How You Should and Shouldn't Treat Your Customers

Two starkly different experiences with customer service today.

First the Good:

Pretty simple here.  I have been looking into online backup services and had let the 14 day demo of CrashPlan lapse without actually testing it out.  Not only are the support people watching their @crashplan twitter account fast and helpful, but they were happy to hook me up with a re-up for my free account before I (inevitably due to their support in no small part) sign up for real.

Last the Bad:
This was an approximation of a call to MasterCard today to ask a quick question about extended warranty extensions with the version of the card I had.  However their automated system and it's lack of usefulness really drove me crazy.

*ring*ring*
MC: Welcome to mastercard blah blah.  For service in english, press 1, for s
beep
MC: For blah press 1, for account blah press 2, for member blah press 3, blah 4, blah 5, blah 6, blah 7, blah 8 [I'm not kidding here], and if you wish to speak to a customer service rep, press 0
beep
MC: Please enter your MasterCard number
beep beep beep beep .. beep beep beep beep .. beep beep beep beep .. beep beep beep beep
MC: Please enter the primary card holders month of birth, for example, for janu
beep beep
MC: You entered blah, please press 1 to confirm or 
beep
MC: Please enter the primary card holders day of birth, for ex
beep beep
MC: You entered blah, please press 1 t
beep
MC: Please enter the primary card holders 9 digit social insurance number
beep beep beep .. beep beep beep .. beep beep beep [Luckily I somehow have this still memorized]
MC: Thank you, please wait while we connect you to a customer service rep.
*ring*ring* [granted a very quick connection]
MC Dude: Hi there, this is John, can I please have your MasterCard number?  [Emphasis mine]
*audible sigh*

Now if I've just gone through 5 minutes of dealing with a robot with a huge array of questions and entering a ton of different numbers, you'd think that the system would be considerate enough to pass on the information.  But no.  I had to re-confirm my address, SIN number, etc with the guy again (who did apologize mind you, after I made a comment about "didn't I just spend 5 minutes punching that into your system?").  And yes I know I probably could have just hit 0 a few times in the phone call, or yelled into the phone, but I didn't at the time, and ended up pissed off enough at the inefficiency of their system (and impressed enough with the CrashPlan way of doing things) that I got off my lazy ass and typed this post up.