customer service  

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I really am beginning to think that customer service is dead. If you haven't read Talk to the Hand, I highly recommend it. It has a lot to say about customer service, societal rudeness, and inconsiderate people in general.

Sorry, couldn't find a picture with a statue pulling her hair out.

But back to customer service. Yesterday morning I ordered a book as a gift before leaving for work. I got an email an hour later that it was scheduled to be shipped. So far so good. Last night after I went to bed I received another email that the shipping was delayed on it. Of course I didn't get that email until this morning. Since I wanted the gift to arrive this week I went to their site to cancel it.

Except the website wouldn't let me cancel it. It had it marked as being "prepared to be shipped". Ok, well, that's not shipped though. And I know how shipping works. "Prepared to be shipped" means it might be picked up by UPS late tonight. And three day shipping means that it probably won't get there until Monday.

So I called. The office was closed due to a holiday until 9:00. There was no mention of time zone. I have no idea what holiday there was yesterday or today. Maybe it's an international holiday. Maybe I should be celebrating more than I currently do.

I had already placed the same order with Amazon before trying to cancel, with the assumption that I could cancel. I tried to find a number to call Amazon, but there isn't one. You have to have them call you. Fortunately they call immediately. I got a lame menu. Matt tried for me again and I got through to a decent menu and eventually a person. I hate menus that make you say what you want. Give me a touchpad any day. I hate talking into the phone if I'm not talking to a real person. Nothing says loser than me in a public place saying "cancel an order" three or four times while the voice recognition software doesn't work.

But I did get through to someone and even though they had my order already in "packing" status, they canceled it for me.

Fast forward an hour when I can call B&N. I call. They tell me it cannot be canceled because it's on the floor being packed. I tell them about the email and my concern that the order won't be delivered in time. The guy says he'll talk to his supervisor. He comes back and says that there's nothing he can do. It's my fault I placed the order yesterday and it has a 24 hour until ship time. I point out that it's been more than 24 hours and the email said it could be 1-5 days. He said it'll be shipped today. I say I want a guarantee it'll get there by Friday or I want it canceled.

He doesn't offer to upgrade the shipping. He doesn't offer to do anything except argue with me that I am at fault and they are within their timeline (even though they aren't). I tell him they've lost my business. He seems surprised, tells me he's sorry, and hangs up.

It's silly. It's stupid. It still irritates me. What is so hard about canceling an order that can't be placed within the agreed upon timeline? Urgh.

I just checked and the status is "Not Yet Shipped" still.

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