I recently tried to call one of the many huge corporate businesses that provide service to my home. I was certain that when I shared my issue, with the help of their amazing customer service people, it would be taken care of in a matter of minutes. I know that is true, because when I signed up for their service, they assured me that I and my account were special; in fact, my happiness and satisfaction were critical. I had no idea I was so important. I wanted to send them a thank-you card for allowing me to give them a big bucket of my money.
And we were rather blissfully happy, until one day last week when I discovered that I had a serous billing error and needed to correct it immediately. When I Googled them, looking for customer service or a billing department phone number, I discovered that it is a secret. While the sales and marketing people love me, the customer service and billing people obviously already have too many friends and have pulled in the welcome mat.
The only option for contact I could locate was a digital assistant who popped up and asked if he could help. Before I could type in my issue, he announced that I would find my solution in the list of frequently asked questions and he was forwarding me to that site. “Goodbye,” he said. And there I was with a list of questions, none of which had anything to do with my issue. What to do? I tried backing out of the site to get to the home screen, where I discovered there are no phone numbers.
I was starting to feel like the marketing/sales people must work for another company because, frankly, I’d lost that lovin’ feelin’. In fact, I felt like they wanted me to go away, except for my money, of course.
Not a quitter by nature, I decided to approach it from a different angle. I pretended I wanted to buy the service this company sells. That popped up a new page with an actual phone number. I thought, “Now, I’ve got you.” I dialed the number, speech already rehearsed. There was a lovely female voice welcoming me and assuring me that my business was important. Then she proceeded to give me a list of 10 options from which I could choose the one that I needed. I listened to all 10, then I had to listen to them again, because none of them were exactly what I needed.
When I finally decided to take the plunge, I pressed 5. The voice again assured me how important I was and they would be with me momentarily. That was when the lovely music began playing. At first, it was a catchy melody you might had heard played by a large symphony orchestra. After 10, 20 minutes on hold, the music took on a sinister, haunting sound and you could almost hear it being played on a chainsaw. At 25 minutes I could no longer take it and began pressing buttons at random, intent on disconnecting that awful call-waiting music. There was a momentary silence and I breathed a huge sigh, which was when I realized I had hung up the phone and lost my place in the phone queue.
I have thought about writing them a long letter and including it with my monthly bill; unfortunately, I set them up as auto pay and there is no way to attach anything to the payment, not even a frowny face … which I have right now.