Posts tagged ‘Domino Pizza’

Memo to Customer Service Departments

Dear Customer Service Departments:

In my recent call to your service center, I was forced to navigate a nearly interminable set of menu options (which I listened to carefully since I had been assured that they had recently changed).  After I navigated these options, your automated system then gathered data from me.  It asked me to give my name, then my telephone number, and finally my account number, which I did.

Here is the reason for my letter, and my advice to you:  Once you have collected all my information via an automated system, it is just going to piss me off when your human operator picks up the line and proceeds to ask me for this same information again.  I know this seems to be the current industry standard, as practiced by every company from Citibank to Domino's Pizza, but I can assure you it is incredibly annoying and, perhaps worse for you, introduces me to your organization with the initial impression that you do not know what you are doing.  So, either find a way to put the information you have gathered up on the customer service agent's screen, or don't have an automated system gather it.

Thank you.

PS-  By the way, if you really, really want to start our conversation off on the wrong foot, then you should  make it nearly impossible for me to find a menu option that gets me to a real person.  You can get double extra credit for disabling "0" as an immediate route to the operator.  Oh, and make sure all menus are preceded with long-winded customer service notices that have nothing to do with my problem.


Please Don't Let the Government Invest Funds in the Stock Market, part II

I am all for restructuring the whole social security system, but, as I have written before, we cannot let the government invest social security funds in private equities.  The potential for manipulation and creeping socialism are astronomical.  Its easy to picture fights over whether the social security funds should be invested in tobacco makers, gun makers, hospitals that conduct abortions, Domino's Pizza (that donates funds to oppose abortion), Haliburton, etc. etc. 

I have always used government-funding of universities as an example -- the government uses the leverage of this funding (and the threat of its withdrawal) to force all kinds of regulations on universities.  Today, we have a good case example that is even more directly applicable. 

Over the past several years, Calpers (the California state workers retirement fund) has been a great example of how government control of equity investments can be a disaster.  In the case of Calpers, their huge pension investments automatically make them one of the largest investors in each company in their portfolio.  Calpers has used that power wisely at times, promoting improvements in corporate governance, but has also used it astronomically poorly. 

Under Sean Harrigan, Calpers portfolio has been unbelievably politicized, up to and including having the portfolio use its ownership in several grocery chains to support striking members of the grocery union run by... Sean Harrigan.  Professor Bainbridge has a couple of good roundups here and here.

If we are change how social security funds are invested, let individuals make their own investment choices.