Sunday, February 3, 2008

Good and Bad Customer Service

My preferred method of communication with people I don't know is using the email. You'll realise that most big companies have a ticket tracker system in place. Whenever a customer has an issue, a unique ticket is created, and the ticket is closed when the issue is resolved.

Here's an example of a good ticket:
** This email is sent via the MySchool Ticket Tracker system. If you
** reply this email, please avoid including quoted text. For more
** information, check:

Hi me,

Glad to hear that. I shall close the ticket.

> Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 00:41:09 +0800
> From: "Me" <me@me>
> To: SvcRep2 <>
> Subject: RE: [TKT:11444] POSTSCRIPT ERROR(Me)
> Hi,
> I tried printing yesterday and it was okay.

Dear Me,

I have just tried and it is ok.

Can you please try again?

> Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 15:57:19 +0800
> From: "Me" <>
> To: <>
> Subject: RE: psl212-dx prt: POSTSCRIPT ERROR
> Hi,
> I tried to print this file:
> http://somefile.pdf from a
> programming lab but got the below message.
> Please advice.
> Yours truly, Me
> -----Original Message-----
> From: daemon@school [mailto:daemon@school] Sent:
> Friday, November 09, 2007 3:41 PM
> To: me@me
> Subject: psl212-dx prt: POSTSCRIPT ERROR
> Please correct the Postscript errors in the file and resubmit the job.
> Postscript error: %%[ Error: stackunderflow; Offending Command:
> exch]%%
> Job Name: Remote Downlevel Do
> Job Id: 35
> Printer: psl212-dx
> Time processed: Fri Nov 9 15:40:31 2007
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
> Note: Please contact techsvc@school for further
> advice.

Basically I had a printing problem in November 2007 so I emailed the tech support at school. I kinda knew it was an isolated issue but anyway the next time I tried to print it was January 2008 and out of courtesy I replied to them. And they replied to me and said they will close the ticket.

Let's examine what makes this good customer service. Firstly, they have a ticket tracking system. Secondly, even though there's a lapse of two months, the ticket was not pruned. Thirdly, they replied to all my emails. Lastly, by closing the ticket (and by having a ticket system in place) it signifies that they take are committed to resolving and tracking all issues.

This is a bad ticket though:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting the HP Customer Care Centre. This is an automated acknowledgement that confirms receipt of your e-mail. Your e-mail enquiry is logged as Ticket ID: 424868

One of our Technical Support Specialists will be responding to your enquiry. Usually this is within four (4) business hours of receipt.

To ensure we track and manage future correspondence correctly, please use the Reply function in your email application when emailing us about an existing ticket ID – this will assist in tracking your enquiry correctly. It is important that the identifier below is included in all correspondence.

It is our pleasure to be of service to you and thank you for choosing Hewlett-Packard, as your preferred vendor.

Please check out our tools and resources to support your products,

In addition, you may visit our web-based tool that provides diagnosis and resolution of your computer hardware and software issues

Yours sincerely,
Regional Customer Care Centre
Please include the following identifier in all future correspondence relating to this ticket.
TicketGUID: {3E24FDC9-25CA-45D3-A150-622D239A5FEF}

I had a driver issue and I explained it as best as I could. It was dated 12 July 2007 and I've not received a single reply to date even though there's a ticket tracking system in place. I couldn't have missed any email as I download all my email to my Inbox and I move unresolved issues to the @Waiting folder or flag them if the action required or waiting time expected to be relatively short. I've since reverted from Windows Vista to Windows XP and don't need the reply anymore but it's just wrong of them not to reply to me save for an automatic ticket acknowledgement system. does not seem to have a ticket tracking system. I've always have had this IP address issue whereby I'll get automatically logged out when I switch from using my ISP's proxy to using a direct connection. The first time it happened, I had it resolved. Recently, Singnet (my ISP) used other IP range and the issue returned. This time I sent an email again and the reply was (same as the last time): "Please go to and reply back with the result (not on the proxy)."

So I went to and replied the email on 23 January 2008. I've not received a reply or solution to date and I suppose I won't be getting any. Of course one can always assume that my reply email got lost but seriously, what's the probability of that? has a pretty good customer service. They always reply to my queries. My shipment didn't arrive over two weeks after the estimated date and they assumed that it got lost and cancelled my original shipment and made a reorder. However, this time the shipping for the reorder was changed to expedited mail and I was charged the difference. I didn't ask for an upgrade but as I was too tired of waiting for my books I just chose not to contest this issue. Eventually the original shipment arrived and I refused delivery of the reorder shipment (so that it would be returned to amazon at no cost of mine). It remains to be seem how much I'll be charged for this ordeal though. I do hope that I'll be charged (rightfully!) for the original shipment which is cheaper. As of now, I'm being charged for the new shipment and I realised that when they refunded me, they did not refund the gift certificate which I used. I shall wait a few more days before taking the issue with them.

I'm pretty happy with SingPost's customer service too. After sending them a parcel enquiry, I got an automated email acknowledging receipt, but most importantly, I got a call from them reassuring me that they'll keep a lookout for my parcel.

RecordTV has a satisfactory customer service too.

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