A while back, I bemoaned the lack of customer service at some of my favorite establishments. Now that I’ve completed a few more online customer service surveys (and reported less-than-favorable service) I fear I may be becoming the crotchedy old man Lisa warned me I was resembling.
It started out innocently enough. After yet another dishonest pricing promotion for AT&T’s U-Verse, I decided to try once more to contact AT&T directly (this being the 6th time I’ve expressed my concerns to them, after they’ve repeatedy screwed up my order and raised my rates on basic services without any sort of explanation or warning….Lisa and I have actually logged over 50 hours with AT&T on the phone and online this past year.) I starting by trying to get more details about the new U-Verse promotion and noticed that the quoted price was actually a bit lower than the required package price. So, as I’m filling out the online customer service report, a representative opens up a chat window with me. I explain my frustration with the dishonest pricing that AT&T gives, but the representative says there’s nothing she can do about it. When I suggest an honest and complete price up front (or clearly stating all the extras you have to pay for at the start instead of when you add something to your cart and try to check out) the rep says this isn’t in their policy. So, I politely report their false pricing policy to the FCC then. (Amazingly, after reporting it, I soon get a call from the assistant to the President of AT&T….unfortunately, I can’t respond to her, though, because my AT&T answering machine goes on the fritz right before she leaves the phone number I’m supposed to use to call her back.)
Now that I’m on a roll reporting things (hey, the FCC report was surprisingly easy to file) I’m heading out to various colleges for career fairs. The great thing about these career fairs is that you get to meet eager, young, talented folks who would often love to work for your company. Even better for these young people is that the fairs are free to them. Employers pay the $500-$800 for a booth and a couple of recruiters. Usually, a good college host will include free parking and a nicely catered lunch. My alma mater, Calvin College, was one of the best hosts thus far, with clear nametags on all the attendees, incredible food, and well-prepared students. UofM was also impressive, with well-dressed and confident students, Panera boxed lunches, and a clear shuttle system on campus buses. Other campuses were not so well organized. At one, parking was 10 minutes from the venue (a 25 minute walk), and instead of having shuttle buses to help transport the 500 or so recruiters, they had 3 rotating mini-vans. Yep–up to 21 recruiters could be transported at a time. Add to this tasteless food, two banquet halls that were poorly marked, and nametags that fell off all day (with staff and students who didn’t bother to pick them up) and you had one cranky recruiter here. At another campus, the parking lot for recruiters filled up 2 1/2 hours before the fair began. So, they sent us to another lot about 15 minutes from the venue, where they promised that they would validate parking. After being put in a back hallway on the second floor of an engineering building and eating a boxed lunch that was quite tasteless, we made our journey back to the far-off lot only to be told that parking wasn’t validated and we’d need to pay.
Well, needless to say, I’ve filled out surveys for each of these 4 fairs. For the two positive ones, I quickly received thank you emails, letting me know that my information was well-received. However (surprise, surprise) the two negative ones have still not followed up with me, despite my requesting it at the end of each survey and including all my contact information.
The bad service continued as friends and I were trying to book spots for camping this summer. Cheboygan, Michigan, advertises their annual Riverfest as a fun activity for the entire family. So, knowing that state parks are often booked 6 months in advance in Michigan, we were eager to coordinate our camping with Riverfest. Unfortunately, the dates for Riverfest (which happens this summer, mind you) have not yet been determined. Now, I’ve contacted the events coordinator for from Cheboygan, and she’s assured me that as soon as the council decides on a date, she’ll let me know. Seeing as the council met last week Tuesday and I still haven’t heard back from the coordinator, I’m doubting whether Riverfest is really worth planning a vacation around.
Finally, the incident that pushed me over the edge this past week was yet another poor service experience at Meijer (the third in three weeks, in fact.) While I promptly reported it last week Monday (and received an email from a member of their customer service team promising to send it on to the store director who would respond to my concern promptly) I still hadn’t heard back from anyone by Saturday (despite sharing my phone number, email and street address online.) So, after following up again with the first rep who emailed me, I finally received an email from the store director. In it, he actually complained that I hadn’t included me phone number in my email so he couldn’t call me (didn’t know I had to include it not only in the phone number section of the online form, but in the comments section also) and said that I’d be receiving an email from the Service Team Leader. Sure enough, the Service Team Leader contacted me and asked that I call her when I have the chance. Lisa tells me this is probably to “test” how serious I was with my concern, (which I explained in detail on the original form.) So, Meijer will be getting a lovely phone call from me tomorrow (or maybe I should call back tonight during a break in the Oscars if I really want to test their commitment to service.)
So, there you have it–I’m aparently old and crotchedy. I could expand on the great experiences I’ve received this past week at Ken’s Fruit Market, Amazon, and D&W, but it’s getting late. And I’m hearing that music on the Oscars that cues me that I’ve been going on too long.