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Articles tagged with: customer service

It amazes me how poor customer service is sometimes, especially these days when jobs are hard to find. Sometimes I do post about great service too.

Written By: Gary on January 29, 2011 No Comment

So my* McDonald’s still has the McRib, so I came up here for lunch. Free WiFi and a McRib sandwich, can’t beat that!!

The box isn’t right, but who cares? It’s what’s inside that counts!!!

* In Dearborn (Michigan, USA) on Michigan, between Greenfield and Schaefer Rd.

Written By: Gary on December 23, 2010 No Comment

I went to Cobano to go to the bank and wanted to get some lunch but I also wanted to be closer to the bus, so I got lunch to go. Here’s my story…

View the HD video at YouTube.

And the chicken (as usual) was delicious, and the big piece was huge! The two pieces plus the bread “stuff” was $3 and I think I paid about a $1.20 for each of the two Coca-Cola’s that I drank; honestly that sees a little pricy for the Coke for just being the vegetable stand in Cobano, but usually I get the bottles at a restaurant and they’d charge more so it’s hard to tell…

Written By: Gary on December 14, 2010 No Comment

Poor customer service has always been a annoyance to me. Be nice and be courteous and try to deliver it with a smile. Especially in this economy, how can you afford not to be nice and courteous?

That said, the folks at the Wash Haus (in Dearborn, Michigan) have always been extra-nice and ultra-courteous. They have a laundromat, drop off laundry, dry cleaning and they do alterations. I’ve got a washer & dryer at home so I only use them for dry cleaning and repairs/alterations. And when I say repairs, I mean some stuff that I wasn’t even sure if they could fix.

wash-haus.JPG

Today, I dropped some items off today to be dry cleaned and an odd shoe repair (my Five-Fingered Vibram shoe has a tear in it) and he took my number so he could call me to let me know if they could fix it (he’s called me before about repairs).

I think it’s just the way the owner talks to me, he’s just polite (maybe even respectful) and it doesn’t matter if I’m in shorts or a suit (and I think the owner has been there every time I’ve been in). And it’s not like I’m their best customer, I probably haven’t been there much more than a half-dozen times in the last year, he actually remembered that it’s been about six months since he’s seen me.

Bottom line, if you’re in the area you should give them a try! They’re at 5280 Schaefer Road on the south side (between Ford Road and Michigan Ave.) in Dearborn; before this year, the place was under different management so if you didn’t like them before, there’s new folks in charge. Check out the photo since there’s a competitor a block over; plus I thought the blue sky came out awesome for just stopping in the road and using my phone for a quick snap. I couldn’t find a web page but they do have a Facebook fan page (which has a year old price sheet).

Written By: Gary on September 21, 2009 No Comment

I love WordPress. I think I’ve expressed that many many times. The plug-ins that people supply are amazing too. But what I’m surprised about are some basics that some plug-ins don’t have. When going to the configuration page from a plug-in they neglect some basic information:

  • the name of the plug-in
  • the version number of the plug in
  • the name of the programmer
  • a related web site
  • a link to where the plug-in is located on WordPress.org
  • A few sentences with some very basic instructions would be nice too :)

How can I recommend your product to anyone else without a link? Or how can I donate to the author if I don’t know where (or who) they are? Or how to use it without any instructions?

Some of the plug-ins have great instructions, but if you can’t find the site with the information it’s not very helpful. Some of the plug-ins have the information in a read me file in the plug-in folder, but some of the folders don’t have names that match up with the name of the plug-in very clearly. And really, if you’re going to create a read me file with important information, just paste it into the plug-in page.

Some plug-ins are great and include all the above, but many leave out a thing or three.  Some go above and beyond: including a list of people who donated and a list of information to include when reporting bugs (WP, PHP, MySQL and more); please note in this example, that they don’t tell you collect the information, they actually have the list with all the version numbers (all you have to do is copy and paste).

