KingMidget's Ramblings

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When I Just Want to Scream

A while back I had to talk to my auto insurance company about something.  My older son, who is still on our insurance, was driving for a company called Postmates — it’s one of those “gig” economy companies.  You use their app to order food from a restaurant.  A Postmates driver, like my son, picks it up and delivers it to wherever you are.

During the course of a conversation I was having about changes to our policy because of something involving my other son, I learned something.  Our auto insurance company doesn’t cover you when you’re delivering food.  Like what my older son does.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I talked to three or four different representatives of my insurance company and every one of them told me something different.  About whether they covered him while he was driving for Postmates.  Or didn’t cover him.  Whether he would be dropped from our policy immediately if he kept driving for Postmates.  Or not.  One representative told me that we had 24 hours to decide my son wouldn’t keep driving for Postmates or he would be unceremoniously dropped. At the time, because of his inability to get a conventional job, Postmates was the only option for my son to make money to cover his living expenses.  The next representative I talked to said that was completely wrong and was disgusted that she had told us.  There were a few other variables I discussed with them and each representative told me different things.

So, fast forward to now.  A representative of our cell phone provider reached out to see if I was interested in upgrading my phone.  She explained the details for the upgrade, including what the new monthly charge would be, what I would get for “trading in” my old phone, and also discussed the same information for my wife if she wanted to upgrade as well.  I told her I wanted to think about it and discuss it with the missus.  I did so and decided to proceed with upgrading both phones.  So I called the company back.  Got a different representative.  Who told me something completely different than what the first representative told me.  I basically hung up on him out of frustration.  He called me back a few minutes later and offered me an alternative that would have got me to what the first representative said.  Kind of.  Sort of.  I told him I’d think about it.  I also told him how frustrated I was with the fact that representatives of the same company can’t tell me the same thing.

Today we went into the brick and mortar store of our cell phone provider.  The living, breathing, in-person representative confirmed what the second representative had told me.  So we talked about it, the options, what we wanted to do.  I was going to get a new phone.  My wife was going to hold off for a few more months.  We talked about whether and how he might be able to transfer info on my old phone to my new phone.  And then all of a sudden he said something along the lines of, “Well, it’s kind of pointless to talk about this right now.  We’re out of the phone you want and won’t get anymore until May 18.”


It’s not over.

The other thing I did today was get a new car.  The lease on my Nissan Leaf is almost up and I replaced it today with a Chevy Volt.  I have a feeling I’m going to love this car.  I have satellite radio on the Leaf.  I get the three month free subscription on the new car.  I called Sirius XM to cancel the subscription on the Leaf.

It took about 20 minutes and I had to talk to two different representatives.  The first one got all my information and confirmed the cancellation and the new car and the trial subscription and that I’d get a credit for the balance on the old car.  He confirmed my credit card number.  He did everything.  And then he transferred me to another representative.  Who did the exact same thing.

I’m just about done with the state of customer service these days.  There is more I could tell you.  So many more examples, but I think you get the picture.  There are so many times recently when customer service has left me feeling, well, like this…



16 responses to “When I Just Want to Scream

  1. Carrie Rubin April 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? Not long ago my husband was on the phone for over an hour trying to get our internet working after he went to get a new modem. The phone battery died halfway through and he had to call all over again. The problem was not solved after all that. Frustrated, he gave up and called the next night. Problem solved within five minutes. Different service reps.

    Of course, it’s not like I expect them to always know the answer when it comes to fixing something, but you’d think they could consult someone else if they don’t.

    But your situation with being told so many different things–when what is covered should be basic knowledge for someone who works there–is crazy. How frustrating.

  2. TamrahJo April 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Preaching to the choir, are you – – LOL – – Used to get wonderful chat support at one of my providers, then, all the sudden, alot of ‘Our Customers are #1’ rah=-rah marketing started showing up online, and in emailed newsletters, promotions – and, funny, but the minute the company started promoting their customer service – the last 3 times I’ve jumped on chat – Little to no help – need to call a 1-800 # or talk to a different representative, or division – etc. – – Sigh – and another company bites the dust – – LOL

    • kingmidget April 23, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      It’s really getting worse, isn’t it?

