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[Friendly Rant] Customer Service is Dead



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Old 03-17-2006, 06:32 PM   #1
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Angry [Friendly Rant] Customer Service is Dead

Customer Service is dead in this country.

What's prompting this particular tirade is the fact that FedEx has lost my carb and intake I shipped on the 13th for rebuild/port & polish. Ironically, this is the first time I've ever had trouble with FedEx and I chose them, on purpose, over USPS.



After tracking information sort of died when the package made it as far as Memphis, TN and didn't get delivered as scheduled, I called "customer service." After drilling through an endless series of mechanical "press or say" idiocy, I finally spoke with what purported to be a live body.

They took my tracking number, very surly about it to boot, asked me the contents, the origin, the destination, my weight and blood type - they then put me on hold for about 10 minutes. I was placed on hold with the phrase, "Hold on while I look into this."

The person comes back and tells me it's now turned over to the tracing division, and they will call me within 2 - 24 hours. And, "in the very unlikely event this becomes a claim", gave me a claim number.



Two to 24 hours?? Sound familiar? Customer service does not exist - customer pacification is what we have in this country. Hordes of people, most of whom barely speak English, lined up to tell you all the reasons why they CAN'T help you. Or, alternatively, to identify all the byzantine hoops you will have to jump through to get to the real person (doubtless a Tibetan monk living in isolation at the peak of the Himalayas) who may be able to help you if you hold your mouth right while you are asking.



Naturally, this happens with the only critically important thing I've shipped since God knows when. First question I get from someone at the office, "Did you buy insurance?" "No, I reply." They look at me with pity, like I just was rescued from a Hutu orphanage. Why in the hell should I have to pay more for them to make good on something they screw up? I thought that was what good business was about? I bork it, I fix it or buy you another one, right?



Sound familiar? It should, it's everywhere, or should I say, nowhere . . .

Um, when can you be out to turn on the phone?
Sometime between Noon and 6 PM.
Well, I have a job too, can you be more specific?
No.

Hey, you turned off my electricity and I've never been late!
Sorry, computer error.
When can you turn it back on?
Three days and that will be a $50 reconnect fee

Hey, my credit report is wrong!
Oh?
Yeah, this isn't my account.
Sorry, nothing we can do, Sir. You'll have to take that up with the vendor.

(I love how they call you "SIR" when they are trying to explain to you why you are an idiot for wanting them to do their jobs.)

Hey, you over-booked this flight, I have a ticket.
Sorry, sir, that is common practice to over-sell and I'm sorry, we are full.
Well, I have to get home!
Here, have a voucher to fly with us AGAIN in the future.

Ma'am, I paid that bill online 2 days ago. Here's my confirmation number.
Well, sir, it's not posted here.
Okay, well, it's your system.
I'm sorry sir, your payment is now late. I must assess a late fee.

Hey buddy, my phone isn't working and I have the warranty.
Sir, we no longer carry that phone.
Well, what am I supposed to do?
We will be happy to sell you a new one.
This one is only a year old!
Sir, it's an old model, but the new one is only $499.95
What?! Don't I get a discount, I've been with you ten years?!
No.
What about your ad?
That's only for NEW customers.

And on and on it goes.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:42 PM   #2
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I agree. the only time you can expect worse treatment is if it involves some facet of healthcare.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to my world!!! Try living in Del Rio where if your last name is'nt Gonzales or Hernandez or the like all you get is the constant manyana. And please note I am not dogging anybody that is just the way things work down here.
That's why I always say " Welcome to the Communist states of America " !!!
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:44 PM   #4
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Great write up X! I look forward (as always) too the next time someone pisses you off.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:00 PM   #5
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hmmm

Well Greg, I certainly feel your pain. Next time insure the package. For all the reasons you gave above there is a very good chance your package will be lost or stolen or damaged in shipment. We ship about 5 to 6 packages a day here. Not a high volume, but, the rate of "lost" packages has climbed to about 1 out of 20 over the past few years. There is something very wrong with that. It happens with the US Mail, UPS and sometimes even FEDEX. Now, the post office is the only one in this bunch not using a hand held telemetry unit to track the packages everywhere they go so I can see a package getting "lost" on occassion with them. The other guys I can never accept the statement of "it got lost" because of the tracking devices. So far as the run around on the phone it is just about everywhere and it is used as a way to get you frustrated and give up. It should never take them 2 hours and it should only take 2 minutes for them to punch a few keys and tell you where your stuff is. Very few people give a hoot any more about anything, so sad. I am also sure you have had the experience of calling tech support back when you did electronics and getting some person in Pakistan or India with such a thick accent (to our ears) you could not get anything done because it was impossible to understand them. I really do not have the answer to the problems but do understand the total frustration it causes. I speak a little Spanish but, when one of my Spanish speaking customers comes into the office I have the good sense to let Laura help them ( she speaks and writes excellent Spanish) or if she is not around I have a special number to call and a representative will help the customer. I feel it is the only fair way to treat the customer. I would love the same treatment from the companies I deal with. Hope they find your package.
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:58 AM   #6
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Gah. I hear you Goat, and I'm kicking myself for not insuring the package. Having said that, there's something a little off about ME having to spend more money to guard against YOU failing to do your job.

:sigh:

If they think they are going to run me off, though, then we haven't been properly introduced. I'm going to give them the 24 hours they asked for to locate it [apparently FedEx has a centralized 'lost & found' warehouse, where every package goes that they 'lose' and if they've ripped the shipped the label off or whatever, then they open the package].

After today, I'll be calling about 3 times per day. After the end of next week, I'll file a claim with them. If I get any horse-plop about how they are only 'liable' for $50 and a box of chicken or some such, I think I'll sue them in small claims court. All you have to do is go fill out a complaint by hand and serve their registered agent with it. Then, they can spend about $1500 having one of their lawyers respond. Or better yet, they won't respond and I can get a default judgment against them.

But, goat is right, the entire industry is set up to discourage you from trying and to waste enough of your time to make you give up. Ironic, when you consider all the tech and manufacturing is going overseas and America is becoming a 'service economy' - apparently meaning everyone's career plan is to work at Starbuck's.
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:53 AM   #7
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Exclamation Update

I called back Saturday and basically got no information because the "Customer Service" Rep couldn't get anyone else on the phone.

I called back this morning and got transfered to a "Trace Agent" (sounds like something out of James Bond). After giving (again) a thorough description of the package and its contents (I already did this, mind you, back on Friday), she then asks me:

"Okay, you are the shipper, right?"
"Yes"
"Who is [insert stranger's name here]?"
"I have no clue, my name is WGT and the recipient's name is KL"
"Oh, okay."
"Well, we will call you. What do you want us to do if we find it?"
"Huh?? Well, I want you to LET ME KNOW YOU FOUND IT, WHERE IT IS AND I WANT YOU TO DELIVER IT"

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Old 03-20-2006, 03:34 PM   #8
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Ma'am, I paid that bill online 2 days ago. Here's my confirmation number.
Well, sir, it's not posted here.
Okay, well, it's your system.
I'm sorry sir, your payment is now late. I must assess a late fee.



LoL I just went through this one, except I have paid ahead 2 months, and now my credit report shows me 30 days past due
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:46 PM   #9
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Post Update

They found it today, in whatever passes for FedEx's "Island of Misfit Toys" at their center in Memphis, TN (where it disappeared).

No explanations or apologies on how it got lost. No offer to refund even part of the shipping.

"Sarge" (the guy doing the carb/intake work for me) told me it looked like they had dropped the box off the back of the truck at about 60MPH but everything inside was okay.
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