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The Almighty Buck The Internet

Where are Customer Service Rating Systems? 25

mugnyte asks: "There are various ways to watch single complaints congeal into a groundswell of 'market issue' (Badware add-ons, Sony root-kit, AOL un-install, etc) via blogs and google numbers, but I'm finding no sites that rate Customer Service on an ongoing basis. I'm looking for something like the home-service-industry Angie's List or perhaps Tom's Hardware guide, but on the topic of Customer Service. Is there anyone doing the hard work to gather and legitimately rate companies by their quality of service?"
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Where are Customer Service Rating Systems?

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  • Dude, it's the internet, and you're complaining about badware? :)
    Ok, seriously, the company itself (like AOL) should have some guest book/ a telephone number where you could leave your complaints.
  • BBB (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ruff_ilb ( 769396 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:02AM (#16037803) Homepage
    It's been around for a while, and it's called the Better Business Bureau. You can view ongoing complaints for not only things in your physical location, but they also have an online component (http://www.bbbonline.org/).

    Now, it doesn't support all sorts of businesses, but it's easy to see if one company has bad customer service.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eggoeater ( 704775 )
      I love the BBB; filing a complaint with them usually resolves the issue.
      Unfortunatly, the BBB doesn't really rate "customer service".
      eg. Metrocall really screwed up my account about 10 years ago and it wasn't until I filed a BBB complaint that it got straightened out.
      Obviously this has nothing to do with customer service and the BBB doesn't want to get complaints that "some customer service rep was rude to me."
      The BBB deals with situations in which a specific outcome is desired by the plaintif (eg. Cor
      • by Raenex ( 947668 )
        The finance industry, and other "service" industries, has figured out that retaining customers is far cheaper then aquireing new ones.

        I'm not sure about that. Maybe a year or so ago I got a new credit card. Customer service was obviously through India, with hard to understand speakers. It's gotten to the point that I'm amazed when a professional, native English speaking person answers the phone.

        • I assume that by finance, the allusion is towards financial planners, CPAs, and the like. There's no shortage of customers for credit cards, after all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Speaking as the owner of a small company that has repeatedly had threats of complaints and complaints themselves used in efforts to scam us, I would also say that you need to take what it is in those reports with a grain of salt. This is routine situation for us:

      Impatient and unreasonable jackass orders on Friday before a 3 day weekend. Because impatient and unreasonable jackass is both too stupid to theorize that maybe he's not getting a reply to his email because of the holiday weekend and is too impatien
  • ...its hard to rate something like a customer service department because of the extreme range of possible outcomes regardless of actual problem. One person can call in with some issue or another and acomplish something like get a month of their cable bill credited, or a month of free HBO, or a grand total of nothing. So much depends on how you deal w/ those customer service basterds. If such a system were to exist, its benefit would be to inform would-be callers of possible call outcomes; if you know its po
  • Wouldn't anyone ambitious enough to look for others' customer service experience just google first? If there something to vent about, someone has already done it on the web.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Meshach ( 578918 )

      Wouldn't anyone ambitious enough to look for others' customer service experience just google first? If there something to vent about, someone has already done it on the web.

      The trouble with this stratagy is you are getting a selective bias: only persons who have had a exceptionally bad experience will actually write about it in a publically indexed blog. If all you go by is google all you will get is the horror stories.

      A better stratagy would be to look for some third party statistics on the service o

      • by toddbu ( 748790 )
        I'm not sure that the bias is as bad as you think. I've done searches on companies and found both good and bad. I try to filter out the far extremes and take what's left over. This strategy works ok for me, but isn't perfect. I recently did business with a company that screwed me in exactly the same way as they'd nailed someone else. The benefit that I had was that I was prepared in advance, so it didn't take me long to remedy the situation.
  • Reputation systems (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @11:48AM (#16038094)
    Going to be big, eventually. Try epinions.com or rateit.com. The problem is their rating systems are still very crude indeed.

    At some point someone will come up with a reputation system which will allow everything down to individuals to be rated. Perhaps different aspects of a product, service or individual. Possibly classifying the user by their ratings as well in order to more closely predict what someone will like or dislike, just because you like coke doesn't mean that the next guy thinks that pepsi is rubbish, or that the democrats are crap because you're a republican. Hmm, least squares regression I reckon.

    • Someone's written an article on reputation systems and it even mentions slashdot's karma.

      http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/masum/i ndex.html [firstmonday.org]

    • At some point someone will come up with a reputation system which will allow everything down to individuals to be rated.

