Coffee heat rising

Your megacorporation “values” your business

Why do faceless corporations work so hard at being faceless? And why do they veil their facelessness behind messages that claim to “value” their customers’ business? The fact is, if they valued your business they wouldn’t treat you the way they do.

For the second time in three months, Cox has failed to send a printed statement. When you call, the customer service rep gives you a scripted story: “We printed it on the 26th of last month. If you didn’t get it, you need to talk to the post office.” Understand: they’ve already wasted a significant slab of your time and tortured you by forcing you to listen to the most hideous Muzak turned to high volume, and now they want you to waste even more of your time trying to get through to an even larger and even more understaffed bureaucracy, the U.S. Postal Service, whose fault this clearly is not!

I will say, they’re better than Qworst. At least you can get through to a human being, and at least the human being has a sense of humor!

Customer: “You know, your bosses need to know that real musicians actually make real music, and they record it. You can get real music to put on the phone.”

CSR: [laughs] “Well, if it’s any comfort, sometimes we have to listen to it, too!”

Customer: [laughs] “You poor kid! What an awful job!”

[CSR and Customer laugh at Cox’s unholy treatment of its customers and employees.]

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it’s possible to get your hands on the names of living, breathing executives of faceless corporations, and on the addresses of their corporate headquarters. Ergo:

Jimmy W. Hayes
Chief Executive Officer 
Cox Enterprises
6205 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30328


RE: (666) 123-4567 
Acct. No. 098-765-432101234 


Dear Mr. Hayes:


Once again, no statement from Cox has arrived this month. This is the second time in three months that a Cox statement has supposedly been sent and “lost.” I mailed your company a check for $71.65, the amount your spokesperson says is due, but of course in the absence of a statement I have no precise understanding of what I’m paying for or whether the bill is accurate.


I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy your customer service rep’s canned line that it’s all the Post Office’s fault and that because you guys didn’t send the statement I have to go waste still more of my time (it took over 10 minutes of listening to truly painful Muzak to get through to a human today!) by hassling the postal service. All my other bills appear on time. None of them ever goes missing. It seems highly unlikely that the U.S. Postal Service has something against Cox Communications and so is failing to deliver Cox’s statements and only Cox’s statements.


What seems more likely is that the statements aren’t being sent as a way to trap customers into missing a payment and being gouged unfairly with a late fee.


Please ensure that your staff sends statements in a timely way. The reason I asked Cox to send paper statements rather than dorking around online is that I’m getting on in years and do not remember things well. And I can’t afford extra dings on my bills for late payments.


Thanks for your consideration.


                                                                        Sincerely,  (etc.)

The “go talk to the Post Office” line is an obvious runaround. Even though these companies have monopolies or near-monopolies, you’d think sooner or later their customers would either find other ways to get what they need or simply abandon that service or product. Really. Will I die if I don’t have high-speed Internet? (Hmmm… Probably.) Can I get high-speed Internet somewhere else? (Evidently: a Google search brings up seven competitors on the first page!) Do I really need a land line? (Nope.) Can I get cell service with some other provider? (Indubitably!)

What is the matter with these companies that they can’t spare a little common courtesy for their customers?