Careful What You Automate

by Roger Pynn

Automation is part of our daily lives and has made many mundane tasks easier … even more pleasant.

But, when you automate customer satisfaction surveys you run the risk of pouring salt in a wound. I know, because I’m still smarting from an episode two days ago in which Bright House Networks’ automated customer satisfaction surveys caught up with me 24 minutes after I’d gotten off a call to alert them that their service technician had stood me up.

Worse … I’d taken two hours off work to be there during the two-hour window Bright House had prescribed three days earlier when my home phone service failed. So, three full days without service and now I have been put off another day and my cell phone rings with an automated request to tell them how I liked the service. Stick with me, it gets better.

There were only to be five questions. All were to be answered on a Likert scale … 1 was excellent, 2 good, 3 average, 4 poor and 5 absolutely unsatisfactory. I actually answered the first two as excellent because they wanted to know how the initial response was when I called in my request for help. The young lady had been delightful and tried to walk me through my problem, finally realizing they needed to come fix something.

Questions 3 and 4 were different. “How did I like the service?” I rated it absolutely unsatisfactory and the automated voice came back and said, “5 means absolutely unsatisfactory. Are you sure? If so, press 5.” Question 4 wanted to know on the same scale how likely I would be to recommend Bright House. Give me a break … absolutely not. A 5, again … and again I was prompted to be sure I wanted to trash the service I received.

Finally, “is there anything else you’d like us to know? If so, just press 1 and leave your message.” My reply: “I can’t believe I’m getting this call. Check with your service department. They can tell you how happy I am.”

I wish I could give you a happy ending to this story, but the following day instead of sending out a technician at the appointed hour, one arrived two hours early … followed by another at the appointed hour. Neither fixed the problem. Thank the Lord for cell phones.

2 Responses to Careful What You Automate

  1. Chris Berry says:

    Hello my name is Chris and I work for Bright House Networks. Please let me know if I can help with the service concerns. Email me at Thanks!

  2. Roger Pynn says:

    Thanks, Chris. I will … but I’m replying her to say to all who may have read my post that it is refreshing to see the company monitoring the online conversation. In today’s world it is essential to customer communication and satisfaction.

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