Now that's service!
February 1, 2007 2:59 PM   Subscribe

 
The CSR was an ass to be sure, but seriously, TANSTAAFL.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:06 PM on February 1, 2007


This is what happens when you entrust your email to anyone but your own self. Shit happens.
posted by zsazsa at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2007


+1

Free services are worth what you pay for them.
posted by Skorgu at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2007


Also: not like Hotmail, etc. doesn't do this as well.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:07 PM on February 1, 2007


Christ, what an asshole.

(The blogger)
posted by cillit bang at 3:12 PM on February 1, 2007


I think everybody involved displayed a little of the Asshole Nature.
posted by Skorgu at 3:13 PM on February 1, 2007


I like the "Nothing in their terms of service REQUIRES them to delete my mail" followed by the quote where the TOS specifically says they have the right to delete mail if you don't check it every 30 days.

Couldn't be clearer. The blogger obviously doesn't understand how Terms of Service work.
posted by odinsdream at 3:14 PM on February 1, 2007


Also - Hey, at least they have the e-mail and can restore it for a fee.
posted by odinsdream at 3:15 PM on February 1, 2007


Why did you email them asking where it says they’re REQUIRED (capitalization yours) to delete email? The lack of that one word doesn’t mean that their customer service agreement isn’t clear.

They said they have the right, if they feel like it (and they obviously do), to delete all your email if you don’t log in at least once every 30 days.

You fail at teh life. Suck it up, buttercup.

That's pretty much it, right there.

I'm not really sure I understand the point of this post. Random blogger doesn't understand the difference between 'right' and 'require'? Company has a CSR with a (slightly) bad attitude?

Not getting it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:18 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


The rule of backups: If you don't have it twice, you don't have it at all. I don't have much sympathy for the guy, despite Lycos being shitty about it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:18 PM on February 1, 2007


Somebody call the wahmbulance for this guy!
posted by peeedro at 3:18 PM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not the best of the web. Flagged.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:20 PM on February 1, 2007


Also - Hey, at least they have the e-mail and can restore it for a fee.

According to the blog, the customer service guy told him:
"No one is holding anything hostage. Your e-mails have been completely deleted, and no amount of money can now restore them."
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:22 PM on February 1, 2007


Reason for deletion: meh
posted by knave at 3:30 PM on February 1, 2007


Is anybody NOT aware, by now, that anything you want to keep you better keep locally--and back up to the hilt, also locally? Anything of yours that you store out there on the web somewhere can and will disappear at some company's whim. (And while it is still out there, every conceivable kind of spy, pervert, address scraper and government agent can paw through every bit of it, ROTFLing all the while at your cringeworthy emails to your appalling girlfriend and your hilarious taste in mp3s.)

Web Services, forsooth. "In order to serve you better. You ever hear that? I hear that all the time now. We did this in order to serve you better. We did that in order to serve you better. Now, when I was a boy on the farm, we took the cow to be served by the bull. I always think about that whenever anybody wants to serve me better than they already are."
-- Will Rogers
posted by jfuller at 3:30 PM on February 1, 2007


Slightly bad attitude? The first response he gets is to cough up $20 or lose his emails, with little "this is non-negotiable" and "this is strictly enforced" jabs included. That's hardly a good policy; Customer Service should not immediately start out attacking like that. They should have directed him to the policy in question and explained in a professional, pleasant manner what he needed to do.

What boggles me completely that the Head of All Customer Service was even answering the blogger's minor query in the first place. That the query was answered in such an immediately hostile manner by the freakin' department head makes it even more amazing.
posted by smashingstars at 3:36 PM on February 1, 2007


To paraphrase for those who don't want to click through:

"Waa waa waa."
posted by pompomtom at 3:41 PM on February 1, 2007


"There is no one higher than me that you will speak with."

