Ok, I know everyone probably has terrible stories about customer service experiences.  I’ve had two (really?! TWO?!) just today.  Grrrr.  Crabby, poorly treated customer Em is not something any company wants.  I mean, she could launch a campaign against you or more likely, run off and whine about how she was wronged on the internet or some such.

And here we go …

First stop, VERIZON (hear that, corporate internet scroungers?  I’m talking about you …).  I have a Blackberry Curve, like every other 20something.  It sends texts, lets me read my Google Reader in the car, puts a Google search at my finger tips when trivia challenged in the middle of the grocery store, and keeps me far too technologically connected to the rest of the world.  Mostly, I love the darn thing … when it works.

You see, I have a network problem.  Sometimes, my phone stops working at random.  I’ll save you the gory details, but about the 17th time in a day that I have to soft reset my phone by disassembling the case, pulling the battery, and waiting a hundred years for the stupid thing to reboot, I’m ready to throttle someone.  This has been going on for awhile … I’m just kind of a busy (lazy?) person who doesn’t get to things right away.

Today I went to the regular store front to get some help with my problem.  First problem: we had to wait 20 minutes for a customer service rep.  If the store’s busy, I’m ok with waiting.  I’m patient like that.  When instead we have to wait because people are dicking around talking and otherwise mismanaging their time, I get irritated.  Second problem: the customer service rep that drew the lucky straw to wait on me was approximately 187 years old.  At the grocery store, not a problem.  Elderly Walgreens cashier? Fine by me.  A woman who doesn’t even own a cell phone working at the Verizon store?  No bueno.  I was suspicious from the beginning.  This may make me an asshole for judging on face, but seriously, if I go to the salon I want someone who’s hip to the right now tech/style/procedure, not the AquaNet and hot rollers.

Third problem: the rep totally didn’t know what I was talking about.  She couldn’t even look my phone up on the in house computer without help.  This may mean she’s new.  Still bad news for me.  She calls “tech support” by phone from the store.  They want to speak to me because they don’t understand what she’s trying to explain to them.  Awesome.  I drove 20 miles to stand in this store to talk on the phone … which I could probably do from my house in my pajamas.  “Tech Support” lady tells me I need to hard reset my phone … as in, wipe every stinkin’ thing off and start again.  That sounds like awesome fun, right?  She asks if I can back up my phone data so she can “walk me through” the reset.  Um … I don’t carry my laptop in my pocket.  She tells me she’ll call me at 730pm tonight when I’m at home and we’ll “do it together”.  Sweet.

Except she didn’t call.  Nice job, Verizon.  I also spoke to a manager who repeated herself 162 times, spewing “Yuppie Management Seminar 101” bullshit about how she wanted to “take ownership” and “give me an accountable name” and “remedy this situation to my satisfaction”.  Nice.  No where did she imply she wanted to fix my damn phone, just pass me off to the ridiculous “tech support” people and then “follow up” to “guarantee” my “satisfaction”.  Lame.  What happened to the good ole days of Verizon customer service where encounters went like,

“Hey, my phone’s broken.”

“Ok, let me see it. (pause, fumble, push buttons) Yea.  It sure is.  Let me get you a new phone and replace all your contacts and you’ll be all set.”

“Thanks.”

Where did THAT customer service go?  Why elderly non-cell users and 20something wannabe hipster managers chuck full of BS buzzwords and ZERO action?  I am not impressed.  AT&T, with their flashy trash talking commercials, is looking better everyday.

So, then, I was watching Jeopardy after a fabulous dinner of Chinese food (which was so not on the menu … ) and my cable kept crapping out.  This is not new.  We have the crappiest cable ever.  It stops working at random times.  The picture quality, even post-digital transition is garbage.  Sometimes the channels bleed onto one another.  It’s great.  We’ve had service calls in the past, and the service guys tell me repeatedly that the cables running down the road are so ancient they don’t know how we have cable at all.  A block over and we could have Comcast.  A couple fewer trees and we could have dish, but nooooooo we’re stuck with CHARTER.  Lame.

I logged into their instant chat thing tonight to register my complaint about the random audio/video lags and the sweet diagonal lines across my television and was greeted with the most ridiculous and redundant conversation I’ve ever had.  Seriously, I am short brain cells because of it.  The grammar was slam-tastic.  The repetitiveness of the questions was awesome.  The lag time between my answer and the next question was long enough to transmit to a call center on flippin’ Mars.  After an HOUR … yes, a whole damn HOUR of complete banality during which I could have been watching the new Criminal Minds (assuming I could see or hear it …), they’re going to send someone to my house.  When?  A WEEK from now.  Awesome.  I really love the cable monopoly in this town right now.  I can have shitty cable or no cable.  That’s not much motivation to the good people at Charter to fix their service and improve the customer service process.  Great.

Ugh.

I hate the bureaucrazy (yes, an intentional crazy) of customer service.  Why can’t I just have services that work half the time?  Why can’t there be people that give a crap about fixing it when they don’t?  Are there no ramifications in the market anymore?!  Ahhh!

At least I can still kvetch about people on the internet.

Em.

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