As a person that works at home and rarely sets foot outside my home office, the internet has become the most important work tool ever. I use skype to make calls, skype subscription number to receive them, facebook to talk to friends, wordpress to express myself, e-mail to receive and send work, and a variety of sites to promote myself. I am familiar with conference calls of all shapes and sizes and have invested in the appropriate software and supplies to make sure everything works smoothly.
The only problem is that no one in Brazil seems to equally consider the importance of the internet. Few companies have websites, if you happen to stumble on one that does, fill in the contact form and click send, you rarely get an answer. Even large companies, like C&A don´t correctly use the internet for customer services.
In a country where telephone customer services are so bad, the internet would be a great way to assure customer satisfaction, even in the slightest of complaints or requests, but no. They utterly refuse to use it or acknowledge the effectiveness of the internet (Web 2.0? What´s that? they gasp).
It´s great when I do find someone that actually answers e-mails and allows on-line payments or Paypal, but, in all, Brazilian companies are slow to realize the importance of the internet in their business success. A real pity.
E-mails that are eventually answered contain telephone numbers and messages saying you have to call to get the answer you want. People spend thousands building websites they never use nor promote. Active websites are crammed with dead links and useless flash….
It seems they are suspicious of anything virtual and somehow need to hear a voice and confirm the communication actually occurred, even if that means hanging up on you in the middle of the complaint. I once spent 45 minutes to purchase a phone service, and almost 2 years to cancel it. Maybe that´s the reason they don´t use quicker, more effective options: They are not quick or effective themselves.