I might be sounding fussy, but I’m not talking about user interface and minor confusing instructions, I’m talking relatively big things here. Things that could get the author recognition or donations. Things that could prevent people from using the plug-in that they bothered to create (they do want people to use them, don’t they?).

Written By: Gary on September 20, 2009 No Comment

This new free add-on to AT&T Cell phones that starts today for sign-up. You’ll get to choose 5 numbers with unlimited to and from calling for individual plans $59.99 a month or higher. Family plans $89.99 a month or higher get to choose 10 numbers (shared between all users). It looks like this is Unity or Nation plans; see http://att.com/alist for more info (this link still gives you info, but the login seems to generate an error, so just login normally and click on manage your A-List).

That’s calling to any other company cell phones or land-lines!  It’s a free upgrade to those who qualify so it’s kind of a no-brainer to sign up.

alist-att.png

Five numbers for an individual plan. That’s huge! I’d guess 95% of my minutes go to the same five numbers; 75% percent probably go to just three numbers.

Only standard domestic landline or wireless numbers may be added. Directory assistance, 900 numbers, customer’s own wireless or Voice Mail access numbers, and machine to machine numbers are not eligible. Only voice calling is eligible.

– From the AT&T A-List “Feature Terms & Conditions”

Even if you have enough minutes, it’s silly to not sign up and get the free leftover minutes put into your rollover account. It might even be worth it to lower your plan if you have a much higher plan.

Here’s the thing though, if you have more than enough minutes, this really isn’t going to help much, you’re probably already on an appropriate plan. It’s really most helpful if you were already considering raising your minutes. If you were considering adding another phone (or two) to your plan, you might get away with doing it and not having to add more minutes. Or if you’ve considered ditching your land-line and just going cellular. Remember AT&T is doing this to be competitive and probably did the math for everyone’s most called numbers; it was probably this or lower prices and who wants to give up money these days…?

Please let me know in the comments how this plan might benefit you most. And remember to come back in a few months and let me know how this affects your bill, especially if you change your plan and save money because of it.

Written By: Gary on May 30, 2009 No Comment

This has happened to me several times at Kohl’s Department Stores. I’ll return something after paying my bill and while I might buy something there I’ve still got a credit with them (i.e. they still owe me money). So they send me a refund check.

This time it was only for $8.37, and after a month or two they mail me a check refunding me the amount. For one thing, it’s a pain, I have to go deposit the check and it’s not not for a very big amount. And (B) it’s not like I won’t be shopping there again. This has happened to me a few times before, I think always for small amounts. It just seems a waste on many levels, time, stamps, billing, etc. (I understand the computer just spits it out, but there is still expenses); not even to mention the non-greenness of it. BTW, Kohl’s is the only credit card that I have that won’t automatically deduct a bill from my checking account.

Better yet, they should mail me the check but tell me I can take it to any Kohl’s store and can redeem it with the attached five dollar coupon or (better yet) one of their 30% off coupons and get me to spend more in the store. In theory I’ve got this ‘found money’ plus whatever bonus they might offer me. They’d have to put limits on this so people don’t scam the system, but it’s not like they don’t pass out similar coupons all the time. It would have cost them nothing to put such a thing in the same envelope.

Another thing, mailing checks to people’s mailboxes when they aren’t expecting them strikes me as a security thing; now this wasn’t a large amount, but I really don’t want large checks sitting in my mailbox when I’m not expecting them (or when I might throw them away).

On a side note: I called a friend today and they were shopping at Kohl’s and I thought “I haven’t been there in a while” and instead of running over there today, I’m sitting here blogging about their weird refund policies :)

Written By: Gary on April 13, 2009 349 Comments

So I get an e-mail from iTunes today stating that an episode for my new season pass for “Sophie” has arrived. The first thing I thought was that I accidentally clicked “buy season” when I downloaded the free pilot last week. But when I check the receipt I see six other items (in addition to the season pass) totaling $61.93! Not only that, I see another order for $5.97! Not a chance that I placed these orders (FYI, the orders were placed at 1 am and 5 am).

