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Customer Service

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NEWS
September 10, 2000
What's your experience of customer service? Is it getting better? Worse? We'd like to hear from customers, workers and managers alike. Send essays of 200 to 300 words by Sept. 18 to Voices/Service, The Inquirer, Box 41705, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101. Send faxes to 215-854-4483 or e-mail to inquirer.letters@phillynews.com Questions? Call Kevin Ferris, readers' editor, at 215-854-4543.
NEWS
May 17, 2002
I RECENTLY went to the Wal-Mart in South Philadelphia to shop for garden plants. I took four SEPTA buses to get there. When I arrived, I went through this non-automatic door and immediately was set upon by an employee, who told me "Wrong door. " The store was crowded and there were numerous people right outside the store collecting for charity and it was hard to tell exactly which doors to use. When I have been in that Wal-Mart on a few other occasions, some of the employees did not know how to properly treat the customers.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
After an epic breakdown in customer service this summer, Comcast Corp. has appointed a fast-rising executive, Charlie Herrin, to a new position with broad powers to fix Comcast's relationship with its customers. Herrin, 44, ran the team that developed Comcast's interactive X1 TV guide. He now has been named senior vice president of customer experience. Herrin joins Tom Karinshak, senior vice president for customer service, and Patrick O'Hare, senior vice president of field operations, in a sector of Comcast business with more than 50 call centers and tens of thousands of customer service employees and technicians.
NEWS
January 29, 1995 | By Rhonda Goodman, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
What you don't know about your customers can hurt your business. So, on Wednesday, the North Penn Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor a customer service workshop designed to show businesses how to identify service problems and eliminate them. The discussion will include tips on improving service quality and enhancing word-of-mouth reputation. Admission is free, but seating is limited. The program is scheduled from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Centre Court Conference Center at the Best Western Hotel, Route 309 and Stump Road, Montgomeryville.
NEWS
February 25, 2002 | By Terri Akman
Customer service. These are seemingly helpful, friendly words, but in reality they get my blood pressure soaring, my temple throbbing, and my hands shaking. The mere thought of customer service conjures images of waiting on hold indefinitely, or pressing the wrong button only to end up listening to a help menu in a foreign language. In these times of a weakened economy but renewed national pride, some companies have greatly improved their dealings with their paying customers. Others, unfortunately, have not. Like many families, we own cellular phones.
BUSINESS
August 29, 1989 | By Tom Belden, Inquirer Staff Writer
Conrail yesterday named the veteran manager of its rail-car fleet to the new job of vice president of customer service, a move the railroad said emphasized its need to be more competitive with the door-to-door service of trucking companies. The new post was filled by Ralph von dem Hagen, who has been assistant vice president for car management since 1984. In that job, he managed the rail-car fleet, matching customer orders with available equipment. Chairman James A. Hagen said that although Conrail provided good service, it could be better.
NEWS
November 7, 2000 | By Dave Barry
Recently, I had a great idea while waiting on hold for Customer Service. That's pretty much all I do these days: Wait for Customer Service. My call is important to them. They have told me this many times in a sincere recorded message. They can't wait to serve me! They will answer my call just as soon as they finish serving the entire population of mainland China. It's my own darned fault that I need to speak to Customer Service. We made a really stupid homeowner mistake: We moved to another house.
BUSINESS
October 20, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens
Today's home-economics class is as much about the consumer as the product and service being consumed. Rance Bell of Burlington Township has 26 years of service with the Air Force behind him, the first six as a German-speaking linguist and the rest as a readiness superintendent for the Sixth Airlift Squadron at Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst. On a sunny Tuesday morning, standing as he is able in his dining room as he recuperates from foot surgery, the retired master sergeant is extolling the virtues of home-automation technology, for which he pays $55 a month to Vivint, his Utah-based provider.
BUSINESS
August 23, 2002 | By Nathan Gorenstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Give the much-maligned Philadelphia Gas Works a call these days, and, unlike a year ago, you can actually get through to someone. So say city officials and the gas works' managers, who were forced by public outrage and by the state to overhaul the utility's call center after complaints that it took 20 minutes or more for customers to get their calls answered. "PGW used to be the laughingstock of the customer service world because it was taking us an hour to answer phone calls," Joyce Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mayor Street, said.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
October 28, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
Philadelphia Parking Authority officials vowed Monday to continue their crackdown on UberX drivers, impounding cars and issuing $1,000 fines, if the ride-share drivers attempt to pick up passengers in the city. The battle intensified Monday, as Mayor Nutter voiced his support for the service, and Uber asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to grant it emergency authority to operate in the city and suburban counties. "I am supportive of them being here legally, operating within requirements of the law," Nutter said Monday.
