Monday, November 16, 2009


I have a little, minor vent for you today and I'd love to hear your opinions on the matter. This latest rant of mine is based on something that just happened this morning and it just rubbed me the wrong way.

So I made a phone call to someone this morning, this person is supposed to be a dedicated customer advocate for our company meaning that this is our "go-to" person to handle situations or questions that may come up. Just to clarify, he is not employed by our company, he is employed by the major corporation for which we are a supplier. He wasn't in the office at the time I called so I just left a quick voice message explaining what I needed and asking him to return my call. (It should also be stated that this person is a new advocate for us, and I haven't had the opportunity to speak with him voice to voice yet.) Now, in this person's defense, he DID get back to me within about an hour of my phone call. However, he responded via e-mail.

I find that unacceptable. I initiated the contact by placing a phone call. Shouldn't his response come via the same medium that I used to contact him? And before you use the argument of email being a good way to document things in writing -- this was a simple question. I needed him to do a simple task. No documentation was really necessary, so that argument isn't valid in this case. And for the record, he didn't actually DO the task I'd asked him to do ... he instead sloughed it off on me by telling me to call a different department. Which is fine if this man weren't supposed to be a dedicated support person, but he is.

Anyway, that is all for my rant today. What are your thoughts though? Am I wrong? Is it acceptable to return a business-related phone call with an email?


ashkindred said...

I don't know how I feel about this, so in that case, I agree with you, and I'll be extra aware next time I'm in the situation.

If I had it my way, I'd do everything via email because the phone rings off the effing hook here. So when I'm on the phone handling business, I'm usually interrupted no less than three times by yet another incoming call.

grrr....I hate the phone.

Jill said...

I agree with you. I travel so much for work, by car and plane. Sometimes it's just easier to communicate via phone.

I also can't stand it when my friends ONLY communicate with me through texting. I'm all for texting but I can't text while I'm driving, just call!

Erin said...

I think the email vs. phone thing all depends on the circumstances. Given the facts here, this guy definitely should have picked up the phone. As you said, you initiated the contact over the phone, so his response should have been over the phone as well. Also, it just would have made a better first impression.

But....I have to say that I hate it when the phone rings at work, and I always prefer to use email if I have the option.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I'm with Erin - the circumstances should dictate whether the response should come via phone or email.

However, one might also argue that because it was a simple request, simply answering by email should not be a big deal.

Accidentally Me said...

To me, the key is that last part...he didn't do what you wanted. If you have a question and he can get you the answer via email, or is sending you documents or something, or even saying "I am working on this, I will have it done by this afternoon," that is all fine and I think email is acceptable. But, especially since he is new and you have never spoken, a phone call would have been better in this case.