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…