Thursday, February 6, 2014

"How May I Help You?"

Quite a few years ago, I was privy to a conversation Dad was having on the phone with a customer service representative.

It wasn't a pleasant conversation.

At one point, Dad puffed himself up (which is scary since he is freakity tall) and said in the stern voice I was all too familiar with when I was in trouble, "THIS IS DR. PAUL N. HYDE! BLAH DE BLAH BLAH DO WHAT I WILL, YOU FILTHY WORM, BLAH DE BLAH BLAH BLAH!"

You could hear the person on the other end crying. It was intense (to be fair, though, Dad only uses this card when other tactics don't work and he's being jerked around).

I stored this away for a future date, thinking this was the best way to deal with people.

I probably don't have to tell you that this has never worked for me, since I am neither over six feet tall, nor do I have a doctorate (or two, like Dad does).

When I attempted to do this to someone, it probably sounded more like a rabid squirrel gargling than the booming and intimidating Woman of Power (FEAR ME!) that I was trying to portray.

And it turned out I was wrong, and pop went my balloon, and I slunk away deflated.

Missy told me that when she is in situations like that, she acts helpless, and people bend over backwards to help her.

I tried this tactic with much success.

Apparently this tactic has become well known, however, since the customer service people I have dealt with in the recent past have adapted to this and have talked to me like I am a three-year-old, which only served to irritate the yoga pants off of me.

Can I just tell you I hate it when customer service people read from a script? It's like they just ignore everything you say, and just robot-out their lines, expecting everything to be peachy, when it's not.

For example....

I impulse bought some items from a small clothing shop online. It seemed like a good idea at the time (everything seems like a good idea late at night when you are exhausted and your judgement has called it a day and has gone off to bed), and Jeremy, being super nice, told me to go ahead.

Well, buyer's remorse set in and as I lay in bed that night, and I agonized over my purchase, I decided to cancel the order.

So, I rolled out of bed, and wrote an email to the company since there was no cancel option.

I tried really hard to be nice. I just wanted a nice, clean break. I made a mistake. That was all. Nothing to do with their store or their merchandise, I promise! Just please give me my pennies back...

The next day, I checked my email.


Hmm...well it was early yet, so I would give them another hour or two to get around to answering my email.

An hour or two later, nothing.

I then decided to call Jeremy and asked him to call them, since it was under his name after all.

He agreed.

A few moments later he called to let me know he got their answering machine, and he had left a message.

I agonized over this, since on this particular website, they do not accept returns in the Wal-Mart fashion. They will review your request, and give you a credit, instead of giving your money back.

I didn't want this to happen. At ALL.

I figured if we caught them before the items were shipped (and their website assured us that it would ship very quickly), then it would be okay, right?

Well, to make a long story short, we called over 50 times (they answered once and then hung up on me), sent repeated emails, sent messages on their Facebook page, and finally created a dispute on Paypal about the whole thing, all in the course of the morning. After all the phone calls, messages, and emails, I was pretty sure that they were ignoring me, in the hopes that they could just ship the stuff off, and get the bundle of money. That wasn't going to happen if I had anything to say about it.

I called Paypal, fretting about my potentially lost money.

Paypal's customer service people used the aforementioned "All Customers are 3-years-old" procedure.

"Okay, sweetie, we'll see if we can get your pennies back! You just have to set up a dispute on our website, and then if they don't respond, you can upgrade to a claim. Would you like me to sing you a song or tell you a story now that we've solved your problem?"

"No, thank you," I replied. "As I told you before, I already set up a dispute, and I don't think you understand what I am trying to say..."

"That's because it's hard to understand you because you haven't learned to navigate your tongue around your teeth yet. Don't worry! You'll learn to speak clearly when you get a little bit older!"

"Let me try and make this more clear," I said through clenched teeth. "If they don't cancel the order, then it will be shipped. It being shipped means that I CANNOT RETURN the merchandise for a refund and CANNOT GET MY MONEY BACK."

"That sounds like a big problem," Robot Script Girl replied sympathetically. "But, you have 45 days to get your money back, so don't you fret, sweetie! You already have your dispute, and you can upgrade it to a claim, so no worries!"

I poked my eyes several time, and hit my head against the wall.

"I don't HAVE 45 days," I spat. "They are going to ship it in the next TWO DAYS!"

"Well, if they ship it, you can just reject it, and it will be sent back to them, and then you will get your money back," Robot Script Girl replied cheerfully.

I thought about screaming, and then held it in, my skull expanding as the pressure started to make my brain swell.

"Okay...let me try again...." I said, breathing deeply. "IF    THEY    SEND   IT,   I    DO  NOT   GET   MY   MONEY   BACK   AT    ALLLLLLLL.    THEY    WILLL   GIVE    ME    A    CREDIT, SWEETIE."

Apparently Robot Script Girl didn't appreciate my turning her own tactics on her, and she became a real person.

"No, ma'am," she said archly. "WE decide if you get your money back. WE WILL TAKE IT FROM THEM."

She then let out a guttural battle cry that several people near her joined in on, and I had to hold the phone away from my ear.

My soul lit up.

"Oh, okay."

It took Robot Script Girl a moment to get back into character.

"*Cough* er...uh...ok...Is there anything else I can do for you, sweetie?" She asked, apparently feeling silly using this tactic again.

"No," I replied, feeling a little better.

"Okay! Have a wonderful sunshiny day!"

I then called Jeremy so he could talk to Paypal about situating the claim (since I couldn't do it because my name isn't on the account), and when he called me back, he said that our money had already been refunded.

Woo hoo!

It had nothing to do with Paypal, but it's nice knowing that they have my back.

Our money being refunded probably had to do with the message I left on the clothing store's answering machine, when I had reached my wits end:

" *Irritated tone* Hello, this is Dara Card. I have sent several emails and my husband and I have both called without success in reaching anybody. We have been attempting to cancel our order. I have opened up a dispute on Paypal since nobody will respond to us. Thank you."

Like magic. You have to have the right kind leverage, I guess. Apparently they know what Paypal will do to them.

P.S. After this whole shenanigans, I got lots of emails from the clothing store that gushed apologies. Pfft....

1 comment:

Katscratchme said...

I think a lot of these places just hope that you will get tired of trying and go away.
I was in customer service for a while and I HATE people who do the job poorly. I know what they should do and they frequently don't.... :P

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