Virtual learning and its technicalities | Photo By Pixabay
By Pamela Garcia
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for more virtual communication, which in turn demands more engagement online, and quite frankly– has become a turnoff.
With safety precautions limiting the amount of access we have to people at service offices, computers and phones are primary forms of contacting representatives. However, getting through to someone to find out information, address inquiries or concerns, has been very difficult.
In my experience, the amount of time it takes for matters to be discussed and determined by a company representative has taken far too long. For example, when I registered for classes there was no one at the Registrar’s or Bursar’s Office assisting students, or answering any phone calls. To make matters worse, their online communication seemed nonchalant at this point, I was frustrated trying to figure out how many back and forth emails it would take in order to get adequate assistance from mediocre customer service.
When businesses began transitioning their staff and services online I thought to myself, “The fact that companies can conduct customer service online is great and things should be fine,” because I wanted to believe things could not get any worse at the time. During the height of the pandemic, it seemed like being able to still reach establishments I had business with was perfectly fine online. This was until it started to take forever to hear from a company representative and even longer to hear back from anyone at all. “Is anybody going to ever get back to me and will I ever get the help I need,” were some of the thoughts I had? However, I became irate when I made several attempts to get assistance and received no response as time passed. Hours would turn into days, then days into weeks, leaving me with an unresolved problem and feeling defeated .
One reason I became hopeless about online and telephone communication is because no matter how hard I tried I still could not get through to a company representative. Furthermore, it does not help that businesses have phone messages suggesting people can visit their website, as if every issue can be resolved by reading frequently asked questions online. Questions I had were not always easily answered online and when a representative would finally be available they did not understand the urgency of my circumstance. Unfortunately, this seemed to be a theme among multiple businesses which I encountered when trying to contact a representative from businesses like the phone company to institutions like the bank.
Due dates, deadlines, and fees were just some of the things I had to contend with on top of delayed responses and long wait times in order to speak with a representative. Some businesses took “social distancing” to a whole new meaning when customers could not reach representatives by phone or online. Whether it’s trying to pay bills, settle an issue, or find out the status of a matter online there was a challenge at every turn that fell into a turnoff.