Things That Are Hurting America #2

5 05 2008



Bad Customer Service

If you are like me, and most of you are, you have to deal with customer service in wide ranging variety of places. Restaurants, retail stores, credit card/bank/financial institutions, and so on (there is one notably left off this abbreviated list as it will be the main target of my ire here in a moment). There are few things more maddening in life than BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE. You’ve all got stories to tell about how you’ve been di#%ed around by bad customer relations (I expect you will share some of these stories in the comments), and they are all equally frustrating. Let me recount a couple of recent allstars:

1) Taco Bell-Yes I know that I am going to die because I eat at TB but I’m not going to lie at least I’ll die happy. The other evening we went to TB to get food after a softball game and this is basically how it went.

Drive Through Speaker: “Welcome to Tac Berl, I can take your order(?)” (first of all did she say ‘Tac Berl’ and second of all I don’t know how to don’t know how to diagram the second half of that sentence).

Me: “Yes I’d like a #4 with soft tacos and a Mountain Dew, and a #4 with…”

DTS: “Hold on…”

Me: “Okay”

DTS: “What kind taco you want with #4?”

Me: “Soft”

DTS: “What kind taco you have?”

Me “SOft”

DTS: “Do you want hard or soft tacos?”

Me: “SOFT!!”

DTS: “What to drink?”

Me: “Mountain Dew”

DTS: “I said what drink you want?”

Me: “Mountain Dew, please” (ah ha, I’ll trick them here by being nice and saying please)

DTS: “You said Mountain Dew for your drank?” 

Me + Mrs. M: “YESSSSSSS!!!”

DTS: “What else you want?”

Me: ” A #3 with a Dr. Pepper please”

DTS: “We ain’t got no chalupas?” (chalupas are the featured item in the #3-or whatever number it was)

Me: “Oh…” (now I cringe as I ask Mrs. M what she would like instead)

Me: “Well we would like a #1 with a Dr Pepper instead.”

DTS: “Our Dr. Pepper out” (Will it be back? Is this a union mandated 15 minute smoke break? What is ‘out’?)

Mrs. M: “WTF?” (Yeah, earmuffs, sorry kids it was a rough night she really said it)

DTS: “Pull around”

<at the window>

DTG (the ‘S’ changed because the speaker morphed into an actual girl, thus the “G”): “Your total $10.63”

Me: <I hand over $11 and thusly receive my change> No dialogue here for dramatic effect 

<literally 10-15 minutes later>

DTG: “What you had?”

Me: “#4 and a #1”

DTG: “You paid already?”

Me: “Yes I did a few minutes ago”

DTG: ATM card?

Me: “No I paid cash and you gave me change, here’s my receipt if you need to see that”

DTG: “Oh, here go your food”

**Editor’s Note: If you don’t think we checked EVERY bit of that bag before we even budged from the window you are out of your mind.


2) My friend J has cell phone service through a company that sounds vaguely like “Terizon“. Recently his battery had gotten to the point where it would no longer hold a charge at all and would only work if plugged into the charger itself (kind of makes a cell phone limiting don’t you think?). Well when he went to the store to inquire about his problem the “Customer Service Rep” (paranthetical because I don’t believe that’s really his job) took one split second look at his battery and said “I can’t help you its because of your car charger”. My friend J said “What?”. CSR said “Yeah its because you use a car charger, that ruins your battery.” Mr. J responded like any sane person would…”But I bought the car charger HERE.” CSR “Yeah, well that’s the problem with your battery.” J “Seriously? I mean it lights up and says ‘TERIZON’ when you plug it in the car.” CSR “We can’t help you with that.”

Cell phone stores (across the board) have the worst customer service I have ever encountered in my life. First of all the people that work there don’t know how to do ANYTHING. If you ask any questions at all they say “you’ll have to call Customer Care.” Customer Care…HA! Like they ‘care’, they only care about your money and the fact that you can’t fix it and they can’t fix it so theystill win. Also when certain companies merge with other companies and you go to a newly merged store to get something done with your phone/plan why is it that they say “I’m sorry we can’t help you but if you go to a store that was originally a “newly created super company” store they can help you but because we changed names in the buy out we can’t. ” ITS THE SAME COMPANY!!! ARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!

