUSE I told them they were wrong, as well as a probable push by management to get tickets closed quickly.

Luckily, after several tickets and phone calls, and hours and hours of waiting, I finally asked that the ticket be escalated. And guess what… THAT person figured out the issue within MINUTES. Problem solved. I’m fairly sure that Ross took the time to READ what I had written before replying. And thankfully, he also had the knowledge and experience to figure out what was wrong.

I’ll concede that it does take more than just employee empowerment to give good customer service – it takes good management (which is more often the problem in the first place.) It also takes committed employees. If someone doesn’t care about their job, it doesn’t matter how much training and power they have, they’ll still give bad customer service. Which is why it’s just as important to hire AND FIRE well. Listen to this story from NPR about Zappos.

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Posted in Business, Customer Service, Technology