Hearne: Typhoon Haiyan Ravages Kansas City Star Customer Service

typhoon_haiyan_AP632010497359_fullwidth_620x350Was a time massive tropical storms that could kill as many as 10,000 people would have been but a blip on the local news radar…

No mas.

Kansas City may not enjoy the majesty of mountains or the allure of oceans, but when it comes to massive sea storms, it’s kinda nice being an inlander. That said, the combination of globalization, staff layoffs and outsourcing has driven the epic international tragedy in the Philippines to the doorstep of 18th and Grand and the Kansas City Star.

Since last week the newspaper’s customer service has been out of commish.

604“Our customer service in the Philippines was hit by a typhoon Thursday,” says a source. “So if you call for customer service, you don’t get anything. Like if you didn’t get your paper, that’s what you get.”

Net result: news staffers have been fielding unexpected calls from grumpy readers upset about whatever it is they’re upset about, compounded by not being able to reach a warm body to vent their displeasure upon.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is the voicemail portion of the Star’s system is partially back, except for the actual, live staffers in the Philippines, who may be out of commish for who-knows-how-long.

“Thank you for calling the Kansas City Star,” the message now begins. “Please note that our customer service system is unavailable today for subscription and billing inquiries…We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

i_left_my_heart_in_philippines_pillow-r7a18dc5990ff4202b9c562edbfcedd3e_2izwx_8byvr_512Hold it, inconvenience, patience?

People’s lives are hanging in the balance as a result of what some say is the biggest storm to strike the earth in recorded history. And all we get is some lame recording obfuscating  a human tragedy wreaking havoc with newspaper staffers far away?

That and a front page story about the event itself with no mention whatsoever about the newspaper’s personal brush with the tragedy.

http://www.mb-kc.com/
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4 Responses to Hearne: Typhoon Haiyan Ravages Kansas City Star Customer Service

  1. bubba says:

    My friend works at an ATT call center in Lee’s Summit. They have be told to expect overtime because they lost their call centers in PI.

    But more telling about the Star is the quote you got:

    Our customer service in the Philippines was hit by a typhoon Thursday,” says a source. “So if you call for customer service, you don’t get anything. Like if you didn’t get your paper, that’s what you get.”

    I quit the Star at least 10 years ago because of delivery problems, I called and got the run around and still didn’t get my paper 2-3 days a week. How in the hell is customer service in PI going to fix this problem. They can’t, not their fault. The big deal is that this is the least of Star’s problems these days.

  2. newbaum turk says:

    This is why I don’t get the paper anymore either. I actually call and tried to subscribe and the person I was speaking with could not complete the transaction. I was trying to give them money!!! I finally gave up. The lack of content now makes me glad though I do miss reading it. That and laying off the people they have while keeping Jenee means you lack credibility.

  3. the dude says:

    You hear this India!! Get to crackin’!!!
    The Philippines tragedy is money in your pockets for the taking!!!

  4. Joe says:

    The next time the Star does a story about the long term jobless, we’ll all know they’re part of the problem.

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