Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Customer Disservice

As many of you readers know, I shop for a living.  Before that I worked retail at a lot of different stores.  So I presume to know a thing or three about retail.  I also worked at Discover Card which is the best company on the planet.  It is designed in every way to cut through crap.  So the bar on my expectations is set really high.   The following companies don't even come remotely close to touching that bar.  Like if my bar is in New York, their bar isn't somewhere on the Jersey Shore, but waaaay over in like, Taos, New Mexico.

Kimball Roofing.  We had the great fortune of getting a roof replacement negotiated into the contract when buying this house.  It's against code to put shingles on a flat roof.  No one does tar and gravel anymore and that left us with one other option.  Bitumous Membrane.  It's like having really, really thick/wide duct tape rolled over your roof.  Kimball said they could do it.  The guys show up to do the job, a guy Kimball hired out and his dudes.  The guy's three non-English speaking workers are SUPER nice and helpful.  But.  His guys leave cigarette butts all over the place, don't clean up the tar and gravel from demolition and put the membrane on crooked.  I corner him about it.  He says they are workers not artists.  I say it doesn't take an artist to snap a friggin chalk line.  He draws for me a very elaborate wooden veneer that he could build for me for a few thousand dollars that would cover up his shoddy work nicely.  Yeah, that happened.  I was VERY upset.  It's just the beginning.  Days later I notice the swamp cooler is blowing luke warm air.  Brett keeps telling me it's working, but I'm not on board. (Sorry honey)  So I get a free estimate on replacement.  The guy tells me the actual unit is not the problem that it's been totally disconnected and asks if anyone has been on the roof lately.  Kimball.  He tells me that they are required to hook it back up for free, for sure.  So I call them.  It is many moons before I can get a guy to just call me back.  Many more to get a guy to come over.  We set up an appointment finally.  Minutes before he is supposed to be here he asks if he can come back another day because someone took the ladder out of his truck.  I'm hot and angry.  I tell him to GET OVER HERE and I'll find him a friggin ladder.  So he comes over, then doesn't leave.  It takes him TWO DAYS to work on it.  Now this was a while ago and the details are fuzzy but I do remember that because he spent two days at our house, noon and night, at some point I decide to shower.  And I am in my bedroom which across from the hall swamp cooler switch.  That's right.  It's the one time he walks into our house with no verbal announcement.  I defied all laws of the universe to fly through the air and shut the door so this old dude could not get a glimpse of the goods.  I do not think I was successful.  He finally, FINALLY, finishes and leaves me with a cracked switched plate and a slightly dirty feeling.  Next day...it's still blowing warm.  I call Kimball and tell them everything.  They don't care.  The owner of the company is there, he won't take my call.  They totally blow me off and won't send another guy to fix my air or anything.  If I remember correctly we finally went through our home owners warranty and they sent a guy who did it for like 50 bucks.  He ended up fixing it in like an hour and he laughed the whole time about how all the lines were crossed and the water not turned on and the power cable actually severed.  OMG.

Gold's Gym.  Both times I have made the mistake of getting a membership here I have spent moths on the phone trying to fix it.  Both times it went back to the person signing me up. First time the lady took 10 seconds to go over my actual contract and one hour to tell me about her divorce.  The second time he took the hour on my contract, because every time I had a question he had to get up and ask someone the answer.  I hate Gold's gym so much I don't go on principle.  I have a 14 month pass with daycare included up for sale cheap if anyone wants it.  I want to go back to 24 Hour Fitness.

