Help Desk: Government vs. Industry

Like all generalizations, this is not one size fits all. To protect the guilty, I will use pseudonyms for both the product and the government department

Industry help desk for a fitness product:

Online chat with a (lack of) service rep

Hello. How may I help you?

My fitness product says its need to be reset, but I can not figure out how to do it.

What is your product, please?

Provide the name of the product.

I’m sorry before I can proceed any further, I will need a credit card number in case this requires additional help.

Thank you for your help. I’m ending this session because I will not provide my credit card number for a just in case event.

Online chat with a different (lack of) service rep.

Hello. How may I help you?

I’m having problem with my device. These are its issues. (I no longer remember what the issues are.)

Did you try this…

That is not the problem I just described.

Variations of this conversation went on for several minutes while the rep went through a canned list of options which did not address any of the issues I mentioned.

Finally I decided I could live with the issue since getting it resolved did not seem possible.

Online phone call with a US government agency dealing with beneficiary issues (and I didn’t have to wait on the line once we got through the phone maze.)

Hello, how may I help you?

Hi I have two issues. I need to designate a beneficiary and when I try, the system will not let me.

Let me walk you through the steps.

I get to a certain point and it won’t let me add any information.

Maybe it’s your pop-up blocker on your computer.

How do I find that? (Getting stressed because I know this will take a while and my mind just dumped any memory of how this problem was handled previously).

Give me a minute so I can tell you how to do this.

She gives me the steps but they do not match what I see in one browser so I asked her if she would mind if I tried another browser.

Sure, take your time. I’ll wait quietly on the line while you log in.

She waited patiently while I switch browsers, re-log into the government site, and successfully add the beneficiary.

She clears up a few ambiguous questions during this process.

Then I ask her about finding something that needed review in a form email from the agency, the second issue.

We send that message so that people can check this particular feature on the website.

Thanks you so much for your time, I really appreciate it. Can I fill out a survey?

That’s not necessary. We are here to help and are just doing our job.

Which help support would you prefer?

Duh?

12 thoughts on “Help Desk: Government vs. Industry”

  1. I’m impressed you reached a human on the gov’t side! When we had to contact customer service at a gov’t agency, we got directed to phone numbers not manned by anyone and building addresses you could not go to if you didn’t have an appointment, the only way to get one being through the above-mentioned non-functional phone numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a system that only a true bureaucrat could devise
      The US does have some agencies like that. Fortunately this one was not as much like that as others. Sometimes it’s who you get on the phone.

      Liked by 2 people

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