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posticon Editorial - Massively Failing to Live Down To Customer Support Expectations

Opinions | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Editorial


Customer service shouldn't be hard... but it is.  I am fascinated by it and astounded at the range of the good, the bad, and the ugly interactions I have had with companies I deal with.  Good support requires well designed policies; well trained, responsive, and thoughtful staff; and flexibility.  Even if the customer isn't always right, genuinely helping customers is quite a lot different from slavishly following a company-provided script or strict policies and refusing to deviate from them.  If you make a customer feel respected and valued, it doesn't sting as much when the exact solution the customer hoped for can't happen.  And when it does, well, that is the cherry on top of the frosting on the customer support cake.

I experienced both ends of the spectrum last week when my Internet connection went down during a thunderstorm on the Monday before Independence Day.  And when I say both sides of the spectrum, I literally mean both extremes in dealing with Spectrum, our Internet provider.  If you follow such things cable companies regularly earn the lowest ratings in customer service, and Charter Communications, while not at the bottom -- that honor belongs to Comcast, has received poor customer service ratings over the years.  So I had low hopes as I strategized as to the best approach to getting help.  After my first attempt I was sure that Spectrum would easily live down to my expectations, but then I was very pleasantly surprised.

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posticon Thoughts - Words Matter

Opinions | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Casey Stevens Print
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Caseythoughts I have railed in the recent past about the way words are being changed in a political sense to benefit certain parties, to the detriment of the language. I don't mean the change of nouns to verbs, as that is going to happen with nary a wince from even those of us who take language seriously, but the substitution of more politically palatable terms because one word or phrase is considered political dynamite or unacceptable in the effort to get a political goal accomplished. Sometimes it reminds me of George Orwell's 1984 where 'war is peace' and vice versa with the government being the perpetrator of violence on the language and making sure that people only get the 'sanitized and acceptable version of the government's viewpoint.

Changing 'low income housing' to 'affordable housing' gives an opportunity to ignore the real needs of the working poor, without really addressing those needs, while giving a politically acceptable name to what, in essence, would get the middle class's ire and dander up. At the same time it gives subsidies to builders of apartments which get the approval of the middle class that only the middle class and above can afford, while forcing the working poor to the fringes and out of the county. But, the politicos can say they are working on 'affordable housing' which gives a nice sheen to the efforts, while leaving the most deserving of 'affordable' housing still waiting on a three year waiting list for Section Eight, or just a decent place to live. We can't be calling these projects 'low income', can we? Might offend the neighbors (like Trumansburg).

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posticon Letters - Changes in Recycling

Opinions | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Barbara Eckstrom, Geoff Dunn Print
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mailmanThere has been a great deal of attention in the national media of late on changes in recycling markets, and how those changes impact the collection and processing of recyclable materials. We at the Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management would like to take a moment to offer a brief explanation and outline the changes taking place locally.

Recycling markets are volatile by nature and this has been one of the more turbulent stretches in recent history. Opinions differ on whether China's new import policies will last, or how bad the effects will be. By now it's become clear those effects are spreading across the country in varying degrees.

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posticon Letters - Costello for Town Justice?

Opinions | Friday, July 13, 2018 | By Elisabeth Hegarty Print
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mailmanMr. Costello's candidacy is completely misplaced. This is one of the reasons why we have a completely dysfunctional President in the White House - NO QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICE! Mr. Costello might be a very nice man but HE IS NOT AN ATTORNEY. Has he ever been in a Courtroom? What is it with Lansing that we keep putting people in office of Justice who are NOT QUALIFIED? PLEASE, PLEASE find SOMEBODY who has the qualifications to take on this important judicial office.

Elisabeth Hegarty
Lansing, NY
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