A pet peeve

You know, I really hate it when e-mail inquiries to customer support departments are second-class citizens. The same company that will have me on hold for less than 30 minutes, then resolve my question in 10, won’t even attempt to look at my e-mail inquiries to the same department for 1-2 business days.


What’s the deal here? Why should e-mailers be treated poorly?

Today’s company to shame: Shutterfly, which otherwise has been very good. I’m e-mailing them because my UPS next day air package was delayed by UPS. UPS said they’d issue a refund, but I have to ask for it through Shutterfly.

5 thoughts on “A pet peeve

  1. I haven’t dealt with Winkflash’s customer support, but their prices are good and they have been very quick in sending out orders. There is also a clever little third party command-line hack called BlinkFlash that allows you to upload and download images and manipulate folders without using the Web interface.

  2. Same here. I’m looking for a new home in a new city. When I went there to have a look around (on a Sunday), the real estate agencies were closed, so I wrote down a few e-mail addresses, and spa^Wcontacted them from the comfort of my current home. The two replies I’ve had so far were both asking for my phone number. Hello, there’s a *reason* I gave you an email address! I’m not at home during work hours, but I am very much on the internet then.


  3. Phone is usually more immediate than email, isn’t it? Email should be faster than letter or fax (unlike John’s example above) and maybe higher volume than phone, but it’s not as fast as phone. IM should be faster than phone, or at least nearly as fast.

    There are people who consistently pick inappropriate methods of communicating, such as complex information transfer by phone or writing IM-style emails, so it’s not much of a surpise that there are people who consistently pick inappropriate ways of handling replies.

    1. I would expect email to be a bit slower than phone, but that difference should be measured in minutes, not days.

      I sent them my first e-mail Wednesday. It’s now Friday and still haven’t heard a thing from them.


  4. Just got a reply from Shutterfly. They will refund me the money I paid, and are also giving me a $25 gift certificate towards future purchases there.

    That does feel like a good way to make up for it.

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