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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.
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.
REAL_ESTATE
October 2, 1998 | By Evelyn G. Redcross, FOR THE INQUIRER
Brookside Manor Apartments and Townhomes, Lansdale, Montgomery County Three symbols of welcome are prominent in front of the Brookside Manor Apartments and Townhomes. First, a large sign with broad gilded lettering that seems to blurt out the name Brookside. Second, a stretch of bright red flowers lacing the entrance and suggesting a red carpet. Finally, a smaller and less conspicuous sign that indicates Brookside has won awards for "Best in Apartment Living" for the last five years from the Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
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.
NEWS
February 11, 2014
C ORTNEY COHEN, 27, of Old City, owns the Geisha House, a women's boutique on 3rd Street below Race, in Old City. Cohen, a former nurse, opened the boutique in December 2012, and it quickly attracted a following for its sexy, edgy blouses and boho maxi dresses by mostly Australia- and California-based designers.   Q: How did you come up with the idea? A: I have a nursing degree from Thomas Jefferson University and was a nurse for three years, but starting a boutique was always a dream.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
It has been nearly 93 years since Manny Rosenfeld, Moe Strauss, and W. Graham "Jack" Jackson opened the Pep Auto Supply Co. at 7-11 N. 63d St. In the company's first decade, a trip to California in a Ford Model T constituted market research. Things are a bit more complex these days for the threesome's corporate heirs. On Dec. 10, Pep Boys-Manny, Moe and Jack disappointed shareholders with lower-than-expected third-quarter results (two cents per share earnings vs. an anticipated 13 cents)
BUSINESS
November 25, 2013 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Essent Group Ltd. is among the region's largest 50 public companies, and will be on the Philly 50 list when it is refreshed beginning next quarter. The mortgage insurer, organized in Bermuda but with its headquarters in Radnor, went public Oct. 31, with an initial offering of 19.7 million shares for $13.50 to $15.50. Wall Street immediately declared the shares undervalued, driving the price to $22.00 as of closing Friday. That would give the company a market cap of about $1.84 billion.
NEWS
August 6, 2013
  Nishon and Laura Yaghoobian, both 35, of Claymont, Del., own Wild Flour Bakery, a wholesale commercial bread and pastry bakery whose clients include restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. The Holmesburg company, which began in 2003, also sells breads and pastries at weekend farmers' markets in the city and Collingswood. Nishon oversees baking and Laura handles customer service, sales and payroll. I spoke with Laura. Q: How did you come up with the idea for the bakery? A: Nishon worked in pastry shops at [now closed]
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Charles Krauthammer
'Horrible customer service. " That's what the newly fired Internal Revenue Service commissioner averred was the agency's only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment. In such grim proceedings one should be grateful for unintended humor. Horrible customer service is when every patron in a restaurant finds a fly in his soup. But when the maitre d' screens patrons for their politics and only conservatives find flies paddle-wheeling through their consomme, the problem is not poor service.
NEWS
May 22, 2013
By George Parry Dear Internal Revenue Service: Regarding your targeting of conservatives before the presidential election, I found last week's testimony by your former commissioner to be very reassuring. As he explained it, what appeared to be your intentional and politically motivated punitive, totalitarian, and chilling measures against conservative groups and individuals in a clandestine effort to affect the outcome of the election were, in fact, simply the inadvertent consequences of "horrible customer service" provided by a bunch of flunkies in Cincinnati.
NEWS
May 19, 2013 | By Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The firestorm buffeting the Internal Revenue Service intensified Friday as lawmakers began what they promised would be an extensive effort to learn whether there was any political motivation or White House involvement in the agency's recently acknowledged misdeeds. Fueling those concerns, J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's top tax watchdog, said Friday that he had informed top Treasury officials last summer about problems related to the special attention the agency was paying some conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status.
NEWS
April 15, 2013 | By Larry Platt
Last fall, ironically right around the time I wrote about Vernon Hill, the banker whose evangelical emphasis on customer service has utterly disrupted the banking industry, I found myself encountering a string of customer service headaches. First, our newly installed gas heater went out. We'd been paying hundreds of dollars a year to F.C. Haab, the company that installed it, for a service agreement. They came out and told us we had a faulty blower motor. We'd have to wait for days - in the cold - for a replacement part.
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