The past few weeks have been an interesting experience and a lesson in terms of “what good does not look like” in the wonderful world of customer service.  Here is the situation.  I am in the midst of trying to move some retirement money around and have been doing so for the better part of three weeks.  Lets be more specific.  I want to do business with this particular company and they will not call me back.

Zero human interaction

After the first week of zero contact with a human being, I went to their website to find a local person in my area.  I figured that I may improve my odds by contacting them.  Guess what?  It was the same exact experience (Groundhog Day).  I called him approximately six times and emailed him on four other occasions.  For some odd reason, I cannot convince this “sales person” to contact me.  At this point, I am frustrated and shocked so this actually turns into more of a research project.  I call his office and ask to speak to him and of course he is unavailable and I am told to leave him a voice mail message.  Here we go again.  I am getting somewhere now though; at least I know that he is alive.  I will take a small win at this point.

At wits end, I send one final email.  Here is the response that I get back, I’m in an offsite meeting in our corporate office all day today. Then we have a company wide training Thursday – Sunday and a test on Monday morning to become certified and won’t be available until Tuesday the 15th. I’ll e-mail you on the 15th or please feel free to e-mail or call me then as well.” After trying to track this lad down now over 10 different times, he has the audacity to ask me to do it again. Is this really happening to me?  I think I need Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) to find me a sales person.

The last time I checked, we were in a recession.  At least, I thought so.  My emotions are bouncing back and forth between shock, laughter and frustration.  I have been in the wonderful world of sales for over 15 plus years and I cannot imagine a time when I would be too busy to take an order.  Do you know what’s really scary?  On my voice and email messages to him, I was very explicit in what I wanted.  I want to be a customer!  Please help me.  This gent is probably doing it to others too and is a habitual offender. I wonder if his sales manager has any idea.  Does it matter?  Actually it does but I am not going to tell him because I have emotionally moved beyond their brand.  The referee just blew the whistle and it is game, set and match.

Is it possible that a company could be so busy that they are okay with ignoring their customers along the way? I highly doubt it and in this case shame on me for spending so much time trying to stimulate the economy.

Hello, Hello! Is anyone home?


Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, keynote speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker. He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations. Follow him on Twitter. His website is: He is also a featured blogger on