Large vs Small

One of my clients asked me today….. why are big companies so sh*t to deal with?

To rewind the story, I was asked by a client this week to speak with PayPal. The PayPal guest checkout on mobile devices said client’s e-commerce website weren’t working. This you would think would be fairly straightforward to communicate, identify and fix…. It seems not!

Firstly, it took some time trying to find the ‘help/contact us’ links on the PayPal site. Once the links were found, I raised an ‘issue’ (i.e. filled out a form). An automated response told me that PayPal would get back to me within 3 to 5 days. Which, to be fair they did…. My frustration came from the response they gave me, firstly they promised they would answer my issue that day…. to quote ‘Don’t worry, I will be able to resolve your query today.’ Call me crazy but reading this statement I thought! ‘Yeah great they will resolve it today’ Errrrm no! What they meant was they will send me a link to another department to raise another ‘issue’ with them. So not only did they lie to me, they also passed me to another department. Geeee thanks! Its begs the question – don’t they have phones or an internal email system at PayPal? Why do I (the customer) have to contact another department within their organisation? Can’t they talk to each other? I huffed, swore a little (Ok a lot!)  and clicked the link …filled out another ‘issue’ (form) and as yet they still haven’t got back to me.

However, once I filled out the second form I did feel the need to make a small complaint on the service I had received …. How did PayPal answer my complaint? They sent me a CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY! And when I didn’t answer the first survey they sent it again. SO, in a nutshell the week has now come to its end, no one within PayPal has bothered answering my issue and I have 2 outstanding surveys in my inbox. Great, thanks!

This takes me back  to the beginning,  my clients question – why are big companies so difficult to deal with? Well, here are my thoughts:-

  • There is far too much bureacacy – you never get through to the person who you need to speak with first time round
  • Staff aren’t accountable to you so they won’t take responsibility
  • Staff take their salary at the end of the month whether they do a good job or not
  • The executive team make the organisation as lean as possible (usually done to increase share holder value – e.g. line their own pockets)
  • They don’t actually give a s**t about your business unless you’re a high value customer
  • And to top it off – If a large organisation owes you money, you can guarantee you won’t see it for at least 2 months. Most payment terms for big companies are at best 60 days.

Personally, I recommend you go small and buy product or service through a local small business – and here is why…

  • If you phone FalconVA HQ you will get through to me straight away
  • You will talk to a person not a machine
  • I won’t try and palm you off to someone else
  • I take a pride in my business and will resolve any issue you may have straight away
  • I pay my invoices on time – there are no ridiculous payment terms, if you send me an invoice, I will pay it
  • If your business doesn’t do well I know it will directly affect my business, so my service to you and your customer is second to none
  • When you pay your bill you’re not paying for another layer of organizational bureaucracy or increasing shareholder wealth, your payment helps me pay for my kids swimming lessons and new school shoes!

If in doubt, buy off your local small biz…. you’ll be a more satisfied customer, simples! 

‘helping you do what you do best’!


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