I’m not sure about the logic that says a company that provides a free service – Facebook, Twitter, Quora — should also provide free telephone support. Users shouldn’t confuse them not doing this with not listening – I suspect it is pure business economics.
What drives me mad is when companies like eBay and PayPal, who charge for a service can’t be bothered providing easy to access support. I’m experiencing this first hand at the moment with Billmelater. Some criminal managed to use my wifes name to set up an account – wrong social security number, wrong birthdate but her name.
Now, PayPal and Billmelater clearly operate a pretty weak fraud and risk process because the crook was able to run up a good chunck of purchases. We managed to track someone down who agreed that is was blatant fraud and they would deal with it. As an aside, we can’t access the account to communicate with them, becuase, guess what, the password, birthdate and SSN are all fake.
And what did they do then, referred it on to a collections agency who insists on harrassing people rather than solving the problem with Billmelater and eBay. And who are you going to call in this instance? Nobody. They’d rather just rol the dice on you submitting to the harrassment and paying towards their negligence and incompetence. We won’t – but I fear many will.
I’m all for anyone with a business that takes your money in exchange for products or services on the web being required to offer phone support. But for those that don’t, I’m not sure how they would survive.
What is needed is a clear standard so that the PayPal and Billmelaters are forced to be accountable to the customers they pretend to serve.