The decline of customer service

The service industry was meant to be the “engine” of our economy.  Whatever happened?  Where did “service” disappear to?

Supermarkets now want to charge you for service but get you to do the work yourself.   You pick from the shelves and often bag the goods yourself. One member of staff supervises six or eight self-check-out machines, watching while you fumble around trying to find the price of a pound of bananas, and reluctantly approaches when the machine won’t work.

Airlines now want you to use a check-in machine, scan your labels, attach them to the luggage and take them to the loading machine, all of which takes longer than if a human being did it for you. Everywhere companies are so-called “empowering” the customer, while actually cutting staff and service. You can be certain that the reduced staff will be paid no more, but the resulting profit will find its way in the pockets to the senior executives.

So big business has managed to reduce face-to-face contact with other human beings (ever spoken to a CEO?) held down wages and made the world a more unequal place

I am no admirer of socialism, but modern capitalism ( which has heralded unprecedented inequality of incomes into the bargain) is letting us down and helping only the rich minority.  It needs an overhaul, along with the health system.

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