Here’s the really strange part:Almost all of the purchase was videos (tv, movies, movie rentals) and I think those kinds of videos still have DRM in them and no additional computers were authorized. What good are these to anyone if they didn’t authorize a computer? Can they even play them? Wouldn’t it have been easier to have just downloaded torrents of these files? These oddities make me think it’s an accounting error.

So I had to “report a problem” to Apple/iTunes for each of the 10 individual items. The e-mails went something like this:

I did not place this order for any of the 3 items on this order. Nor has my computer downloaded these items. It’s order XXXXXXXX I also have another order from today (ZZZZZZZZ) that I did not place.

I’ve changed my password as a precaution. I also tried to play some older protected/DRM’d music and it still plays (so I’m guessing if someone hijacked something they didn’t deauthorize my computers).

Gary LaPointe (phone ###-###-#####)

PS – These purchases don’t even meet my normal purchasing patterns.

My responses appear to be identical other than contact info (and I only got one response for each of the two orders):

Dear Gary,

My name is Jane Doe with the iTunes Store. I’m so sorry to hear of the unauthorized charges made with your iTunes Store account. I can certainly appreciate your concerns, and will do everything I can to assist in having this resolved.

With regards to financial reimbursement for the charges in question, these would have to be removed by a specialized team, designated to handle requests of this nature. I would urge you to contact your credit card company as soon as possible to inquire about canceling the card and removing the unauthorized transactions. A member of your credit card’s fraud department will contact the iTunes Store directly, and this team will resolve the issue. I apologize that I’m unable to remove the charges myself, but all unauthorized transactions must be handled in this manner.

If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, please consider following these recommendations:

(they then gave 14 lines of tips that I cut out)

I sincerely hope that you are able to resolve this matter with the help of your credit card company, as soon as possible, Gary. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
iTunes Customer Store Support

Please note that I work, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12:30 PM – 9:00 PM this week

The identity theft issues don’t even make sense. Why would someone steal my charge card number and log into my iTunes account? The CC number won’t even get them into my account and if they had a CC number, they could just create their own new account and I wouldn’t have know about it for days. And Apple doesn’t display the account number. I’m thinking, it’s an accounting or some bits on the web got mixed up. And the responses were generic enough where I’m not 100% sure they read the post.

I did notice they they did include their working schedule, which was even evdifferent for the two different people who responded (neither of whom were named “Jane”), it’s a nice touch but they both had the same return address (although the “follow-up” code could possibly redirect it).

I responded with:

Jane,

I will have my charge card company dispute/remove the charges as you said to do below. I have changed my password.

I have four (4) questions below in bold.

Unless I’m mistaken, they only gained access to my iTunes account. They don’t have my charge card number, iTunes doesn’t display the number for them to see, correct? A charge card number will not get them into my iTunes account. If they actually have my charge card number, I’d think they’d charge more than $70 of music/videos and

So this is either someone guessed my password (which was letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters) or some data packets got mixed up as someone else was placing their order. Since I have the two authorized computers in my possession and I know no one else was here using them, I’m assuming the latter.

Can someone actually download songs/videos to a non-authorized computer if they guessed my password?
Since videos still have DRM, someone wouldn’t actually be able to play them, correct?

Someone at the iTunes Customer Store Support can’t actually intervene in some way, at least to stop someone from downloading the season pass?
If it’s just an accounting error, it’s still going to download the season pass to my computer the next time I purchase a song.

Without my new password I’m assuming someone cannot download more of the season pass. I don’t even see how they could have in the first place without authorizing a computer.

Thank you,
Gary

And I can’t even dispute these charges yet since they haven’t fully been charge to my credit card company yet.

If anyone from iTunes/Apple is reading this and wants to fix this. You can leave a comment below or contact me directly.

UPDATE:

Wow! Lots of people with similar problems these last few weeks (see comments below), but I’m the only one that didn’t seem to have gift cards purchased on my account.