BUSINESS
October 27, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chris Morran, deputy editor of the piercing blog Consumerist.com, awakes each morning and doesn't have to look far for inspiration. He can see the Comcast Center from the roof of his South Philadelphia rowhouse. Morran has written almost 9,000 stories for the online publication, the so-called "TMZ of consumer news" that also brands itself as the place where "shoppers bite back. " Two hundred to three hundred of those articles - at least, Morran says - have been on Comcast Corp.
BUSINESS
October 25, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Third-quarter revenue at Comcast Corp. rose 4 percent, to $16.8 billion, and net income soared 50 percent, to $2.6 billion, as the company added 315,000 high-speed Internet customers and shed 81,000 TV customers, the cable giant reported Thursday. When adjusted for a tax gain and $77 million in expenses associated with the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., net income rose 10.6 percent, the company said. Shares of Comcast, in addition to those of acquisition target Time Warner Cable, jumped in morning trading on a broad surge on Wall Street.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
After an epic breakdown in customer service this summer, Comcast Corp. has appointed a fast-rising executive, Charlie Herrin, to a new position with broad powers to fix Comcast's relationship with its customers. Herrin, 44, ran the team that developed Comcast's interactive X1 TV guide. He now has been named senior vice president of customer experience. Herrin joins Tom Karinshak, senior vice president for customer service, and Patrick O'Hare, senior vice president of field operations, in a sector of Comcast business with more than 50 call centers and tens of thousands of customer service employees and technicians.
NEWS
August 19, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
GEORDETTA Stiles-Middleton didn't like to lose touch with people. And the telephone was her favorite instrument of connection. "She could spend hours on the phone with family and friends, reminiscing, gossiping," said her husband, Wayne Middleton. "She liked to keep in touch with people she knew in school and at work. " Geordetta Stiles-Middleton, a devoted mother and active churchwoman, died Aug. 8. She was 42. She had had some health issues, but the cause of death was not determined.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was Memorial Day weekend of 2013, and Michael Bowman, president and chief executive of Valley Forge Casino Resort, was frustrated by recent episodes of less-than-stellar customer service at the King of Prussia casino. In a bout of now obviously overzealous customer service, Bowman helped two young women who were hotel guests and banquet attendees gain access to the casino floor, even waving them through when a security guard held them up to check if they were old enough. Then Bowman left to take a few days off. Bad moves.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has pegged Time Warner Cable Inc. as the nation's most unloved company. Based on phone and online surveys, it rated Time Warner Cable's Internet service as 236th out of 236 companies in customer satisfaction - a list that included Coke, Campbell Soup, Nissan, Allstate, and Verizon Communications. Time Warner Cable's TV service rated 235th. Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity Internet service placed at 234 out of 236 and its TV service landed at 232 in the list released in May. Would merging these two cable giants in a megadeal benefit consumers?
NEWS
May 12, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Success is good. But too much success can leave some people grumbling. Take Independence Blue Cross. The region's largest health insurer anticipated enrolling 100,000 new members in Pennsylvania and through AmeriHealth New Jersey when the Affordable Care Act marketplace opened in October. As of April 30, the company had signed up a total of 283,000 members in new plans, almost three times as many as it expected. And 89 percent of them have paid their premiums. Great news, right?
BUSINESS
March 14, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Gas Works, whose sale to a private buyer is now being considered by City Council, ranked last among 54 natural gas utilities whose business customers were surveyed about customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. Peco Energy Co. ranked second among 11 eastern utilities, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ranked fifth and UGI Utilities ranked sixth, according to the rankings released Wednesday by J.D. Power. The firm ranked utilities with at least 25,000 business customers and examined six factors: billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; customer service; and field service.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA is celebrating its 50th birthday this month, marking a major step in the public takeover of the region's once-privately operated buses, trolleys, subways, and trains. Much more than names have changed since the days of the Philadelphia Transportation Co., the Red Arrow Lines, and the Pennsylvania and the Reading Railroads. Fifty years into SEPTA's reign, we have shiny new railcars, clean-running hybrid buses, a rebuilt Market-Frankford Line, some new stations and depots, rising ridership, and electronic schedules available on a cellphone.
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