With jobs being sent overseas to Indian call centers, I know that’s a rather redundant statement but after experiencing a plethora of customer service adventures within the last week, I’ll gladly make this declaration once again.
Customer service is DOA. Dead, kaput, ceases to exist, etc.
Now you would think that, given the weak economy and people making wiser choices with their money, retailers on every level would do everything within their power to not only satisfy their customer inquiries but to go beyond their expectations. Hell, competition is fierce when money’s tight so retention should be what’s on a retailer’s mind more than anything.
Take, for example, the experience I had at Target the other day when trying to return an item without a receipt. Not only was I treated like a criminal but I ended up leaving the place with said item only because nothing could be done at the store’s level for whatever reason. In addition to all that, I was told that the return required everything that the item was packed in: box, instructions, Styrofoam packing, twist ties, etc. Having worked in retail for years including the Target store where I attempted to make the return (T-195 in Long Beach if you are keeping score), this struck me as being rather strange.
Their policy aside, the ass-hole-ciate at the Service Desk immediately came off with an attitude regarding my situation which didn’t help matters. The item – a motorized Razor scooter for Anthony – is a common item that they always carry. But according to this moron, the item’s availability at this store was questionable and if it wasn’t carried, I’d have to go to another store.
“You would have to go to the floor and get the same item so that we can scan it,” she told me.
“What do you mean I have to get it? Why me? There isn’t one person on that salesfloor that can bring it up here?” I spouted, already annoyed.
Knowing that waiting for another ass-hole-ciate would be like pulling teeth and listening to Kenny G. combined, I ended up going to the floor, taking a picture of the item’s barcode with my phone, returned to the desk and told her, “There’s your UPC. Do what you need to do.”
Then it turned into a big fucking mess that I wouldn’t wish upon anybody and in the end, the manager got involved and refused to take the return. Instead, he told me to call Razor USA for instructions on how to return it. At least he offered to give me the number.
The calls to said company’s overseas “customer service line” were useless. They actually had Ann take apart the scooter, which I believe might have voided the warranty, to check on something she had no idea how to check. And because we didn’t have the receipt, they wanted our bank account number so that they could “trace” the transaction.
Excuse me? Are you kidding me? Fucking hell no are you getting that information!
Fed up, I tweeted @RazorUSA and, in 140 characters and two tweets, angrily made my point:
Turns out that if you light a public fire under somebody they take it a bit more seriously because I’d say within an hour, I had a reply. We are now in direct contact with their US-based Customer Service manager which is great, provided they can offer some kind of resolution to our problem.
As of now, our call has not been returned. (UPDATE 8/17/11: We did, however, get confirmation that a replacement part was being sent.)
That’s just one situation. The other one involves a phone case I bought on Amazon which turned out to be the wrong one for my phone model. Admittedly, it was my fault for ordering the wrong one so I explained the situation to the seller and they agreed to send me a replacement.
I sent the case back to them along with the order information and my phone model. Within 10 days, I had my replacement case: the wrong model replacement case.
So I sent an e-mail to them telling them this was the wrong one. Their reply:
Ok that is not what you ordered with us sorry,,
Well, no it wasn’t, you assholes. With the returned item, I sent the correct model number I needed. Maybe my English isn’t all that good and maybe they misunderstood what I was telling them. Either way, they didn’t seem to concerned that I had the wrong case. Rather than deal with them anymore, I sent this:
Never mind the return. I will be selling it and getting what I need on eBay.
To which they said:
That’s perfect! Great day
Really, LowerPriceUSA? Are you that fucking lazy that you can’t read an e-mail or is your reading comprehension at a second-grade level and the words I wrote were just too big for you? (Judging from their replies, it’s entirely possible.) How completely lazy are you so as not to deal with a customer return and have no issues with them reselling your item on eBay? You must be making money hand over fist if you can afford to not handle a return properly and risk having the customer write about their poor experience on their blog for the whole world to see.
Wow. So this is what customer service has come to: fuck whatever the customer wants or is entitled to and sweep them under the rug, or ship them off to become someone else’s problem.
Man, have things changed since I worked retail. This is what it was like back then.
Give me my damn pickle already.
UPDATE 8/17/11: The case sold in less than a day, probably in part to my description:
So I bought a case from Amazon and it turned out to be the wrong one for my LG Optimus V (which I am using to list this item, including the picture taken with said phone). I ended up returning it to the seller and, despite describing my phone model in explicit detail and requesting the correct case in exchange, these morons ended up sending me the case you see here. Freaking idiots.
I sent a few emails to them explaining that this was also the wrong case and got answers that only be described as nonchalant and useless. So rather than having to deal with these dolts anymore, I’ve decided to sell it here. You would think that the mention of me selling it here instead would make them think twice but they practically encouraged me to do it.
WYSIWYG. Fits the LG model shown on the packaging. Buy It Now for $5 and it’s out of my life forever. I’ll even throw in free shipping. Winner will also find out the name of the Amazon seller so they know who to avoid.
If case does not sell, it will be sent into space during the next Russian space mission and given to a lucky cosmonaut as a surprise gift.*
*May or may not happen
Posted with the eBay Android app