I am a patient man ...

for the most part.

But I have had it with companies that out-source their credit and customer service departments, baffle the customer with incredibly complex computerized “phone trees”, require that you tell your story to a computerized “voice” and select irrelevant answers to inane questions before being transferred to incompetent personnel who can barely communicate in English, and who refuse allow you to speak with a supervisor.

Case 1: We purchased a new washer and dryer from Sears on July 3. A 5% discount was offered if a Sears Credit Card account was opened at the time of purchase. By the middle of August, now six weeks later, we had received neither the new card nor a statement for the purchase. We became concerned and made calls. The problem? We had a Sears account back in the 80’s but had closed it. When we opened this “new” account someone along the line used the “old account” address and the card and statement were mailed there. Two weeks later we received an envelope from Sears containing a notice from the CitiBank Collections Department (who actually provides financial services for Sears (which I was unaware of at signing)) notifying us that our account had been sent to Collection for failure to pay. With the additional insult of $37.00 being assessed for late payment. With the understanding that Sears now has our correct address, as of today, September 12, 2009, we have still not received the card or a statement …

Case 2: We utilize Charter Communications for our television, Internet, and telephone services. Four weeks ago I spoke with an English-challenged young lady in Bombay about removing a package from out Cable bundle. She was very efficient and we reduced the monthly bill by forty dollars … for one month. She totally misunderstood that I wanted to permanently reduce the monthly obligation and applied a one time “promotional discount”. It remains to be seen if she was actually able to make the changes to our account. Call me skeptical …

Case 3: The State of California … okay, so it isn’t a business. Last week I called the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine charges for registering my BMW motorcycle. I selected “one” for English; entered another complex phone tree to get to the appropriate department; and was then confronted with a speaker whose Chinese-English was so broken that I had to ask for a Supervisor, which she apparently took offense to and hung up… When I “press 1 for English” I want to speak in English 沒有中國

Case 4: Not related to “customer service” but annoying nevertheless. I was at my shop last week when a truck driver backed down the driveway with his forty foot trailer. He got out (he was wearing a turban) and handed me a clipboard. Somewhat puzzled by his demeanor, I asked him what I could help him with, and he couldn’t answer me … he couldn’t speak a word of English but here he was driving a commercial vehicle on US highways. I called the phone number (using my cellphone) on a bill of lading that was on his clipboard and contacted his dispatcher in Los Angeles; the guy was fifteen mile from the correct address… . Whey did his company hire a driver for an intra-state delivery route that could not even communicate with his customer? I couldn’t even tell the guy how to get back to the freeway. Can’t help ya. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya … :unamused:

WTF is going on… . . ?

We’re just getting old :smiley:
But seriously, nowadays, Google is my tech support. I refuse to call companies to talk to someone that I can’t understand and who is just reading from a script (lots of the time, going through the softwares help menu that you can do yourself). I don’t think I’ve called any place for support in over 7 years.
But the phone mazes are severely annoying, especially if you make a mistake and hit the wrong number and it you have to go all the way back to the beginning instead of just back one question.

Hahaha. Great stories Lew.

  1. I tried calling Microsoft about a wireless mouse and keyboard last year. They (the Indian dude that answers) did that whole annoying troubleshooting thing: “Is your computer plugged in?” - yes - “Is your computer on?” - yes - “Are you breathing oxygen?” What useless support. I must have talked to and emailed guys in India for hours and arrived at the conclusion that if I want to use Illustrator, I can’t do it with my crap Microsoft wireless mouse. Nice.

Having said that, I’m glad I wasted there time too. At least MS will see a bill for that time, even if it cost 1/100th of someone in Seattle.

  1. What is up with refusing to transfer to supervisors? I called Best Buy a few weeks ago to complain about something on a cc I used to have there. They tell me they can’t remove the fee. I ask, “who can?”. A supervisor. “OK, how can I talk to them?”. You can’t. “Uh…what if I’m not happy?” Leave a message with me. eff off.

  2. Two stories about phone trees. One, I love to yell at Emily, the Bell Canada computer. No matter what sexually abusive remarks I make, she calmly tells me that she doesn’t understand them.

Another cool phonetree is Amtrak. It is only voice operated. This works perfectly when it can’t understand you or you are located in a loud place (a train station?). No matter what, it won’t transfer you to a person too. Nice.