I know this is a weird question for ME to be asking…but I had something happen to me the other day that made me stop and wonder if technology is good or bad.  Personally, I love technology and think it has done amazing things for people to be able to connect on a global level.  Even as recent as ten years ago, I couldn’t get on the internet, look up a farm in Ecuador, let alone even think about being able to contact them cheaply, efficiently, and instantly.   In my opinion it’s done wonders for humanity!

Now with that said, I know there are those folks who think technology is evil and ruining society by forcing us to not connect with real people face to face.  I’ve heard all kinds of comments and arguments for and against the technology argument.  I’ve heard people knock twitter,  facebook,  myspace, and blogs, and I think technology does do a good job of showing the good and the bad in people. But is it technologies fault?

I was really surprised the other day when I had a prospective new client leave a rather nasty message on my phone.  First, let me explain, I am a small company with two phone lines, so that if one is busy, it will roll to the other line. If both lines are busy, it will go to voice mail, where you can leave a message and I will call you right back after I finish with the customer who called before you.  Now I will be the first to admit that during the holiday rush, this might be a little frustrating, but I’m not one of these mega companies with one of those crazy phone systems, you know, the kind that says push 1 for directions, 2 for a map, 3 for hours, and thanks for calling??? you know the kind that you never get to a person, or get to leave a message or even get your question answered.  I give really personalized service and most all of my customers praise us on our high level of service.   So you can imagine my surprise, when I retrieved my voice messages, only to hear this mans voice, here is what it said:

” SOOOOOO…I wassssssssss going place an order and I’m trying to give you some of my moooooney, BUT since I refuse to play telephone tag, and yooooouuuuu obviously don’t need any more business, I’m not going to order from you, I will get my needs met elsewhere!!!!!! ”

Needless to say, I was a little more than ticked off that someone would leave such a nasty voice message, but then I thought about it and decided he was frustrated and had a right to voice his displeasure even though I still think he could have been nicer about it. So I called him back and apologized for the trouble, and he proceeded to tell me that it was people like me who were ruining the earth with technology.  So I asked him, if he would have been happier with a busy signal?  Honestly, the way my phone rings all day long, without two phone lines you would probably get a busy signal.  Is that better, than my lovely voice, apologizing for the message, promising to call you right back 🙂   He never really answered me, he just thanked me for calling back and told me he had ordered some where else.

I just wanted to put it out there for people to think about because I am curious what others think about the subject of technology.  Do you think this customer’s frustration was really about technology or just a reflection of how we all feel with regards to poor customer service which is so common now.  And do you perceive it as poor service if you get a voice message system?  Should we go back to the days of sharing a phone line with our neighbor, any one remember party lines? 🙂