questionswhy is it that so many people can't differentiate…

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Probably for the same reason that people just press 0 to talk to an agent rather than sitting through the automated menus. They want their answer now, even if it is coming from the wrong people.

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I imagine these same people wander the mall and ask random strangers if the shoes come in their size.

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I called AT&T with a question and the rep had no idea what I was talking about.(Typical for a large company). I posted in their forum and had an answer fairly quickly. Maybe people are so used to crappy customer service that they just skip it all together.

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I blame a lack of situational awareness. The internet is still some wild unknown to them. As they wander aimlessly from page to page, I don't think they truly realize they have left one site for another. It's a bit like them not understanding they are leaving one house to visit another one down the road or across the city.

Also, the acronyms (like "FAQs") frighten and confuse, not to mention a just flat out failure to bother reading the smaller print where one finds all sorts of helpful information & instruction.

People should ask questions when they need assistance, but they should also give it the ol' college try to see if they can't help themselves with a bit of exploring first.

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On the deals.woot site there isn't a clear customer service link. the closest thing is the ask a question link at the bottom of the page. I think it is one of the sites design faults, most of which have been listed here ad nauseam.

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Because the answer "unplug it for ten seconds then plug it back in" isn't really useful.

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I think lots of folks want answers ASAP and it's often faster to get those answers from a forum. So many customer service email responses take a day or two. If the question isn't personal or to a specific order, why not?

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I guess it depends on the situation. But mostly because (from what I can gather) the average internet user looking for help is lazy, uneducated, and impatient. My research is based heavily on the questions being asked at http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/index?link=open Just take a gander and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Some folks want answers to questions that can be answered with a few clicks of the mouse on Google, or a phone call to a free 24/7 nursing line. But they're either too lazy or too embarrassed to talk to an actual person. With the internet they can hide behind a username, and come back a half hour later and hope their issue has been resolved by someone else doing all the work.

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often times when you get NO RESPONSE from customer service, a company will respond to a pot here on deals.woot in order to attempt to preserve their reputation.

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This is the worst customer support department ever. I can't believe you people would complain about customers on the help forum. Unbelievable! I don't know who is to blame, the moderators for allowing it, or those misusing the support forum. Sheesh.

Still haven't received my widgets and doohickeys from that Chinese wholesaler site. I paid $0.05 a piece, and they just couldn't seem to get the things out the door in a timely manner. Could you stop whining about people like me and answer my question? Anyone?

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@lichme: I cram down the 0 key at times because there isn't a "right person." None of the menu options make sense, or, worse, the menu is so poorly designed that it gets me stuck in a loop.

People press 0 because the menus, at least somewhat frequently, are awful.

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When you need to know, go to the people that do know. If the deals.woot community is willing to answer, I don't see a problem with it, as long as people realize that it is free unsolicited advice and the advice givers are not responsible for any issues created by the advice.

As for issues with a particular deal, the PR folks will be monitoring the deal and wants to make things go smoothly. Easiest way for that to happen is to get issues settled.