meburke asks: "Computer repair, copier repair, customer support: It seems to be mostly done the same way for the last 40 years. That is: 'Something breaks, call the repair guy.' But customers expect more, and they can't tell us what they expect, so where do we develop guidelines for customer service and how do we improve? I've searched the net for three days now, and I haven't found a comprehensive list of actions or standards that distinguish the excellent tech from the average tech. Can anyone point me toward some sources?" It seems that as our technology becomes more complex, the service that is offered to customers continues to fall shorter of the mark. What kind of service do you expect from your vendors, and how close is reality to your expectations?
As an aside, shooflot wonders: "If the definition of 'news' includes 'rarity' then good service must be news. My usual experience includes the kind of sulky and dismissive attitude I got from an Apple rep when my new iPod wouldn't charge (I eventually got him to exchange it). However, I was recently surprised by Rogers, my cellphone provider, when I followed up on some charges for ringtones I'd never downloaded. The service rep not only cancelled the charges but discovered I'd been wrongly charged an extra air time fee for the whole last year and credited me for the entire amount plus tax! What great service stories does Slashdot wish to share which (I hope!) may inspire all those other reps in the trenches?"