Whiny Wednesday and other important stuff

The TV’s not working

Last week my son said the TV upstairs wasn’t working and I didn’t think much of it because I rarely watch TV.  That’s because I’m too busy spending time on Facebook.  Anyway, we tried to reset the set-top box and tried troubleshooting to no avail.  So, on Sunday I thought perhaps we could take the set-top box to the mall and trade it for a new one and I called the evil provider to make sure we could.

Enter the blood-sucking Verizon

So I call Verizon and ask if we can trade the box in at the Verizon Experience store in the mall.  Right off the bat I’m put off because the phone call does not start with the English recorded voice, but the Spanish recorded voice (customer service foul #1).  We are in America folks, recordings should always start in English, unless you’re calling a Latin American business.

The friendly associate assures me that we can trade the box at the store.  So, we hop in the car and it’s off to the mall.  Once there, they tell us to go to the Customer Service counter at the back and they will help us.  We get back there and we’re second in line and there’s only one rep waiting on people …. figures.  The line is starting to back up behind us and the person — who’s still at the counter — is taking forever figuring out what options he wants on his account.  My husband sends me out to find a manager to ask them to get another person behind the counter.  When I return there are two more folks behind the counter, one just for mobile, and my husband is still second in line.

When we finally get to the counter the girl informs us that they don’t have those kind of boxes (standard set-top box, yes we still have a dinosaur TV in our house) and she can either give us a HD set-top box or an adapter.  We opt for the adapter because, of course, she neglects to explain that HD boxes are backwards compatible (customer service foul #2).  We get the adapter home, my husband hooks it up and it doesn’t work either.  WTH?!

Lousy customer service

So Monday I get online and live chat with a rep … I’m thinking this person doesn’t know English very well because they keep typing, “I understand your concern.”  (customer service foul #3) After I explain to him that I need to get a new set-top box sent to me he tells me that he cannot send one because I left my box at the store and need to go get it back.  Now, I’m really getting pissed!  This should not be rocket science people.

Then I call the Verizon store and the kid tells me that I can’t come pick up my box because it’s already shipped.  Last time I check shipping doesn’t occur on Sunday.  (customer service Foul #4) So, I ask to talk to a manager.  He assures me the big store manager will call me at noon.  Noon comes and goes and it’s after 1:30 … no phone call.  (customer service foul #5) So, I call the store back and explain the situation to a new person who tells me I can bring the adapter back in and trade for an HD box because HD boxes are backwards compatible.  Finally!  It seems like I’m getting somewhere. 

I get to the store and the same girl is at the counter … not enthusiastic about that.  Good news is there’s no waiting so I tell her I want to trade the adapter for an HD box.  I consider ripping into her for not telling us the day before that the boxes are backwards compatible and they no longer make standard set-top boxes, but resist temptation.  She tells me to call the toll-free number to get tech support to activate the box.  I walk out of the store with a new HD set-top box.

An e-mail from Verizon

Yesterday I check e-mail and Verizon has sent us a message talking about our recent customer experience.  I wonder if they figured out I wasn’t happy because I disconnected chat without saying thank you.  In the e-mail they offer a free on-demand movie.  Whoop de do!  How about after all these customer service fouls you offer my husband a free Pay-per-View UFC?

The TV still doesn’t work

So yesterday I call and the first time they are transferring me through to tech support they disconnect me (customer service foul #6).  I call back again and thankfully get a friendly tech support guy on the phone and he’s very helpful but he still can’t fix the TV because there’s something wrong with the signal coming into the house.  So, now I have to wait for the rep to come out tomorrow and our TV has not been working for a week.

More bad customer service from Monday

My husband shows up to a follow-up appointment with his ophthalmologist on Monday.  The gal asks him if he has a referral.  Well, he didn’t take a paper copy with him so she turns him away, instead of looking it up in the system or calling our insurance.  TRICARE sends a copy of the referral to the provider every time they issue a new referral.  So, he had to reschedule his appointment for tomorrow even though he had a current referral.  Lesson learned:  always take a copy of the referral with you.

Those pesky mortgage mailings

Since we re-financed our mortgage, we’ve received several mailings each week asking us to refinance our mortgage.  This week my husband got one addressed to Ralph.  I had to snicker because his name is Steve (although his middle name is Ralph).  Do you ever want to do business with folks who don’t have enough attention to detail or can’t pronounce your name right (we constantly get calls from people who don’t know how to pronounce our name)?

What ever happened to attention to detail and real customer service?  They must be going the way of our Constitution.

In other unrelated news

My daughter got her driving permit this week.  So far, no driving yet but later this week when my son has an after-school activity maybe we’ll practice in a parking lot.  Smart teenager that she is, when I took her to get her permit as she’s reviewing the manual she’s pointing out all the driving mistakes her parents make — you know speeding up to get through a yellow light (hey, at least it’s not red!), speeding up when people are trying to pass (sometimes “me firsters” really are irritating and I just took off from the light so of course I’d be speeding up).  I guess I better start looking for the “Student Driver” magnet for my car and see if I can buy a sturdy crash helmet.

Until next time, be safe out there people!



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