So it looks like my charge card is refunding the two dollar amounts to my charge card. This is contingent to Apple not disagreeing with my claim. FYI, after I said it was kind of stupid that they weren’t going to cancel the season pass since I was disputing it and they were still delivering the shows, Apple did contact me to say they would refund the rest of the season pass (right around the same time).

PS – It appears the Apple does not allow you to cancel a season pass! This is insane, it’s to their benefit to get you to subscribe, the fact that you can’t cancel is a non-motivator. Obviously if it was a discounted season pass and you canceled it, you’d pay the full price for episodes already received. Just seems like an obvious solution.

I still don’t understand what they are doing with these iTunes protected movies/shows if they can’t play them? Why not just download torrents off the ‘net if they are going to steal?

MY UPDATE: I got Apple to cancel the season pass and I did get my money refunded from my credit card company. It was confusing the way it cam through, I might have actually gotten credited from the rest of the season too (so I might have come out ahead, but after all the e-mails/contacting, I’m sure I ended up way behind).

——- ARE YOU FROM BOSTON?!? ——

A news station is doing a story on this and was looking for some people in the Boston area. If you are interested in being contacted please state so in your comment. I’ll pass your e-mail on to them. If you put your phone number, I’ll pass that on too, but I’ll delete it from the comment (if you’ve never commented before your comment should not appear until I approve it). Sadly I never heard any more details about the Boston story after forwarding details to them…

Written By: Gary on November 28, 2008 No Comment

So riding the bus in Costa Rica is cheap and it’ll take you anywhere. The problem is figuring out when the bus is going to be running.

In the bigger cities this doesn’t appear to be a problem, if you miss a bus another one will be by soon and if it’s not the right bus it’s still heading in the correct direction, just hop on. In the more remote areas (such as Montezuma) they probably don’t come more than every two hours so if you miss the bus it’s a pain.

The people closest to the bus stop seem to have the most reliable information. Restaurants and internet cafes have it written down, but they wrote it down ages ago. My trickiest problem is asking “when is the next bus?” and they tell me “it’s in 20 minutes” but that’s too soon for me so I try to find out about the bus after that and it’s no good; I have to come back in 25 minutes and ask again to get the info for the bus after that :)

The appears to be no schedule posted, even at the bus station in Cobano (a central town in the lower Nicoya Peninsula). I did notice the bus that goes from Montezuma to Cabuya to the National Reserve does have a schedule taped to the window (4 trips a day) with pricing and everything; as an added bonus, it generally seemed to be leaving Montezuma at the correct time! More info below.

Pricing is cheap though. In San Jose I took a bus for about 150 colones (28 cents) but honestly I don’t know far that would have taken me, it was in front of me heading the right way and it kept going once I got off. In Montezuma, it’s 300 colones (55 cents) to go to Cobano which is 7 km. away (a very hilly/dusty walk).

You can get a direct bus all the way to San Jose from Montezuma, but you might not get a seat and there isn’t any A/C but I think you can do it for about $8-ish (maybe $10 including the ferry ride). CORRECTION: The direct bus does have air conditioning; if the directo bus in Montezuma does not have A/C, when you switch onto the directo in Cobano that one has A/C (and little controllable vents like on an airplane), I’ve taken it three different times now and it is an excellent value (it seems like it will stop at the SJO Airport [you must ask/tell them!] or San Jose at the Coca Cola bus terminal (updated March 2012; I think I paid just under $14 and that included the ferry ride). Montezuma to Cabuya to the National Reserve info: When I saw the schedule it said 600 colones to the Reserva and 500 colones to Cabuya (just over or under a $1.00). It leaves Cabuya for Montezuma at 7:20 am, 9:20 am, 1:20 pm and 3:20 pm (not sure what time it actually leaves the park). It leaves Montezuma for Cabuya at 8 am, 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. Obviously they get a long lunch hour or maybe it doubles as a school bus? (These times and prices are from November 2008).

