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Archive for the tag “Customer Satisfaction”



One of our daughters, Lisa Felske, has urged both my wife Norma and myself for the last several years to record the highlights of our lives and what we could remember about our families to share with future generations. We have worked on this for several years and so far we have created several documents. Lisa has traced our families back six generations an it is and interesting journey. The hardest for me has been trying to separate my work life from my personal life as much as possible.

An old friend, Paul Scicchitano who had created a Management Website, urged me a few years ago to create a series of articles to share my nearly 60 years of work in the Quality Profession. Capturing my basic work life was written in an eight part series that took over 12,000 words and was both informative and free advice to explain that Quality is nothing more than “Common Sense”. Quality is the most misunderstood and misused basic management tool for success in any endeavor. The only country that understands and adopted this as a way of life is Japan. It matters not if any activity is for profit, charity, religion, government, etc., the only real measure of success will always be “Customer Satisfaction”.

Creating this project for Paul encouraged me to write another 5,000 word document recognizing some individual people in my life who went out of their way to help me mature and succeed. As several of these mentors were and some are still alive, feedback from them has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. Handwritten letters from two of the widows of mentors are among my most cherished possessions.

I encourage every person who reads this to start documenting your life regardless of your age. The older you get the harder it is to search your memory as your brain is like a computer. Man created and has provided computers with more memory each year but God gave us all a mind but using it and capacity appears to be an option of how we want to use it. I can assure you the older I become the harder it is to search for things as my mind could use an external drive to store more information. It would be nice if technology could invent such a device simple enough for a “man” to use without having to read instructions.

Creating these projects motivated me to write this article. I never read or heard anything from my parents or elders on how to know when you feel you may have reached the top of life’s hill. This would be hard to describe until you feel you may have arrived at the apex and actually start planning for the inevitable. Starting last year I think I may have arrived and possibly started down life’s hill. I plan to write a series of articles, beginning with this one and share it with as many people who might wonder what internal signals might mean.

Let me be clear and honest as I am in no hurry to depart or so far have not experienced any warning signal to hurry me up. I am now the oldest male in my family at 83+. My mother was the oldest person in her family history when she passed in 2002 at 94+. I am hoping to extend her record if my health remains at levels that allow me to take care of myself, family and play golf.

There was an event in my life that convinced me that what I hope to share actually does happen with some humans. I am certain it probably does not happen to everyone and I limit the scope to people who are fortunate to reach old age. My mother’s oldest sister was married to a man who I am convinced he was nearing the end of his life. He was only in his 60’s but 60 years ago he was beyond the average life expectancy. He was a successful banker who lived through, remained successful, beyond the banking disaster in 1929. He owned rental and business property and shortly before he died he bought a new home that was more suited for my aunt’s needs. When he died he had sold every piece of property, had no indebtedness, left instructions and a key to a safety deposit box that was enough cash to allow my aunt to live a comfortable life for over 25 more years. Unfortunately he left no details of why he had done this.

My mission is to write about events that I experience to hopefully help others recognize milestones when they happen. This is the first in a series that will hopefully last several more years.


When I got up yesterday morning my objective was to write an article for my blog about “Honesty”. I was then going to compare some of the current dishonesty we have in government with examples of resent happenings. Well it took me over 20 minutes to get the following definition from Wikipedia with my recent new internet provider, Hughes.net.

The story I will share after you absorb the following definition is one to show how major organizations really do not care about individuals. They are no different than our government when it comes to honesty except they have to get you to agree to be screwed. The government bypasses asking you to bend over because they have you by the balls and can seize your property.

“Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.”

A few weeks ago I gave up on getting the service I was paying for to have high speed DSL service from Windstream Communications via my hard line telephone service. When they first started DSL service the technicians sent to install the modem had never installed one before but we eventually got connected. For several months the service was as advertised. Then the speed became to decay and it was worse than the non-DSL service I had in the past.

After letters, E messages and conversations they told me my service was inferior but made no attempt to correct the problem and provide me the service I was paying for. I just gave up and cancelled my service and selected Hughes.net who I expected to be “Honest”. Until yesterday I was totally a totally satisfied customer.

When my service disappeared it took my computer over 22 minutes to get the Hughes website to appear just so I could get a phone number to call. That set the tone for discovering that Hughes is no more honest than Windstream or your elected representatives.

