Tag Archives: customer service

Adventures In Customer Service

It sucks when you have to balance phone customers and customers in the store. I know the customer in the store has priority, but I was multi tasking to my fullest because in my current job I have to answer phone calls and ring up the sales. I know I should of told the customer on the phone  to hold on, but my line was never ending so I had to multi-task. Being also timed with dealing with customers on the register, I thought multitasking would be the best optimal decision.

I wish we had our class registrations online so students would not have to worry about asking the clerks on the phone if a class is booked or not. We actually have our class listings online now at least so you can find out what activities happen on a particular day and how much they cost.

We are not Nordstrom’s, but due to reality of businesses cutting costs I do the best I can.

Adventures in Consumerism

I had a crap time at an independent business in my town where the restaurant owner had the audacity to throw a 55 cent surcharge on credit card purchases without letting the customers know in advance.

I could understand for a small business that credit card fees eat into profits, and you want to make up for the interchange fees the merchant bank and the credit card companies charge.

I should of just refused to pay for my food and if they called the police I could of said the merchant had deceitful marketing practices. If the merchant had a fee for the credit card payment I would of likely not shopped with them.

However the merchant should of done something nice and said here is a small drink or an egg roll to make up for what we did.

I did let people know on Foursquare that if you want to eat at their establishment it is strongly recommended that you pay in cash.

I told the merchant if you don’t want more angry customers, they need to put a sign stating that there is a 55 cent surcharge. Either next to the logo on the window or near the menu above the food they prepare would be very appreciated.

My Letter to Los Angeles Times Executives

This was sent to Tribune President AND the Chief Operating Officer of the newspaper.

To the operating officer and publisher of the Los Angeles Times

The Times is still one of the best newspapers in the west coast of the United States, but many customers are livid on how your distribution partners for home delivery have basically screwed the pooch big time. I know that your owners the Tribune Company wants to improve their circulation numbers, but with this madness your partners have perpetrated I don’t know how the paper can stay in business in an increasing online society.

I don’t know how the other leading Los Angeles County newspapers from the Media News Group are being co-mingled with the Los Angeles Times, but would it be easier if your carriers just threw one company’s newspapers so they would not make so many mistakes that make the lives of your customer service agents miserable?

Your publication’s carriers haven’t made this many mistakes until this month, and even when I gave them a chance after I called your hotline the first time they still kept on making these mistakes. The second call I called to cancel, but I know you are trying to save circulation and rebound your business for the Tribune Company. But your account specialist says the same old canned line that we will get this resolved, but it will not get resolved from prior experience.

I have emailed myaccount and social media service addresses at your newspaper, and I honestly want out. I want the unused portion of my subscription refunded to my American Express account and maybe you can win my business in the future when your team reforms your customer service center and your delivery carriers.

My father was once a newspaper carrier twenty years ago and if he got all these complaints he would be fired. Even though I am getting bill credit, it is the matter of principle. Maybe you guys need to apologize in print in the editorial page to your subscribers who help keep your circulation levels high for your advertisers and be frank and honest like what the Netflix guys did recently.

Where is my $#@! Paper!

I have been paying for my newspaper subscription off and on since I started at UC Riverside in 2001. Unfortunately for the last three days my newspaper has not been on my driveway for the last three days. Even though its nice not having to pay for the newspaper you never received, its very disturbing when the company fails to notify their customers about problems they may have had particularly in the 91762 and surrounding areas.

I currently have the Thursday thru Sunday plan since I do not really read the paper all the time and why waste precious trees for a newspaper you barely read aside from the increasing cost of taking the subscription on. Not getting the Sunday paper from delivery will be sadly the death knell of my patience.

I do like the Los Angeles Times for the advertisements, coupons and the occasional articles. However with the increased price of service, customers expect better service for the increased money you have to pay for the newspaper.

Disappointed by Microsoft

I was tempted to get into some more consumer debt and do something I would obviously need to do if I get accepted to the Western Governors University secondary teaching credential program. I would need to buy a laptop so I could use it at field sites during my 1.5 year program.

The Windows Experience Blog states in their story, “When students buy a Windows 7 PC over $699, they will receive a FREE Xbox 360*” and the Asterisk mark does not state that retailers can put extra conditions on the deal.

