I had a hot mess of a morning yesterday. Working from home as I waited for (I’ll just say a certain company) to come service my apartment, I was called around 9 am and informed that I would not in fact be having my apartment serviced from 10-12 as scheduled, but I could get in sometime between 3-5 or 5-7. Since I needed to be in the office at those times, that wasn’t going to work, and after a little back and forth I settled on a time for the guy to come out today. But as soon as I got off the phone I promptly called said company’s customer service department to complain about their continual empty promises.
See I was already wanting to leave this company and get a refund on the so-called service they thought they had been providing me. Once I used the c-word, that’s cancel, they scurried to offer to come out one more time and fix the issues I was paying them for. I said OK, they never showed. So when another worker pulled the ol’ switcheroo on me yesterday I wasn’t having it. After I made my case with customer relations, I was told a district manager would be calling me back to discuss my issues. And that’s when it went downhill, or even further down hill.
As soon as I began telling my story yet again to the manager and explaining that I had requested the service worker who had been “servicing” my home thus far not return because after three visits he still hadn’t fixed the issue, I was immediately questioned and essentially called a liar. The manager told me there was no way “JR” was the person who came out to my home because he just started with the company. As I interjected and said that was the name on both his name tag and my receipts, she repeatedly said what I was saying was impossible and “JR” had just been hired. Annoyed, I sarcastically asked, “yesterday?” That’s when she told me he was hired in July, I told her my contract with the company began in August and JR was most definitely the person who came to my home. Instead of admitting she was wrong, she countered, well I don’t understand why you keep saying he came to your house all of these times, he’s only been to your house once. Are we really gonna do this again lady?
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when someone tries to make you feel like you’re crazy, and that’s the place the lady was taking me to. As I read down my appointment dates and she had her moment of clarity, again she tried to make it seem as if I was the unreasonable one, saying well, your issue isn’t that difficult it shouldn’t take all these trips to fix. Insert thought bubble: Um, that’s what you should be telling your customer service man not me. If you did things right the first time I wouldn’t have to keep calling you.
After more banter, and being cut off several times I just stopped talking and told the woman frankly, “For a manager, your attitude is incredible.” And once I was settled with her, I proceeded to call customer relations back again and inform them that the way their management handles paying customers is amazing — and not in a good way. I really was baffled when I got off the phone. Obviously this isn’t the first time someone didn’t live up to their job title of being a customer service representative but most times when things are escalated to the managerial level someone comes out of the woodwork with some sense. As of late, I’ve noticed that’s not even the case anymore.
I don’t know if it’s because being overworked, underpaid, and understaffed has become the American way that manager’s these days just don’t give a you know what but something has to shake. I’ve worked in customer service before, I never was down with the whole “the customer is always right” mantra. But when I’m not wrong please don’t treat me like I am. I really resent being treated as a liar and never having my legitimate complaints acknowledged, much less apologized for. At the beginning of the year I remember calling an airline after my flight to complain about the actions of one of their flight attendants who instead of asking me to push my purse all the way under the seat, began stepping on it and kicking it under the chair in front of me. When I put in my complaint I was told the stewardess didn’t recall doing what I said she did. I thought, so that’s it? I get dismissed?
I know the work struggle is real and managers receive all sorts of complaints on a daily, but if I was a garbage man I wouldn’t complain about having to pick up trash. Dealing with customers as an employee in the customer service industry is a given and when people come to these individuals respectfully with legitimate concerns they deserve to be heard and in some cases compensated. If you can’t handle that aspect of the job, then the customer service industry just isn’t for you.
Ironically, when the same worker from the company referenced earlier came out today he told me plainly that his managers really don’t care about customer concerns and making empty promises. He even gave me his number and told me to call him directly if I had future issues so I wouldn’t have to deal with the bureaucracy. Now that’s what I call good customer service. Maybe he can channel that back up through the chain of command.
Have you noticed even managers don’t seem to care about putting customers first anymore?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.