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January 31, 2011


It's my own darned fault that I need to speak to Customer Service. We made a really stupid homeowner mistake: We moved to another house. Don't ever make this mistake! It's ALWAYS better to stay in your current house, even if it's actively on fire.

(This vintage column was suggested by nursecindy)


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the beer tanker delivery service,
They stopped that in the DC area. Too many Senators were voting on legislation after it came by.

Which is how we ended up with the TSA.

Due to unexpected high volume of calls, the estimated time before a representative can take your call is...f-o-r-t-y-f-i-v-e- m-i-n-u-t-e-s.

Excellent choice, nursecindy. judi, thanks for posting.
Sometimes, when I'm forced to 'chat' online with customer disservice, I throw in slang words to see how they respond. I keep hoping the slang will frighten them to the point they'll transfer me to someone who actually speaks English.
Hasn't worked yet, but it's certainly entertaining my dark side.

That's a good idea, Annie. I love it when they say, via an automated voice, that I am a valued customer and my call is important to them so please hold. If I'm a valued customer then they should drop all those other calls from non-valued customers and take mine! AT& another letter is the worst.

Also don't refinance your current home. I was offered very attractive terms from a large anonymous financial company whose name rhymes with "Disgrace" and went ahead. Three months later they were explaining how they didn't lose my property tax escrow, they just put it in the wrong account when they couldn't figure out how many months there were between November and December (honest), and how it could be paid just about any time and I'd still get my 2010 tax deduction, etc. etc. Within the space of two weeks they told me that the check was sent Dec. 26 and that it would be sent Jan. 31.

One hour after the cust serv person assured me that the check would arrive soon, it arrived postmarked 4 days before.

CS should stand for "Creative Stalling."

Yesterday morning I called our cable company (rhymes with Bombast) to cancel HBO so we could save a few bucks. Later in the day I noticed that almost all our HD service was not working. My wife called them, and after over an HOUR on the call she reported to me that the agent I spoke to had pretty much cancelled most of our service, and that our price was going to be higher if we restored it to what we had, but still minus HBO (only in cable TV can you pay more for less service). But, since we were now technically a new customer thanks to the first guy, we could sign up for new service. Now we're getting HBO plus a whole bunch of other new premium channels, for less than what we had been paying before. Go figure.

I actually had a good experience last Friday with Compass Bank's fraud line. Someone made a fake card with my numbers and went on an expen$ive shopping spree.

I got through to a real person without an inordinate amount of "push three for . . ." and then it all went quickly and smoothly.

Remarkable. Which is why I'm remarking on it.

Why not hire a teenage girl with a cell phone to call customer service for you. They love to talk on the phone and 107 percent of the time they do not know who they are talking to or why anyway so they can just chat with the automated music system and all their friends will think they are cool since they are on the phone so much.

The other day, I went online to increase the minutes on our cellphone plan. I used the Intermethnet just to avoid the "Helloooo, Delhi!" vorpal maelstrom of sucky customer service. You would think wanting to pay them more $ would be an easy thing to do. After twenty minutes of www.waitingforfreakin'Godot.com, I got booted to 'chat' assistance. I explained my problem to Darjeeling who kept asking me what I saw on my screen....eventually Darjeeling ran out of cute "I am exceeding happiness to help/please be so kind and patient/working on your issue most hurriedly/thank you for not to kill me" messages and told me to call customer assistance. When I did, I was put on hold for about 15 minutes, and forced to listen to recordings about how much easier it is to go online and order things than to wait on hold.

Also, do NOT... I repeat, DO NOT EVER move to a home previously occupied by people. By people, I mean those who think they can purchase items and charge them on their credit cards and never have to pay for them. I have spent HOURS listening to recorded messages from collection agencies wanting to speak to the previous owners. My bad luck is that I happen to have the same last name as the husband. I've called them back trying to explain that no, I am not the person they are looking for and that I will gladly change my last name if it means they'll stop harassing calling me.

Yes, I know this has nothing to do with the topic. I just wanted to vent too ;P

i simply refuse to talk to anyone from the philippines or india unless it's obvious from the first that they really understand English, and don't attempt to read anything from their Book of Prepared Speeches. i keep calling back and often switch to asking for "sales" instead of "Trouble with your service" until I get someone in the US. I'm geek enough that i've already done all the things you can do that they read from the book, so it does me no good to talk to the reading ones. sorry if that makes me ... whatever that makes me ;) but i have wasted enough of my time that way.

How about Siouxie Ghandi?

I'm right there with ya Siouxie...for the last 3 months I have been dealing with a mortgage company looking for someone with the same last name and a similar first name as mine. I seriously think they just looked in the Tampa phone book and found my name and started calling. I have gotten down right nasty with them, and they still don't get that they have the wrong number. Would shut my land line off, but my elderly mother uses it.

excuse me, but i must take this opportunity to point out MY last name.