I called three different numbers that appeared on different screens and took some 20 minutes before I finally got to talk to a human named Christian something as I could barely hear him and tired of asking him to speak louder.

He asked me to stay on the phone while he searched for a reason my service was lousy. After about 5 minutes he told me the reason my service was slow was that I exceeded my allowed time on the Internet for August and that I had no credits to apply for extending my allowed time. No one at Hughes ever mentioned that I had a time limit for usage when I contracted for their service. I never have had a limit and why should I have expected one from Hughes? The issue that really incites my rage is that no one had the courtesy to call or send me a message telling me my service was being shut off. Is that “Honesty”, I don’t think so.

Christian then told me he was a service technician and would have to transfer me to another agent to help me do something. I stayed on hold for about 10 minutes and Christian came back on and gave me a case number, apologized for the delay and told me again he was transferring my call. After about 5 minutes a computer voice told me I was on hold for the next available agent. Another computer voice came on and asked me to push number one on the phone and in less than two minutes I got a computer voice that my time had expired and hung up.

That entire task took over an hour and my temperament had reached my limit and I just decided to wait for them to call me back, it was 4pm. I waited until about midnight before I decided they had no desire to help me and took another 20 minutes for their website to connect and see if I could send an E message that might get me some help. After 30 minutes of searching different screens I finally found a way to send an E message which I did about 12:30 this morning.  

Before I started typing this about 9:30am I was able to connect with Google and request a connection with goodreads.com. It just appeared after waiting one hour and 23 minutes. Now that is Gen 4 Hughes.net high speed internet service. It is now 10:25 am and I will try to get this posted as soon as possible. You will know when it finally gets published as WordPress time stamps the time I hit the button. It may be next week when you get this as I have not yet heard from Hughes.net and it may take all day to check and see if my “gmail” will download.

If anyone knows how to forward this to Hughes, I would appreciate the gesture as I can’t find an address to send it.

I will return to discussing “Honesty” in government someday. If anyone has factual examples government “Honesty” I would appreciate your inputs. I can’t find any examples searching the Internet.

C Brewer Thursday August 22, 2013, 10:30 am


I posted Part One on this subject when I was frustrated with a personal experience on October 16, 2010 if you would like to recall that incident. Just search the subject in the box provided on the current blog. To prepare you for a new incident I have repeated the opening paragraph to educate some who may not be familiar with the subject.

“I have spent most of my adult life trying to educate businesses to understand one simple principle, “Customer Service” is not even close to “Customer Satisfaction”. Ninety nine percent of all American businesses and certainly our government still train their people to respond when complaints are registered. This always has been and likely always will be the way we do business. American industry has added training to speed up the process. Our government never has nor never will speed up anything to help their customer, you and me. Customer service to fix a problem is a reaction, not an action, to address the specific incident. Customer Satisfaction is to design and produce a product or service that meets “EVERY” aspect of the marketing promise, 100% of the time. “To err is human” is a statement invented by American politicians and academia to explain failure. Acceptance of this unfortunate adage is nothing more than planned failure, why? I encourage anyone who reads this message to challenge this with facts.”

About the 20th of March we had an abnormally hot day for spring. My wife, Norma, was driving her 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup and I decided to turn on the air conditioner and it provided no cooling. This is called a malfunction technically. When we returned home she called “Hixon Toyota” in Leesville, Louisiana to get an appointment to bring the vehicle in at 1pm the next day.

To set the stage for you to get the full impact it is necessary to include that Hixon’s dealership, where we purchased the truck is 66 miles from our home just outside Hemphill, Texas. Although we have a Toyota dealer only 60 miles away in Lufkin I had purchased the truck at Hixon. I know not why today.

We took the truck in the next day at 1pm as they requested. After about two hours they advised us there was no Freon in the system and that they did not have any Freon in stock and had sent someone to town to buy some. After another hour we were advised that although the A/C was working, they could not find a reason it had leaked out so they put some dye in the system so if it malfunctioned again they could actually solve the problem. So after a 90 minute drive, 3 hours in the waiting room we departed for another 90 minute drive home. Round trip 132 miles 6 hours total time.

