I Have a Gripe

December 26, 2009

Does Customer Service Exist Anymore?

Filed under: company interaction,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 8:23 pm

Every so often I am forced to go to a store instead of ordering products online. Sadly, that means dealing with people, customer service reps and the like. I also have the joy ever six month or so calling Verizon regarding problems with my land line. I would like to share those two recent experiences with all of you.

First, I went to the mall to pick up a few items. While I was there, I noticed the giving tree in the middle of the mall was still quite full. Feeling bad, I grabbed a gift request off the tree and headed to Macy’s. The request was for clothes for a five year old girl. Knowing nothing about finding sizes for a child, I went to ask for assistance from the two women working in the department. I explained what I was looking for and they couldn’t be more helpful! They helped me find sizes and made style recommendations. When I went to check out, they even tried to locate a coupon for me to use. They were just great! I asked if the store had gift wrap available and they directed me to that department.

Well, for as good as my experience was in the children’s department was as bad as my experience in the gift wrap department. I gave the woman the item and the box they gave me and said I just wanted the box wrapped. Nothing fancy, no origami shapes; just wrapped. She them told me the cost would be $15.95! Yup, you read it correctly. I was stunned. I explained it was for the giving tree in the mall and even showed her the request I took off the tree. She said, “well, that’s the price. Do you want it wrapped or not?” I told her that was completely ridiculous and left. I stopped past the children’s department to just let them know and they were very sorry for what I was told and they had no idea there was a charge at all. I told them there was no need to apologize; that it wasn’t their fault. I then headed to the dollar store to pick up tissue paper and a gift box. Assembled everything and dropped it off. Done.

My second customer service joy was just this morning. Every six months or so we get horrible static on our land line. We try to ignore it, knowing the fun we are in for, but eventually it gets bad enough that we have to call in and request a line check and possible repair. Now this is easily the fourth or fifth time we have called for this very problem. The line test always comes back normal (amazing), we are them told the issue is inside (which it never is) and we have to schedule an appointment. Today I was told they would do the line test and call back within the hour. Well, shock of all shocks, after two hours, no one called back. When Glenn called, he was told I had scheduled an appointment for a weekday. Now, mind you, he was sitting right next to me when I made the initial call. He told the rep that I absolutely did not. They said they would change the appointment to Saturday “between eight in the morning and five in the evening.” Oh, yeah, that narrows it down a bit. Awesome.

My personal favorite is when the call ends with “we appreciate your business.” Um, no, you really don’t. There is no such thing anymore as good customer service. You would think with consumer dollars as tight as they are, customer service would be above and beyond. Reality is, it is worse than ever.

So, here’s an idea all you major stores and corporations…drop the “we appreciate” crap and actually show the appreciation by providing good customer service. The rule of “treat those as you would like to be treated,” should be the rule, not the exception.

December 15, 2009

The War on Christmas Continues

Filed under: General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 2:58 am

So, I ran to the mall to pick up a few gifts. One store I went to I needed to get a gift certificate. There was only one design for the card. OK, no biggie. They gave me a choice of three envelopes for the gift card…Celebrate Snow, Happy Holidays and Happy Hanukkah. I asked if they ran out of “Merry Christmas” envelopes. The store attendant said they never had them in the first place!

OK, let’s forget for a moment that it is Christmas that primarily drives the majority of shopping dollars.  If a store is going to offer a Happy Hanukkah, shouldn’t there be a Merry Christmas??? This really bugs me. What is the deal?????

December 7, 2009

The Many Meanings of “Aggressive”

Filed under: General Annoyances,Manipulation — alvb1227 @ 12:32 pm
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What do you think of when you hear the word “aggressive?”

It may sound like a simple question, but it is one that has bugged me for years. Aggressive can mean words like focused, assertive, contentious, bold, dynamic…and my personal favorite…bitchy.

When you look up aggressive on Thesaurus.com, you find such words as cocky, combative, quarrelsome and intruding. The first entry on the site at the time was: “pit bulls can be naturally aggressive.”

Obviously, words can have many meanings. Aggressive, however, is one that really annoys me. I don’t want to sound like I am getting on my femi-nazi soap  box, but I always found it fascinating that when men are aggressive at work, it is expected and even celebrated. Words used synonymously can include assertive, focused, aspiring and go-getter.  However, when a woman is aggressive at work, she is labeled as bitchy, pushy, combative and disruptive. Is it because men still dominate the workplace and don’t like the competition? Or is it that women are still considered an annoyance in the workplace?

I have to be honest…I don’t know the answer to this one, but I’d love to find out.

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