• Asafum@feddit.nl
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    2 days ago

    “Corporations love the idea of not paying anyone.”

    Would be a more useful headline. It doesn’t matter what consumers want. All that matters to large corporations is what the consumer will bear.

    • Bonskreeskreeskree@lemmy.world
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      2 days ago

      What a consumer will tolerate has nothing to do with it either. If a consumers only choices are all aligned, you’re shit out of luck.

  • NutWrench@lemmy.world
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    2 days ago

    The point of modern “customer service” is to NOT provide customer service. If you can drag out the conversation to the point where the caller rage-quits in frustration, then the company can avoid spending any money on fixing any problems they’ve caused.

    • Buttons@programming.dev
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      2 days ago

      This is how companies that don’t have competition act. This is how most companies act. We need more anti-trust enforcement.

    • hamsterkill@lemmy.sdf.org
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      2 days ago

      Previous way for companies to cut down on customer support costs was to make a better quality product (making support interactions rarer). That is not so much the philosophy anymore.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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      2 days ago

      It’s also similar to scammers. When you are not quite certain if you’ve been scammed, you’ll first ask. There’s a percentage of cases where you won’t bother for the sum, because you’ve used the energy on pinging them.

      While in case of companies you could have used that energy to, say, post “X is crap” somewhere in the Web.

      • T156@lemmy.world
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        2 days ago

        Depends on whether scammers will also use a similar AI system to do their job for them. If they do, they might be basically indistinguishable.

  • Hazzard@lemm.ee
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    2 days ago

    Storytime! Earlier this year, I had an Amazon package stolen. We had reason to be suspicious, so we immediately contacted the landlord and within six hours we had video footage of a woman biking up to the building, taking our packages, and hurriedly leaving.

    So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”. I cannot explain to this thing clearly enough that, no, it’s not showing up, I literally have video evidence of it being stolen that I’m willing to send you. It literally cuts off the conversation once it gives its final “solution” and I have to restart the convo over and over.

    Takes me hours to wrench a damn phone number out of the thing, and a human being actually understands me and sends me a refund within 5 minutes.

    • laranis@lemmy.zip
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      2 days ago

      My guess is you’re one of the 10% or so who didn’t give up in frustration. My % assumption might be off, but assuming any percentage of people gave up and walked away without costing Amazon a dime the system was working perfectly.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
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          2 days ago

          My wife… She will never stop buying from Amazon no matter how shitty they become. She was refusing to go to Wendy’s for a while because they were considering surge pricing, she swore up and down she would not reward a company for doing that - so I said what about Amazon? How often does prime get you free shipping anymore? And with streaming, now you have to watch ads when you didn’t before… But of course that’s all “different”.

    • Fredselfish@lemmy.world
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      2 days ago

      Dude could save yourself time by just going to contact page and ask for a call. I never use these companies chat features.

      Also I found if I Google customer service numbers regurdless of company than I can get a number to call 85% of the time.

      Of course after that you either got to fight robot to get a human on the phone that 9 times out of 10 will be a person out of India who also acts like a goddamm robot that doesn’t understand English.

      But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

      • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
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        2 days ago

        I never use these companies chat features.

        Historically, these chat interfaces were tied out to a call center somewhere on the opposite side of the planet. Now they’re entirely prompt-engineered. So you used to be able to work a claim through chat without sitting on a phone call for hours at a time. But now they obscure their customer support phone number behind six layers of tabs and links, while shoving the “WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHAT WITH A REPRESENTATIVE” button in your face the whole way, fully knowing it doesn’t actually connect to anything that will help.

        But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

        A lot of the agents are just working off of written prompts anyway. But they do get experience with these problems over time (or recognize a slew of the same problem coming in at once) and can cut through the shit to give you a real, human response. Sometimes that response is simply “We can’t help, because of widespread technical / systems issues”, but that’s better than being bounced through an automated service that feeds out generic non-answers and useless how-to guides.

      • Hazzard@lemm.ee
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        1 day ago

        Ugh, if only. Amazon has done everything in their power to bury and strip that number from the internet. Once upon a time that worked great.

    • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
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      2 days ago

      So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”.

      I tried to change the dates of a car rental through Priceline, a day after I entered the order. I got a message saying “You cannot change this order until 72 hours before your arrival” which I thought was weird. But I bookmarked the date and called as soon as I was inside the window. “Oops! Sorry, you can’t cancel or change the reservation because too much time has passed!” was the automated response.

      Absolute fucking scam. So I submitted a complaint through my credit card company to reject the charges. In this particular case, automation worked in my favor, because AMEX’s dispute process is as opaque and arcane for the vendors as Priceline’s support desk was for its own clients.

      But its increasingly computerized horseshit. Nothing actually fucking works, except the vacuum they hook up to your bank account every time they find an excuse to extract payment.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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      2 days ago

      These things having a clearly visible and usable button to ask for a human should be mandated by law.

      Also have you tried writing “operator” to it? That may work. Sometimes.

  • BastingChemina@slrpnk.net
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    2 days ago

    I think it’s more “Most consumers hate the idea of a bad, unhelpful customer service”.

    I’m fine with AI if it was actually helping to solve my issue, but it is generally not the case.

      • laranis@lemmy.zip
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        2 days ago

        See: Rufus, Amazon’s chatbot. I’ve never seen a more useless application of electrons. If it isn’t already in the description then it can’t help you.

        If it is already in the description I don’t need your shitty chatbot, Jeffrey.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
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          2 days ago

          a more useless application of electrons

          Microsoft is worse… Have a problem, google it, find a link that has a promising summary, click it- “try Windows 11!” Because that’s what dead links do.

