I just called because I am missing issue 217. I only know that because I saw 218 was out on the stands (I wouldn't know myself because I never get an issue BEFORE it appears on the stands, but I thought the idea of subscribing was that subscribers received the issue first. 'Pears (on) I was wrong).
Anyway, a young lady named "Je______" (name disguised to protect the not-so-innocent) upon learning I was missing the issue, REQUIRED me to give her the month and year of the issue. Is this really necessary?? Is it that hard for your staff (whom I'm sure have several other magazines to handle, and they're probably not "your" staff but a sort of "subscriber holding house" that you employ and they work on many different magazines) to not simply take the issue NUMBER that's missing without requiring the subscriber to know the Month AND Year???? Oy! This is NOT customer service, I can tell you. And why, you might ask, could I not easily provide that information? Well, in my case, because I'm on crutches at the moment. But I humoured her (she didn't even want to hold on: I FORCED that on her) and got over to the computer in another room, came online to this very site (which is why, since I'm still here, I decided to dash off this letter) and was able to give her the month AND the year. Lucky me.
Please employ people with not just "professional verbiage," but some ability to make the experience less painful (in my case, literally) for the consumer. Genuine empathy really does help. This young lady tried to talk over me and tell me I could call back when I "found the information" and it's only because I'd done the same thing long before she was born that I was able to insert into the conversation a , "If you'll just be patient, my dear, I'll locate that information." What could she say? Well, I can tell you what she SHOULD have said, which is, "Of course. I'll be happy to wait a minute, sir."
It was easier back in 1988 to get an issue replaced, when you had....people.