Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Dear USPS deciders-in-chief:

I avoid the Fahm Street branch of the U.S. Postal Service in Savannah because the agents working there are always so unpleasant. Today was by far the worst “service” I’ve ever experienced. What follows is exactly what happened to Eddie, the kids and me today when we arrived for our passport renewal appointment referenced in my last post.

Scene: Two women working the counter. Each has a customer. I am the next person in line.

Woman 1: (Nametag covered by sweater) Can I help you?
Me: I’m here to renew a child’s and an adult’s passport.
Woman 1: (Looks at me blankly for at least five seconds while I look back. It lasts so long that I begin to wonder if I had actually spoken words to her.) The child doesn’t have to be here to renew the passport.

(This seems like an odd thing to say. It doesn’t change my reason for standing in front of her.)

Me: Yes, he actually does, along with both parents.
Woman 2 (to Woman 1): (As if we are not standing there) Do they have an appointment?
Woman 1 (to me): Do you have an appointment?
Me: Yes, at 2:15.
Woman 1: (Sighs and goes to get a book from the back then returns to the counter) Your name?
Me: Concepción
Woman 1: (Looks at me as if my name is an affront to all that she values in life, then looks at the book again) What’s that name?
Me: Concepción. C-O-N-C-E-P-C-I-O-N. 2:15 today.
Woman 1: (Apparently finding my name) Wait over there or in the chairs. It doesn’t matter. She’ll be with you in a moment.
Me: Who will be with me?
Woman 1: (Indicates Woman 2 with her head)

Waiting commences. We watch Woman 1 be unfriendly to four more customers. Woman 2 finishes passport paperwork for her customer.

Woman 2: (To the whole lobby, even though we are standing four feet in front of her and facing her) Concepción!
Me: I have a child and adult passport renewal.
Woman 2: (Nametag reads “Mrs. B. Mobley”) We don’t do adult renewals here.
Me: (Smiling and trying to be friendly) OK, but I can mail it from here.
Mrs. B. Mobley: (Looks at me in a hostile manner) Yes.

I hand her my materials. She looks at Dominic’s photo.

Mrs. B. Mobley: This photo is not the right format. The face is too close. Our camera is broken. You can send it in anyway and see if they contact you.
Me: I followed the instructions on the U.S. Department of State website …
Mrs. B. Mobley: (Cutting me off) That is not my concern. I asked you if you wanted to send it in as is and see if they process it or contact you for a different photo.
Me: (Noting her condescending tone and reflecting my dissatisfaction with a tightness around my eyes and mouth) Yes. I want to send it in.

She fills out paperwork while I make sure Eddie’s renewal paperwork is in order. In a very clipped tone, she requests various things such as signatures, a check for the renewal, and a $25 processing fee (!). (I have to pay for the five minutes it takes to have this paperwork processed by a surly employee?)

Me: (After watching how she attaches Dominic’s photo to the application) May I borrow your stapler? (She hands it to me with a sigh.) I just put it on like you just did?
Mrs. B. Mobley: (No answer. Just a nasty look.)
Me: (Thinking “Why you gotta be so mean?“) How much is the renewal fee for adults?
Mrs. B. Mobley: $110.
Me: And I just put this all in an envelope and send it off? There’s nothing else?
Mrs. B. Mobley: (Still condescending) That’s how it works.

She finalizes Dominic’s paperwork. I finalize Eddie’s and mail it off. The process is over, thankfully. This is 20 minutes of perhaps the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced.

Do you deliberately seek the most ill-natured people you can find for your customer service positions? These two women have no business dealing with the public.

Look, we all know the USPS is in trouble and hemorrhaging money. Don’t you think you could help your situation by improving customer service? Stop advertising and start improving the experience for the people who are paying you. It’s your only hope!

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I would rather gnaw off my own arm than go to the Fahm Street location again. There are other passport locations. For my mail needs, I’ll continue using my local post office. The people are inept, but at least they are nice.


*apologies to Holiday Inn


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Yes, mine is a 2008.

Yes, mine is a 2008.

Dear “Ross B.” at Volkswagen Customer Care:

Thank you so much for writing me and apologizing for my “negative feelings towards Volkswagen.”

Unfortunately, my negative feelings toward Volkswagen increased today. Why? These words: “I apologize we are unable to assist with the cost of repairs.”

I’m sure you are sincere when you write, “Even when we are unable to financially assist, it is important to me that you and your kids feel safe.”

Sure. You certainly do not want our deaths on your conscience.

Your solution? Sending me to another dealership and having the “Region Case Manager” follow up with the dealership. A follow-up. Gee, thanks. I feel so much better.

You know what has made me feel better? The support of my friends who say they are glad to know about my problems so that they don’t buy a Volkswagen.

After I published my last post, one of my friends immediately wrote me to say that she had the exact same problem with acceleration in her VW and the Macon dealership finally fixed her car.

What makes me feel worse is that VW knows that the problems with acceleration (and with the upholstery) exist but THEY WON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM.

Hasn’t Volkswagen learned anything from GM and Toyota?

I guess not.

Sorry, Ross B., but this isn’t over. I plan to be Volkswagen’s worst nightmare until my issues are resolved.

On a mission,

Screen shot 2014-09-18 at 8.17.33 PM

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Dear Volkswagen:

I don’t love you any more. I want a divorce.

We used to be so great together. It was love at first sight between you (in the form of my Eos) and me. Then a year ago, our relationship soured. My Eos started making me look bad, then tried to kill me. Over and over again.

Let me explain:

In September of last year, the door upholstery on the passenger side inexplicably came unglued. I took it to my local dealer, Vaden Volkswagen, expecting it to be fixed immediately. My service consultant said he had seen it before but that you won’t repair it. Really? Um. OK.

I took it to a body shop he recommended. The fellow there said that he could glue it back for $90 but that it would just come unglued again. He could also replace the door for $700.

I gulped. Hard.

Then I colored in the fiberglass underneath with Sharpie so it wasn’t as noticeable (see Exhibit A) and pretended it hadn’t happened.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

In May, the upholstery on the driver side came unglued (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Let me interrupt myself to point out that I take care of my car. I keep the car in the garage at home and I park in a parking garage at work.

When I showed this new development to my service consultant, he said, “Well, you do have more than 100,000 miles on your car.” Yes, that may be. However, I’m not driving on the top of the doors.

I spoke to two of your “customer care” representatives. They told me, basically, “Tough luck.”

So I’ve posted a public notice (Exhibit C).

Exhibit C

Exhibit C

Then the car started trying to kill me. I would be driving down the road and suddenly pressing the gas pedal would not accelerate the car. The car would hop a few times and coast. No gas. Then, just as suddenly, the gas pedal would work again.

I took it in for the first of many, many attempts to diagnose the problem. I even had the fuel pump replaced. See Exhibit D for proof (ignore your consultant’s inability to spell):

Exhibit D

Exhibit D

Even though this situation happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive the car, your technicians can’t duplicate the problem or figure out what’s wrong. I even took video of it happening not once but twice.

It’s apparently a real headscratcher. To you.

This puzzle is going to get me killed. Imagine my dismay when this happens on I-16 as I drive my two kids to school.

So my Eos — the car I loved completely and paid off happily — is unsightly and unsafe.

And you can’t and won’t do anything about it.

That’s why I want a divorce.

In the meantime, I’m telling everyone I know about my problems with you. Remember this quote by Douglas Adams in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

Here’s to getting justice in my own special way. I hope I see justice before I see a bright light …

Living in fear,

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