Hsoi has been struggling with AT&T trying to get his phoneline working again. Seems to be finally fixed, but he’s frustrated as heck with the run-around the company gave him.
Unfortunately in my experience that sort of thing is becoming more and more common. Although the people themselves often try to do their best with the information given (though there are folks who don’t even do that), there’s not much they can do if the system itself fails. And unfortunately all it takes is a minor system fail, and a person or two who doesn’t really care, and you end up with a great big mess.
Just in the last year I’ve had a couple experiences of that myself.
The first one was UPS. Tracking number said it was out for delivery, but when I got home (at almost 6pm) I had neither package, or sticker, on my door. Called the 800# to find out if it was still likely to be delivered and the nice lady said that it was still possible, and if not then the tracking number should update to reflect that. 7:30pm and no package and no update on the tracking number, so I called again. And was told that “well, the driver’s day doesn’t technically end till 10pm, so maybe they’re still working on it”. Now that seemed kinda unlikely, but ok. 10:30pm and no update, no package, at this point I’m a bit pissed, but I called again. This time the polite gentleman informed me that I could still get my package delivered through midnight. I hung up on him. Now it turned out that my package had gotten mixed in with the stuff that was being dropped at the Post Office, and so UPS couldn’t deliver OR update the tracking. I got it the next day via the mail lady no problem. But I was a little frustrated to say the least. So, once I’d gotten my package, I filled out a complaint form, specifically detailing the problems I’d had with the PHONE support people. And I got a call back from a lady at the LOCAL office. I sighed, and explained that my problem wasn’t really with THEM, it was with the phone people (cause there’s a point where “I don’t know, and I don’t think we can find out till tomorrow” is a valid answer). She was very polite and understanding (I got the impression this wasn’t the FIRST time the phone people had done this) and gave me the direct line to the local office for next time there was an issue. On a side note, one of my co-workers had a very similar experience a few months later, as in, almost word for word from the phone people. He was even more pissed than I was.
The 2nd one was Amazon. Placed an order for 8 really cheap plastic raised garden bed holders. The first two charged to my card and shipped no problem. Then I got an email that they had attempted to charge my card for the next 4 and it had declined. Checked the card on the companies website and it showed the charge from Amazon as PENDING, and that there was plenty of available balance to cover it and more. Figuring it was a glitch, and knowing that such pending charges clear themselves after a few days, I clicked the button to tell Amazon to charge the card again. And got ANOTHER email telling me that my card had been declined. Sure enough now there were TWO pending charges on my credit card. Arg. Called the credit card people, they said they couldn’t do anything and I had to talk to Amazon. Sent an email to Amazon cause I was a bit short on time, and got an email back……detailing how to change my form of payment since my card was declining. Gee, thanks. So I called them. Got a VERY clueless person who insisted that they didn’t get any information from my credit card as to why my card was declining and that I would have to change my form of payment, when I insisted that wasn’t the problem she offered to try to charge my card again, I said ok (stupid, I know, I was tired), and told me the charge had gone through. Five minutes later I get another email that the charge had declined, again. Called again, and got the same song and dance. Um, No. Look, I’ve done enough financial stuff to understand how this works, at least to some degree. Tried again, got a different lady who thankfully understood what was going on and was able to conference call into my credit card so we could get the pending charges cleared, and presto all the sudden the card went through no problem. Figured that was the end of it. And it was, till stuff happened and I ended up deciding to return 3 of them. And went through almost the exact same problem in reverse, except this time it wasn’t my credit card that was the issue.