I have had a string of bad customer service experiences lately. I must be a magnet for them. And seriously, I am like the nicest customer. When I call in to someone for help, I say please, I listen to what they say, I give them the benefit of the doubt, I say thank you and wish them a nice day and then politely hang up.
Yet somehow I don’t always get that same respect in return.
Some of it isn’t so much the Customer Service Rep being rude but rather not having a clue as to what they’re talking about. You end up getting the run around and suddenly an hour of your life has been sucked away. Case in point: trying to verify a hotel reservation in Des Moines.
I had an incident the other day when trying to deal with my old HSA from my previous job. I had called last week to close the account. The dude I got told me they can’t do it over the phone because I have money in the account so he would send me a form to fill out. Ok fine. I got the form and started to fill it in only to realize I didn’t know my account number and couldn’t find it on the website. So I call them. As soon as the CSR gets on the phone, she asks for my account number. I tell her I don’t have it. She verifies my identity other ways and then gives me the number. She was very nice. She asked why I needed the number so I told her. “Oh we can close your account over the phone!” she says.
Sure! She’ll just get that done for me right away. Great! I write “VOID” at the top of my form and then she tells me that I have a negative balance so all I have to do is send them a check for what I owe and then they’ll close it. Wait, wait, hold the phone. How did my account balance go from positive to negative in a week when I haven’t used it in 2 months? She puts me on hold to look in to it. When she comes back she says it’s because I ordered checks. Um, no I didn’t. She says they have a signature card from me. Well not sure how they got that but I didn’t order checks (unless I sent the form in thinking it was for the new HSA I have – all this benefits stuff is very confusing). She cancels the order and tells me to go ahead and send in the form. But I thought you were closing it over the phone? Well I can’t do that now that you have a positive balance.
It was at this point that I turned green and popped out of my clothes as I ran down the hallway.
How much is my balance I ask? Ready for this? $1.03. That’s right. I have just over a dollar in there. I told her to keep the dollar and close my account. Nope can’t do that, I must send in the form. Well lady guess what, I already wrote VOID at the top of the form. No problem, just cross that out and send it in. Fine.
Guess what? Yesterday I got 2 pieces of mail from this HSA company. One of them was the book of checks she had canceled and the other was a letter saying I’d get my checks in 7-10 days.
I can’t make this stuff up!!
My other bad customer service experience was around our taxes. Back in April we found out that our accountants had screwed up our forms and instead of getting a refund we now owed – and owed big. I was furious. I called them and demanded that they at least refund the money that we had paid them to DO IT RIGHT! The owner agreed and said the check would be in the mail the next day. That was April 6th. We never got the check. What we did get on Friday was a letter from the IRS saying we now owed MORE money because of an amended return. So I called up the accountant today and told him 1) you still owe me money and 2) why did you amend our taxes without telling us? He stuttered and bobbled and said he’d look in to it and get back to me.
10 to 1 says I don’t hear from him at all. But don’t you worry, I’ll call him back every day until they get this straightened out. I don’t like to be THAT person but I sure can be if needed!
So I’m trying to be Zen and get rid of whatever bad karma I must have around me. I don’t like dealing with these situations and having to be a royal bitch to people but sometimes you have to stick up for yourself.
And then go home and dive in to a pint of Rocky Road.
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