Entries Tagged as 'Customer Service'

I’m a valuable Verizon Wireless customer…

Or so says an email an email I got from them last week asking me to take a survey on why I hadn’t taken advantage of my ability to upgrade my phone.

When the email came in I was on the phone talking to one of my friends; and besides, email is intended to be dealt with when it’s convenient…

About two hours after the email came in, things settled down and I had some time while I was waiting on the computer to finish a backup — so I clicked the survey link.

To which I got a web browser window (that adjusted down the size of my preferred browsing window) to tell me that the survey had been closed.

WOW — I’m glad I’m a “valuable” customer, I would hate to think how “un-valuable” customers would be treated.

Let’s see…

First, I never authorized Verizon to send me any type of email other than email specifically dealing with my account (a survey in no way deals with my account — and is clearly a marketing effort), so this email would be classified as SPAM (that’s UCE – Unsolicited Commercial Email).

Second, any legitimate survey sent out would certainly have more than a two hour response time; after all, it’s not like they would know I was anywhere near the computer.

Third, I’ve already told Verizon I’m not interested in a “free” phone since I’m not interested in a new two year contract.  And frankly there should be laws against calling something free when it’s got all kinds of strings attached.

Fourth, Verizon certainly doesn’t need to send me a survey to know how I feel about them — I consider them a crappy company like all cellular providers.  And obviously, Verizon know it’s a crappy company that is afraid it couldn’t keep customers without resorting to tricking and coercing them into long contracts by selling them equipment which is locked and crippled.

I say it’s time for an open wireless system with open handsets — where like the wire line market, wireless providers cannot force you to purchase a device from them, and they have to compete without all these tricks and fine print.

Certainly Verizon (like other cellular companies) have worked very hard to make sure that I as a customer will look out for my interests, and jump to any provider that offers me reasonable service at a reasonable price.

Customer loyalty?  Well, that’s about as rare as customer service in the cellular industry!

Verizon Wireless

NOTE: Verizon Wireless sent out a new survey email the next evening (even after I explicitly “unsubscribed” from the email list used to send the original one) with “CORRECTED LINK” added to the subject. Once again I got the message:

This survey link is no longer valid. Thank you for your time and consideration in trying to complete this survey.

Originally posted 2010-07-25 02:00:31.

Allen Turner Hyundai

3 March, 2012

Allen Turner Hyundai
6000 Pensacola Blvd
Pensacola, FL 32505

 

SUBJ: 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited
VIN: KMHDH4AE5BU084402

ATTN: Allen Turner, Owner

Sirs:

On 24 October 2011 I stopped by your dealership to have your service department order replacement floor mats from my Elantra (I’ve enclosed a copy of the service order for your reference, since it appears no one at your dealership is capable of locating any record of it); after waiting over six months for Palmer’s Airport Hyundai to get in the mats I had no tolerance left for their exceedingly poor service-after-the-sale. I left my old mats with the service department, and requested that the new mats simply be left in the plastic bag and was told that that would not be an issue.

That wasn’t the first time I visited your dealership, I’d actually been there twice earlier in the year when I was looking to purchase a new vehicle; to say that I was less than impressed by your sales staff would be the politest way possible to convey my true feelings.

In February I contacted your dealership after over three months of having no status information on my replacement mats, only to be told that Hyundai kept sending the wrong color mats, and that another attempt would be made. You’ll have to ask your staff why they needed to wait for a call from me to “try again” and why they would have waited three months to try and resolve this issue.

Last Tuesday I called to check on the mats and was told that they were in (actually I was told that they had been in, again, you’ll have to check with your staff to determine why I wasn’t advised the mats were in via telephone or a post card).

I told the individual that I would be in on Saturday, he instructed me to go to the parts counter since service wasn’t open. He did not indicate that I would need anything to pick up the mats.

NOTE: Service was in fact open (as I came to find out), of course your web site and the sign on the door said that it wasn’t, and I was berated by one of your staff for going to parts rather than service.

As I had committed in my phone conversation, Saturday 3 March 2012, I arrived at your parts desk, only to discover that while your staff could locate my floor mats, they couldn’t locate any record of the service order, any record of them being a warranty claim (payment status), nor had any instructions been left.

I was told I should have this and that – your entire staff seemed to hold me responsible for the failings of countless individuals along the course of the four months I’d been patiently waiting for these mats to appear.

Then the service adviser on staff injected himself into the situation with a most abrasive and arrogant air. Rather than asking for information, he just started to make assumptions and then asked for my keys to get the VIN and mileage.

After an hour, I found that your staff had elected to put the floor mats into my vehicle (I already had floor mats in my vehicle – I had no need for these to be put in; after all, I had been without the Hyundai floor mats I had purchased with my vehicle for over four months); when I had never asked for that to be done, and in fact on my first visit has specifically requested the mats be left in their packaging. When I pointed this out I was told that my old mats would need to be returned in the packaging and that they would remove the new mats from my vehicle and place them in another bag. I have yet to inspect the new floor mats to see if they are defective; but I assure you I will get around to checking them out much more timely than the replacements were delivered to me.

To say that I was upset at the poor level of service, and the non-existent communication on the part of your staff is a great understatement.

I’ll underscore that the only individual in your entire dealership who ever attempted to express any empathy, remorse, or apologize was the cashier in the parts department (or course, she also displayed the same “you should have…” attitude). No one else at your dealership has in anyway expressed anything other than assessing the “blame” for this entire nightmare on me.

I can assure you that your dealership will never make another penny on my service needs, and that the next time I choose an automobile dealership, it won’t be yours, nor is it likely I’d ever consider another Hyundai.

Sincerely,

Originally posted 2012-03-03 01:00:36.