Sprint.  For those of you that know Brett's blog I will not waste your time going over this in massive detail, again.  Needless to say an employee put insurance on Brett's phone and not mine by accident.  And my phone broke.  Then they wouldn't fix my phone or switch the insurance.  I went to a bunch of stores and finally talked to some regional higher up who STILL wouldn't do anything about their employee's mistake.  At store #5 some guy hatches a plan.  To "solve" the problem I will buy a new phone I can use, he will switch the insurance to my account, and he will send in my old phone.  Since it only takes a few days to get my phone fixed, he will just return the phone he sells me.  I hear nothing for over a month.  A guy calls me and tells me my phone is in.  I'm on set for two days, I can't bring it in.  Day three, my dog eats the "new" phone.  Chews it all to hell.  I tell them it's my fault, sure, but they made me buy a phone and it took over a month.  And I should have insurance on my account now because this guy fixed it, right?  Nope.  Still on the WRONG ACCOUNT!  I go back in and I ask the guy if he thinks this is his idea of good customer service and how exactly he thought any of this plan was actually going to be helping the customer.  He rolls his eyes and says, "Ok.  One more time so you get what we did.  You came in with your phone and we gave you a new phone.  Then we sent your phone in to corporate..." He does this over and over.  I am trying to get him to see big picture, how is this helping me.  He and a fake customer pretending to look at phones and another worker all get into this by snickering at everything I say and whispering and rolling their eyes at me and disrespect me...in front of my children.  They made me cry, those big awesome guys at Sprint on the corner of State and Center in Orem.  It's cool to roll your eyes and laugh at a stupid Mom with her stupid kids. My kids tried to comfort me in the car on the drive back home.  Saying, "It's OK Mommy, don't cry.  They weren't nice, Mommy."  Yeah, that happened.  That was just the beginning of a six month tour through Hell with them to finally fix this.  Our service was turned off twice in error.  Our phones don't get reception in our own house and no one knows why.  It's over 400 bucks to get out of our contract.  We are stuck with them until April.

KrispyKreme.  Did you know they don't take 50 or 100 dollar bills?  Me either.  And you don't find out until after you and your kids watch the conveyor for twenty minutes, stand in line for another twenty, finally pick out and box your doughnuts.  They don't tell you until you have done all of this and are standing at the register with two happy drooling little kids that are there being rewarded because they behaved themselves.  And no the manager won't make an exception.  And no I don't have a credit or debit card.  I have actual cash.  But...BUT...they will provide you with cups so you can have a water.  Two crying little kids don't care about having a cup of water when their doughnuts have just been LITERALLY taken from their hands.  'Cause they are better off being in the trash.  Hot light wasn't on I guess?  When we drive by Aidan still says, "Our money isn't good there, huh Mom."

Racelinedirect.com.  I had to buy thousands of dollars of NASCAR merchandise for a shoot.  We didn't have the models picked out yet so we over-bought due to time restraints, in hopes something would fit.  When it came down to the day of the shoot the agency didn't want to overload on Nascar clothes, understandably.  We used a little bit from many sources.  The one ladies T shirt everyone agreed on was from Raceline.  It's in every shot.  We used two of this style shirt.  We return every other piece from there.  It's a big return.  On their website it has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  It states their policy which I abide by to the letter.   Merchandise in original bags, unopened, with receipt, returned well under the 60 day limit.  But they won't return it.  At first I'm told there will be a fee.  No one can say how much.  They ask the owner, he says he won't return any of it.  I go nuclear.  They tell me to ask Michelle who is in charge of returns who I placed my order with.  She won't call me back.  I get the run around for the third day in a row, and while on hold I get to listen to a recording repeat over and over about their 100% satisfaction guarantee and happy and polite customer service. I finally reach Michelle in the early morning, this morning in fact.  She won't help me and says to talk to the owner.  I tell her how he told me to talk to her.  Nice.  Put him on.  He says there will be a 40% restocking fee.  If I pay 40% of the retail price for the merchandise, I covered his cost of the product and then this Jackass gets to re-sell the merchandise and makes double keystone in profit.  Am I supposed to be dumb?  I say that is UNACCEPTABLE!  Not going to happen.  I agree to 20%.  And I don't even feel it's totally right to pay that under the circumstances.  He tells me that I am not his regular customer.  I faunch.  I say, so it's ok to not honor your word with me because I'm outside your demographic?  I am a professional shopper, I'm the last person you want to piss off.  He tells me it sounds like I'm a professional returner.  I say, whether or not we used your stuff is inconsequential.  It just happened that way.  I bought from you because you guarantee 100% satisfaction and 60 days to return for full money back.  If it had read otherwise I would have not even bothered.  I passed up other NASCAR web sites for less.  I tell him he needs to honor his word.  He tells me he will bring it down to 25%.  I tell him to send me and invoice with the exact totals of the return amount minus the 25% fee.  He sends me a return invoice, with the wrong return amount.  It's short 71.00.  I call to talk to him about it.  I tell him I know it's short.  He says it's not.  I tell him it is and I will call him back in a second.  I calculate with a calculator, Brett calculates even, and it's short.  I call him back.  He left for the day.  That big feathery chicken butt.  I want this man's head.  A shirt from his company was agreed upon by art directors from one of the most elite ad agencies in the entire country,Saatchi and Saatchi X.  It was shot by one of the best photographers, Lori Adamski-Peek, for Sports Illustrated.  And it was chosen by who?  Me.  He gets free publicity in Sports Illustrated thanks to who?  Me.  Instead of being grateful for any of this, he is being utterly dis.respect.ful.  I think he's so busy thinking of how he's getting "screwed" he will never even think to use the fact he got into SI to push his business.  The tard ass.

