September eNews

Lack of attention to details can kill you!

Hi {ContactFirstName},

As a consumer I have been overwhelmed with the lack of customer service in todayís world.  One incident I can overlook and with a busy schedule who has time to follow through and complain about the lack of service we get? My recent experiences have taken on new meaning when it came to the care my father received after a stroke or rather the lack of care and follow through with doctor specifications!

One incident with a cashier can be just someone having a bad day, but when lack of attention to details involves the health and possibly the life of a loved one, Customer Service takes on a whole new meaning. 

How difficult is it for a cashier at Home Depot to provide assurance that your scheduled appointment actually is confirmed in their system? One phone call, versus ďI donít know you have to go back to the flooring department to confirm it.Ē After prodding for another solution she finally made the call and confirmed my appointment, without a thank you or ďsorry for the inconvenienceĒ. 

AT&T has the worse track record for me! I eliminated our home phone over a year ago because they couldnít get the static off the line after 3 calls to them. When I called to remove the phone line, they did so very quickly then asked if I wanted another one connected. They just didnít get it! In July my contract for my office phone needed renewed with AT&T which I did. When my August bill arrived I was billed at much higher rates than my contracted rate, another call to them and they assured me it was handled. 3 months later and as many phone calls, that problem is finally resolved. Two weeks ago I couldnít get into my voice mail; with another call to AT&T I learned they changed the VM system requiring me to setup a new account. Gee, I thought someone would have notified me of a change but I never got anything. 

I purchased Microsoft Office 2010 last week and upgraded my computer. After 2 hours of upgrading I got an error that a file was missing and while trying to reconfigure my system to its original state there was another file missing. This basically meant I had lost email capabilities but everything else worked. It took me 4 hours of frustration when I resolved to contacted my Microsoft Certified computer company for assistance. They learned that MS states you can upgrade from MS Office 2003 to 2010, but you canít. You first have to upgrade to 2007, and then go to 2010. Gee, would have been nice for MS to put that on their packaging vs. stating it is compatible to upgrade from 2003. I havenít received the bill for my computer companyís assistance, but Iím sure it will be more than the $297.00 for the MS upgrade.  Oh and if you are missing the header of this message and it looks like I goofed it all up, not me, it's MS who decided in Outlook 2010 to NOT support HTML or something.  Sorry if you've upgraded like me.  Again, MS has managed to not consider it's users in their changes, just forced them upon us.

All of these incidents are minor compared to the lack of Customer Service and attention to detail I witnessed in the hospital! My father had two strokes in the past 6 weeks and has been life flighted to a hospital in Pittsburgh just as many times. The first hospital experience seemed to be very good, attentive doctors and lots of testing. But I wasnít at the hospital following up with the doctors or asking all the questions that I had, instead I was consumed with preparing my parents new home so there would be one less thing for him to be concerned about. I could write more on the lack of Customer Service I experienced during that two week period but the lack of health care if more important. 

When the 2nd stroke occurred August 18th I became more vigilant and talked to the doctors. I felt comfortable they were doing everything they could for his health and continued quality of life. They answered the questions I could think about at that stressful time. He had been on Heparin while in the hospital to thin the blood. When he left the hospital he started bleeding, requiring my mother to take him back to his room and they stopped the bleeding. What? They sent him home with prescriptions of Lovenox (shots in the belly 2 times a day for 5 days) and Coumadin to get the levels of blood thinners where they needed to be in hopes of preventing another stroke.

When I got back to their home and started reading the doctorsí orders I was in shock. My dad was supposed to have a heart monitor on before leaving the hospital! What the heck?? Who was supposed to ensure the monitor was with him?

A home care nurse came to the house the following day to draw blood, send it to the lab to check his Coumadin level and the doctor was to call later that day. 2 days later and still no call, the nurse was back to draw more blood. When they didnít call that day, my mother contacted the nurse who looked into the problem and found the hospital where the blood sample had been sent didnít do the lab work because his medical insurance wouldnít pay for it. 

The lack of care from the hospital to the home has been more than a little stressful and it appears no one really cares about the patient except the family. Itís difficult to manage dadís care from Ohio but thatís just what I plan to do, even if it requires trips to Pennsylvania and attend the doctorsí appointments to ensure heís getting the support he needs. 

Is it just me or has Customer Service and delivering a quality product a thing of the past? 

Iím still trying to figure out what to do with the hospital situation to raise the awareness of lack of details. If you have any ideas Iíd love to hear them.

As for Home Depot, I filled out the customer survey on-line to provide feedback on the lack of courteous and service. Microsoft, Iíve filed an on-line complaint to the only place I could find on their website and one with Ohio Attorney General. AT&T is next on my list and Iíll file a complaint with the Utilities Commission.

How is the Customer Service in your business? If youíre not hearing anything, donít assume every thing is greatÖ people are very busy today and many donít take the time to complain or demand better service. 

Be vigilant in the health care of your loved ones, their life many depend on it! And if you experience poor service, SPEAK up and tell someone! If you experience excellent service, tell them! 

Have an experience youíd like to share? Write me, Iíd love to hear from you. 

Sue E. Thomas
Professional Certified Coach

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September 2010

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