Thursday, June 07, 2007

More Customer Service Blunders

I've written about it before, but one of my biggest pet peeves besides extremely poor table manners, are poor customer service "manners."

Just this week I've experienced, not one,not two, but three negative experiences that make me cringe:

Experience numero uno:
Tball Pictures for my dear Jackson were taken towards the end of April, on a bright sunny Saturday morning. Roughly two weeks after that, they called advising me that my credit card that I had listed was coming back declined. Declined? I know my balances and limits..and it was my debit card, so how was it declined? In prodding more with the lady on the other end, it was determined that she had misread the card's numbers. Problem solved.
Yea, right.
On Monday I received a package from the company put in charge of the pictures. I was so elated to see how my little guy looked on his first "baseball card." Ripping open the manila package, I was astonished and taken back when I pulled out the first picture, the team photo. You couldn't see a single person in the picture. The pixels had definitely been altered, and there was a smear of squares in the place of their shirts. Bummed, I moved onto the next page of photos. The individual shots. The pictures that I had paid for, had a young girl in place of my son. Holding her pink mitt, posed perfectly for her baseball card photograph, it listed my son's stats and name with her face and body and pink mitt.

The call started off with my advising "Nikki" of the errors.

"Oh, I'm so sorry for this. Let me grab our copy of the group photo so we can determine which one is your son, and I'll send out his pictures right away." -Nikki

"Um, if your group picture is as good as mine, you won't have any luck." -crusty

"Let's take a looksee (I CAN'T STAND IT WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT!!)anyways, could I call you back in a few minutes?-Nikki


Sure enough, when she finally called me back (about an hour later) she advised me that the group picture was so dark that she wasn't able to see any of the faces of the children. Which, had she listened to me, she'd have already known that.

Thus began the many email attempts at sending out pictures of different children hoping that one of them would be Jackson.
I received 10different emails from her, with 10 different photo's, and not one of them was Jackson.

Yesterday I received a message from her in my voicemail:
"Hi Crusty, It's Nikki from BLANKBLANKBLANK,..Unfortunately those are the only pictures that we have that are unaccounted for. Now, the day the pictures were taken, apparently one of them came back corrupted. I have a feeling that the corrupted one, is your son's picture. I feel horrible and if you'd like I'd be happy to provide you with a credit to use at a later time for our services. Or, if you'd like, we can arrange a retake, and you could bring Jackson up to our offices in Schaumburg, Il to retake. Please call me back and let me know when you have time."

So, I'm supposed to drive 35minutes north, with two other children, to have a picture retaken of my son in his baseball uniform? I don't think so.They should get into their car and drive down to my town, to my house, and take the picture of my son.
And why use them for future pictures with my "credit?" If they screwed up once, odds are, they'll mess up again.
Figures the typical crustyluck, the ONE picture that comes back corrupted, is ours.
What annoys me is how the entire situation unfolded. They screwed up reading my debit card number on our sign up sheet, firsthand. Charging us for pictures that they already knew were jacked up. Then, they sent out the group team picture even though you couldn't see jackcrap. Not to disrespect anyone, but do they have a blind person stuffing their envelopes?

I finished this situation with just requesting a full refund, with a free team picture once they've corrected it-I could have asked for more, and usually I would, but the effort of it all made me feel like I was dealing with a health insurance company over extra charges of $10 Kleenex Boxes. It just wasn't worth my time.

Situation #2: Two weeks ago, I called our insurance company requesting a new card as they didn't send out the updated one when our policy renewed. Apologizing, the agent on the other line advised me that I would receive the card within 2 business days. But if for some reason in between that time I was pulled over, I would just have to appear in court later on, showing them my updated current insurance card. Sure, like I have all this time on my hands to take out to go to court-with my three little ones. So, it'd be MY time and MY effort to correct the mistake that they did because for some reason a police officer mistakenly pulled me over because my car was driving too slow raising suspicion, thus the discovery of my expired insurance card.
I received the new insurance card this past Monday-opened up the RUSH (?)Stamped envelope,and discovered that they had sent me a Canadian insurance card-even though my address clearly reads, ILLINOIS, USA. Great, I've always wanted to drive to Ontario-at least I'm covered up there. (WHAT?)

Situation3: Just another serious typo of my hyphenated last name, an invoice that arrived after work was done over two months ago to repair a broken window on our side door of our home. Demanding payment immediately,although the work was done two months ago! So, they butchered my last name, I mean not even close, and then demanded payment(which I will pay it's not that expensive)right away regardless of the time that it took them to finally send out my bill. How come they can take over two+ months to send me the bill, but expect me to pay it right away? They can charge 1.25% late fees if the bill isn't received by the middle of June, but I can't charge a deduction percentage due to the length of time it took them to send me my invoice?


Interesting enough, every agent I dealt with, were located here,within the USA. There wasn't any out of country agents with poor English skills that I had to deal with, yet I still experienced poor service.

Welcome To crustybeef~
Did you hear that Paris Hilton has already been released from Prison after only serving three days,due to medical reasons? She's being confined to her home with an ankle bracelet. I wonder how pissed off Martha Stewart is right now? I wonder why the prison wouldn't just give her the necessary Valtrex pills to prevent a GH flair up due to the stress that prison has caused? Who isn't under direst when they have to go to prison for the first time?
"That girl gets out of more things than David Copperfield does in his magic shows." (Joy Behar,THE VIEW)
Now that's, UNREAL!


Anonymous said...

The phrase "customer service" can often be an oxymoron.

In the 7 months I spent at Target, I found that unhappy CS experiences can often be chalked up to:

1) Immature, lower-paid employees who only care about getting the heck out of work ASAP.
2) In-store management that is far too young to have the wisdom to know how to handle sticky situations.
3) Customers who expect their sorry behinds to be kissed at the expense of everyone else around.
4) Upper management that has lost touch with the realities of today's sales floor.

As a retired teacher, I know how far a little humor and sincerity will go. Give people the feeling you're doing every single thing you can andn many nasty hassles die in the bud. Eliz, I sincerely hope you encounter these kinds of folks.

On the other hand as a consumer, I can still remember a few instances in which I had to read the riot act to some uncaring, arrogant, or downright stupid worker.

Like marriage, child-raising, and tending your lawn, obtaining satisfaction from business is a never-ending task. Solid, virtuous businessmen will bend over backwards to keep your trust. There are some jackasses out there, though, that accidentally help us test our faith.


Anonymous said...

love it!!!! It seems like we have a Knack for dealing with morons!! anyways another great entry!!!

austere said...

This is pretty atrocious. But you dealt it with well. I would have come close to losing my temper.