Written By: Gary on November 28, 2008 2 Comments

So I think part of what makes Costa Rica (and other places I’ve traveled to in the world) so interesting to me is the learning that’s going on. Just going into a restaurant is a new experience, almost like when your parents let you order your own food for the first time. And many other basic things becomes a learning experience.

In Costa Rica if you don’t ask for the check (la quintaff cuenta) they’ll never bring it to your table. In England, in a pub, you have to go up to the bar in order to get drinks or food and many places will let you sit until you figure it out. It’s part of the fun at least to me it is.

When I travel, I don’t just want the sights, I want the learning that goes with it. I’ll hit the local places off the beaten path specifically to figure things like that out. In Costa Rica, taking the bus (the bus another post to come) or getting a driver’s license is an experience that lets you figure out how things work in that country. I find all those parts particularly interesting and enjoyable…

UPDATE: Usually, I don’t update a post as much as I’m about to…
But I’m reading a Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson, a humourous book about traveling in Europe. And he said.

Bill Bryson Quote

And I just thought that kind of exactly fit what I was saying a few days ago.

I’m going to change the date on this so it floats up to the top, so if you saw it already, you’ll see it again for the new content…

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2008 No Comment

Does anyone know where the Official Bus Schedule for Public Busses in Costa Rica is? A million sites list bus schedules but they’re all different (and mostly wrong).

I understand the busses don’t run on time. But there isn’t any reason for me to be at the bus stop at 11:30 if the bus isn’t until 12:30 (especially if it’s going to be late), it’s certainly not going to leave early.

Written By: Gary on November 23, 2008 3 Comments

So this topic has come up more often lately than usual and as I’ve been approaching the end of my fifth year blogging (with 2000-ish postings) I’ve been thinking about blogging more…

Thoughts about my blogging habits:Blogging For Dummies Susannah Gardner, Shane Birley

  • Blog posts are a snapshot from the past. It’s what I thought/felt at that moment in time. If my views change weeks or years later, I don’t change that post.
  • I post a very very small percentage of my life.
  • I mostly post about things like entertainment, tech and travel. Which might make me appear to be different things to different people. Superficial, consumer-oriented, a geek or…
  • There are specific areas of my life I don’t blog like: love, work, religion, sex and many more things. These have a huge impact on my life, but I pretty much skip over them.When I post something on-line that’s how I felt at that moment when I posted it. I might have been happy/excited/sad about something but when you’re reading it weeks (or years) later I might not be happy/excited/sad about it any more, I was happy/excited/sad when I posted wrote it. And I might not even been happy/excited/sad when posted it, that might have just been when I wrote it (which might have been days before).

    I only blog the things that I get around to blogging. That might sound silly but it’s such a small fraction of my life that shows up here on the web and there are lots of things that I want to blog but just never get around to it. Some of the stories might get changed (significantly) for ease of explanation. Plus, for every post that I write, there were probably five topics that jotted down as a subject of interest and a few that I wrote a sentence or two but never finished. So even the stuff I think might be bloggable, I’m sure I post <10% of the stuff that I consider posting; that’s not even counting the other 50% of my life that I don’t consider posting). Sometimes I forget what I did or didn’t blog, I’ll write a followup to a post and I’ll get annoyed because I never put the first post on-line (or never finished writing it) so the followup doesn’t make any sense.

    Some people just blog about one thing: baseball, politics, losing weight, money, etc. but they still might mention other things in their life. I’ve got it a bit broader than those examples but it’s still pretty limited as to my overall life. I’ve got some specialized blogs I’ve got more ideas for that I’d like to explore more.

    I don’t blog everything in my life, my main focuses consist of entertainment (books, movies, music + television), technology and travel (and I’ve been trying to post a more photos than usual in my everyday life). Of course, I’ll talk about blogging and myself too. Occasionally I’ll post things about my day, food, family/friends, science, blogging, saving money and other things. It’s pretty rare that I mention work, dating, religion and politics. I generally try not to complain (although I do quite often with restaurants and other customer service issues) and not complaining was something I specifically avoided when I started; I figured the world didn’t need another complainer.