What was he high on, and why couldn't anyone else get higher? Were they worried about the risk of overdose?
posted by mullingitover at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Salient point: The guy deleted the customer's private emails for seemingly vindictive reasons. Where does it say in their agreement "We can delete your emails for whining...?" Aside from the bloggers whiny tone, and the customer service rep's jerkass attitude, this is what makes it relevant. The guy should still be able to pay for an account to get his email back, but once the CSR got steamed he snapped: "Your e-mails have been completely deleted, and no amount of money can now restore them." Whereas, before he got mad he said: "…Should you want to restore the previous contents of your account, you will need to upgrade to the Lycos Mail Plus service…" Baaaaad Customer service, and probably not lawful.
posted by Blingo at 3:44 PM on February 1, 2007


Yawn
posted by beagle at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2007


A. The blogger had no leg to stand on, legally. Lycos had the right to delete the emails.

B. Good customer service requires more than merely meeting your legal obligations to your customer.


Both of them screwed up. But I can forgive the blogger for screwing up...it's what non-professionals sometimes do. The rudeness exhibited by the ostensibly professional head of Customer Service is inexcusable, though.
posted by darkstar at 3:49 PM on February 1, 2007


For consistency towards CameraObscura, I am obliged to flag this NTBOTW SLBOE post about Lamey McLame whining about how lame he is.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:53 PM on February 1, 2007


Is anybody NOT aware, by now, that anything you want to keep you better keep locally--and back up to the hilt, also locally?

actually, after having been through all that, this clueless blogger still doesn't seem to have learned it
posted by pyramid termite at 3:54 PM on February 1, 2007


flagging system needs an "awful post". Marking this as "noise" doesn't do it justice.
posted by boo_radley at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2007


The first response he gets is to cough up $20 or lose his emails, with little "this is non-negotiable" and "this is strictly enforced" jabs included.

I get the feeling the guy is doing some serious selective quoting of the nastygrams he sent to get that response.

The guy deleted the customer's private emails for seemingly vindictive reasons

"Your e-mail will not be restored, as it’s been more than 48 hours since you were notified as to what you had to do" seems to indicate it happens automatically if you decide not to pay.
posted by cillit bang at 4:00 PM on February 1, 2007


Really though, *yawn*.

Lycos, I'm sure, farms out their customer service functions to another company. Just like practically every other large corporation.

The probable reality of the situation: "Mike," the "Customer Service Manager," works at the outsourcing place. He is likely in his 20s, getting paid *maybe* $10 an hour, and is a level 2 rep. He probably hates his job, as any of us would if we were in his shoes. He is responsible for fielding questions from the level 1 reps, and he handles escalations. He is empowered with representing the management of Lycos.

So the blogger in question, as he admits, doesn't check his account for 30 days, it is deleted. Happens every day. He complains to Lycos, who is represented by the outsourcing cubicle farm. Mike is unfortunate enough to have to break the news to him: dude, your emails are fucking gone. You were using our free service. You get what you pay for. If this account was important to you, you would've checked it regularly. We're not here to host your emails for all eternity.

I worked in a simliar situation and dealt with escalations like this. In my exerience there were two types of escalations: those where the customer has a legitimate problem, and those where the custome does not. This particular case falls into the second category. In the first category, I enjoyed bending over backwards to help out the customers who had been screwed. I was empowered to override company policy on a case-by-case basis, and I did. However, I was less patient with the people who didn't have a leg to stand on. Mike appears to be similarly inclined.

Could the service be more customer-friendly? Sure, but when you have kids who make less than pizza delivery drivers representing the management of your company, this is what you get.
posted by mullingitover at 4:02 PM on February 1, 2007


Christ, what an asshole.

Some people are born assholes, some achieve assholdom , and others have assholes thrust upon them.
posted by eriko at 4:04 PM on February 1, 2007


For consistency in my hypocrisy, I am also gonna comment:

Good customer service requires more than merely meeting your legal obligations to your customer

Yes, but how far you are willing to bend backwards to please a customer depends on the value that customer represents to you. In this case, a non-paying user, rarely accessing the site is probably worth pretty close to zero in revenue for Lycos. Having some DBA restore his emails would probably cost more than the total advertising revenue he generated in his entire usage of the service. Hell, even the customer service reps' time probably cost Lycos more than this guy's business is worth to them.

