Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Customer Service

Where to begin?  Where to begin?

I recently phoned a local municipality to notify them of a burned out street light at a dangerous intersection.  The "public servant" (term used loosely) refused to help unless I gave her the number on the pole!  Are you kidding me?  Your light.  Your town.  I gave you the address.  Fix it!  True to her word, she did nothing, even though the light had been out for at least a month.  I finally became frustrated, and on my way to work, one morning at 1:30 AM, I got her the pole number.  The light was fixed.

I was going over a receipt from Walmart the other day.  Yes, I shop at Walmart, and I'm not afraid to admit it.  I can also be seen at KMart, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General and Big Lots.  I'd go to Woolworth's, but it went out of business.  I like saving a few cents.  Kill me.  Anyway, I noticed I was double charged for a $20 item.  I went back to the store and explained the problem.  The "customer service manager" (term used loosely again) explained they usually don't grant refunds unless they view the video from the camera above the cash register.  I said "OK, check the video."  Either I looked honest, or she didn't feel like going through the effort.  I got my $20, and she didn't even say "I'm sorry."

I was on the verge of purchasing a big ticket item.  Very close.  I liked the item, but the nonchalant attitude of the salesman rubbed me the wrong way.  After thinking about it, I said "no."  I also wrote a letter to the boss of the company, explaining how the salesman blew the deal.  The letter sat inside my computer for more than a week.  I try not to quickly speak or write out of anger.  After about a week and a half of contemplation, I printed the letter and sent it.  The boss ought to know.

I recently had to swap out a cell phone, and I had problems loading my contacts into the new device.  A service rep from Verizon talked me through it via telephone.  She was great, and I let the recording know it when I received an automated survey call a few hours later.  Then, the magic question came.  Rate Verizon overall.  I said it's overpriced, there are few options for non-smart phones, the plans leave a lot to be desired, and you can't get a better device unless you lock into another long term contract.  I've been a loyal customer for years, and I deserve better.  A human Verizon representative and I have been playing phone tag for a couple days.  At least, someone cared to call.

I'm sorry to be a cranky old man, but you forced my hand.

Let's talk about police for a second.  I respect them.  They do their best in a horribly difficult job.  There's always frustration on my end when the information doesn't flow fast enough.  I saw something the other day you need to know about.  On the way home Saturday morning, just after 9 AM, on Interstate 81 north, just past the Central Scranton Expressway entrance ramp, I spotted a Pennsylvania State Trooper helping a man change a tire.  The trooper was on his knees, and working the wrench.  That's customer service!