Basically Dell, one of the leading participants in this deal wants to add extra conditions and Microsoft should of talked to their OEM’s and made sure they were on the same page. Which led to some angry comments on the blog.

I’ve been thinking about buying the XPS 15 for a bit now, as I need a new laptop and my Macbook Pro is finally giving out on me.  This deal was the extra push I needed to go PC this time instead of Mac.

Then I find out that you can only buy specifically configured Dell PCs, and the only XPS 15 configuration I can choose from doesn’t have the specs I want at all.  Not only that, but it’s marked UP, which means I wouldn’t be saving any money at all!  What a scam, Microsoft.  Very disappointing.  

I wanted to give Dell $1700 for a new PC, and they won’t LET me?  Maybe Apple will get my business again after all.

Continue reading Disappointed by Microsoft

Animal Health Care Talk

It seems animal health care is a topic on my mind right now. Just like how we have to visit the dentist and the physician regularly, we should take our animals to the veterinarians office regularly.

Sometimes a visit will not cost much, but usually like with human health care it can cost an arm and a leg, but with dogs and cats it could cost four paws.

I am not going to openly say which of these veterinarian practices disappointed me or my family, but I would like to provide some customer service advice so you can keep your customers and do a better job.

First, I did lose a dog in 2008 and it was very heartbreaking. My sister adopted a dog which was a gift from her boyfriend where the dog ran away to his house to escape a dysfunctional owner and we had a loving relationship for the last four years of its life. Because this dog was not a purebred, it had longer legs than a normal corgi where it allowed the dog to jump over six foot fences and that did not help this dog’s quality of life where we thought it had digestive problems, but due to making such a high jump its intestines got tangled which caused the dog to have a sad end.

Two or three months before we had the sad end, the veterinarian my father used for the last decade plus did the best they could, but even with specialist dog food and some injections the dog was still feeling bad. If the vet had a x-ray machine we would of known what was going wrong. We blew almost 1,000 dollars at the emergency clinic three months later. Maybe if we put the dog down when if it was known the situation would be hopeless we could of saved some money and grief.

Maybe because we did not seek a second opinion early enough to have a better ending, but we learned to get a second opinion in the future. I know doctors and veterinarians are not faith healers, but they do the best job they can.

Continue reading Animal Health Care Talk

Disgusted at Juanitas

The local Mexican food fast food eatery on fourth street in Ontario decided to use social media to help get some business, which is smart. I do subscribe to their Twitter and Facebook pages, and that is how I learned about a promotion that happened today, but I got burned and wasted my time. I was trying to use my blackberry to find out where the actual claim was, but my client was unable to find out until I went back home to find out the real story.

I knew something was happening today, but they did not acknowledge or honor the promotion. I knew something was going on and that should have been the clue that the customer would of liked the free taco if he or she ordered a drink and a burrito

Since the person at the drive thru denied that a promotion was happening, I decided not to order the two drinks so there was less sales for them.

I do spend $20 a month at their restaurant and  I do not feel like regularly visiting if they can not deliver on their claims.

Their food is good, but it seems like its another Albertos where the food is good, but the service could have been better.

Adventures In Retail

Since nothing noteworthy is happening in my life right now, I am going to post an entry in my “Adventures In Retail”. Yes, I am working another Christmas season and I get my fair share of customers for good and bad.

I would like to discuss some of the interesting situations I have had this week.

Coupons and newbie anger.

At the place I work at we have the save on something not on sale coupon that is not a technology product, a book or magazine.  Problem was man decided to buy a gingerbread house and wanted to use his coupon. Unfortunately the store I work at is a place where many people stay away from us until the Christmas season.  So there are a good number of people who look at coupon first, and never bother to read the advert. Yes, gingerbread houses were on sale that week at 10 percent off. They were not 40 percent, but ten percent.

Then the man also asked me to override the item so he could get the coupon price. However it is against corporate policy for me to override items to full price so you can you your coupon, and my company’s loss prevention department can use their auditing software to find out when people do this without management permission. So unless you want to hire me at your company for a wage that is the same or better than the one I have now. I am not going to do that.

Pro Tip: Read your advertisement. If you are not lucky to get one in your local newspaper, my employer has the advert displayed at the front of the store and online for your convenience.

