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If people bought cars like they buy computers

General Motors doesn't have a "help line" for people who don't know how to drive, because people don't buy cars like they buy computers -- but imagine if they did .


Example # 1

HELPLINE: "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!"

HELPLINE: "Did you put the key in the ignition slot and turn it?"

CUSTOMER: "What's an ignition?"

HELPLINE: "It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine."

CUSTOMER: "Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?"


Example # 2

HELPLINE: "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "My car ran fine for a week, and now it won't go anywhere!"

HELPLINE: "Is the gas tank empty?"

CUSTOMER: "Huh? How do I know!?"

HELPLINE: "There's a little gauge on the front panel, with a needle, and markings from 'E' to 'F.' Where is the needle pointing?"

CUSTOMER: "It's pointing to 'E.' What does that mean?"

HELPLINE: "It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor, and purchase some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the vendor to install it for you."

CUSTOMER: "What!?" I paid $12,000. for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!"


Example # 3

HELPLINE: "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "Your cars suck!"

HELPLINE: "What's wrong?"

CUSTOMER: "It crashed, that's what went wrong!"

HELPLINE: "What were you doing?"

CUSTOMER: "I wanted to run faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed -- and now it won't start!"

HELPLINE: "It's your responsibility if you misuse the product. What do you expect us to do about it?"

CUSTOMER: "I want you to send me one of the latest version that doesn't crash anymore!"


Example # 4

HELPLINE: "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, and power door locks."

HELPLINE: "Thanks for buying our car. How can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "How do I work it?"

HELPLINE: "Do you know how to drive?"

CUSTOMER: "Do I know how to what?"

HELPLINE: "Do you know how to drive?"

CUSTOMER: "I'm not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!"


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This page was last changed on November 22, 1997.


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