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Companies – Please Train Your Customer Service Reps. Please.

I have had it with customer service at major organizations. Seriously. OK not with all companies, but most every time I need help from a customer service representative, I get treated like crap – like I am a bother to them. I realize the customer is becoming an afterthought; but still…would it kill you to be pleasant and get something done for a customer? If I ever treated one of my clients like these companies have treated me, I would no longer have a business. Unfortunately, these companies can do whatever they want – and continue to be in business, no worse for the wear. The four most recent dealings I had with customer service are as follows, and it seems that it only gets worse.

LA Times – Here is how that conversation went when they called and tried to offer me the weekly paper for free when I only signed up for the Sunday edition:

Her: Good morning. To thank you for being a loyal LA Times subscriber, we are going to go ahead and start sending you the expanded weekend package, including Thursday, Friday and Saturday in addition to the Sunday edition, all at no charge.

Me: No thanks, I only want the Sunday paper. Thanks anyway.

Her: But this is free; don’t you want something free?

Me: No, really, I only want Sunday’s paper. Thanks.

Her: Can I ask how you get your news then?

Me: The internet”¦heard of it? (getting sarcastic at this point cause she won’t stop)

Her: But this is the LA Times. We will just go ahead and start sending it to you, OK?

Me: No, you won’t. I only want Sundays newspaper.

Her: I don’t understand”¦it’s free and how else would you get your news?

Me: It does not matter if you know how I get my news, I only want Sunday’s newspaper.

Her: Are you sure? It’s free!

Me: Please listen to me. I only want Sunday’s paper delivered to my house. Understand? Only Sunday. And if any other days start showing up at my house, I am going to cancel my Sunday subscription all together. OK?

Her: I just don’t get it”¦we are offering this to you free.

Me: Again, please listen to me. I only want Sunday’s paper delivered to my house. Understand? Only Sunday. And if any other days start showing up at my house, I am going to cancel my Sunday subscription all together. OK?

Her: OK.

Chase – I used to have a Chase credit card, but I canceled it because I no longer used it and besides that, my other cards gave me way better rewards. But it seems that since I canceled the card, they send me applications for new cards every week. I have opted out, returned them to sender, etc…but they just keep coming. So finally I decided to call the company to see if I could do something to make them stop sending me these pre-approved offers. I was actually told I needed a notarized letter by one of their reps in order to have them stop sending me credit card offers. A notarized letter? Are you kidding me? And even though I finally got a rep to put me on the “do not mail” list, I still get them. Every week. Non-stop.

United States Post Office – I normally have nothing bad to say about the USPS. I mean come on…less than 50 cents to mail a letter to anyone in the country, and 99.9% of the time the letter arrives? That’s a deal in my book. But the last time we went on vacation I had a miserable experience with one of the reps there. I always put my mail on hold when we go away, and have it delivered the day we get back. But this time, the held mail never showed up. Two days later, still no mail. So I called them up and asked where it was and they didn’t know. They didn’t have any held mail for me. I went through 3 people and each one started blaming me, that I had never put any mail on hold and it wasn’t their fault. But I had the hold receipt! Then I got a supervisor on the line and she proceeded to tell me that they had held mail there but that I needed to come down and prove my identity to have it redelivered. Huh? Since when? Since I don’t have a car during the week, I biked it down to the post office and hauled back 38 pounds of mail. I think I might just have my neighbor get my mail next time we go away.

CVS – This is my most recent experience with terrible customer service. A few weeks ago when I was really ill I called them to renew a prescription and they said they needed authorization from my doctor, but that they would call him and get it. They told me to “Come by after 5 and we will have it ready”. So I show up and guess what? No prescription – “Your doctor didn’t answer the phone” – Um, you think you could have called me back and let me know that before the close of my doctor’s office on a Friday afternoon? I called CVS at 10am…meaning they had 7 hours to get this done. If they had let me know, at least I could have tried the doctor, but since they didn’t, I figured they had taken care of it. And then I went the weekend without the medicine I needed to continue to take.

I guess the point of this article is to A. vent and B. ask you guys what bad experiences you have had with customer service. I just don’t understand why companies don’t spend the time and money to really train these people to represent their company in a positive way!


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Comments (6)

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  1. Mrs. Micah says:

    Ironically, I was reading this as I called Sprint/Nextel and navigated through their automated service. And more ironically, I was disconnected both times. I give up until tomorrow…it’s for my job anyway, contesting a $3 charge.

    The worst customer service I’ve gotten wasn’t from people but from a computer voice. Not only would he not understand what I was saying, but he scolded me when I pressed “0” saying things like “Maybe if you said it again we could work on this” and “Maybe you should repeat your request” and finally “Next time, try letting me help you.” WTF machine? I tried and you didn’t know what I wanted. Plus, it played a recording of typing to mimic looking up information. *gag*

    Once I got through to their customer service? Took me a couple minutes and everything was worked out perfectly.

    Thanks, that was a chance to vent! 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    I work for USPS. The 1-800 is extremely frustrating to USPS employees even. They are not USPS employees and they tell customers crazy things all of the time, but customers get the number from the site all of the time.

    You should not have had to go get your mail. Your letter carrier should have delivered it to you. S/he knows where you live.

    I just had a HORRIBLE customer service experience with Allegiant Airlines which caused me to contact the FAA.

  3. Bo says:

    I completely understand your frustration with this because I have been so frustrated cause nobody has any customer service!

    Also, I have found a good resource when I do have to call those guys so that I can actually talk to a person (not a machine). It is called the gethuman500 database. The link is below:

    http://www.gethuman.com/

    Hope this helps someone.

  4. david says:

    Thanks for the tip Bo!

  5. Kellie says:

    USPS – I have a sign on my door saying no packages or mail are to be left at my door. Still stuff gets left at my door. I live in a townhome community and we have a central lock box for all our mail. If he can’t find my mail box he/she wouldn’t be able to find 15 other people’s mail boxes so I don’t know why it gets dropped at my door…

    Chase – You might want to check out http://www.optoutprescreen.com which is wrong by the credit report agencies. You can opt out of prescreen offers for 5 years or life.

    CVS – as a pharmacy technician I understand what could have happened on their part. It was Friday, probably one of their busiest days of the week, doctor might not have been in the office at all, etc. Yes, it was a bad mistake on their part not to call you back. However, didn’t it say on your bottle that you had zero refills left? Why did you wait until the day you ran out to call for a refill? Generally when you have a week supply left you should call for a refill. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who yell and scream (not saying you did) at the pharmacy personnel because they themselves failed to take responsibility for their medications.

    What I would have done, if it had been me, was get the okay from the pharmacist to dispense you a 5 day supply and once your doctor ok’d the script deducted the 5 day supply from your prescription. Common practice at my pharmacy (within reason).

    If this happens again ask to speak to a pharmacist. Tell them you are curious what side affects or anything else you might encounter because you are going to be off the medication for a few days. This might clue them in that they need to do something for you.

  6. david says:

    Kellie-

    Your comment is missing here for some reason, but I saw it in my email. Thanks for leaving that. I did opt-out, that is what is weird about still getting these offers!

    As for CVS, my script did not say I did not have any left, it said to call the doctor. So I did, a few days before that Friday and they told me to have the pharmacy call. Either way, it was weird, but whatever, I finally got my pills. Oh well! Thanks for the info, it’s good to know that it is not a normal CVS thing!

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