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« The Secret Diary of a Frustrated Television Viewer II | Main | Customer Service Nightmares: There is an After »

September 20, 2008

Customer Service Nightmares & Arrogant Twats

I don’t know if the person reminded me of one of the cockhead at the office, but I spent the large part of the evening livid. Livid gave way to cranky, and then I tried to alleviate the simmering anger by playing my Nintendo DS; then I lost so many games because I couldn’t concentrate. I thought of picking up a novel to read, but couldn’t be bothered. The last thing I need, I thought, was to read about another neurotic character and it’s extremely difficult to read anything erotic when you feel like you can poke needles in a manager’s eyes.

Yes, Friday was supposed to be treadmill day. I stayed at home all day. It was a nice day. A lovely sunny day that could have been spent outside for a bit. I could have enjoyed a slice of carrot cake at the local café, but I had to wait for a confirmed delivery that didn’t arrive.

Examining my mood didn’t really do much in the beginning. I switched off the Nintendo, sighed and asked myself why I was so angry. I’d left two messages chasing up the delivery, not to receive any feedback. No call, no message, nada, nil. If there is one thing that pisses me off it’s shit customer service. The other thing, a wee bit separate from this issue, that pisses me off is outsourced customer service. The manager I was dealing with wasn’t overseas, he works from a Sydney office, but by Christ, the run-around was outsource material. These fuckers are so arrogant, they’re unbelievable. I’ve worked with some ‘imports’ and I know how they are. They ‘know more’, they’re ‘more qualified or smarter’ because they’ve earned some overseas university degree, ‘they’re doing you a favor by being there,’ and they complain. They complain about the country they adopt as they’re own, and then I slip into the xenophobic zone that I used to experience for being born here. I feel like telling them to bugger off.

Last night, I felt completely ripped off. I placed a deposit. I organized direct debiting for the product, not to get one single phone call or update on the delivery. The thing that really bothered me was the fact that these companies expect customers to abide by contracts. You sign up to arrange payments, and you have to read the conditions and abide by those conditions but what if the company doesn’t even display common courtesy? Shittier than ever, I watch the news, the financial ‘catastrophe’ is covered, along with theories behind the catastrophe. Financial bigwigs go on and on, but only one person made sense. How can countries (like Australia or the US) really have any hope when most of their corporations have outsourced labor and service staff to countries like China and India and manufacturing has decreased? He posed this question, and sure enough there are other issues involved, such as greedy corporate pricks that want to give away loans like jelly beans. But what pisses me off completely is that - because I’ve dealt with these imported customer service people on a professional level as well as a personal level - the service they offer is shit. It’s as though they think that they are ‘safe’ due to their distance. After all, what are you going to do about a customer service asshole if they’re in India? When I had to obtain a refund code from Microsoft, I had to call the customer service center - in India. Forty-five minutes later, after being given the third degree three times (maybe they model their Q & A on Guatanamo Bay interrogation tactics, sans German Shepherd?), I received the code for a faulty product. It almost drove me to the brink, and that’s what these companies want to do. You buy a crappy product, like a X-Box, and they will try to wear you down until you give up, hang up the phone and abandon your rights as a customer; hang the fuck on, you put in the work hours to buy their product, who the fuck do they think they are? It’s a really shitty way to do business. There are good and bad points about globalization, but it’s difficult to find the middle line. Sometimes I feel better if these workers stay where they are, but no, they end up arriving here, offering their ‘great customer’ service skills, that aren’t anything great to begin with.

I plopped myself on the sofa and gazed at the television, watching nothing but space. My older cat probably felt the tension and frustration that today’s Zoloft failed to eradicate. He climbed up, rubbed his face against mine and lay next to me. He wanted attention, so I stroked his fur, and it may be true about pets lowering blood pressure and stress. Maybe I snapped out of my dark mood. After all, what could I really do about the idiot manager at 10PM? The only thing I could do was locate the company web site, and I did. I wrote a polite complaint, finishing it off with, “I’d appreciate it if someone contacted me as soon as possible as I’m not happy with your level of service.” Content, I pressed ‘send’ and thought, ‘if this doesn’t work, there’s always the Department of Fair Trading.”

Then, I had a cup of tea and a smoke. Sure, the smoke will probably (probability?) kill me, but it's less agonizing than feeling like I've been duped or taken advantage of.

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