Standing on policy is kinda sucky, and not satisfying if you are on the wrong end, but these policies are created for a reason, and one truth in business is that certain classes of customers are literally worthless to the company, or even negative propositions. Good managers know exactly how to categorise & flag such customers, and customer service policies are tailored to suit.

On preview: what Mullingitover said. Outsourced support, for sure.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:07 PM on February 1, 2007


friends of mine who work in customer service tell me that they semi-regularly "pose" as managers, because who can tell over the phone or over email . . . not saying it's right, but . . .

that aside, on the blog comments, the Lycos Customer Service guy posted that he got fired over this . . .
posted by nyoki at 4:09 PM on February 1, 2007


Yeah, they're all dicks.
posted by Elmore at 4:18 PM on February 1, 2007


This thread is all about dicks and assholes.
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on February 1, 2007


on the blog comments, the Lycos Customer Service guy posted that he got fired over this

No, some unknown cunt who created an account using his name, with no ID verification required, posted "that he got fired over this". Might be him, but could just as easily be a troll. Don't be so credulous.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:21 PM on February 1, 2007


It has always been my experience as an eBay seller that the customers that buy the cheapest stuff are almost invariably the ones who are the biggest pains in the ass. After dealing the occasional internet creep who goes ballistic on me because I won't bend over backwards to mail something parcel post and save them a dollar or two on shipping for an item they won for 99 cents, I can only imagine the unrelenting hell of dealing with people who expect customer service on something free. The people that are most demanding of customer service are the least deserving of it.

It's a cliché, but you do indeed get what you pay for.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:24 PM on February 1, 2007


This guy needed to pay the $20 and STFU.
posted by autodidact at 4:28 PM on February 1, 2007


This link belongs on digg. And even there, it's hardly worth reading.
posted by ninjew at 4:35 PM on February 1, 2007


This was flat out failed, bad, inexcusable customer service, if only in tone and not content. There's no reason the rep couldn't have done exactly as he was required, per policy, while still being as helpful and sympathetic to the customer as possible.

Were I were his manager, his ass would be fired.
posted by stenseng at 4:37 PM on February 1, 2007


I've been using IMAP for years, through fFastmail.fm. 2gig storage, spam and virus protection, can pull mail from other accounts and multiple aliases for making my mail appear as though it's coming from another address . $40 bucks a year and never had a customer service problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 PM on February 1, 2007


Some people are born assholes, some achieve assholdom , and others have assholes thrust upon them.

Welcome to Metafilter.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:13 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Having lost years of emails in my main hotmail account when I was in the hospital, I cannot help but feel some satisfaction in reading the ire expressed by other people who've experienced having their correspondance deleted.

Then right after that hotmail increased the size of the one other email account that I rarely used to some mega amount, which simply gets taken up by the massive and inconvenient quantity of spam hotmail lets in. *sigh*

YAYYY GMail! (for now anyway).
posted by nickyskye at 5:28 PM on February 1, 2007


This guy wasn't their customer, though. There was no financial transaction involved. They were giving him something for free, and he complained when they did exactly what they said they reserved the right to do.
posted by clockzero at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2007


LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! I'M AN IDIOT!! LOOK AT ME!!!!
posted by unSane at 6:11 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


This needs to be posted on yet another forum so that a third response thread can be started.
posted by longsleeves at 6:16 PM on February 1, 2007


Does this guy not have a hard drive or something? He couldn't save his "historic" emails locally? I mean, if he's been saving them for years and years, they obviously meant something to him. One would think he'd back them up. What if Lycos (hardly a big name in the online world these days) went belly-up tomorrow?
posted by Target Practice at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2007


ADMIN PLEASE HOPE ME
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 6:37 PM on February 1, 2007


Ah yes. I know all about this. (I did eventually find an old, partial backup of the emails on that account.)

While it's true that Lycos has every right to delete inactive accounts, I think the "deletion after 30 days" policy is asinine and counterproductive on their part. Given the cost of hard drive space these days, I would think a longer grace period would be a very cheap investment in customer satisfaction. (For that matter, even "holding mail hostage" until the customer pays to reactivate the account seems like a better option than just deleting it all.) But if this incident is any indication, customer satisfaction does not seem to be a major concern at this point.

