4 Jul 2002 madscientist   » (Master)

I guess I'm naive. For some reason I assumed that, with the current tech slowdown, there would be both a glut of at least reasonably talented people needing work, and a new commitment on the part of companies to keep the customers they have, and win new ones.

So why, then, has service in every segment of the tech industry (that I'm a customer of) begun to suck so badly? Is it really that companies don't have enough money to provide decent customer service any more? Or are people just too stunned and depressed to care?

I bring this up as I wait for the second day for someone at my ISP to clean out the /var partition on my hosting server: since that partition filled up sometime early yesterday morning major chunks of my site no longer work: I can't ssh into the box (I have a session still running from before the disk filled, which is how I know what's going on), various parts of my pages, like counters, no longer work, and anyone trying to send email to my mailing lists gets it rejected with an error about "insufficient resources". I've filed numerous cases with no response at all, and now even that doesn't work. How hard is it to delete some log files? If it comes to that, how hard is it to install some trivial scripts to proactively email the admins when a system disk is getting full?

And as bad as that is, I don't even want to get into the experiences my wife has had with her new Treo--she loves the Treo, but the customer service for everything ranging from the rebate offer to the email account to the phone service has been a nightmare.

So, what is it? Are companies broke? Did they fire anyone who knew anything? Are employees too depressed to care? I always used to assume bad customer service was due to record low unemployment--but now there are people who need work, and companies who need customers, and yet the customer service seems worse than ever.

I'm confused.

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