"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Customer No-Service

If I were to enumerate the incredible, lengthy list of telephone contacts I have had with customer service personnel in the past month, you would throw your chair at your computer monitor and run screaming from the room.

If I were to prove to you that with one of the companies I am dealing with, I am no farther along than I was when I first called them on January 18, you would throw your chair at ME and run screaming from the room.

It’s no wonder financial guru Clark Howard calls it “customer no-service.”

This whole thing has passed from annoyance to frustration to anger to bitchiness to utter disbelief that one company in particular can continue to operate with such incompetence.  It can’t be bad karma on my part.  I’m a good person; I don’t deserve this nonsense.

Here’s a brief resume of the easiest one.  I ordered a $500 microwave/convection oven from a well-known appliance dealer, using their online site as the nearest retail store could not do it for me.  It arrived a few days later via UPS, shipping costs paid by the dealer.  The oven was defective, in that the oven door wouldn’t stay closed. 

I called customer service and was told they would refer it to their return department, which would e-mail a pre-paid return mailing label.  However, as they would not credit my credit card account until they received the defective oven, nor ship another until that time, I saved time by ordering a second oven, which arrived and has been in use for over a week.

The shipping label never arrived.  I called.  Still never arrived.  After three weeks of this, I disputed the charge with my credit card company, which said I would not have to pay the $500 charge while it was in dispute.  That was Monday.  Today, Wednesday, the shipping label was in my e-mail, but I would have to take the oven to a UPS shipping center.  The nearest one is a 200 mile round trip drive.  I e-mailed the company, saying as far as I was concerned, I didn’t care if they ever got the darned thing back, that I was not going to drive 200 miles as UPS went past my driveway five days a week, and that if they want it back they can call UPS and arrange for UPS to pick it up.

Boy, that felt good.

As for the second company, it might be a while before I can think of how to tell that story without using a plethora of four-letter words.  And it looks like it's going to be a long, long time before I get my dishwasher repaired under an extended warranty contract.


  1. I've developed a technique for dealing with this kind of crap, Gully – stop trying to talk to 'customer service' or 'support', and call the company on its head office number, go through the switchboard, ask for the Sales Manager, and explain to him/her that you're sure he/she doesn't want you to vigorously badmouth the product/service via your network of many friends and their many friends if the problem isn't fixed.

    Sales Managers are extremely sensitive to anything that might hurt the numbers.

  2. I'm calling the weather service customer service and complain that they have Alaska weather mixed up with Okie weather. We were -5 here yesterday, my mother said they got to -24. I guess I need to head north to warm up.

  3. Oh' that was really bad! Customer Service is very important in any business, Despite how good your product or service is, customer service can make you up or it can break you. Anyway, thanks for the post.