Saturday, June 02, 2007


"Well," say my legions of devoted fans, "Loren doesn't post, and I understand he must be busy; but I do wish he would post something. In fact, if only he would post -- mmm, what would be best? Oooh, I know! If only he would post about his customer service experiences!" Well, legions, you need wait no longer.

I'm in my approximately once-a-year eBay phase (trying to pick up a few Nick Cave CDs, an endeavour made perpetually difficult by my feeling that one should only very rarely pay more than $8 for an older CD, and by the fact that, apparently, people just don't sell their Nick Cave CDs), and just recently finished an auction. The seller hadn't written me anything about the sale for quite a while after it closed, which made me a bit nervous, since the seller's profile says that one should expect a response within 24 hours; and then I noticed that my My eBay profile said that I had 1 new message, while my message centre said (remember that conflict is the heart of all drama) that I had no unread messages.

Since finding out promptly about the status of my sale is important to me (I'm going to London on 5 June, and would like to have new listening material for the trip), I wrote eBay and asked them what was up when on one hand I was told I had, and on the other hand that I certainly didn't have, any new messages. The reply I got back essentially said that they are aware of this issue and are working on it, which is no more than the sort of pabulum that one expects; but two bits caught my eye:

I understand that on your eBay it is showing that "you have 1 new message" but in My Message, there are no messages to read.
I do agree that at this time this email has not resolved your problem, but please bear with us till this gets resolved.
Clearly, these two sentences are nothing particularly exciting; but, since I would post if I got an egregiously bad response, it seems only fair to post when I get a good one -- and I think this falls into that category, because:
  1. It acknowledges and describes the problem. Given the popularity of canned responses to queries based on a word or two found in the original mail, it is nice to see "Here's what I think you're saying the problem is", if for no other reason than to have a jumping-off point for further questions.
  2. It acknowledges that saying that the problem is under consideration doesn't fix it, which seems like an obvious point but is nonetheless, apparently, not understood by most companies.
Now, aren't you glad that you waited for over a month for this post?


Blogger i149 said...

fascinating... makes you debate the existence of God

12:45 pm  

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