Pros & Cons Of Online Chats

February 10 2013 by Ellen Roseman

Howard Green, host of Headline on BNN (Business News Network), invited me to talk about my book last Friday. It was a fun interview, lasting about 20 minutes. 

“Which industry is the worst offender?” he asked.

I hesitated for a second (since Bell Media owns BNN), but said that telecom topped the list. I get more complaints about phone/TV/Internet troubles than about any other topic.

Provincial governments are passing laws to tame telecom abuses, forcing the CRTC to consult Canadians on a wireless code of conduct. The first draft isn’t bold enough, says Toronto Star columnist Michael Geist.

Today, I’m asking about the value of online chats. Do you get answers more quickly than by calling or emailing a telecom supplier?

Do you benefit from having a written record to refer to when told that a promised deal doesn’t really exist?

All depends on the agents who handle these live chats. How well trained are they? How much power do they have to escalate a complaint to a higher level?

If the agents are unhelpful or rude — as they were to Erin Paul, whose story I wrote about here —
you might as well stop typing at high speed. You’re no further ahead than by using the traditional methods.

I like the fact that readers are sending me their online chats. So, I’m posting a few below for your reading entertainment.

I also have a comment from Jordan C, a reader who feels that online chats are a step backward.

As always, feel free to add your opinions and cite your own experiences.

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