Customer Service

If you read D.O.M. magazine, you know from my last editorial column that my wife and I sold our house and are in the process of moving. As I write this column, it is a day before the movers show up to move our stuff to the house we will be renting until we decide where we want to buy.

One of the things on my long list of things to do in preparation for the move was to get a satellite provider to install a dish for us at the rental house. We have been using the same provider for years, and wanted to stay with them in the new location.

I called our satellite provider to set up a date for the installation. I was given two options for an installation time – between 8:00 a.m. and noon, or between noon and 5:00 p.m. I had things to do that morning, so I set up the appointment for the afternoon.

I was amazed that it was such a large window of time for the technician to show up. Since we were not moved in to the rental yet, it required me to leave our house, where all of our stuff still was, and go to the empty rental house at noon and wait.

It was a long wait. At 4:00, I got a call on my cell phone. It was an automated system calling to give me an updated estimate on the technician’s arrival time. It said the technician would be arriving between 4:30 and 5:45, and installation would take between three and five hours!

I was quite perturbed to say the least!

The technician finally arrived at 6:00. He found the ideal place to install the satellite dish. We then discussed the wiring options. The existing Cat 6 wiring that the homeowner had previously installed ran from the roof to the crawl space under the house. From there, it split up to the different rooms. The technician told me, “I can get it done a lot quicker if I use a splitter for the cable outside the house and drill holes in from the outside walls into the rooms you want to use.”

You can imagine my response. I told him to do it right – go down to the crawl space and feed the wires from there up to the appropriate rooms.

At 9:30, he was finally done. I had been there for 9 ½ hours and was ready to head back to our house to get some sleep. Before he left, the technician told me, “By the way, the company will call you to participate in a survey on how I did today. If you don’t give me 10 out of 10 for all the categories, I won’t get my bonus. Could you please give me 10s across the board?”

Hmm……..let me think about that.

Maybe I’m getting grumpy in my old age. Maybe I am accustomed to how we do business in aviation that I don’t have much tolerance for what went on that day. But I was not ready to give him anywhere near a 10 on any survey. I’d rather not participate in the survey than lie for his monetary gain.

Unfortunately, when you don’t live in the city, cable isn’t always an option. That limits you to only two satellite providers if you want cable TV channels.

Can you imagine if there were only two helicopter maintenance options for owners/operators to choose from? If there were, I doubt there would be the same poor customer service experience as this. Can you imagine telling an owner, “Your helicopter will be ready sometime between July 25 and August 17.” When you finally deliver the helicopter to the customer on August 19th, you say, “By the way, we found some corrosion on a stringer, and it would really speed things up if you allow us to cover it up with some sealant.”

Even if choices were limited to only two helicopter maintenance providers, I seriously doubt that would ever happen.

When it comes to choices for magazines for helicopter maintenance, you only have one choice. Although Helicopter Maintenance is the only magazine with articles focused entirely on helicopter maintenance, we won’t rest on our laurels. This is YOUR magazine. If you would like to see an article on a particular subject matter, let us know. We appreciate your feedback.

Speaking of feedback, thank you for all the emails I received on my “What’s in a Title?” editorial column in the June/July issue. We included some of your feedback in this issue beginning on page 6.

Thanks for reading!

— Joe Escobar, A&P mechanic/editorial director