Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Customer Service

This morning I went to the Post Office to mail my brother hat #2 (the one of the Rit-Gone-Wrong dye job, which did soften up a great deal thanks to a little TLC and Dove shampoo & conditioner - Intense Moisture formula). As I stood in line, I started to realize that the entire office was starting to smell like pepperoni. I don't really know what that means, but it bothered me a great deal. There's about 4 people in the world that know me well enough to remember with prodding that I have no sense of smell to speak of, so if I can smell something, everyone else in the room should be unconscious. And pepperoni at 9 in the morning is worrysome, because I think maybe it wasn't pepperoni but the kind of body odor that would tip cattle. So, ew.

So anyway, I stood in line and watched my all time favorite retail blunder occur. Someone tried to pay with an unsigned credit card. Fine, none of mine are signed (they all say "please see ID" or some such variation) but the clerk said "I can't take this without a signature" and handed it back to the woman. Also fine. I understand that it says "not valid without signature" on the back of the card. The woman looked at the clerk, signed the card (in front of her) and handed it back. Whew. Now that's security. The card's signed - that makes it valid.


A word of advice for all those who might call a radio station to try to make a sales pitch.

Don't do the small talk thing. We don't care, and we don't have time..

Someone called yesterday at the busiest part of the day and wanted to sell me something. What did he want to sell me? I don't know. Nor do I think he knew. He wanted to be connected to our business department. Well, I'm the only one in the building (AC had gone home) although we do have a separate location where payroll and that sort of thing are handled (once I send the hours to them). But this guy didn't want to answer any of my questions that might have allowed me to connect him to someone who gave more of a damn than I did.

He starts by asking if we're WXXX or WYYY (about twenty years ago, station WXXX went out of business and we, WYYY took over the signal.) and then cleverly moves into "Like, you know that room, where people talk? The radio room?"

"I'm familiar with it," I say, drier than the Sahara, and standing in the "radio room" at the time (yeah, it's called a "Studio" ya moron)

"Like, we sell stuff for that, and I need to talk to the guy who's in charge, like who's that guy?"

"That GUY would be ME."

"Oh, my bad" (can I tell you this is the dumbest expression ever? You mean to say "I apologize, that was my fault" and you end up sounding like a two year old with a boo-boo saying "my bad")

"um, well, we sell this like, book, that like, the hosts can look at..."

"Yeah, we're, like, not interested" and I hang up.

That guy, my ass.


At my lunch break I had a cute thing happen, though. First, some backstory.

When I moved up to NY a few years ago, I had to leave a bank that I had previously liked, because there weren't any branches or ATMs within three hours of the place in NY, and the station there refused to do direct deposit. When I did that, I notified the companies that were automatically withdrawing money from my bank account for memberships that I would be changing banks. I alerted them in writing, giving them the new information. Two such companies ignored my requests. So I closed my bank account and opened the new one, and two companies kept taking money out of the old (closed account) Because I was no longer at the address the old bank had for me, it took nearly six months for them to reach me to tell me that in the meantime, I had racked up several hundred dollars of overdraft fees because of this. The companies that made the withdrawels in error wouldn't do anything to help, and meanwhile I've established a lovely debt for myself. Now, as soon as I discovered the error, I paid the bank back. But it was still a pretty big blemish on my account, and one that has prevented me from being able to open accounts since, so my bank is still in NY state - no so convenient when I need cash.

Well, I'm saving up for that Norman Hall spinning wheel, as you know, and have coins building up in my little sheepy bank, and all my money from my knitting classes and fiber play are going to that "fund" so I went down to a Federal Credit Union that has an office just around the corner from my work today to open a savings account. I'm elligible for that account because my grandfather was a member. The first member, actually, because the day they announced the Union had opened, he was the only one who hadn't paid his bills yet. He passed away a few years ago, but is still my grandfather, so I'm still elligible.

I went into the bank and filled out the application, and was nervous that I wouldn't be accepted because of that mess above (and here where my grandfather was a bit of a celebrity it would be even more embarrassing) and the young (younger than me!) man at the desk looked sort of puzzled at the section that defines my elligibility where it asks for contact information of my relative. I saw the puzzled look and said "I can give you his account number if it will help!" and he smiled and said "no, it's account number 1. I knew your grandfather. Just talked to your grandmother a few weeks ago - she's in Florida now, right?"

Why, yes.

The account was opened minutes later, and he was very friendly and pleasant.

What a difference customer service makes.


No pictures today. Oh, I took them, including a shocking expose on the contents of my desk drawers at work, but it didn't occur to me until I was late this morning that GB was the one who figured out how to get the pictures from the camera to the computer, not me. So the camera and computer have been left alone to discuss their differences, and we'll see if they've worked things out by the time I get home tonight.


Hours Spent Knitting: 15
Rows Completed (of 222): 30
Estimated Time of Completion: 111 hours


Blogger vi said...

Amie, your bank should have accepted copies of your letter telling the companies that this account was closed.
you should not have been responsible for this. AND the bank should not have cashed the checks but sent them back with an 'account' closed notice on them.....
a Call to the state bank regulatory agency with this information should refund your money
and also a letter to the credit companies.... stating these facts.
that should clear up alot of your credit woes

11:46 AM  
Blogger xmasberry said...

on the credit card subject. i work at a ski resort on the weekends in the winter. we get a lot of people with unsigned cards and the "rules" from the credit card companies are that for visa or MC, if they are not signed, signing them is an option. we typically ask for ID if it is not signed and if they do not have an ID, we ask for something like their middle name or how they spell their last name (on tricky names) or something so that we can feel comfortable about taking their card. we DO NOT HAVE to do that, if they sign it in front of us, we can take it. crazy. However, if it is marked with a "please see ID" or something similar, we HAVE to see an ID, even if the card is signed as well. We are really strict on that and you always have the one person who wrote that on his card but is thoroughly annoyed with you for making him get his ID. American Express cards, however, we cannot take if they are not signed without a picture ID. Doesn't matter if they sign it in front of me, or how many times they tell me that "it is really me, honest", can't do it. so sad. Some people are really glad that we enforce the rules, others are not, but they should be ;)

i hate the "my bad" too. ugh. would you say "i made a bad"? sounds like something you wouldn't be sharing with others...

11:47 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

My husband has your inability to smell, so I know that if he can smell something then it's pretty bad! :-)


11:57 PM  

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