Thursday, December 17, 2009

Customer service 101

I apparently caught the ick that my parents were coming down with when I left Saturday. This is irritating not just because I can't work out, cook, or stay at work for very long, but also because I am so foggy that my brain is having trouble processing things.

Nevertheless, I know asinine behavior when I see it (is there such a noun as asinism? If not, there should be.)

And this behavior came from - surprise! - someone in customer service at the cell phone company. I am tolerant of their fuck-ups to a certain extent because they're a nonprofit and donate to the charities their members (me) vote on. However, sometimes they're a little grassroots in their organizational skills (or lack of them.)

Don't think I am unsympathetic to the hell that is customer service, because both Mr. RK and I have worked in it and during that time, I think we both wanted to make quite a few voo doo dolls.

I pay my bills online, because 1) it's convenient and 2) I want to save paper. And, 3) because there were a couple of times that I have not received my bills in the mail and I like to pay them on time.

With the cell phone company, occasionally I don't get an e-mail bill, either. This has happened several times and I always get the same form response: "Please check your spam filter, contact your internet provider," etc.

Hello! I grew up in Silicon Valley. I know how to check the spam filter.

This time, when I realized I hadn't gotten a bill for awhile, I e-mailed the cell phone people and wrote, "Please don't tell me to check the spam filter or contact my internet company - I've done both many times and this problem is on your end."

Reply e-mail:

"Dear Ms. RK,
I am very sorry but I am not able assist you this information via email. I do not have an email address on file for you to verify if you are in fact this member.

Would you please give us a call at the number below to add your email address to your account or set up a password? We now require this information to release information on the account via email. This is for security purposes and for your protection."

Apparently the fact that she is E-MAILING ME TO MY E-MAIL ADDRESS is lost on her. I replied,

"My e-mail address IS on file and I do have an account with a password. Why would I be e-mailing you, pretending to be someone else to pay someone else's bill?"

A valid question, no?

So today I got an e-mail apologizing from a supervisor and someone is going to contact me. Ha. If the e-mail arrives, I'll let you know.


Darth Weasel said...

Just make sure you lets us know by e-mail...if this is really you telling us what you are doing, and not somebody else randomly informing us of the inner workings of your life...

Claire said...

Oh man, how frustrating!


Fireblossom said...

I don't have a computer. I don't speak English. I don't know how to type.

And...who are you???? LOL.

Feel better!

Granny Annie said...

Where have you been girl? Don't you watch TV? The cell phone companies are busy helping elderly people read their mail and can't take time out for cell phone customers!

Lynn said...

That's just crazy, but doesn't surprise me. When I parents moved last fall, I called to have their phone service connected and a CSR told me when someone would be out. They didn't come when they said and at this point, mom and dad had been without a phone for five days. When I called back, there was no record of my call or order. And it turned out that all they had to do was switch it on from a station. Very frustrating.

Riot Kitty said...

Darth: I can't verify that ;)
C: It was. I got another e-mail today saying I should make sure I've added them to my "safe" list. Which I've already explained that I have.
FB: Not so sure who I am :P
GA: Good point! No, I don't watch TV :)
Lynn: Lovely! Phone companies suck universally, I think.

G said...

They actually said that "we don't have your e-mail addy on file" while responding to your e-mail.

Oh. My. God.

That's about as bad as you can get in the private sector.

Public sector equivalent is having a state agency tell you that you can't take a promotional exam because it's only for state employees, in spite of the fact that one's resume is filled with nothing but state jobs.

Ily said...

Chica, I have that foggy-head feeling myself and my husband's been sick for over a month! Hope you feel better!

PS - I got the pasta maker for my bday!!!

Riot Kitty said...

G: Seriously! I suppose I should believe it.
S: Feel better, too! And then let me know how the pasta turns out.

Pouty Lips said...

This is unrelated but similar. I pay for my 19-year-old son's health insurance. I cannot call my insurance company to inquire about his billing. He has to call. Some bull-wacky about HIPAA laws. You take my money but you don't let me call to find out about a $300 co-pay charge. Yet they had no problem accepting the check I sent from my account to pay his bill. It's enough to make me rip out my hair.

The Peach Tart said...

Obviously they are eat up with the dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I would hate for someone to steal my account information and pay my bills for. That would be horrible. Only worse would be if someone made a very large deposit at my bank in my name. If only my cell phone company cared as much as yours did!!!!

Riot Kitty said...

PL: We deal with HIPAA at my work and while I'm sure it was well-intentioned, it's a huge pain in the ass.
PT: Yep!
SBBTC: I know, wouldn't it be awful? ;)

Aliceson said...

Incompetence at it's finest or worst depending how you look at it.

Poor customer service irritates the Hell out of me but once in a blue moon one of those perky people on the other end of the phone that always insist that they can "help you with that" actually do. Not too often, but it does happen.