I love that no matter how crappy the customer service is, there is a yes man to say, 'see you deserve to be treated badly! You expected an online brand to deliver a functional product, you fool!'
never said anyone deserves to be treated badly.
“shitty customer service” is a subjective characterization that can be defined differently by different people. if having to file support tickets and wait for a response is “shitty” by someone’s standards then they need to shop with due diligence not simply for the product they want at the price they want but also in consideration of the support they expect, how they expect that support to be delivered, the process they are required to follow to obtain said support, etc. its a universally known risk in 2021 and if buyers chose to ignore those factors and buy based on product/price alone and not considering the supprot they themselves expect and how the company is setup to provide it then that’s partially on the consumer.
the statements were about the helplessness that happens when you have a support issue and the only way to reach the vendor is via a support ticket/form. often the online direct dealers don’t have phone numbers at all, when they do they sometimes operate select hours, or are constantly overwhelmed…. my point was that you can drive to an LBS and speak to a human face to face but most buyers don’t have that opportunity when buying direct. and with so many new buyers pursuing “the best price” they’ll often overlook or discount the importance of support until they need it and then be frustrated they can’t get a hold of some one at the vendor at the time that they want to, when it’s convenient for them.
direct companies often triage their support through zen desk or other tools, make you go through a FAQ first, exhaust their self-support mechanisms, make you fill out a form and then you’re waiting until it comes up in the queue on their side, there’s no way to say “excuse me, i’d like some help now” so yes, it takes away power from the consumer and makes them feel powerless and helpless and this is unique to sellers who don’t have physical locations across their distribution network.
this approach to support costs a lot less than real estate and bodies, it allows a vendor to organize and process their support tasks on their terms regardless of the customers sense of urgency. it’s a pretty simple concept in wide use across multiple industries and is a key driver of lower costs for the product to the consumer (at the perceived expense of less handholding, responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness of any support that is provided)…
im not excusing the slow response time, it’s indeed super frustrating, but i see the OP did get his support issue resolved eventually. the time it took can be viewed as “shitty support” by one person and not another.
the universal reality remains, if the support being offered is sending an email or filing a ticket and there’s no easy or direct way to communicate directly with a human, then the buyer/consumer IS, by proceeding with a purchase, accepting that their support needs will tend to be addressed when the vendor decides to address them and the opportunities for the buy/consumer to escalate are limited by how their support process is designed.
people who are not confident being self-supporting to a certain degree could fully evaluate the support touchpoints of a vendor before proceeding with a purchase, they could verify that a support phone number exists and it is easy to get a hold of a person, they could see if they require form inputs or emails some companies even publish their support policy and approach. the buyer has incredible power and choice before the buying decision is made and considerably less afterwards…. many buyers (not suggesting this is the OP) are blind to their own actions and are simply overtaken by the “i have to have that now” urge and go headfirst into a purchase they haven’t fully thought through from a support pov, from a parts availability pov, from a brand/company solvency pov, and so on. now if as a buyer i say to myself, i STILL want that bike even though the warning signs (no parts in stock, nobody answers phone, company is a reseller of china bikes, product seems always on back order) then that’s an informed choice and buyer understands the possible consequences. (not saying that is what OP did either)
TL;DR - sometimes online support from direct sellers can be a long wait because you are in a queue with hundreds of others and your turn hasn’t come up yet. it’s up to the individual to characterize that as shitty or not.