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5 Companies With the Worst Customer Service of 2015

5 Companies With the Worst Customer Service of 2015

In this modern age, companies like Yelp and Trip Advisor have made local businesses accountable for their customer experience. Search engines like Google have started to display search results using factors such as the number of positive reviews and feedback. However in 2015, monopolistic corporations are still getting away with treating their customers poorly. Here are 5 companies with some of the worst customer experience in 2015 backed by real customer horror stories and personal experiences.

1. Electronic Arts

When I started conducting polls to see which companies sported the worst customer service, Electronic Arts was one of the most mentioned companies.  While many claimed that their live chat support doesn’t answer, I personally actually was able to get speaking with someone in 5 minutes. However, I didn’t have an actual issue to diagnose so it’s hard to say if the problem would have been resolved. One customer, Deb McAlister, explained they ignored her over several forms of communications such as live chat, emails or direct messages on Twitter. Another customer, who goes by the username, The gray fox 77, stated, “why is it so difficult to get any actual help from a live body?”

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2. Teamviewer

For those who never heard of Teamviewer, Teamviewer is a remote control desktop software which allows others or yourself to remotely control a computer. This is a handy little tool, especially for hackers. After waking up one morning on October 22, I was greeted with a message that a Teamviewer session had completed, although I never gave access to anyone. My desktop background read “Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer. Private decryption key is stored on a secret Internet server and nobody can decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.” I had fallen victim to ransomware. All of my files were locked until I paid the $450 ransom, that’s if they decide to unlock my files after or if they ask for more money.

The first thing I wanted to do was get ahold of Teamviewer to get information on who connected. I sent them an email on October 24th, and then 2 messages on Facebook reminding them that I needed a response to my ticket ASAP. After contacting their press department explaining several times how bad this makes their company look, they finally responded on November 3rd requesting me to send log files. My first question is, why don’t they have log files on their end so a hacker just can’t delete the log files? On November 6th, I received a response explaining 2 IP addresses with the times of the connections. In the end, the IPs led to nowhere and I was left with nothing but a bad customer experience.

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3. Comcast

It’s a typical story, you have a problem with your Comcast internet or cable, you give them a call and they schedule a technician to stop by sometime between the hours of dawn and dusk and you pretty much have to write off your day to have someone to stick around to see if they show. The Comcast Xfinity forums are full of complaints of overcharges and completely ignoring vacation requests where services are supposed to be put on hold and charged a lower rate until the user is back from vacation. There are even cases where Comcast has blocked customer’s fax numbers to prohibit them from sending in legal documents proving their overcharges. Lastly, it has also been said that Comcast employees have been caught trying to bend FCC regulations.

4. Toshiba

Toshiba is one of those stocks that dropped with the markets in 2008 but never really recovered. They’ve been dying out for years, and by that, I mean losing money. The worst part about buying from Toshiba is they don’t have a customer service email. Your only option is to call, which is not always the optimal way of contacting, especially if you rather send in photos or screenshots of the issue. Not only do you have to call, but you only receive phone support if you bought the computer recently. Your free phone support does expire and at some point in time, they’ll leave you out to dry. The amount of complaints like this out there are endless. Shay from Rogers, AK said it best, “Before buying ANY electronic, I suggest you try reaching their customer service line. If they don’t have one, there’s a reason for it.”

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5. Skype

Skype was acquired by Microsoft in May 2011 and the company has been downgrading it’s user experience ever since. Take a look at the complaint in their support forums. Skype has allowed hackers to login to one user’s account, use the credit card associated with the account without verification to purchase local calling far outside of the account location, then allow the hacker to permanently change the email communications to Chinese just for the sake of prohibiting the owner of the account from understanding what exactly is going on with account purchases. As stated in the forum thread, after waiting a long time to be connected to Skype live chat, and reassuring that a higher level staff member of Skype would resolve this, Skype failed to reach out to resolve this. Even after opening a chargeback through the bank, they made no attempt to contact the customer.

While government agencies like the DMV and IRS are certainly top contenders in the list of worst customer support, the list was kept strictly to corporations. Hopefully these horror stories will make you think twice before working with these 5 companies in 2016.

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Featured photo credit: Josh MacDonald via joshmacdonald.net

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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