  • Written By: Gary on November 11, 2008 5 Comments

    So went to get my driver’s license today. What a bureaucracy! The only plus was that it wasn’t very busy.

    I knew this was going to be a hassle so I hired ARCR (the folks that did the relocation seminar) to take me there and work me through the process, it was $35 well spent. I would have spent that on cab rides alone.

    Here’s the process we took: Crlicence

  • Copied my passport, entrance stamp and US license.
  • Drove to the MOPT (their Department of Motor Vehicles).
  • Walked out of the huge complex and down the street to the Doctor’s office and got a blood type test $10 and then went to a different room for a “medical” for $20 (which consisted of an eye test, blood pressure and some questions).
  • Walked back into the far side of the complex and queued up.
  • Every time someone went in, we all moved down a seat closer to the door.
  • Got approved for a driver’s license for an automobile.
  • Did not get approved for a motorcycle. She didn’t accept the “CY” in my endorsement section was for a motorcycle. Says I’ll have to go to the U.S. Embassy to get a note from them. This was even after I showed her my “International Driver’s Permit” which very clearly identifies me as having a motorcycle endorsement and it’s in Spanish (FYI, Costa Rica does not honor this permit for driving so I can’t bitch too much); if Michigan defined “CY” on the back of the license I’d have been fine.
  • Went downstairs and waited but this time we had a number.
  • This was to get everything keyed in for the license.
  • Walked back to the front of the complex to pay for the license.
  • Walked back to the back of the complex to show the receipt that we paid.
  • Got my picture taken (was allowed to smile), signed the computer tablet and had my fingerprint taken.
  • Waited for a few minutes more and got my license! Good for two years!

    Throughout this process I showed my US license, passport and the copies a million times. At some point in the process they did let us leave to make a copy of the doctor’s medical test (all the way back to the front and down the street to the doctor’s) and then they stamped it certified so I don’t have to get another test ($10).

    The $35 for the escort well spent, especially since I speak barely speak Spanish. But if they had known a little more I could have gotten the paperwork I needed to get the motorcycle endorsement and gotten both. I’ve heard they are making license’s harder for non-residents so maybe I should get it now (I’m assuming they’ll let me renew it even if they change the rules) that was part of my motivation in the first place. I can go back myself but like I said before, if I don’t have a car it’s going to cost that much for cab fare. If I have a car at the end of my trip when I come back to San Jose to leave I’ll do it…

  • Written By: Gary on June 11, 2008 One Comment

    Theatre-Drinks-Pict2475So at some of the theater’s in London (and I’m sure in other places in the world) you place your order and pay for interval drinks before the show starts. This way when it’s time for intermission, your drink is already ready for you and there is no line. Very civilized :)

    It’s just coincidence that it’s in “position L”, that was already on the sheet when I scribbled my name on it. So when I went to get my drink there was my bottle of Schweppes, a glass with ice and my order sheet (see attached photo).

    Written By: Gary on March 1, 2008 10 Comments

    First of all, I love Medco for so many reasons, but the fact that all the annoying things they do basically annoy me sometimes makes me wonder if it’s worth it. I’ll list what I like:

  • I’ve been very fortunate and pay virtually nothing for my prescriptions, at a local store I pay $5 a month and with Medco I pay $2 (total) for 3 months. Now that’s my current insurance plan and not Medco so it’s not a plus just for them (and my co-pay is about to go way up).
  • I can call with a drug question at any time and they can get an answer for me (I’m not sure if they’re 24 hours, but I know I’ve called close to midnight on a holiday before).
  • I can renew on-line and see my history of everything they’ve mailed to me for a long while.
  • They give me postage paid envelopes to mail in prescriptions.