I can feel my blood pressure going up, and this is only the tip of the iceberg, so I am going to stop now, but I think you all know what I mean when I say “Bad Customer Service is hurting America”.




10 responses

5 05 2008

mmmmm, i lurve me some customer service horror stories.

good on Mrs. M for dropping the f-bomb. that made me giggle.

5 05 2008

I have a short one. And I also and am a huge TB fan despite their use of mystery meat. 🙂

1. At Forever 21 one day I was looking for a red spaghetti strap tank to wear under another article of clothing I had recently purchased from there. There was one on the mannequin so I ask a lady if she could show me where the rest were so I could try one on. She looks around the store from where she is currently standing and say that it’s the last one. I ask what the size is and if I can try it on. She takes it off the mannequin, I try it on and it’s perfect. I then tell her I want to buy it (as she’s standing right outside the dressing room asking if it fits ok and if I like it). She proceeds to tell me that I cannot buy it because they can’t undress their mannequins to make a sale. Ok, first of all if this were true she could have told me that when I asked the first time rather than wait til I tried it on and said I wanted it. Second of all it had a price tag on it and all she had to do was switch it out for a white one and everything would have been fine. Long story short I had to argue with her before she got the manager who I argued with and then got to agree to sell it to me the next week after they changed out all the mannequins in the store. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

5 05 2008

YES YES YES …..can I just say how wonderful it is to buy 12 bales of pine straw at Home Depot and then be told that the guy who loads them is on break ….and the women then “offers” to let me load them…I am not an agile person by any means …and these suckers were stacked high,were wet and heavy!!Blech ….and I have so many stories about our beloved Wal Mart stores that it would take me months to tell them all…..
I did get a free bale after we loaded 12 BY OURSELVES…..Crap!

5 05 2008

AMEN! My Taco bell was out of Mt Dew today.

And, Alltel told me, “Call customer service.” Um, aren’t YOU customer service… I can pay my Alltel bill there but I cannot fix my bill there. Seriously? And Alltell has decided people who use their phones don’t deserve blue tooth. We cna have it for ear pieces or if we get a PDA phone and pay for a data pack. Can’t have it for transfering data tho. No Infrared, anymore, either. You HAVE to pay for their Axcess stuff and then pay for each ringtone, application, etc… Had I KNOWN this, we would have elft when we had a chance.

5 05 2008
Mary Tyler S.

hilarious. just hilarious.

6 05 2008

Ok, here is my chief complaint in life (or at least my chief complaint for the day): NOWHERE is sexism more obvious than in customer service. For example, I very very nearly had a catastrophic credit/federal government ISSUE that would not have landed me in jail, exactly, but would have left me with significantly less money than I have at the moment on the WEEK that Silas is due. I narrowly avoided this catastrophic moment because of a phone call. Why was the phone call necessary? Because my mail was returned to the federal department at hand. They had the correct mailing address, but it was returned anyway. BECAUSE (wait for it) – my mailman doesn’t like to give me all of my mail. We’ve had two paychecks and now Very Important Federal Paperwork that have not made it to our doorstep in the past month. Really.

So I called the post office today and spoke to the supervisor over delivery. This man acted like I was some hysterical woman that he had to talk down from the ledge because I had a legitimate complaint. He then asked me to ask the federal department to note the stamp on the envelope next time it was returned, so he would know why. “Mister,” I said, “If anything else is returned to them, we have a bigger problem than how it was stamped.” It is INFURIATING to be treated as some crazy woman when other people are incapable of doing their job, and it is costing me a great deal. Grrrrr.

6 05 2008

I’ll give you a positive to go with all of these horror stories. I was really active on the phone for work in March, and amassed a $250 bill. I had burned through over 1k rollover minutes in addition to hundreds of charged minutes. Needless to say, I was miffed. So I went down to our local AT&T, met a nice gentleman who understood our issue and was eager to help reduce our bill. I told him that obviously our minute plan needs to increase, but the overages and fees seemed unfair. He set us up with a new plan and completely erased the overage minutes. WMade me a satisfied customer!

