Monday, July 11, 2005

Wither Customer Service

After Sprint told me I had to sign up for a 2 year contract after BEING with them for 2 years, I told them to bite me. I decided to go with Verizon, due to the fact that if I was going to have to deal with a 2 year contract anyway, I might as well get a new phone out of the deal.

First of all, dealing with Verizon's local DSL and its cellphone unit is like dealing with different planets. The local people were nice and I had no hassles. I figured as long as didn't have to buy any additional equipment, it'll be worth it for me to get DSL so I can GO FASTER. In fact, the wiring guy is outside right now, turning DSL 'on' even though I don't have the router yet.

On the other hand, dealing with Verizon cellular was a nightmare. After dealing with the local people, they 'put me through' the cellular people. I told them I had shopped on the Net for a phone I like, so I am ready to do business. I got 'Adam' on Wednesday, who gave me his extension, so I called him back the next day after giving Sprint the heave-ho. When I dialed his number I got 'Mark'. Got disconnected, had to call again. We were all set to go, when there was a problem with my credit report. Back in my Boston days, I was a victim of ID theft and had a theft advisory flag put on my report. Usually these things last only 6 months, which forces consumers to continually call the credit bureaus if they want that extra protection. Surprisingly, mine was still on. After askeing a barrage a questions like your SS #, Morther's Maiden Name, (since they ALL use the same questions, how secure is this?), my driver's license number and a phone strip search/cavity search I had to fax them a copy of my driver's license and a copy of a credit card. Since they've nver seen me, how can they know its really me? I guess I should be happy at the extra protection, but I had to find a fax/copy machine. So I went to my local credit union, where my brother was treasurer and I had no problem with that.

Got on the phone again. Someone somewhere picked up my fax or otherwise got a hold. Gee, makes me feel real secure now, wouldn't you? So they gave me another number to call where the fax would go 'right into the Computer'. Once The Computer recognizes me, I'll be okay.

Exasperated, I decided to deal with them on Friday.

On Friday, I called them and they said I was good to go. No surprise there. I may not have much money, but my credit rating is impeccable. So, I got the plan that I wanted and I told him which phone I wanted (I'm not crazy about flip phones, but that's all they had. Mark sent me an email confirmation and I noticed it was the wrong phone. I left him TWO voicemails not to send that phone. I tried talking to someone else and as soon as I mentioned Mark's name, they immediately dumped me into his voicemail. I am apparently, Mark's customer and therefore Mark's problem.

I wasn't supposed to get the phone until Tuesday, but I got it today (what swiftness!), but of course, it was the WRONG PHONE. Of course, I could have taken the easy way out and just kept the phone (it was actually $10 cheaper), but that's not the phone I ordered, that's the phone they wanted me to have.

So, today, Monday, I am now on the phone for the 4th day in a row trying to get what I, the customer, ordered in the first place. I got bounced around to another number. Meanwhile, the message on the phone was, if I dare to break the seal on the phone box, I am bound by the contreact. They'll be ready to sue me for aasking for what i wanted, but I didn't open the cellphone box, just the box it came in.

The nice lady at the other end told me to put it back in the box and affix the return label on the box and she would call FEDEX for a pick-up. When she asked me for a credit card, I went ballistic on her. I told her that this was NOT the way to treat new customers. She pointed out that everything is SO FAST today, that it is difficult to retract things once they are in motion. This is exactly what Apple told me when I tried to get them to re-send the box to my new address. What good is fast, when its not correct in the first place?

After that fiasco, I went to the lunch counter at the local K-mart and ordered a tuna salad on white toast. One waitress on at lunch hour. After waiting over a half an hour, I got the sandwhich, minus the toast and I had her send it back. Wait 15 minutes more. I told her I was going out for a smoke and maybe when I get back, my sandwhich will be there the way I ordered it. It came while I was out there and I was sharing my tale of woe with a guy standing outside who happened to be the waitress' husband.

When I got back home, (I had to be there for FEDEX to arrive, and they haven't arrived yet), the Verizon guy wasn outside my door. He told me he was here to turn DSL 'on', which I wasn't aware they had to do. While I was happily typing this, I got disconected and had no dial tone, but He showed up at my door and all is well.

Meanwhile, I still have no phone, I have a phone number though, but at least I have my Ipod back.

Maybe I am better off talking to a machine after all.


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Mr Moose said...

Maybe you can get a job there. You can BS people as good as anyone. But you gotta love the ads about how much I mean to them, until I need help. Big business SUCKS.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Pig said...

Maybe when I get (if ever) my new phone I will leave a message like:

If you are a utility, Press 1 then hang up.
If you are a telemarketer, Press 2 then hangup.
If you are a relative who thinks I just won Megabucks, Press 3 then hang up.
If none of this applies to you, please stay on the line until it hangs up....

A few years ago, I saw a poll that people were most dissatisfied with the service from cellphone companies. No one in particular, they all SUCK.

Which reminds me, if anyone can remember the 800 number from the do-not-call list, send it along. That's the first call I want to make from the new phone.

At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

Can you say INCOMPETENCE? Sadly, you're much more likely to find that, rather than customer service at most places, in my experience.

One waitress for lunch hour - that's one reason why K-Mart is collapsing - too cheap to shell out for another waiter/waitress.


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