Customer (Dis)Service…

Why is it that getting good customer service is so “hard”?? I have been on the “other side” of those phone calls – yes, you get people who are incapable of removing their head from their anus long enough for you to assist them but I am not one of those people. I am, for the most part, a knowledgeable person – if I’m not then I get on Google and learn before I pick up the phone. I am capable of following directions, visualizing in 3 dimensions, and even willing, for the most part, to give a hunch a try if I think it might solve my problem. So why is that whenever I call “customer service” I get someone who seems to know LESS about their product/service than I do and is always less than helpful as I explain to them what they need to do in order to DO THEIR JOB?? Is it that they’re completely unprepared by their company?? While this is a possibility (a separate rant to follow), I’m afraid that the issue is too widespread for that to be the whole answer and may simply be one of apathy and stupidity. Here are examples of recent encounters with customer service folks…

We’ve had various run-ins with Washington Mutual during the course of our business with them. The most recent was a complete debacle involving them changing our mortgage without our consent, un-applying our payments because of said change and then sending our account to collections for “non-payment”, attempting to charge us for a “free” service because of our “late” status, and, generally, being morons. It took almost 4 months, countless hours on the phone with customer service reps and managers, and even an in-depth explanation of accounting practices by Darlene to get them to resolve an issue that they created (I’ll bore you with the details in another post).

Our parent company, Alt-N just rolled us (GIS2) back into the company. I won’t bore you with the details but basically, things weren’t working out with our CEO and the owners of Alt-N so they brought us back in-house. It was a good thing. Except that all the things we had as separate companies now needed to be merged – payroll, networks, offices, etc. Everything seems to have gone off quite well save one – 401K. We use Paychex for our payroll and benefits and I could not be more amazed that a company of their size could keep its doors open with such incompetence. Previously they neglected to do employer matching for almost an entire year for 2 (myself being one of the victims) employees out of the dozen or so that we had but I figured it was an isolated incident (they never could explain why). Enter 401K rollover. We were required to fill out a simple form so that they could legally rollover our accounts into Alt-N’s plan and mail it back to them. Everyone I know complied. We were a little surprised when the money “disappeared” from our GIS2 accounts and did not show back up in our Alt-N accounts. A call to Paychex informed us that this was normal and the move could take up to 7 business days for vested money and 30 days for gains/losses (not sure why there’s a difference but whatever). Imagine our surprise when a CHECK arrived at an employee’s home. Another phone call to Paychex. They claimed that the employee didn’t fill out the form correctly. This was Sharon, our accountant, who is quite meticulous in her work so we were skeptical but, again giving them the benefit of the doubt. We asked that a notation be placed on our account that NO CHECKS be issued for this moving forward and were assured that it was done. Surprise, surprise – every request processed after that had a check cut. This isn’t “rocket surgery” folks!! Oh and to top it all off, they even were kind enough to randomly select funds for me, in spite of the form that filled out.

Here’s another example as told by my brother-in-law, Brian (who REALLY needs to get a BLOG!!):

Get this. I bought a sit up bench for my apartment (like I’ll use it two weeks from now) and I was trying to put it together last night. One of the poles will not fit into the designated slot that the instructions state. The bar and the hole are same size. There is no way of this working so I call the customer service number on the instructions and start explaining to this lady what is going wrong. She asked me if the bar and the hole were the same shape! I was like “I’m sorry. I must have just hallucinated. Did you just ask me that?” I told her that I am capable of distinguishing shapes and that the round pole and round hole were the same size, thus prohibiting one fitting into the other. I even used the word “diameter” just assure the lady that I was not sniffing industrial paint solvent. She said that she would have to check with her supervisor about what to do so I am waiting for them to call back this evening. More than likely I will have to call back and start all over again because she probably forgot. ERRRRRR!!!! Sometimes, I wonder how this planet hasn’t caved in on our species and started from scratch. Maybe give Neanderthal Man a second chance.

BTW, Brian, if you read this and want a blog, let me know – I know you don’t have much “free time” but I wanted to offer.

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One Response to Customer (Dis)Service…

  1. […] Although my recent customer service rants were about the reps, I guess that the ignorance can flow both ways. […]

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