Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Customer Service Done Wrong

Both Dave and Doc have posted on this subject recently, so I thought I'd share a couple of the horrible customer experiences my wife and I have had lately.

I walked into Surdyk's over the weekend rolling into the beginning of August. My bank card number had recently fallen prey to the Card Systems breach but I had forgotten about it. I walked up to the counter with $120 worth of beverages and when I went to pay I found out they don't accept checks anymore. I didn't have cash, so I reluctantly handed the cashier my bank card after asking her if they take debit cards (PIN-entry style). She said yes, and proceeded to run it as a credit card. Well guess what, it came up as lost, and she called the manager over, who promptly confiscated the card. I explained the situation, how I knew the card was lost, didn't mean to have it run as a credit card, showed my ID, and yet they still refused to listen. I asked for the card back so I could walk across the store and use it in their in-store ATM but they refused. After one last pleading session with the manager I stormed out on him, vowing to not go into their store again. Well almost. After talking to my wife, I had to get the card back to make it through the weekend, so I went back into the store again, found the manager, explained that I needed the card and would he please call the customer service number on the back and they'll tell you it's ok to give it back to me. He grumbled something about "having a floor to watch" and went over to the phone. Finally after a painful 5 more minutes of back and forth with the CS agent on the phone did he give the card back, accompanied with a snooty, half-hearted "sorry". So Surdyk's sucks rocks. If you're in the Twin Cities area, don't patronize them -- there are better deals on liquor anyway.

Our health care clinic recently switched to a paperless, electronic system. Except going paperless apparently means that they didn't have the budget to hire someone to key in all the paper records. So we're starting virtually from scratch, have no history in their system, and my wife wasted an extra couple of hours during one visit just getting re-registered. After the hassle, she told our doctor that were it not for him, she would have walked out and gone somewhere else. He replied that she was not the first person to tell him that that day.

We don't often patronize national pizza chains, but one night we were desparate so my wife called Pizza Hut. She was confronted by an automated IVR system that prompted her to place her order. Can you imagine?!?! An IVR menu system to order pizza!! It took her at least 5 more minutes to figure out how to navigate the menus and place an order. Needless to say I don't think we'll be doing that again, and our stomachs will be thankful.

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