    So this is where my “What I hate about Medco” rant starts, it’s everything else they kind of make as annoying as possible and it’s got to cast them money and time (mine too!). It’s really strange considering they’ve got the normal part perfect from a customer service standpoint (see above). It’s the odd things that they handle strangely, for example:

  • They called me the other day and left a message so I had to call back and they had to transfer me to two other people to figure out why they called me (plus they disconnected me once). Here’s what it is: the off brand of something works better for me ansod the doctor wrote it that way, they were actually calling me to tell me that they’re shipping me what I ordered and next time I should check to see if they have it in stock. I’m sure I’ve been using this for several years and had it written the same way every time and it’s never wasted 20 minutes of my life on the phone before. Besides the doctor wrote it for the drug I want (DAW=dispense as written), they shouldn’t ship me anything but that, I shouldn’t need to call them for them to ship me the correct drug, right? Big huge waste of my time and theirs.
  • Most calls that I’ve had to return to them over the years go that way, it takes them a whole to figure out why I’m calling (and I have the ref number they gave me) and it just takes forever and it’s usually on something odd.
  • They don’t handle multiple addresses very well considering they do ship out drugs that need to be kept cold (in the middle of summer I ship that stuff to work). So you have to change the computer address when you have them refill that medicine so it goes where you want.
  • In the mean time if you mail in a prescription with the other address pre-printed on the form and circle it in red and write in big letters “ship here” they still call you to make sure that’s where you want it shipped (duh!).
  • And then all paper-work notifications go to the work address since you had to change your address to that location. They need a way for you “billing”/paperwork address to be a different address.
  • When you go on-line in February and they list drugs they can be refilled in March if you click “refill now” for many of them you will get mailings or phone calls (I can’t figure out how they choose) that complain that “you filled them too soon” even though they told you to!
  • Today, I got a phone call for some prescriptions that the doctor sent in electronically on Monday and they’ll ship on March 3rd. For one thing if I needed it today, I wouldn’t have mailed it in, but why did it take them until Saturday to not know they won’t ship it until next week?

    The other big annoyance is everything they leave you a message about is useless since none of it mentions the drug name. It’s all some prescription number which means nothing to me. I understand they don’t want to violate HIPA, but it’s simple enough to check the file and see that it says: this guy wants us to leave him his information in a message this would be convenient to him and not any kind of violation since he requests it. This seems like a pretty simple process for them to impalement for the sake of customer service (it’d be like locking or unlocking your domain name).

    They do e-mail me some information (generally on shipment) but it’s also lacking the drug name, which is silly since I assume most of the population (not me) uses the same password for their e-mail as they do for the medical website it’s probably not protecting anything. But I don’t understand why they just don’t mail me everything.

    So as I said, I normally pay $5 for a prescription and I can get 3 months from mailing in for only $2. But when my insurance changes that’s going to go up to $10 a month and mail-in will be $20 for 3 months. I’m still saving money, but can I do better (or just as well) with local stores and coupons or with bonuses that they always offer to switch stores? Sure that’d be an annoyance but at least they’d be annoying me on my terms…

  • Written By: Gary on March 18, 2007 2 Comments

    I love 1 and 1 web hosting, I really do. Great features, great price, all sorts of configuration options and cheap domains ($5.99 a year). They’ve got decent reports and now they’ll automatically mail me stats. Some of their web interface stuff is a little slow (it’s too fancy) but it’s got lots of options so I can live with it.

    What I hate is their lack of customer communication:

  • They need a blog just to keep us up to date of the cool stuff they are working on.
  • They need a status page to let you know what problems are up.
  • They need their staff to know what problems they are having (it shouldn’t take 3 calls over 3 days to find out they are migrating some servers).
  • The need to let us know when they have problems or in advance when they plan to migrate servers.
  • If thousands of pages are generating 404 errors take a minute and alter to the 404 page and mention to the viewers (my readers) that it’s a temporary problem.
  • Even the utility companies can automate a hold message to say there are problems and they are working on it.
  • They have great up time and I understand that things happen, but had I known there was a major upgrade I could have:

