Thursday, September 04, 2008

Customer Service

In accordance to Clarateaches Law, "Everything Dealing With The Car Has To Be The Hard Way." Aside from various and motley other little snafus with our new car, the dealership accidentally gave us the wrong interest rate, and had to find us a new car loan. They kindly did just this (and now I'm waiting for them to tell us that they accidentally sold us a car that was already sold) and so now we're dealing with a new bank. I called the bank to inquire about our new car's account. Ages passed, of voice-activated choices, repeatedly hitting "0" only to discover that the maze of options did not include the typical instant access to a human being, and lots of errors in the choices due to trying to get a sleek and shiny Dogasus out of my hair (Me: "Lola, NO! Sit!" Voice Activated Service: " 4...0...6... Is this correct? Press or say 1 if correct...")

I finally reached a human being around the time that Gianna found her indoor rock. Gianna has switched majors from dental hygienist certification to geology, and has to have a rock near her at all times. When we recently went to the zoo, she carefully pointed out "Ock! Ock!" at each exhibit. "Look, Gianna, there's a tiger!" I would say, pointing to a tiger lying on the ground, suffering extreme heat stroke. Gianna would be fixated on the false granite cave instead. "Up, up, UP!" she would demand, trying to climb into the tiger exhibit. "Ock!"

At any rate, Mr. Clarateaches found a rock that was large enough that it wasn't a choking hazard, and small enough so that it wasn't a broken toe hazard, and Gianna honed in on it right away.

She waddled over to me just as I was giving my account information to the Real Live Human on the other end. "Ock!" she said proudly, and banged it on my knee to drive the point home. I directed her towards the dog, who looked nervous as usual (but as yet can still outrun the baby, so I'm not terribly concerned) and the Real Live Human gaily asked, "How old is your baby?" I responded, "Thirteen months," and Real Live Human said, "Oh, I have one of those at home. Only, he's nine."

Okay... thirteen months is kind of like nine, I guess. At any rate, I was interested in getting information and getting off the phone. I don't call banks to chat. In the interest of classification, Gianna performed a vigorous Moh's Hardness Test on the rock using the glass kitchen door. I herded my little genius away from the glass and gave her a plastic bowl to repeatedly play "place and empty the rock," and Real Live Human asked, "What toy is THAT?!?"

I told her that Gianna was practicing her .22 with some clay pigeons and I just really needed to understand a few points about the car loan. She was able to give me this information in less than 30 seconds, and just as I was about to sigh a big old sigh of relief and check this task off my list, she started pestering me about signing up for a credit card. Fortunately, Gianna had started to try to force-feed Lola a spatula, so I was able to flee. Real Live Human huffed her way through a good-bye that I'm sure was not a part of her script.

Check. Ahhh.


Shaye said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I get this 100% (even though I am suppressing a tiny snicker). I'll tell ya my most recent. Very LONG story, short (hey, maybe I'll blog about this one day). We just bought a bunch of school clothes. Since there's no real clothes shopping place within 2 hours drive, we go out of state to a mall that has all we need--Sears, Target, Old Navy, shoe stores, etc. Arrive back home only to discover that Sears didn't take off the security alarm thingy on one of DH's shirts. You've GOT to be kidding me!!!! :BIG sigh: Called Customer Service three times in one morning. After playing the number game you mentioned (which, as you mentioned, goes off even if you cough or if baby makes a noise), I finally got through to someone and was cut off halfway through my first question. Second person forwarded me to la-la-land where no one picked up. I sat on the phone for 10 minutes holding (of course, only so that I could say I sat on the phone 10 minutes). Third time I called in, not even the robot would talk to me. Weird. Maybe my number is blocked now. So, yes, DH's shirt STILL has the security device on it and we won't be back to a Sears any time soon. :( might enjoy my friend, Laureen's, blog post about a customer service call from this last year. All's well that ends well, I suppose:

Lisa said...

There's nothing more satisfying than a good Moh's hardness scale

gs said...

I've had that "voice activated" experience, too! Including yelling "NOOOO!" into the phone when it took me somewhere I didn't intend to go, only to have the pleasant-voiced female robot ask me, "Did you say four?"

Um... NOOOO!

And I've had Shaye's experience with the dye thingy, too. Judi and I used to drive to Jacksonville (three hours each way) to shop for bathing suits, because the company sold them online for lots of bucks, but if you visited their outlet store they were way cheaper. one time we got home and found that a tiny bikini bottom still had the big dye marker attached. Hello, Ms. Store Clerk! How did you misss this? We ended up having to put it in an envelope and mail it back to the outlet, where they removed the marker and mailed it back to us.

clara said...

That's really something that they were able to mail the bikini bottom back, sans marker! I had a garment from a lingerie store years ago that still had the marker, and even though I had the receipt, they insisted that they couldn't take it off, as they couldn't be sure it wasn't stolen. The didn't really care about the receipt!

The voice activated systems are getting trickier. There was a time that I could press "0" and get immediately transferred to an actual person, and I'm finding this to no longer be the case.

Shaye, could you try emailing Sears, maybe? I wonder if they could have someone call you. Then, you could somehow set up your answering machine or voice mail to take them through thirteen sets of options!