You guys already know about my beef with Comcast. And yes, there are updates, which I’ll get to. But first I really want to know – does customer service even exist anymore? In the past few weeks, I’ve had one negative experience after the other.
I’m not a high maintenance individual when it comes to customer service. I want to exchange my money for goods or services and get what I paid for; that’s pretty much it. In fact, I wrote a post on Debit vs Credit awhile back about how to prepare before you call a customer service number! You know, so you don’t waste their time. Yet it seems like most companies don’t bother doing the same for the people who keep them in business.
Bad Experience #1: Walmart
Walmart doesn’t get much love, especially on the internet, but it’s basically the only option where I live. I made a purchase there recently that took ages because the cashier couldn’t get a barcode to scan. Not his fault, no big deal. But all that ended when I got home and looked at my receipt. Not only had he scanned one item twice (not the one with the messed up barcode), but he also shorted me $20! I called the store and explained what happened, and the CSM told me there was no way to prove it since (1) the transaction was paid for with cash and (2) I left the store so they didn’t know what I bought and what I didn’t.
Um, excuse me, but I’m pretty sure that guy’s drawer would have extra money in it. Yes, it would have been inconvenient to check, but the world wouldn’t have ended. And wouldn’t the security cameras show me buying three items instead of the four I was charged for? But Walmart wasn’t having it. They’d rather let me get pissed off than deal with the problem. Why? Because they know they’re the only show in town. What am I going to do, stop needing things? There’s no incentive for them to address the cashier’s mistakes because they know I’m not going to quit shopping there.
Bad Experience #2: Pizza Hut
This just happened over the weekend. I ordered a Pepperoni Lovers pizza, and because the last one I ordered didn’t have enough pepperoni, I asked for DOUBLE pepperoni this time. I was drooling just thinking about it. Then I got home and there were only eighteen (18) pepperonis on my pizza. Yep, I counted.
I tweeted to Pizza Hut and they asked me to fill out a complaint form. So I did, and I got an auto response saying someone from the local Pizza Hut would call me. But here’s the thing. I don’t WANT free pizza or free breadsticks or whatever lame crap they’ll offer me. All I want is for them to acknowledge their suckiness and do better next time. Does that ever happen? No. They just throw coupons at people and keep screwing up orders instead of training their staff. And it absolutely infuriates me.
The Mother of Bad Experiences: Comcast
So the last time I posted about my ongoing war with Comcast, I was waiting two weeks for another tech to come to my house. He showed up, believe it or not, and confirmed that there was a “critically degraded signal” coming from the lines in my neighborhood. I could have kissed him for recognizing that it was a larger problem and not blaming it on me. He told me that someone from maintenance would be out to look at it within 48 hours.
Two days passed without a word from Comcast. So I called customer service for the thousandth time and they promised someone would call me the next morning. No one called. The following Monday, I called again and actually spoke to a real human. I had to fight her to keep from starting all over. “Please just look at the notes on my account,” I begged. “You’ll see that I know how to plug in my modem and that the problem is NOT my router.” So she finally looked and said someone from maintenance would come within 72 hours.
Of course no one showed up. And when I called again, the person said that maintenance put in a note that they checked the lines and there was nothing wrong. LIARS! Sorry, ma’am, but we’ll have to send a tech to your house.” And so the circle of insanity continues.
As an added bonus, one of the last times I called, the customer service rep told me that sometimes static builds up in the lines, and I should unplug the coax cable from the modem and touch it to my shirt or a soft cloth to neutralize the static. I really wish I was making this up.
Is It Just Me?
Am I the only one who has these experiences on a regular basis? I mean, the Comcast thing is a bit extreme and probably doesn’t happen to everyone, but I have run into pathetic excuses for customer service everywhere I’ve been lately!
Like I said, I really don’t think I’m super demanding. When there’s a problem (and it has to be a pretty big or recurrent problem for me to say anything), I’m calm and polite. I don’t ask for free stuff or threaten to sue. I just ask for information and seek solutions. But there are very few retailers or companies that seem to care.
Have you experienced horrible customer service lately? Am I alone in thinking that customer service as an industry is getting worse?