Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Dear FedEx and Bright Cellars:

Thank you for working together to offer me new challenges to overcome. I feel so empowered now that I’ve successfully passed numerous levels of gameplay and defeated the final boss in an epic showdown.

Level One: The Cancellation

To pass this level, I finally had to cancel my Bright Cellars subscription FOR REAL THIS TIME. I live one mile from a Total Wine & More. I resisted your offers of free bottles and credits. I accepted ONE LAST SHIPMENT to use my various credits.

Level Two: Shipment Attempt 1

This one was tricky. My package was returned to Bright Cellars because the FedEx driver said no one was home Sunday. I was home. No one even rang the doorbell. I realize now that the cheat code to win this level was that I needed to sit on the stairs outside my front door all day. Still, somehow I forged on to the next level.

Level Three: Shipment Attempt 2

This was a tough level because I had three villains to defeat.

  1. Bright Cellars had to change the address to the leasing office.
  2. FedEx had to make sure to put “leasing office” on the shipping info.
  3. The (nasty) manager of the leasing office had to be notified that a package was on the way.

Level Four: Shipment Attempt 3

Another difficult level. FedEx, you were wily, and required numerous maneuvers.

  1. I had to call and convince you to hold the package at the FedEx facility in Norcross so I could pick it up. You told me to call the facility after 5.
  2. I called the facility after 5. I was put on hold three times. Finally, an unpleasant woman said she could not hold the package for pickup unless FedEx customer service (yes, her same company) told her to hold it. That I needed to call customer service, and have them call her.
  3. I called FedEx customer service again. I made Geordie write a note in the shipment file, and call the facility witch.

Late evening phone call from the FedEx facility in Norcross to explain that the reason my package wasn’t delivered was because the leasing office hag wouldn’t sign for it.

Level Five: The Pickup

“If no one answer keep trying until they do.”

This level required me to call all the extensions. Twice.

Level Six: The Final Showdown

The final boss was a lovely man who — at first glance — just seemed like a beleaguered employee. But this level required an ID and signature on a digital pad that would not accept signatures. Still, I persevered.

I will now treat myself to what’s in the box.

It had better be THE BEST WINE I’ve ever tasted to be worth this difficult adulting game.

In sum: I never want to play this game again.

I hate you both,



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Dear Industrious Signmakers*:

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, we need to talk about execution. Have you read my earlier posts on the subject (here and here, for example)? I’ll assume you have not.

For two of you, I will allow that maybe the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian and the subsequent Coastal Georgia mandatory evacuation scared you so much that you couldn’t concentrate.

Perhaps I should say “evaculation” so you understand me.

What’s an “inconveniece?” Your sibling’s daughter is a nun?

And you are close as in proximal to evaculation evacuation?

If so, I’d like you to meet another signmaker who is right there with you.

There’s a third one of you who has no excuse because he/she is nowhere near the hurricane. And this is a semi-permanent sign. And he/she works at a university.

Are the staff deficient in some way? Or is it just the proofing skills that are?


I know you likely are in a hurry, but just take a hot second to review your work.

Yours in appreciation,


* Thanks to Aimee for sharing these while she ignored the governor’s mandate.

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Dear Dominic,

Yes, I’m writing to you again. Yes, it’s because you are driving me crazy. Again.

Want me to stop writing about you? Stop being a buffoon.

You had your new retainer for exactly a week. Then you threw it away with trash on your lunch tray.

No big deal, right? Call the orthodontist and ask for a replacement.

Oh, it IS a big deal. Here’s a timeline of why:

Friday, April 19: Braces off. There is much rejoicing.

Friday, April 26: The incident. (What were you thinking? Expensive retainer? Who needs that old thing?)

Monday, April 29: I call the orthodontist in Savannah — four hours away — where you completed your braces plan. “Oh, we don’t keep those molds. We need him to come in to get a new impression.” Not happening.

So I call the orthodontist on our health plan in Atlanta at the location that is closest to us. There is no answer. All day.

Tuesday, April 30: Resume calling. Finally get a voice mailbox. Leave message.

Wednesday, May 1: Call again. Get human who says the orthodontist is only in that location on Tuesdays and every other Thursday. What the flock? Human says we can take our chances during walk-in hours early Thursday morning in a different part of Atlanta.

Side note: Shall I remind you that Atlanta traffic is so bad that a five-mile journey might require us to tune up our car and pack a lunch?

Thursday, May 2: Wake up before dawn to make it to the walk-in appointment first. Beg the people to get you in and out quickly so you can make it to school. Your grades are not good enough for a day away from instruction. They make an impression — of your lower teeth. Why didn’t you tell them you needed the top instead? I had to tell them. Come on, Dominic!

