Three business days.

Lately I’ve noticed that when I call a Customer Service department and nobody is available, I’m told to leave a message, and told that they will return my call within three business days. Now this might be a Canadian thing, because I’ve noticed it when I call Canadian companies, and it seems to be happening more frequently.

So imagine how this makes me the customer feel. These are companies from whom I have purchased a product or service, but my business isn’t important enough to call back the next day. I’m not even important enough to call back two days later. No, my business is so meaningless to them that they’ll get back to me three whole business days later.

The latest incident was that my Sunday New York Times was not delivered. Their Canadian delivery partner, The Globe and Mail, was the party that was going to make me wait three days. Now you would think that a newspaper would actually be concerned about losing a customer but apparently not.

I had similar problems with my local paper, The Record, and it actually took a call to the publisher to get them fixed. Yet after a single followup call I’ve heard nothing.

It isn’t just newspapers though. It’s other kinds of companies too. But from now on when I hear someone will get back to me in three business days, I’ll just take that as an indication that they don’t really want my business. And I’ll look elsewhere.

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