I should also point out that Lycos doesn't make it all that easy to back up emails locally--POP access costs extra.
posted by fermion at 6:48 PM on February 1, 2007


I should also point out that Lycos doesn't make it all that easy to back up emails locally

do you mean that a person might actually have to press ctrl-c, open notepad and press ctrl-v? ... or horrors, save the page the email is on?

or just have his close friends email him at his isp email?

part of the price of interactivity is that one has to do some of the work and the thinking oneself ... in the time it took for him to email lycos back and forth and make a blog entry over his problem, he could have devised a solution to his problem long ago
posted by pyramid termite at 7:15 PM on February 1, 2007


Ah, once again, the n3rdz of MeFi come out to ridicule a guy who deserves a bit of sympathy. If he'd been told, like I was when I lost a bunch of AOL (yeah, I used to be on there) emails, that they were real sorry, but it was an automated action, or some such, he'd never have posted this. Instead, we get a mass of justification from assholes for assholes, in a way that feels like vicarious pleasure felt by the petty and the powerless.
Yeah, the blogger should live and learn, but Christ, would it take even an iota more energy to show him some fucking humanity? Instead, this is like the speck of blood in a chicken coop, watching the poor bastard pecked to death by beasts with brains the size of pennies.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 PM on February 1, 2007


Yeah, the blogger should live and learn, but Christ, would it take even an iota more energy to show him some fucking humanity?

you mean like giving out a service rep's name and telling stories about him across the internet that may or may not be accurate? ... that kind of humanity?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:51 PM on February 1, 2007


Wait, so you're impugning the accuracy of the blog post now? And what's inhumane about sharing the guys name if this is true?

Oh, I get it. You wanted the taste of Lycos dick in your mouth one more time.
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 PM on February 1, 2007


You wanted the taste of Lycos dick in your mouth one more time.

look what's happened to mother teresa - oh, the humanity!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 PM on February 1, 2007


Wow, Lycos has actually contributed to the economy since the dot-com bubble burst?
posted by oaf at 9:05 PM on February 1, 2007


Yet another reason to maintain control of your own email. I worked with a guy that was gushy over everything Google and just LOVED Gmail....

.. until the day his account suddenly stopped working and basically vanished into the ether-abyss. It was gone, and he was unable to get in contact with anybody useful. They basically told him that they couldn't find anything, and sorry about that.

Ah, poor Bob.
posted by drstein at 9:06 PM on February 1, 2007


I once worked at a place that have serious consideration to allowing employees to fire one customer per year. Meaning, we'd call them and tell them we were not interested in their money, and would they please go away?

the better way to do it is to pay them to sign a contract barring them from ever purchasing your products again, I guess.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:07 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


"look what's happened to mother teresa - oh, the humanity!"

I'm suprised you don't like that approach— I thought since you've been such a toady, you might respond well to being put in your place. (And pointing out my rudeness doesn't wipe the dribble from your lips).
posted by klangklangston at 9:11 PM on February 1, 2007


I used to use hotmail (still do occasionally when I need to sign up for a questionable website), and everytime I restore my account, they've deleted my emails. That's fine, since there are usually at least 25 spams in there before I even receive whatever confirmation email from a given site registration.

Hotmails spam filter is just about the worst out there. With Gmail, I might find one that gets through every couple of months.
posted by Clamwacker at 9:17 PM on February 1, 2007


Yeah, the blogger should live and learn, but Christ, would it take even an iota more energy to show him some fucking humanity?

Depends who you're criticizing. Yeah, "Mike" should have been more polite. But at this point in the story, "Galumphix" — whose real name doesn't appear on this entry, by the way — is using his blog to basically plaster Google with "Mike J____ is a douche."

That's pretty fucking disproportionate, I'd say. Google results are permanent, for all intents and purposes, and that's a pretty effective and high-profile way to vilify somebody. I certainly don't have any sympathy for somebody who resorts to that tactic without signing his own name to the allegation.

Wait, so you're impugning the accuracy of the blog post now?