They tell me to come back in the afternoon to pick up the finished product. So I battle rush-hour traffic to get there. Yet, they will not give me the retainer. They need to try it out on you.

For the love of God.

Couldn’t someone have told us this during the morning visit? I wasted 1.5 hours driving. Yay for the My Favorite Murder podcast. (Stay sexy, and chain your kid’s retainer to his body.)

Friday, May 3: Wake up before dawn to meet “Zane” at the orthodontist location closest to us. How dare you be cranky because I rushed you to get out the door on time! Don’t make me use what I learned via MFM.

Here you are with your new $200 retainer on your $3,000 smile. The sign indicates my feeling about all this business.

Don’t ever doubt my love for you. The fact that you are still breathing after all this should be proof enough.

If you lose this retainer, I’m going to make you earn the money to replace it by cleaning my car with your toothbrush.

I’m serious.

Try me.

Love and kisses,
Your out-of-patience mother


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Dear Handy Ladies Who Want Certain Spa Treatments at Home:

Interested in the unique services at Jeju Sauna but are strapped for cash? Here’s a low-cost way to set up shop in the privacy of your own home!

Things you will need:
Four hand towels
Two shower curtains
Card table
Dish sponge with pot-scrubber
Garden hose
Crock pot
Coffee table
A handful of grass, weeds and any herbs that have been in your spice cabinet for two years or more

Instructions for the “body shampoo” portion of your home sauna:

  • Set up the card table in your garage or back/side yard.
  • Place one shower curtain over the table.
  • Hook up the hose to the nearest sink that can deliver warm water.
  • Go to the grocery store and bring home with you the first 10 women you see. (You’ll have to spring for Uber XL.)
  • Once they get to your house, you and nine of them will disrobe and try desperately not to look at each other while you take a shower with the hose. The 10th will wait patiently fully clothed. (If you are a Never Nude, stop here, and go read something else. This won’t work with cutoffs.)
  • Put one hand towel across the room/yard. Hold onto the other one.
  • Get up on the card table while the other ladies watch you.
  • Instruct the 10th lady to rub you all over with the pot-scrubber side of the sponge. She is allowed to say only these words/phrases: Face down, face up, turn, hair wash.
  • Tell the lady to make sure she scrubs all of you (yes, every single scrap of exposed skin), contorting you as necessary to get those hard-to-reach places.
  • Explain to her that she needs to rinse you off occasionally by pointing the hose directly between your legs.
  • Place the hand towel over your face.
  • Weep quietly as the woman sands off your nipples.
  • Flip around so she can wash your hair on the other end of the table. Try not to slide off:

  • Make sure the lady shampoos your hair like Bugs Bunny washes Elmer Fudd in “Rabbit of Seville” (3:59 into the link if you don’t get that reference). Then she should drag a brush through it without regard to your pain threshold. It will remind you of your mom getting the ponytail-prep tangles out of your hair. She didn’t care about pain either.
  • When she is done, creep delicately while tingling and raw over to the second hand towel to dry off.
  • Ask the 10th lady to stay while you send the others home. You’ll tip her later.
  • Bask in a job well done while you lather lotion on your abrasions.

Instructions for the “hip bath” portion of your home sauna:

  • Cut a hole in the middle of the coffee table with the saw.
  • Ask the lady who stayed to fill up the crock pot with the yard clippings and other greenery.
  • Also ask her to add water from the garden hose.
  • Then she should plug in the crock pot, turn it up to high, and stick it under the hole.
  • Finally, she needs to place the remaining two hand towels around the opening in the coffee table.
  • Tip the lady and send her home.
  • Wrap the shower curtain around your naked body.
  • Sit over the hole. That’s right.
  • Make sure the shower curtain covers you and the coffee table to form an impenetrable seal. You, the table and crock pot will become one under the plastic tent.
  • Vaporize that vajayjay for at least 45 minutes while watching the news.
  • Lament the state of the world.
  • Sweat like a mofo and marvel at the 100-degree temperature difference between your head and your bits. Also wonder if it really will do the 12+ things it is reported to do.
  • Reflect that you didn’t need any of the outcomes; you were just curious.
  • Consider that this is not the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your life.
  • Ask yourself why you are like this.
  • When your time is up, get off the pot, and hose off again.
  • Get dressed in the most comfortable clothes you own. Perhaps a Mrs. Roper-style muumuu.
  • Put away all the materials, and get ready for the next time. (Unless there won’t be a next time, of course.)

Hip bath setup: Fancy version

There you go!

A DIY dream. Ty Pennington would be proud. (Yes, he’s back.)

Best wishes to you and your freshly steamed cooter,

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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!

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 3.27.38 PM

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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