I bought a pair of BOSE noise canceling headphones at Oslo airport on 29th August. My first BOSE purchase. The left earphone has stopped working. I rang the service number and briefly explained the situation. The assistant asked for some information, some of which I'd just told her. She typed into a computer and her computer crashed. She didn't know what to do so she put me on hold. While I waited I replied to a couple of emails, made an entry to my wiki, and started reading from a book. Then she was back. She apologised. She told me that everyone's computer has crashed! She asks me for the information again. I provide it again. She types it in again. It doesn't crash this time!
Then she asks for the serial number. "Where is that?" I say. "What kind of headphones have you bought?" she says. "How can I tell?" I say. It seems you can't tell by looking at them - they have a minimalist design with only the words BOSE on the headphones. "Try looking inside the ear cushion" she says. I can see a number in the left one. I start reading it out. "No that's not it". Eh? You have a serial number in both earphones but only one is the actual one? Are you trying to be rubbish I wonder. So I look in the other ear cushion. Indeed - another number. So long and so small I can't read it. So I put my glasses on and read it out. "Ah" she says that's the such-and-such model. "They're discontinued". Why am I not surprised. She can't do a like for like replacement for that. So they'll replace it with the nearest equivalent. But before they can do that they'll post me an audio cable - could I try the new cable to see if that fixes it? it will be delivered in 5-7 working days, all I have to do is sign for it. If I'm not in when they deliver it they'll put a note through the door so I know which depot to drive to pick them up from. By now I'm losing my patience. I ask if she's really telling me I'm going to have to stay in all day to receive an audio cable that in all probability won't solve my problem and is merely creating extra weeks when I have no working BOSE headphones despite having paid over £200 for them only 2 months ago? And besides that I won't be in anyway since I'll be in another country on business. On business without my BOSE headphones. She says she'll ask someone. I'm on hold again. No, she was wrong. They'll send them regular post. They don't have to be signed for. She's very sorry but there's nothing else she can do. That's what she has to do. I'm so fed up with BOSE at this point I can't face wasting anymore of my time so I tell her to send the damn audio cable.
Do BOSE think that people willing to pay £200 for a supposed quality pair of headphones value their time so little that they're happy to waste even more of it just because the headphones don't work?
BOSE products are expensive. They are pitched as high quality products. My experience today tells me their customer service computers and their customer service process is not high quality. I don't in any way blame the girl on the phone. She's trapped inside a rubbish system, forced to follow rigid procedures like a robot.
BOSE, today you were RUBBISH.
is the title of an excellent book by Jerry Weinberg. As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
Underlying organic models is the fundamental idea of systems thinking: "It is impossible to change just one thing at a time."
Leaders are leaders of change in themselves.
People don't become leaders because they never fail. They become leaders because of the way they react to failure.
If you are a leader, people are your work.
There is no conflict between people and task.
Doing something new heightens awareness, which is stimulating, but also a little uncomfortable.
If you intend to grow you cannot avoid some pain.
Very few of the classic leadership studies have been done in environments even vaguely resembling the technical work situation.
The only way we can see ourselves is through other people. This inability to see ourselves as others see us is the number one obstacle to self-improvement.
Becoming a leader means shifting the focus from your ideas to the ideas of others.