How Not to Provide Customer Service

Here's a great e-mail exchange with Johns Manville, makers of ComfortTherm insulation. We need to cut down some of the batts of insulation and tape them back together because we have 10" bays in the front of the house, right? So what sort of tape do we use? It's well known that some tapes (ie, duct tape) should not be used on certain plastics because the chemicals in the glue will dissolve the plastic, so I sent this e-mail to JM's customer help people:

[SUBJECT:] Taping ComfortTherm insulation What sort of tape would you recommend using to tape ComfortTherm? Or does it not matter?

OK, seems a touch abrupt, but it gets the point across. This is the reply I got:

I do not know what you mean by taping?

You install by stapling......
I have attached installation guide

Joanne Milito
Product Information
Johns Manville

With a 2765K attachment.

OK. So I am female. I did send a question to a help e-mail address, but isn't it startling how she just assumed I'm a moron and wanted to tape the stuff up, rather than assuming I knew what I was doing? Even better, she didn't see fit to give me the information I asked for, even as she assumed I didn't know what I was talking about. How much harder would it have been to have replied, "You should use X type of tape on the plastic. Of course, you install it by stapling."

So I responded (because I needed this information):

I realize you install it by stapling it, but if you tear the vapour barrier and want to repair it, what sort of tape does JM recommend using? Some tapes will degrade certain plastics.

Sometimes you need to spell things out V-E-R-Y C-L-E-A-R-L-Y for these people. And at last! Information:

I am sorry in your original request you did not mention that you needed to repair the plastic on the ComfortTherm.

The tape should be polyethylene

Joanne Milito
Product Information
Johns Manville

Note that in my original request I didn't say I was going to tape the damned stuff up in the first place. In my opinion, Johns Manville should be ashamed of having people like this on payroll in this economy.

Edited to add: Apparently it bothers Ms. Milito that she's quoted as being such an idiot. It bothers her enough that she spammed my other blog with numerous messages ostensibly from "the Idiot Police" saying that my question got answered (which is not exactly the point). I log where comments are coming from, so it was pretty easy to trace them to her.

Seriously, what kind of juvenile behaviour is this? If Johns Manville or Ms. Milito wants to talk to me about this post, they can do so -- my contact information is available in numerous places on this site, and I'm happy to talk to them about what I expect from a customer service representative. But for their representative to spam the comments on an unrelated blog? That's just childish and unprofessional.

posted by ayse on 12/01/03

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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