Why Bother?

If there’s one thing I hate it’s “customer hotlines”.  Usually they are a total waste of everybody’s time.  However, one thing is to support existing customers poorly, quite another is to support potential customers poorly.

The battery in my Asus Eee PC have gone quite bad after about 1 1/2 years or so, which in this climate is just about what can be expected.  So today I called Asus just to hear if they have any replacement batteries in stock and if they had, where to go and purchase one.  The guy I spoke with was obviously going according to a script and refused to deviate from it.  He insisted on serial number (which with my eye sight is next to impossible to read), name, email, phone number and in each case I had to repeat it about 4-5 times and spell it out before he got it.

After about 5 minutes or so (+ the 10 I had been waiting in their queue) he finally got around to asking me how he could help me.  I asked my question and he promised to call back.

Needless to say I never got any call back.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I just bought an IdeaPad I would say that Asus lost a customer, but they actually did that even before this happened.

My question is – why do they even bother to pretend to be helpful, when they have absolutely NO intention of helping?