      • TamrahJo April 23, 2016 at 8:30 pm

        It has been steadily decreasing since the 80’s – and, since I’ve worked in many industries, in many arenas, all that had heavy phone or in person customer service points, I can honestly say – CUSTOMERS started getting really entitled and rude in the late 80s – I finally gave up on working in restaurants in the early 90s the tourist trade got so bad – LOL – So not sure which came first, bad service, or bad service in defense of demanding customers, BUT I have noticed that the companies that launch a campaign to tell you how great their customer service is usually bites at it – – LOL – – I let my customers tell others about my customer service – although I do make clear that is important to me when speaking to a potential client – 🙂 Sigh – Just now, we need some Prince – – Let’s Go Crazy – eh? 🙂

      • kingmidget April 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

        I totally get the problem that customers aren’t making it any better. I’m not sure which came first — the chicken or the egg. All I know is that the service I’m getting is what can push a good customer over the edge to a bad customer. 😉

  3. Trent Lewin April 24, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Customer service is going down the tubes. But the good thing is that ultimately, the companies that know how to do this will actually win the game, because people can only put up with so much garbage. One day, customer service will differentiate companies over the quality of the product (although I think the two go hand-in-hand). I just cancelled an internet service for this very reason and went with another service provider who has a much better reputation for getting you what you need.

    Let me know how the new car is… I’d love an electric vehicle. But I might just hold out until someone can provide me with an autonomous vehicle, which is the real dream.

    • kingmidget April 24, 2016 at 7:33 am

      I’m just going to say no to the autonomous vehicle. The thought of self-driving cars filling the road terrifies me. Get yourself a car service. 😉

      As for customer service — the problem can frequently be that it’s too difficult to switch services. We have four different lines with our cell phone provider, each with a different contract. I guess as each contract expires, we could switch the line to another service provider, but it just seems to be too much hassle and I’m willing to bet all of the cell service providers have crappy customer service. Just kind of feels like I’m stuck. Ergh!

  4. vanbytheriver April 24, 2016 at 5:12 am

    It can be so frustrating. I had a recent, very surprising interaction with an IRS rep on the phone. He found an error, made the correction, took almost an hour with us to get an issue resolved. I was beyond impressed. Wrote a post about it just now. ☺

    • kingmidget April 24, 2016 at 7:34 am

      One of the things I didn’t include in my post was about a bad experience I had at the first car dealership I went to to test drive a Chevy Volt. The experience led me to another dealership where the salesman was VERY good. I made a point of telling his manager that.

  5. Kathy April 25, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I think it all started with replacing people who answered the phone with automation. Everyone hates pressing 1, then 3, then SHOUT your request into the phone, then press 7, etc. Yet even with every person hating it, most companies started changing over to that. When you did get somebody, it was the wrong person and you started all over. And no more pressing 0 for operator! They all caught onto that one and changed that option. My husband called to tell me his phone died so to reach him in Nashville, he gave me the phone number of the hotel and his room number. When I called him later I first had to listen to a loooong recorded message about the wonders of the hotel and upcoming events to be held there. THEN, if I wanted to do THIS, press 1, etc. It was “press 7” if you want a hotel guest. I was already on the phone 5 minutes with the recording. I got an operator who asked what room I wanted and I said M226. He asked what division of rooms he was in. Garden? Meeting? He started to say more and I said the room number started with “M”. Would that be Meeting? He said he didn’t know. I said if a guest was in a room and an info sheet told him to tell others he was in room M226, what would that mean? He was excited about that revelation and said he’d ask his co-workers sitting next to him. Yes, indeed it WAS “meeting” and he would connect me to that room. But first he had to verify that I was calling someone that was actually there and would have to transfer me to booking so I could confirm the name. What horrendous “service.”

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