One of the pleasures of moving to a new city is the always wonderful experience of dealing with the cable company. (Specifically Comcast, in case you were wondering. Or is it Xfinity now? I have no idea.)
Wanting to trim my budget in my new apartment, I made the decision to drop cable television and only purchase internet service.
After 6 months of getting by just fine with Apple TV and a digital antenna, I got a call from Comcast saying my promotional price on internet service was about to expire. If I did not update my plan, than my rate would more than double.
The customer service rep explained to me that basically it would be cheaper to upgrade my internet service and add on a basic cable package than it would be to remain at my current plan.
After going around in a circles with the sales rep on the phone I finally agreed. Of course once I received my new cable box in the mail it was not as easy to setup as the salesperson made it out to be.
So I was forced to do my least favorite thing in the world: contact customer service on the phone.
Dealing with customer service support on the phone is my weakness in life.
I must confess that nothing on earth makes me angrier than the routine of calling in to a company’s support hotline only to get an automated response asking me to “say a keyword referencing the problem you seem to be having”. Then instead of actually being put through to someone who can help me, I get bounced around between various menus and prerecorded responses which do nothing to fix my cable box.
That’s not to even mention the constant repeating of my full name and address and phone number and social security number and 1st grade teacher’s maiden name just to verify my account.
It’s a first world problem – I know. Something about the process just frustrates me like nothing else though.
Dealing with “customer service” has become synonymous with the rigamarole you go through on the phone or in person to get a simple task done.
Instead of actually being able to speak to someone, present your problem and receive help, we are put through an increasingly annoying system which tries to tell us every problem is the same and can be fixed in a few simple steps.
I think maybe it’s this whole process of customer service we deal with time and time again that puts us off to the concept of prayer.
You see, I think the imperfect processes we deal with in this world sometimes warp our view of the way things are with God.
We often view God as a manager who does not like to be bothered. He’s a very busy guy. He has universe to run after all.
And when we see the customer service teams of corporate conglomerates pushing us off to the side over and over, sometimes we think God does the same thing.
He probably doesn’t have time for me. He probably can’t be bothered right now. He’s probably just going to tell me the same thing he told the other person who just asked the same question.
I think we don’t pray because we’re afraid our requests fall on deaf ears. Or we think we have to go through a complex system of reciting a routine, or using complex language.
Really though God is the first person to answer the phone.
When we pray we do not sit through an automated greeting. We do not have to punch in a password.
With prayer we do not have to listen to a list of prerecorded options. We are not offered a scripted solution to our problems. We are not put on hold for hours at a time before speaking to a real person.
God is there, listening to us whenever we call. It is one of the great mysteries of God that He is always available for anyone at anytime offering His undivided attention to each of us.
Prayer is customer service done right.
It’s not so much for God’s benefit as it us for ours. He does not need to touch base with us before He acts. But He allows us to come to Him with our problems, with our complaints, with our questions. He says “call to me and I will answer you” – not “call between the hours of 9 and 5 to speak to a live representative.”
The next time you’re put on hold by a computer trying to transfer you to someone in the wrong department, spend your moments engaging with the God of Customer Service. Feel the comfort of venting your frustrations to someone who doesn’t force you to listen to an instrumental Michael Buble song while you wait on a response. Pray for the patience to deal with the companies who do.
Do you get as frustrated with poor Customer Service as I do? What’s the worst Customer Service experience you’ve ever had? How did you deal with it?