  • soulfirethewolf@lemdro.id
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    2 days ago

    Consumer disapproval of AI use in customer service is unlikely to keep firms from deploying the technology as the cost savings are just too great

    So much for the market determining what goes

    • jj4211@lemmy.world
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      2 days ago

      The market does determine, unfortunately the market is relatively unfazed by subpar customer service. It has to be really bad or a huge legal catastrophe before it moves the needle. Which is why phone trees and long wait times are ubiquitous despite being universally hated. Marketing and sales and having a 90+ % rate of people that don’t ever feel the need to call customer service basically eliminates that bad service as a concern.

      Even when asus had a famously bad customer service scandal this year, their sales continued to rise unabated.

  • ToucheGoodSir@lemy.lol
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    2 days ago

    Yeah it turns out that using a statistical model to handle customer service leads to a degraded customer experience, because statistical models aren’t humans and lack many human attributes.

    • storcholus@feddit.org
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      2 days ago

      Also, “the progress” only works because it’s humans who bend the rules and show kindness to special situations

  • conciselyverbose@sh.itjust.works
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    3 days ago

    If it worked for most shit and escalated to a human when it actually needed to, reliably, I’d be fine with it.

    I don’t believe there’s a realistic chance that there’s a lot of overlap between the people willing to invest to actually do it properly and the people paying for AI instead of people though.

    • ArbiterXero@lemmy.world
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      3 days ago

      The problem is the same as with the telephone answering trees.

      If they’re used to help you get where you’re going, then they’re great. But that’s not the best financially motivated decision. Solving your problem costs the companies money. Pissing you off and convincing you that your problem shouldn’t be fixed saves money on support.

      So making you go round in circles is the machine doing EXACTLY what they want it to do.

      • conciselyverbose@sh.itjust.works
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        3 days ago

        That’s an additional problem.

        But the bigger problem is that it’s not actually possible to do a good job without genuine meaningful investment in building out the tooling properly.

        • ArbiterXero@lemmy.world
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          3 days ago

          That’s just it…… they are building it out properly, their goal is just not what you think it is.

    • MeatsOfRage@lemmy.world
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      2 days ago

      I get one of those meal kit delivery services. Every few weeks I’ll go to their AI customer support and ask for cancellation and it’ll give me discounts on upcoming orders. I keep the service at about 40% off at all times. Also when there’s a problem with the order the chat bot just tosses me a discount. Cases like this are perfect for AI customer service.

      Edit

      Wow this blew up in a weird way. Just to be clear on a few points:

      With the discount I pay $87 Canadian which is $76 untaxed or about $55usd. I also pay for this service using gift cards from Costco that are 20% off ($100 for $80) bringing that $55 weekly cost down to about $44. For 6 different dinners for me and my wife delivered to my front door every Monday. With crazy grocery prices where I live I cannot come close to beating that without giving up something. I won’t eat the same thing every night (Sunday meal prep bros, don’t at me), I don’t want to expend the mental energy gathering recipes and ingredients but I do enjoy cooking a lot. It’s something at the end of the day I can do with my hands free of screens. At regular price this was worth it to me, at 40% off it’s actually saving me money. If they’re still making money shipping this big box off food to me on a weekly basis, then good for them, we’re both coming out on top.

      • DessertStorms@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        3 days ago

        Except they’re selling you the kit at waaaay over cost in the first place, so they’re still making money off of you. I promise you they are aware of the “glitch”, and are not ignoring it out of the kindness of their hearts.

        (not criticising you for using the service, if it works for you go for it and get those discounts, but don’t let them manipulate you in to thinking you’ve got one over on them, they 100% account for this kind of thing and are still making money)

        • snooggums@midwest.social
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          3 days ago

          If X number of people pay full price and only Y number people go through the hoops of getting a discount the company comes out ahead!

          • TeddE@lemmy.world
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            3 days ago

            It’s worse then that. They’re actively profiting from that discount rate, meaning they’re ludicrously profiting from everyone who doesn’t spend half their life getting discount codes (the cost of convenience)

            • fuckwit_mcbumcrumble@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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              3 days ago

              I mean most products you’d sell you’re hopefully making at least 40% profit margin so everyone would still be making money. They’re just banking on you sticking around and not canceling. lots of money > some money > no money

              • dactylotheca@suppo.fi
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                3 days ago

                We humans sometimes use a rhetorical device called “hyperbole” where we use exaggeration to emphasize our point, and it’s usually not meant to be taken literally. Welcome to the planet, hope you enjoy your stay.

                • MeatsOfRage@lemmy.world
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                  3 days ago

                  Yes but the point you’re trying to get across is this is a huge amount of effort when it’s really trivial.

        • MeatsOfRage@lemmy.world
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          3 days ago

          Yea but it works out to $87 (Canadian) for 6 different nights of meals for 2 people. Delivered to my door. I suspect their angle is using this to just keep you from churning at a loss in hopes of just keeping you around in case you go back to paying regular price. The amount of meat, vegetables and dairy in the box along with cost of shipping and paying people to assemble this order, the cost has to be damn near $87 if not a little over.

          • DessertStorms@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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            2 days ago

            Like I said, I don’t criticise anyone for using the service, and the more affordable it is, the better, but trust that they are definitely not working at a loss, in the same way supermarkets, that would probably still charge less for the same items, do - by making you believe they’re selling to you at just about what it costs them to get by, when they are selling it to you for significantly more.

      • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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        3 days ago

        And it’s quite possible that it’s cheaper for them to give those discounts since they’re not employing as many humans. Humans are expensive.