'barberho' is common? hoo gnu?

*steals Siouxie's & judi's identities*

no, sandy: "the"

OTOH ... I happen to have this Customer Service Representative acquaintance ... (been married to her since quite a while back in the prior millennium, as a matter of fact) ...

There's CS (which could also stand for, often enuf, Cerebral Sh!t) and there's CSR ... the latter mostly werks with customers who arrive in person, tho there are sum who want "special favors" simply becuz they're "special, dammit!" ...

(One actually wanted her to call other patients with appointments, to see if they'd cancel, so she could get in "today, @ her convenience" ... IANMTU!) (And, NO, she tells me mostly NUTHIN' about folks, due to confidentiality rules/laws & such ... but this one she had to share with me ...)

N-E-way ... MB(RH?) tried the "telemarketing" concept ... she had a difficult time lastin' the two weeks it took for her to give notice, on her first day @ the job ...

Now, she helps folks with their Medicare (and other insurance) claims, and provides 'em with the health-care items they need ... likes the job, and most of the customers ...

OTOH (again), our cell phone and cable/internet carriers (different companies) provide us with EXCELLENT service ... switching plans, deleting options we no longer want, fergittin' how to reset the TV clicker (that's me), and tellin' us whut we've done worng so our 'pooters don't werk, but in a VERY polite manner ...)

So ... it IS possible to get "customer service" without spending 40 hours/week on the phone ...

Reason #45,699 to live in Nodak, eh?

By accident and following my investment strategy of ISLAGIATT (It seemed like a good idea...), we wound up owning three homes for the two of us. For the last two years, we've roamed around like nomads working one one home after another. Remodelomads. That's us.
Did you know that if the post office only lets you have one mail box open at a time? And banks, etc., forbid forwarding financial documents and new cards? So your new debit card winds up back at the bank and you have no way to get money.
Also, if you go from one home to another, your insurance on the last home goes up (NO! We still live there, too. We've just come to this house to remodel! Insurance representative: We don't care. Pay us.)
And car licensing? "Yes, I still live in Florida. I'm just not living in Florida right now."
We do plan to sell one of the homes. If no insurance guys are reading this right now, my wife is at that house, painting. If my agent is reading this, she's sitting by me right now.

Whenever I have to deal with, let's say, rhymes-with-DearthBlink's "Customer Service" folks (aka, "Thank you for calling Mumbai"), I immediately request a transfer to their Second Level assistants.

For reasons best known to DearthBlink, all their Second Level representatives seem to be in Texas. Go figure. At least then I have a reasonable chance of getting someone who speaks English (and usually with a delightful drawl, as a bonus).

I get a lot of calls from people who think it's a doctor's office they're calling. They leave...interesting messages sometimes. Hope no one dies, 'cause I ain't calling them back!

If I need to call my internet company that rhymes with Spy-us, I call them at 6 AM Eastern Frozen Time. For some reason, the people who answer the phone at that hour are the night-shift workers in Texas, who are getting ready to go home. They can't go home until they fix my problem, so they are super-motivated.

Thank you for calling Customer Deferral. How may I resist you?

Thanks for the tip, Guin.

I'm just annoyed at the robo-voice that feels like it has to remind you every five minutes that, yes, you are still on hold. Are there really people who forget why they are holding a contrivance up to their ear, listening to elevator muzak?

When I actually use the robo-voices, for some reason it really nicks my froth when you punch in your account number and the robo-voice says "Oh Kay. Just a moment while I look up your records." and I want to scream YOU ARE A COMPUTER WITH NO EYES AND YOU COULD NOT "LOOK UP" A SUPERNOVA AND I KNOW THAT BECAUSE I AM UNDER 90 YEARS OLD but I know it won't hear me....

Yes Elon! I hate that. I was on hold once for over 45 mins. and this automated voice came on every 2 mins. telling me I was still on hold, my call was very important to them, and the next available associate would take my call. I counted 15 times I was told this and finally snapped and said a very naughty word to the automated voice. Just my luck a real person came on the line at that time. O the U I've had people in the ER waiting room get mad because I took someone back for treatment before I took them. I would try to explain the person I took back immediately was having a heart attack only to hear one say their headache was just as important to them as his heart was him. Guess who was told to call their doctor in the morning?

When chatting with cs I always paste a link to the blog

Yah, n'c' ... I'm sure all of us around here have a story or two about folks of the type that think their "crisis" of the moment hasta be dealt with first, or the entire universe will blow up ... yup ... heard a few of those Moi Ownself ...

I forgot! Thank you for posting this, Judi.

bot didn't like my comment, don't know why....

still on hold waiting for a new thread to be posted...

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