December 24, 2011

A Leg Up On Bad Customer Service With Insidr

Esther Dyson, writing for Project Syndicate:’s answer is not special access or a Twitter feed that will work until the volume overwhelms it, but rather a market for connecting current customers with former insiders who can tell them how to work the system. In other words, it is an open market for information, operating more or less parallel to the closed, non-market systems run by most companies.”

(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Insidr is a tool for getting what you expect from companies whose paid customer service agents are less than helpful. The list of companies you can get help with are a who’s who of consumer complaint magnets:

  • all four US wireless carriers. No surprise there.
  • Bank of America, known these days as Foreclosures-Я-Us.
  • Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network. Companies for whom the customer relationship appears to end when you sign a contract. You’re on the hook for two years’ payments. They’ll get to your problems sometime between 9 and 5. Maybe. Maybe. And maybe.
  • United Airlines. I’m surprised they’re the only one listed, downright stunned that USAirways isn’t on the list. It was a step up when I switched away from USAirways years ago.

I haven’t tried Insidr, but I can imagine it’s useful for ending frustration before it overwhelms. Solving a service problem always comes down to finding that one customer service agent who both knows what she’s doing and is willing to be helpful. Insidr lets consumers shortcut the process when they can’t find that person.