  • Mentioned it on my site (probably wouldn’t have but would have had the chance)
  • Not spent time debugging and wondering if it was my fault
  • Not made 3 calls (waiting on hold each time)
  • Most importantly – Not be pissed about it and blogging about it.
  • I still can’t figure out what took them so long to fix it and I’m only really annoyed because of the lack of communication. An e-mail that apologizes for it either earlier in the process or even after they fixed it would have gone a long way with me…

    FYI: To clarify, they we mostly down for about two-and-a-half days…

    Written By: Gary on March 15, 2007 One Comment

    There are web problems with my host 1 and 1 which is causing 404 errors, these are not my fault, but they are affecting you. I’m sorry for that…

    I love my web host 1and1 but what I hate is they have no kind of status page that customers can look at to see what problems are happening with the network. If they just had a page where they could list something like “many customers are having 404 problems and it may take hours (or days) to fix it” I’d be happy (not if it happened all the time). Then I wouldn’t waste time checking on it (on the chance it is my fault) or bather calling them (or waiting on hold). It seems like customer service common sense to me…

    Written By: Gary on July 8, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’m at Einstein Bros Bagels getting lunch and they’ve got the little sign where they list the soups they have that day (they removable pieces so they can change the sign depending on availability). Now today everyone seems to want Brocolli Cheddar (including me), which they happen to be out of, but it’s still on the sign. They actually have three choices: Leave it (the likely choice), remove that soup from the list, make more soup. I don’t think Mr. Einstein would be very impressed with their smarts…

    Written By: Gary on May 12, 2005 One Comment

    “The biggest problem with incompetent people is that they don’t know that they are incompetent.” I don’t know if Sarah got that from somewhere, made it up or she paraphrased it, but it’s so true. I had to deal with several customer service people today (me being the customer) and I just wasn’t getting anywhere.

    I just wanted them to listen. And if you can’t listen, at least wait until I finish the question before you jump in with an answer that clearly indicates that you didn’t listen.


    For example: I’m supposed to call the pharmacist tomorrow at noon to see if they could get my non-generic prescription (if they can’t I’m happy with the generic, that’s just how it was written). Now they just called me to tell me this, even though they assured me this while I was there (so I guess I actually could have gotten it while I was there). So for fifteen minutes I’m on the phone with them (they called me) and all I want to know is if they have the generic if the other doesn’t come in. They swear they have it, but I should call at noon to see if they received the non-generic. Why? Either way I’m getting something when I go there after work. So I wasted a more than few minutes trying to get them to explain why. As far as I can tell it was just so I’m not disappointed later…

    Why would I want to be disappointed sooner?!?

    That’s fifteen minutes of my life I’ll never get back…

    Written By: Gary on April 3, 2005 One Comment

    So I went to Target (a department store) today to pick up a few things and to get a price adjustment (the price went down since I bought it and I wanted the savings back). They were fluorescent light bulbs (the ones you screw into a regular bulb socket) that had 3 in a pack that I bought a few for $8.88. The next week they were $6.21 (not worth taking them back), but this week they were on clearance for $2.21, now that was worth taking stuff back. Now they always have odd return rules that change so I brought a few packages of the bulbs with me (but I left them in the car). Of course they said price adjustments are only good for 14 days, so you need the item with you (and what they do is return it and you immediately re-buy it). I only had two packages (but I had bought three) so I tried to sweet talk them into letting me do all three but no luck (but I got $16 for the two, that’s more than I spent today), they said I’d have to return it later (later just means get back in line) but the line had grown. Maybe next week when I go back for something else (I’ll get another $6 then).

    BTW, Easter stuff is 90% off, so I got some Cadbury Creme Eggs for five cents each!!!

    Written By: Gary on November 5, 2004 One Comment

    So I was just looking at the latest issue of The Week (crummy web site, interesting magazine). It says Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (the city of brotherly love) has “the best tippers in the country” at an average of 19.2% so they just happen to have a bunch of generous people living there?

    Isn’t more likely they have a bunch of hard workers there?

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