Battle Between FedEx and Covad for DDIY Award

A recount demand has delayed announcement of the winner of 2010 Done In By DIY Award. It is now between Federal Express or Covad Communications.

The award will go to the corporation that best carried DIY (Do It Yourself) to its inevitable conclusion in 2010: Total transfer of responsibility for and implementation of customer service to the customer.

The contest is between Federal Express and Covad Communications. FedEx urges consumers to track packages on its website system. In other words, don’t bother customer service. In late 2009 the overloaded system went delusional: Connection updates were imaginary, not factual. Fed Ex’s customer service people, who also relied upon the system, at least added creative touches. For a package sent from NYC to Montclair NJ (distance of12 air miles) an agent reported the package was at the Fed Ex facility at the Newark airport where, if I asked for Fred, delivery would happen. The carryover effects lasted until 2010, qualifying FedEx for contention.

The definition of an optimist is one who plants seeds in the morning and expects to see sunflowers blooming by late afternoon. In Covad’s case, flowers by noon: Covad Communications, the other finalist, took over AT&T’s DSL service in the Northeast in March, 2010. Covad wrote AT&T customers to say transfer would be simple, as in 20 minutes. But, unable to get the transfers done in days, Covad went into weeks and finally months for residual fallout. (A Covad executive told me, “AT&T let us down, big time.”) The Covad solution: Transfer the transfer to the consumer. Force consumers to find service people in Covad’s outsourced technical support locations in eastern Canada and Bangalore, India.

The vote recount is underway. An announcement is expected


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