6 05 2008

Two more things ….the main reason I dont like Taco Bell –MYSTERY MEAT !! and I would have to guess that Jonathans comment is an exception for sure

6 05 2008

I dont know, I have a story like Jon’s – I used Cingular, and twice I was overcharged for going over minutes. Both times I called, in a very non-threatening voice, asked if they could help me, and both times they competely erased my overage. That’s why I stuck with Cingular for 6 years. Just sayin’

But I do have a BAD story that just might take the cake. Scratch that, I have two, the second one takes the cake, but the first one happened last night and I’m still miffed, so I’m gonna share.
1. So my friends and I decided to go see Iron Man last night (awesome by the way). They were running behind so I told them I would buy our tickets and they could pay me back. I had just enough cash for their two tickets and a gift card that was given to me for Christmas to pay for my ticket. First, I tried to sneak in the Student ID – but they did not “recognize” my card (ie, not a HK university) so they wouldnt let me get the student discount. No biggie, UNTIL she proceeded to give discounts to the other two tickets just because I told her that my friends had their IDs and were on their way. She didnt have to see THEIR IDs to give them a discount….first grrrr. Then I handed her the cash, and said, “This is for the two student tickets” and then I handed her my giftcard and said, “this is for the NON student ticket.” Five minutes later, she hands me three tickets and my cash back. I look very confused and asked her why she gave me my cash back. “Because I put all three tickets on your giftcard.” Shock. “Did you not hear me say, These two with cash, this one with the card?” “Yes, I did.” “So why did you put all three on the card?” “Accident.” “Well, can you put the credit BACK on my card?” “No ma’am, that’s impossible.” “Let me speak to a manager.” The story ends me with still upset becaues the manager insisted it was impossible to put more credit on my used card and they refused to give me a new one unless I bought it! I only really cared about the gift card because I never go to the movies – I dont like spending the money. So a gift card is free money that I now no longer have. (because I will be responsible and use the cash on things like groceries)

2. I was shopping in one of the open aired markets during Christmas, looking for a cool Chinese dress for my friend Stacy. I walked into one both and pulled a dress of the rack to look at the design. The saleslady walked over to me and when I asked her how much she YANKED the dress out of my hand and said, “No! You too big!” Excuse me? And I not in the tourist capital of HOng Kong? Am I not offering you MONEY for your goods? I tried, nicely, how much to which she replied, “NO! Not for you!! You too BIG!!!” Let me tell you how you don’t YELL at a white girl trying to buy her friend a Christmas present when she’s already on the brink of a breakdown for missing the holidays at home!!

Also, I think I win for longest comment ever….

6 05 2008

well i am NOT the person I admire in public if I face bad customer service because I will SO say something and most times it isn’t nice or classy of which I am not proud… i have too much of my two fathers in me. But I’ll mention two bad CS memories that have happened most recently:
1.) I was eating with group of people at a restaurant and the waiter was trying to be cute funny guy and as we finished ordering he made some comment with a smirk to the table like, ” Y’all are working me like a Mexican!!!” out crowd shushed probably to all filter and register what he just said but of course I heard it immediately and shouted, “DID OUR WAITER JUST MAKE A RACIAL SLUR TO BE FUNNY!?!? OH MY GAAAAAAD” He kept looking at me to see if I was trying to be funny and if I was kidding. But I wasn’t and he did not get tipped very well.
2.) In Memphis at Ross with my mom and sister buying at least $300 worth of decorations for her new apartment. The LAST item the checkout girl scanned was a picture frame NO MORE that $12 but did not have a sticker on it. She stands there and says, “I can’t ring this us” I say, “Can’t you guess the price or have a manager tell you?” “No we can’t do that.” SO I SAY, “well let ME go back to the shelf and try to find one like it then” I go… I come back with a similar frame, “Mam that ain’t the same frame and I don’t think I can sell you this one and I need to help the next customer in line.” My mom of course is like “forget the frame let’s just go” So I give in but first I looked that girl in the face and I said, “I want you to know how horrible I think it is that you could not price that frame OR offer to get someone to help… this is POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE” from the smug look on her face I new she did not give one shit.

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