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The Mecklenburg County phenomenon

Great article (Boomer With Attitude: "Consumer hell" by John Grooms, May 14). Thanks for the humor that prevented me from throat-punching a worthless mouth breather in the "customer service" industry. To your question about theories on the subject, I believe it is simple. In hindsight, customer service was a marketing/advertising tool. I could end my letter right there.

Perhaps not, but it clearly stinks of marketing and advertising. So there we were, industrial, postindustrial, consumer and then the customer-service era. It seemed customer service was a differentiator, but when everyone jumped on that wagon it was no longer a differentiator; everyone had it or claimed they had it. So why bother continuing a strategy that doesn't gain market share. The marketers and advertisers were surely the first to abandon the concept. Smart long-term companies and a few with values stayed true because it is a core belief but most washed their hands. And why not, now that they have fleeced the ship's crew of independence and collaborated for all products and services to bill at what the market will bear with total disregard for any semblance of true value; why then bat an eye as to what the consumer cares? You do gotta love those that are still selling customer-service as the companies headlining act and then your first interaction, your first impression with said company is a comical disaster.

But maybe I am overlooking something. Perhaps it is the Mecklenburg County phenomenon. Ya know, lead by example. I mean if our city, county and government offices, systems and officials can bleed everyone dry without actually producing, supplying or maintaining anything, then why shouldn't those in the private sector follow suit? There obviously isn't any consequence for being worthless in local government.

Well, I think I'll go take a ride on a flying F&%@!*^ donut. I'm sure there's a N.C. & Meck luxury tax for the ride, but since I am nowhere near or will ever have a use for $450 million worth of light rail, it will have to do.

-- Paul H., Charlotte

Bad business owner, bad!

While I can sympathize with your experience (Boomer With Attitude: "Consumer hell" by John Grooms, May 14), you should know that a significant portion of the blame rests with the employer. They pay minimum wage and we get lousy service. Employees don't have to care about customers if they know they can get exactly the same wage next door. Another mistake employers make is not training staff and explaining how good service can benefit them and the business. Worse yet, business owners often fail to create an atmosphere where good service has any benefit to the employee.

-- Jay Ahuja, Charlotte

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