Customer Dis-Satisfaction

Last week I placed an order online for pickup at a local Sam’s Club — I’ve done this a number of times in the past, and it’s always worked exactly as advertised.

This time, it wasn’t quite as smooth.

The order process clearly indicates that you’re supposed to get a status on your order within 24-hours; after two days I called (mainly because I was making plans to drive about 60 miles each way to go to this warehouse).

A woman answered, she put me on hold — twenty minutes later (I’m not exaggerating) she came back on the line, seemed surprised that no one had answered, put me back on hold — a few moments later another woman answered the phone and said I’d have to call back tomorrow between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Now, the web site also clearly indicated that I was supposed to be able to call for customer service between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm (of course — we’d already seen the web site might contain mis-information).

I wrote a “nice” little note to customer service detailing this issue; the reply I got back was a general apology that didn’t address the discrepancy between what the web site indicated was supposed to happen and what happened, or any explanation why a customer would be kept on hold for twenty minutes only to be told to call back the next day.

I’m a total loss to come up with any comment that could possibly make Sam’s Club look more pathetic than their own actions have…

Originally posted 2010-04-30 02:00:04.

Discover Discover

Last week I called up Discover Financial Services to get an answer to a question I had about my Discover Card.

I’ve long considered Discover as a tertiary provider of card services; their card is not as widely accepted, and (until recently) their rewards program has been weak in comparison to others.

While all that may still be true, one of the most important qualities to appraise any service by is the quality of their customer service.

The only thing I can say is, I was floored.

The woman who assisted me was possibly the best customer service agent I’ve ever spoken with.  Her voice was soft and even toned and crystal clear.  She certainly made me feel like she was concerned that I be satisfied, and her knowledge and understanding of Discover made it a relatively easy task for her to shine.

This call caused me to reflect back on Discover as a whole, and I realized that I’ve never had a bad experience with Discover customer service.  While I won’t try and tell you that every call to Discover has been at this level, none have ever required that I ask for a supervisor.

I also realized that even the way that Discover has you identify your account is designed to make it easy for a customer (consider the credit card companies that have you key in a sixteen digit number, time out if you take too long, and rarely get the number right on the first [or third] time and then ask you for the number again when you finally end up talking to someone).

A Discover Card might not be the right fit for everyone; but take a look at their financial services, and if they look like a good fit, I encourage you to give them a test drive — you might like the experience; and as Discover grows we can only hope that other financial service companies feel the pressure to provide consumers with reasonable customer service.

Discover

http://www.discovercard.com/

NOTE: Discover Cards are issued by Discover Financial Services, GE Consumer Finance (aka GE Money Bank, ie Walmart and Sam’s Club), HSBC, and Green Dot Corporation (pre-paid) — as with VISA and Master Card the issuing financial institution is responsible for servicing the account, so your customer service experience will likely differ with a non Discover Financial Services issued card.

Originally posted 2010-08-08 02:00:20.

Sam’s Club Discover

I was at Sam’s Club on the first of this month, and they had a promotion going on that you’d get a $40 instant credit on $100 (or more) purchase if you applied for and were accepted for a Sam’s Club Discover Card.

It was a no brainer —  what I was going to buy was $120, and the $40 instant credit would pay the fee for renewing my Sam’s Club card (NOTE: the renewal fee was excluded from the $100 minimum purchase).

GE Money Bank (the issuer of the Sam’s Club and Walmart Discover cards) issued a stated on the second of the month (the day after the charges); and had my statement to me less than a week after I’d opened the account.  However, I just received the actual card today.

Like with most credit cards you needed to call a toll free number and enter just about every piece of personal and confidential information you’d provided when applying for the card — at what seemed like the end of the activation, I got a message to please hold that I was being transferred to customer service.

After almost five minutes on hold, a very cherry woman come on the line, ask me how my day was and immediately launched into a sales pitch — I cut her off and told her whatever it was she was trying to up-sell to me, I wasn’t interest… that their system had kept me on hold for nearly five minutes to just try and sell me something I wasn’t the least bit interested in, and then I told her I wanted to close my account.  She responded that I’d need to look on the back of the card for the number, and I told her I wanted the number from her.

She gave me the number, and I hung up and called.

The automated system answered immediately, forced me to hear all about my account balance and due date — presented a myriad of twisty little turns to finally get to a customer service representative.

I told her I wanted to cancel; I told her why — she started to sputter out some apology and ask me to reconsider and I told her I didn’t care about her time, but I was tired of wasting my time and I just wanted the account canceled now.  The call was disconnected.

I called back; and same thing, a very long hold.  By the time that I actually got to talk to a customer service representative I’d been at this for over half an hour — and I pointed this out to her, and told here that I was in none to good a mood — that she would cancel the account, and I didn’t want to hear anything but it was done.

I wrote an electronic message to Sam’s Club on their web site after all this was done telling them what a poor reflection GE Money Bank was on their reputation.  The reply I receive (almost immediately) was just an apology, and told me what a valuable customer I was.

Right — GE Money Bank had been telling me what a valuable customer I was all the time on their automated system… but the bottom line, they didn’t value me as a customer — they wanted to treat me like a schmuck who’s time was totally worthless.  Clearly a company that didn’t value my time — or value me as anything but a potential source of revenue.

I’ve always considered Sam’s Club as low rent compared to other warehouse clubs such as Costco — and they continue to reinforce that image time and time again.

Costco selects American Express (which I consider to be thieves and liars — but they at least do pretend to respect their customers) for their credit card; Sam’s Club chooses GE Money Bank (how much more low rent can you get).

I don’t do much business at Sam’s Club; and I certainly won’t be increasing the amount of business I do there… but I certainly won’t be doing any business with GE Money Bank — and personally I think they tarnish Discover Card’s exceptional customer service.

Originally posted 2010-09-16 02:00:55.