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Consumer Reports tests themselves

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Recently Consumer Reports decided to test their own customer service? They had a freelance reporter ask Consumer Reports an easy question: What’s the best deal on a one-year subscription to the magazine? The lowest posted price was $26.

Here’s what happened.

By phone:

An automated system picked up after one ring and offered three options: “1. Change an address”; “2. Subscribe”; or “3. All others.” She pressed 2, and a human picked up so fast that she couldn’t tell what song had been playing. Naturally when it is sales. The rep said there were no discounts but offered 10 issues for $20.

By e-mail:

The reporter could not find her answer among the 30 FAQs at ConsumerReports.org. She then clicked on the “send us an e-mail” link under “contact us” and submitted her question. The site says to allow at least five business days for an answer. Within three days, she received a response similar to the one she got on the phone.

Facebook and Twitter

Queries posted on otheir Facebook (over 4,000 likes) page and on Twitter (over 214,000 followers) hadn’t been answered by the next week.

So what to make of it ? Customer service is customer service is customer service.

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