Sure. Why not? I wish people would stop accepting these allegations at face value. Galumphix presents absolutely zero evidence, and yet a bunch of strangers are eager to help him Google-bomb somebody they've never met. Lame.
posted by cribcage at 9:20 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: if you want to watch a poor bastard pecked to death by beasts with brains the size of pennies, pop over to the blog & read how the petty & the powerless jeer & swipe at the alleged customer service rep.

In contrast, I think we have been quite civil here - more of a "meh, shit happens, you get what you pay for" kind of real-world approach. The people over at the blog sound more like petulant teenagers with parental control issues, who haven't even the foggiest about automated scripts or policy restrictions on what a minor shitkicker can or cannot do for a customer who, frankly, is not worth the time or effort from the company's point of view.

How outrageous that a company should want the user to pay when they expect something beyond a common interface and a tiny share of cheap disk space!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:23 PM on February 1, 2007


Speaking from my years of customer service training and top-flight IT technical support, what a tard.

It is a fact of help desk life that sometimes you just have to deliver bad news. Invariably, the customer blames you. It isn't just thankless; it's somewhere in the limbo beyond thankless. I would rather not work than do that ever again.

I was a little ticked when I lost old mail in a Yahoo! account when they changed their TOS a year or so ago, but at least I knew it was my own damn fault. (Most of the mail concerned a job I no longer had, but having some of my e-mail contacts could have helped my networking.)

The 30-day rule adhered to by Lycos, by Netscape, by Hotmail, by Fastmail, by Photobucket, and so forth is woefully short. I used to use a calendar to remind me to check one particular account at least monthly (very ancient stuff where somebody might have had only that address to contact me). Heck, even if you pay for AOL, they roll over old mail into the ether after a spell, unless you use the Save button. But it's supposed to be short enough to make the threat of losing something credible, so that you'll upgrade to the paid version if it's at all important.
posted by dhartung at 9:34 PM on February 1, 2007


Oh, I get it. You wanted the taste of Lycos dick in your mouth one more time.

And why beholdest thou the dick that is in thy brother's mouth, but considerest not the Ron Jeremy horsecock that is in thine own mouth, sorely testing your gag reflex as it tickles your tonsils?

Based on just the tiny self-selected quotes from the blogger, I'd wager he was a dick to the support guys from the get-go. As an occasional support guy myself, I see this all the time. The difference here is that this guy is NOT a customer. He's complaining about the quality of something he got FOR FREE, and he seems to think that they have an obligation to keep giving him stuff for free.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:12 PM on February 1, 2007


It would have taken 10 extra seconds to reformulate the response as "I'm awfully sorry -- your emails have been deleted because you didn't log in for 30 days (see terms of service here). Very sorry I can't help!"

There's NEVER an excuse for not being polite over email when doing customer support. Never.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:46 PM on February 1, 2007


lupus: spot on.

When acting in a customer service role, you inevitably find yourself dealing with customers who have problems that you did not cause, and which you are often also powerless to remedy.

At the same time, as the (inter)face of the company, the customers often see you as the personal cause of their woes or as their hopeful saviour (witness the reaction of many at the blog - as if it was all "Mike's" doing).

For the good of the business & for your own mental health, the script here is long-established: sympathise with them, explain what happened & why, suggest any actions you or they can take to work around or fix things, and be clear about what is beyond your powers.

"Mike" fundamentally failed in this, suggesting that he is in no way the head of customer service, and very unlikely to be a manager either. As mullingitover suggested earlier, most likely a low-level shitkicker earning bugger all, hating his job, possibly at the end of his tether, indifferent to Lycos' interests, and lastly, totally out of patience for aggressive assholes wanting everything for nothing, and abusing him for not doing things that he has no power to do.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:22 PM on February 1, 2007


Wait, wait, wait.

Lycos is still in business?

It still exists?

Lycos?

I don't fucking believe this shit. Why did we even have a dot-com bubble burst?

So is that flooze company with Whoopie Goldberg still around? Are we going to hear about Whoopie Goldberg shitting on some customer over whatever-the-hell Flooze was in business doing?
posted by dirigibleman at 11:45 PM on February 1, 2007


This whole fiasco is ridiculous. If the dude wanted to save his emails, he should have backed them up. Period. If they were *that* important to him, the absolute very least he could have done was log into that Lycos account once every 30 days. It takes approximately 10 seconds. If it's not worth 10 seconds of effort a month, then it's not that important, really.

