Monday, February 2, 2009

When Did Customer Service Become a Bad Thing?

Over the last couple weeks, my experiences as a customer have been horrible. Not everywhere, mind you, because it's hard for the grocery store to make your experience miserable, but for the most part, it's been bad.

By now you all know the Marlin Travel situation. For those who don't, the Cliff Notes:

Four months of planning went out the window because our original agent couldn't get things done quick enough and without errors. Then the new agent came on, got things organized and ready to roll only to have the carrier pull out three months before our wedding.

Now, some eight months after we started the process, we finally received confirmation that all the rooms are booked and we are in fact getting married when and where we wanted. Of course, there are still hiccups like getting two different quotes for deposits, having three people giving us three different answers and all the while we're the ones being made to feel like assholes for caring so much about our wedding.


Experience #2 comes in the form of one of my favorite TV channels, The Score, who owe me a prize pack from back in October.

Long story short, I answered a multiple choice question on one of their shows, was proclaimed the winner of a prize and have yet to receive anything.

I've called, emailed repeatedly and called again.

Last week, someone finally emailed me back saying they'd look into it.

Today, I emailed her back again asking if she was planning to look into things any time soon.

What kind of response did I get?

First, I had to detail when and how I won, which I did since I have a sick memory for thing like that.

Secondly, once she did confirm my winning, I was asked for a mailing address where my prize could be sent. Being as I live in a tiny-ass town without home delivery of the mail, I gave my PO Box.

That wasn't good enough. I actually received an email that said, "We can't send prizes to PO Boxes."

Well that's all I have, so unless you're FedEx'ing it to my front door...

(That is exactly what I said in my email too!)

Now, I'm in the service industry and have been for years. If at any point along the way I was to make my customers experiences as annoying and challenging as these two organizations have made things for me, I would have been back in the Unemployment Line.

Maybe I'm an anomaly. Or maybe these people absolutely suck at their jobs and should get out of the Customer Service business.

With the warm, glowing personalities they have, a career in mortuary science would be a perfect fit since they all seem to hate living, breathing humans.

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Note: I understand the irony of posting a second piece on the same day as I wrote a "things will be becoming more sporadic around here" post. This is what happens when I get down to work early in the day and don't sit on the couch playing Fight Night or watching Food TV.

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