Timpanogos Temple.  I know that cute little old people volunteer their time to work there but the church would maybe do well to have some sort of training.  I made multiple calls to the Temple to make an appointment to be married and sealed.  They gave me a list of papers I needed to have.  One being a letter confirming Temple Divorcement.  I told them it was over ten years ago and I didn't think I had it.  I asked if it could be requested from Headquarters or whatever.  She didn't know but someone would call me.  A guy we'll call Brother Jensen calls me and tells me to call him.  I actually FIND the letter.  I call him back and say it's all fine, I found it and not to worry and we'd see him there!  Brother Jensen says, no.  That there was more.  My son's Dad couldn't just agree verbally, we had to have it in writing.  My bishop said they were wrong that verbal was good.  I call again to make a date, and they connect me to Brother Jensen again who says there is a note telling him I need to get ONLY written permission and not to let me in.  I tell him I don't have time to discuss it now but I will just get the paper, if there is any question about it at all.  He keeps explaining to me that I NEED this letter, and does so for SO LONG that I hang up on him.  HANG UP!  I asked Ty if he'd agree in writing and said that would be fine, whatever.  Meanwhile Brother Jensen is leaving me messages about how I really need to get this letter and he was sorry we got disconnected.  I steel myself and call him back and explain why I hung up.  Brother Jensen says he can't hear me through our bad connection and says to call back when I am getting better service.  Which will be sometime after April.  We get a home line.  I call back and they tell me...they tell me...that my son is born under the covenant of my first marriage and does not need to be sealed to us.  Because the date on the divorce confirmation letter is three months after he was born, he is somehow "born under the covenant".  I can not speak.  I hand the phone to Brett.  I love this man.  When I can no longer deal because I'm too emotional, which is not often, Brett goes into this place.  This killer protect the flock space and God help the people on the other end of the line.  In this case that's already the Temple so I guess God help us.  Brett talks to this guy and then calls our Bishop.  I tell them both, I just want to get this done.  We're worthy people who love one another and had the miraculous experience of finding each other, having an adoption finalized and an ex that once said, "Over my dead body", change his mind and allow his son to be sealed.  All of these things were perfectly aligned so we could have this singular experience.  

We are so close and yet so far away.  Like New Jersey and New York.


The Bakers said...

I so want to cry right now. All of the customer service stuff I understand. I have cried in public as I was humiliated and didn't get what I went in for. And finally, I hope with all my heart that you guys get to go to the temple very soon. I wish Frank could adopt my girls and you are so lucky to be able to have that chance with Brett. We went through that waiting stuff and it is interminable, but you can't even believe how it feels when you're finally there...

Tiffany D. Montgomery said...

Oh, my sweet, sweet Amelia. You have a way of touching my heart and making me laugh at the same time! Your blog is precious! I need to read it more often. I will keep you, Brett and the kids in my prayers. Ironically, one of my cousins and his wife are living with us right now and they are waiting for the same thing. It can be so discouraging waiting for this big day and all the "paper work" to be finished! Gah! I am so sorry. You are such a sweetheart, Amelia. We really need to get together! I am leaving next week and won't be home until the 20th. I will call you when I get home. Hang in there! I love you, cuz! xoxo

BrettM said...

No one, and I mean no one, makes my wife cry. Even "well-meaning" workers in the House of the Lord.

kateastrophe said...

I think my brain just exploded for you. People are idiots.


Tanya and Tom Quinn said...

Hi Amelia. I just wanted to say Hi. Love, Tanya