Having said that, the CSR was a douche, but only a small bit of a douche to start with, and then the blogger goes all "Holding for ransom! What about my rights!!!1!", after which point I would go into full on asshole mode too. And it *does* plainly say, right there on mail.lycos.com, "Note: The content of a Lycos Mail Basic account will be deleted if the owner does not login and check the account at least once every 30 days. " - so this blogger's reading comprehension failure is pretty spectacular. He still insists that it's not on the homepage! Very silly.

And also note that he only quotes his own email once, then he paraphrases them after that. I'm sure he was the absolutely epitome of rationality and politeness.
posted by antifuse at 1:29 AM on February 2, 2007


If you read the comments in the original thread, it appears that Lycos changed its policy sometime in August. It's entirely likely that there was no 30-day limit when the guy created the account; Lycos instituted it and then, at some unknown time later, started the deletions. Judging from their quality of customer service, they probably didn't email warnings about the ToS changes.

Further, this whole thing about how they had the email if he coughed up $20, but then 48 hours later DIDN'T have the email, is total bullshit. No system would work like that.

And then all you people leaping all over this guy for not having a backup when there's real way to DO a backup of their email system.... sheesh. With no POP access, just how exactly was he supposed to do that? Even better, pyramid termite blames him for not using copy and paste as a backup. Yeah.fucking.right. You try doing that with 500 (or 5000) emails and see how much you like it.

Blaming someone for not pasting their entire email account into Notepad had got to be one of the stupidest statements I've ever seen on MeFi.
posted by Malor at 4:49 AM on February 2, 2007


Internet witch-hunts are fast becoming this year's YouTube.

If the email was so important to this guy, why didn't he take a backup of it or just pay the 20 bucks?

Guy doesn't log into free email account > mail gets deleted > guy looks for someone to blame > picks on customer service guy who couldn't care less > spreads name across internet in revenge > feels like an ass for behaving like a child and still without email and no hope of getting it back. ever.

The only person in this story who looks like an arsehole, and in fact, IS an arsehole is the blogger.
posted by ReiToei at 5:32 AM on February 2, 2007


The terms of service could have said: We reserve the right to delete your emails randomly, read your emails, send girls hot-and-bothered emails from your account, etc.... but they said "We reserve the right to delete your emails after 30 days of inactivity"... and that's what they did. He has no real reason to get angry, although I can see that he would be frustrated over a) fucking up and forgetting to check and b) fucking up and using an email service that deletes your emails like lycos, without backing them up.
posted by tehloki at 5:50 AM on February 2, 2007


It's like those people who get all pissed off at the people who work in a private business when they leave their wallet/backpack there and it gets stolen, even though the business has a sign up saying "we assume no responsibility for lost or stolen items." Although, it would be nice to see a few "if you forget your stuff, we'll guard it for you until you come back" signs around.
posted by tehloki at 5:51 AM on February 2, 2007


I'm suprised you don't like that approach

i'm surprised you expected to have an adult conversation over this after that comment

Even better, pyramid termite blames him for not using copy and paste as a backup. Yeah.fucking.right. You try doing that with 500 (or 5000) emails and see how much you like it.

it's not like he got them all at once, is it? ... so done daily, he could have accomplished this with little effort ... and better yet, he could have just forwarded the ones he really wanted to his regular pop account by putting in his email address and clicking send ... or hell, sent it to a hotmail account

the thing is, he broke the number one rule of computing ... BACK IT UP!! ... and there were several ways of doing it that would have been a minimal amount of effort if done by habit ... and then he turns around and not only blames someone else for it but spreads his name all over the net
posted by pyramid termite at 6:03 AM on February 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


To borrow a point from up-thread: Politely saying 'No, I can't help you, and that's final' does not require bending over backward; and furthermore, would not be construed by anyone not already a raging asshole to be in any way compromising to one's dignity.

