Friday, December 28, 2007

Bad Customer Service? You're Fired!

Had a bad experience today. Actually it was four separate bad experiences with four different companies, and one surprisingly good experience where I never expected it.

1) BMW Repair returns a call after three business days, telling me they did charge me $150 for diagnosing my car. What's wrong with it? The ABS light is on. I know that, and I told you that when I dropped it off - what's causing the ABS light to be on? We don't know - we need you to authorize another diagnostic fee to determine what's wrong with it. What was the first diagnostics fee for if you didn't diagnose anything? OK, so lets just get the car fixed. It's been more than a month at this point. We'll call you later today when we know how much the parts and labor are. To no ones surprise, Walt doesn't call. I call, Walt is gone for the day. Because of the holidays, Walt won't be back for over a week, and no further progress will be made until Walt returns. My response? You're fired.

2) Tried to ship two packages with Fedex at 5:01pm. I'm sorry - we don't accept Fedex Ground packages after 5pm. Our system is shut down for the day. You'll have to bring them back tomorrow between 9am and 5pm. But you're still open until 6pm? We're a Fedex Express location. We only accept Fedex Ground packages between 9 and 5. It's for your convenience. They actually told me it was for my convenience that I had to bring the packages back later. If you won't take the packages tonight, I'm going to ship them some other way. Sorry. OK, you're fired. After I walk out the door: Sir! I made a mistake! OK, that's more like it, I think, so I go back inside, where she tells me that the mistake she made wasn't in telling me they couldn't accept my packages, I'd still have to bring them back later, but because of the holidays, they wouldn't be accepted until next Wednesday (5 days from now), and then only between 9am and 5pm. My response? Why would you possibly think it necessary to tell me this after I fired you 5 seconds ago?

3) Tried to ship the same boxes at UPS. To my surprise, they're open. I fill out the appropriate forms, where I learn that the cost to ship is $5/box more than it would have been at Fedex. Our insurance costs more than Fedex. That should have been a clue to run, but I missed it. Anyone who charges more for insurance believes less in the ability of their employees to get the package there undamaged. No problem, I think. For good customer service, it's worth it. Is that a credit card? We only take cash or check. Interesting - Fedex only takes credit cards. OK, fine - not as good of a customer service experience as I originally thought, but I can still get them shipped and accomplish my goal. I still have time to run into town (UPS is 5 miles outside of town) and pick up cash, come back and pay. I drive 5 miles into town, pick up cash, drive 5 miles back out to UPS, who has opened my packages. "We reserve the right to inspect all packages." OK, why did you inspect mine? "You declared a value over $1000. " OK, are you satisfied that they were what I stated on the form? Yes. Great, can we pack them back up and ship them now? No, they contain fragile contents. You knew that before you opened the box - I wrote it on the form. We no longer accept anything fragile. Everything you ship is fragile. I've seen the way you treat packages - it's all over! What is the insurance for, then, if not to insure me that you're not going to break what's in the box? To pay you if we lose it outright. So you're not going to ship it now? No. OK, you're fired.

4) I've worked up quite the appetite after my firing spree, so I go through the drive-thru of my local McDonalds. I'd like a #5- Is that with cheese or without? Without. OK now, what did you want? A #5 with a Diet Coke. We're out of Hi-C. OK, I didn't want that anyway. What did you want? A #5 WITH A DIET COKE!. You're new here, aren't you? Happy Holidays - please pull forward! It still says Hi-C on the screen. I want a Diet Coke. I don't think we have that - this is McDonalds. You're new here, aren't you? No. I've been here three years. "You're fire!." And I drive off.

5) I still had the packages, so I went to the automated postage machine in the post office and managed to ship the packages after 5pm, even though they contained fragile contents and without firing the machine. Now if they only had automated cheeseburger and french fry dispensers...