The reason for the 90 minutes is the only access road to get to Hixon’s is under major repair and has been for quite some time. Road work planning and construction in Louisiana would take a book to explain. Another incident caused by Diamond B Construction Co. LLC, the largest road construction company in Louisiana, damaged my 2009 Honda Pilot some two years ago and still has not been paid. Dealing with Louisiana companies when you are from another State is nothing but a waste of time. I went through the State and after four months wasting my time with Terry Sassong and Jackie Williams of Diampnd B, I gave up trying to get reimbursed for damage they inflicted with their sloppy work.

Well guess what, on April 18 we had another hotter than normal day. If you know anything about A/C it was a certainty that if it leaked once and nothing was repaired, the sucker is 100% guaranteed to leak again, and it did. Norma called and made an appointment for 1pm the next day.

After another 3 hour wait we were advised that they would have to have the truck for two full days to repair the problem they had finally located. As it was Friday afternoon they told us to bring it back early Monday morning, April 22 and they would have it fixed by Wednesday. Six more hours and another 132 miles again.

I took it back at 8am on Monday as requested. It took one hour to get me in a rent car that would have fit in the back of the pickup for my return home. I was advised and had to sign statements agreeing that my use of the rent car allowed only 100 miles a day and if the gas tank was not full on return it would cost $5.00 a gallon to refill. Another 4 hours and I used 66 of my free 100 miles getting home.

I sent Toyota an E mail advising them of the fact I was really not happy with this event so far and I still have had no reply. I am conditioned to taking vehicles back many times to get things “Serviced” that should not happen if they were designed and built right as I drove GM vehicles most of my life. GM has at least three trips designed in but I did not expect this from Toyota.

Wednesday came and at noon we had no word from Hixon. Norma called and was advised that they had finally found a part in California to fix the air conditioner but it would take two weeks to get it to Leesville. Remember the bad road situation and it was apparently being shipped by Pony Express as UPS offers one day service to me.  She was also advised that they had discovered an oil leak that had been fixed and they needed the rent car back ASAP. Before I could even get ready for another 6 hour ordeal they called back and said to wait until Thursday as the truck was not ready yet. We had no idea what that meant.

As I had a dental appointment Thursday, they were advised it would be Friday before we could come get the truck and I was the only driver allowed to drive the itty bitty rent car.

We arrived at Hixon’s, after gassing up the rent car at 4pm. Had to sign a warranty document that stated that we told them it had an oil leak when we brought it in. We have no indication of an oil leak in our garage and we have never raised the hood on the truck. I really do appreciate that they fixed something we were unaware of. Although the truck is 19 months old it has less than 7,000 miles indicated and it had nearly 500 when we bought it. Happily it only took 5 minutes to be advised that they would call in two weeks to have us bring it back to repair of the A/C. Can’t you tell how I love to take things to be repaired?

I hope this will help explain the difference between Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction. I would love to have other incidents that may have happened if you would share them with me? When I related this story to my Dentist he advised of a similar customer service incident he had with Loving Toyota in Lufkin Texas. He called for an appointment to get his Toyota serviced that he bought at Loving. As his time is critical he asked for a time at 1pm on any Wednesday or Friday in the next two weeks so he could schedule around his appointments. He was given a time and date and the day before he called to make sure they still could do it at 1pm. He arrived at 1pm and was advised that the computer showed his appointment was at 2pm. Being the nice and patient person he is when we play golf together, he took a seat and waited. At 2pm the car was still not moved and at 2:15 he got back in the car and went home.

This relieved my tension for not buying my wife’s truck in Lufkin as apparently lousy service must be a Toyota problem they learned from Government Motors (GM).

As a benchmark for both GM and Toyota I just purchased my third Honda Pilot and my fourth Honda from Loving Honda in Lufkin Texas. Other than unhappiness that Honda installs trailer hitches but no electrical connection for trailers, I have never had to make a special trip get warranty work. This dealer has the best Service Manager, Richard Burleson, I have ever worked with. The only warranty work I ever had on the 4 vehicles was a battery replacement on a key pad.

As I usually write about our political sewer and loss of freedoms, it motivated me to analyze politics as it relates to “Customer Satisfaction.” The IRS is a perfect example of being “Serviced” as the name indicates. Obama has perfected the way to insure that enough customers will vote for Demoncrats to insure re-election by defining “Political Customer Satisfaction”. All they had to do was provide enough Americans with food stamps, medicine, cell phones, free higher education benefits, etc. to guarantee they are satisfied. To hell with freedom, Socialism is job security.

C Brewer 4-28-13

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