Checks and Gift Cards

Checks have gone in the way of the record store where people regularly bought recorded music. Unfortunately some people want to pay for their gift cards with checks, namely older people.

But if a check bounces you still get your gift card so that is one reason why most retail chains across the country do not accept checks as a payment for gift cards. I know the majority in the world are fine upstanding people, but the bad eggs in the world ruin it for the rest.

Continue reading Adventures In Retail

My Bad Day

It sucks when you get a customers jilted about my store’s return policy and you get a stray feral kitten trapped in your car’s motor all in the same day.

My father currently feels bad about the stray cats living around my neighborhood and started to feed them for the last year as a hobby, unfortunately a few litters have happened over the years and some of the kittens get into mischief such as getting in range of my dogs or climbing inside the motor of my sister’s truck.

On my way to work today we heard some odd sounds, my sister thought I was playing tricks on her, she said she’d punch me if I was actually making those sounds. Actually it was not me. It was white kitten, I guess the white kitten had an affinity for white stuff since my sister’s truck is white. My sister once saw it on her truck bed and was scared that it actually wanted to be there, and I guess it made its last and fateful journey up Mountain Avenue to its new journey in the city of Upland. My sister tried to get the kitten out of the truck, but it decided to jump down in the truck’s guts where it would be harder to extricate it.

I was worried the kitten was still in the truck, but hopefully it ran off to be left to its own devices. My father double check to see if the kitten was in the truck and it was most likely not there so that eased some of the worry from the three of us.

Then I have a simple frustration about customers without their receipts. Save your receipts. If the item is a clearance item we reserve the right to deny your return. If you do not have your receipt and its over ten or so bucks, then ask the manager if we could research your receipt if we can. Our electronic journals only go for the last three or four days. If its only three or four dollars, swallow your pride and relax. Going on a crusade will only eat up needless energy. I had an issue with an overcharge with a pizza place and I was tempted to get my credit card to do a chargeback for the two to four dollars in overcharging, and I was tempted to boycott Papa John’s for a long while, but I may not come back as often. However the customer who swore off my store will likely come back after several months.

I just find it annoying that I told my customer that you are going to get a voucher, and he keeps on insisting on me charging it back on his debit card when he lacked his receipt for a five dollar hole puncher. Unfortunately you can not win over all your customers when you strongly want to satisfy them all. It was the fault of myself and my customer to not get a manager on duty to help remedy or reinforce customer policy.

Adventures in Customer Service

Working in the retail industry you get to experience the joys of helping your customers to make your business grow or fail. Usually at my place I am praised for the way I handle customers. I had an experience where a customer got pissed that we required them to list their name, address, and phone with their signature for cash to be refunded to the customer. However customers are rightfully paranoid for their privacy and my company just wants to protect themselves from mostly rogue employees who might make fake returns.

If the return was under two or three dollars I might embellish the return form, but if its over ten dollars I am going to be a pistol with the rules. The receipt actually does say valid ID is required for the return, but we generally trust our customers to be honest with the paperwork. If the writing is sloppy or does not look honest, then I will ask for your identification. The address looked somewhat genuine, but next time I have the issue with a customer and their information I will ask for ID and if they don’t procure it, I am simply going to decline the return. It is corporate policy, and if you do not like the corporate policy, then pay with credit card or ask for store credit.

Then I have the experience as a customer. Right now I am not a big fan of Dish Network having called them in trying to get my remote control working. Since I lease the unit I should be able to get the remote replaced, my remote is not working, blowing five minutes for trouble shooting is not going to do anything for me. I just want a remote control shipped so I could use the service that I pay almost 660 a year for. And I do not want to pay 20.00 for a remote control that I freaking lease. I actually fired my former internet provider DSL Extreme for having a dodgy internet connection and not willing to do anything reasonable to get it resolved for me. My connection was dropping and was rather unreliable so I just moved to cable.

My prior rant about Dish Network is providing good fuel for consumer rants. There will be a future column about them not carrying LOGO. I may organize a letter writing campaign to Dish Network to encourage them to add the channel in the 2009 lineup. Traditionalist families who do not want LOGO on their system can always block the channel.