      Awesome! I want a system where I can look up a specific person by name and get back a number between 0 and 100 that tells me how good (in a general sense) that person is. And then everyone should be required by law to have their score stamped on their national ID and implanted RFID tag, and we should only let the best people drive or have children or be gainfully employed!

      Yes, it would b
  • Gripe2Ed (Score:3, Informative)

    by musicon ( 724240 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @12:00PM (#16038164) Homepage

    It looks like the site (and the author) has been mostly reabsorbed by InfoWorld, but Ed Foster's http://www.gripe2ed.com/ [gripe2ed.com] blog/site has a history of collecting such information, and the http://www.gripewiki.com/ [gripewiki.com] also has areas with specific vendors listed (although the lists are woefully incomplete) -- in fact, I'd probably recommend skipping the wiki entirely unless you just have time to burn.

  • Yahoo allows reviews of this nature. But it doesn't really have a rating system that goes into specifics about service. For example, here is a restaurant:

    http://tinyurl.com/fcoog [tinyurl.com]

    Note that it does have a star-rating, but that's just an overall score. And it has 28 reviews. Here's a quote from one review:

    What was good? The ambiance upstairs, the bartender and their willingness to host a large group without any extra room fee.

    What was bad? The banquet manager, Diana. She was pretty much the rudest person I

  • GetHuman.com (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IanDanforth ( 753892 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @02:25PM (#16038989)
    From their website:

    "The gethuman project is a consumer movement to improve the quality of phone support in the US. This free website is run by volunteers and is powered by over one million consumers who demand high quality phone support from the companies that they use.

    We will soon publish a list of the best and worst mass-market consumer companies in the US based on how long it takes to get to a human on the phone and on the quality of support received."

    So, right now, this website is great for finding direct-to-human numbers and then as a place to rate customer service. Soon it will be a great place to see how others have evaluated the customer service of various companies.

    Hope this helps!

  • Not quite a rating agency but an organization that collects a whole lot of valuable data and compiles some useful reports from its members. Association of Support Professionals [http://www.asponline.com/] [asponline.com]
  • (judging by the lack of comments here, anyway)

    There is useful information out there though, and it's usually in independant sites for users-of-all-of-the-manufacturers-of-product-x. To pick just one example, http://www.adslguide.org.uk/ [adslguide.org.uk] is very concerned with the quality of the various offerings.

    There's also the likes of http://blagger.com/ [blagger.com] and http://www.clik2complaints.co.uk/ [clik2complaints.co.uk] for seeing how often things have gone wrong for other people. All of these are UK examples, but surely there are national equival
  • by scronline ( 829910 ) on Monday September 04, 2006 @04:40PM (#16039635) Homepage
    The problem with things like this is they don't usually work. BBB is worthless almost to the point that it should be dismantled as it does NOTHING for the consumer.

    In the S.F. Bay area there used to be a program called "Value Star". It is still out there, and they have asked us to join like we were once members, but it fails miserably in what it is suppose to do as well. They do a good job of checking out each of their members and assigning a rating. However the business must be a member and pay dues. If they aren't a member, they don't get tracked. On top of that, there is really very little incentive for a business to be a member. My company was a full fledged member before I was an owner years ago. Not once did we ever have a customer tell us they came to us because we were gold star rated or found us on the value star website. Any consumer I asked about it had never heard of Value Star. So their point of helping consumers find good service providers fails simply because the consumer isn't aware of them. Plus it doesn't help that they have closed the doors on several occasions without warning but still sent out invoices for dues.

    I was actually going to start something that was free and wiki-like in the hopes of having a good site for people to rate and find rating on companies nation wide, but sadly, I didn't have the time. That and thinking more about it I've realized that the only time people will look/use something like that is when they're getting bad service. Very few people actually take the time to say anything good about a company. When they get what they expect they stay silent. Hence the phrase "1 unhappy customer speaks louder than 500 happy ones".

    Value Star has a good idea, but they don't do enough marketing for people to actually know it exists so it's a poor value for a business which of course means no businesses such as myself are members. And that means we're not rated good or bad.
  • The problem with a place/program/system that would help rate Customer service is manyfold. First, how reliable can it be? There are people out there that believe as I do, if I can take the time to complain I'll also take the time to complement. There are actually a lot of people who take the few extra minutes to let someone's supervisor or comment board know that they received good customer service. But compared to those that are upset for whatever reason, those people's voices are always silenced. For

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