The guy's on the other end of the phone; if Mister CSR is really in an outsourced cube farm in Saskatchewan, it does him no harm, and arguably does his spirit some good to just behave in a decent and civil manner.
posted by lodurr at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2007


With no POP access, just how exactly was he supposed to do that?

1) Login to Lycos Mail
2) Open msg
3) Forward to email account that you actually still use.

This method will take a hell of a long time if you've got a ton of messages, but if they're that important? You'll do it.

Or:
1) Shell out $19.95 for Lycos Plus Account
2) Connect via POP3.
3) Download.

The fact that these emails weren't even worth the $20 that it would cost to get pop3 acess is telling.
posted by antifuse at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2007


I find this idea that people deserve to be crapped on because they're not as smart as the rest of us to be quite tiresome.

If turnabout really is fair play, the world gets pretty crappy, pretty fast. The only way it gets better is if people don't play the round-robin craphound game. And that's especially important for people in positions of power, even (and maybe especially*) if it's only highly localized, normally petty power -- e.g., CSRs, clerks, etc.
--
*As the saying goes, the smaller the stakes, the more vicious the fight.

posted by lodurr at 9:40 AM on February 2, 2007


i am the head manager of all the internets and you will not be speaking to anyone higher than me! it's all about me, me, me because i am the best, the smartest, the culmination of millions of years of evolution! there is no setback so trifling that i can't put it on my blog and wallow in it, enlisting a flashlynch mob of total strangers to sing cacophonous antistrophes of condemnation with one hand on their keyboards while they masturbate with the other! i wanna hear show tunes this morning! i wanna see shapely bosoms with engorged nipples! dance for me you fuckers, dance, dance, dance!
posted by bruce at 10:28 AM on February 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's disagreement here because people are talking about whether what the CS guy did was assholish, as if he only did one thing. in reality, there are two issues:

1) Was the customer service rep a dick for deleting the guys email?
2) Was the customer service rep a dick for the way he explained why it was deleted?

For #1, probably not. It's very likely an automated process.
For #2, no way to tell, really. We're only hearing half the story, without full correspondence, but just the choice selections that the user with the complaint has posted.
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2007


What's interesting is that the Consumerist has picked up the story and attached a first name to our heretofore anonymous accuser. Using that name and the name of her blog, it took me exactly two searches to find her full name. She apparently writes for a newspaper and works at a state university.

I'm not going to publish it; but the point is, if I can find it, then somebody more enterprising and nefarious will, too. According to Google, her name is more unusual than Mike's, which means she's just as vulnerable to the kind of Google-bombing that she's doing to him. Not very smart.
posted by cribcage at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2007


... vulnerable to the kind of Google-bombing that she's doing to him.

Googlebombs?! No such thing, dude!

(...must...fight...urge... to rank on...google...)
posted by lodurr at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2007


she's just as vulnerable to the kind of Google-bombing that she's doing to him. Not very smart.

she's one of these people who go around assuming that things are the way she thinks they should be and then gets incredibly upset when she discovers reality isn't like that ... rest assured that she will be predictably outraged if someone "invades her privacy" by google bombing her and not reflect for a minute that she's been doing the same thing to someone else

from how she describes it, the customer service guy may have been a jerk, although god only knows what kind of emails full of whiny entitlement he may have received ... still, he doesn't deserve having his name and photo plastered all over the internet

keep that shit up and they'll just outsource it to some place in india where you couldn't spell the person's name even if you could remember it
posted by pyramid termite at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2007


she's just as vulnerable to the kind of Google-bombing that she's doing to him. Not very smart.

strictly speaking, i think it is her readers who are doing the google-bombing (not that she seems to be discouraging it).

keep that shit up and they'll just outsource it to some place in india where you couldn't spell the person's name even if you could remember it

"dear bhenchod customer..."
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:51 PM on February 2, 2007


I am the manager of all of Customer Service. All your base are belong to us. I am the manager of all of Customer Service.
posted by oxford blue at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2007


I didn't know they had centralized customer service universally. I guess they went with AOL... their customer "service" seems to make them the most money.
posted by tehloki at 1:53 AM on February 3, 2007


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