Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top 10 writing them up!

1. Certain Patrolmen who patrol the Baltimore Parkway. A female relative recently set out on an 8 hour journey heading to school for the fall and got a flat tire and her battery died as luck would have it. She independently handled the situation by calling AAA. While I was on the phone with her she was passed by three policemen. I realize it is not the role of a policeman to change a flat tire, one of them at least could have stopped to ask if she were ok. I instructed her to stay in her vehicle until help arrived and to ask to see ID when a police officer arrived. Were these instructions correct?

2. A company selling food door to door. I recently received a flyer in my door from an independent company and received a follow up phone call a day or two later. The rep was most informative about the company and told me she would like to send a salesman and a free sample to my home. Was I interested? She said “free” who wouldn’t be? I agreed to an appointment and then was asked a series of questions. How many are you cooking for? Is anyone a vegetarian? Do you own your home? Are you married? The list went on. The final question was do you have an extra freezer or would you be opposed to us placing one in your home? I told her everybody is cutting back and I’d prefer not to have the extra expense of running an additional freezer. I was then politely told if any offers that fit my needs came up, I would receive a call. I think I am off the list but if that was such a crucial question it should have been posed up front. I’m sure the product was good not knocking that, just the approach.

3. Colon Cleanse. To avoid any personal embarrassment I will admit it wasn’t for me, I just go to a fast food restaurants for my fix. Works for me. Colon Cleanse advertises along with another product on the internet one of those hitches if you click you are signed up indefinitely if you do not cancel after the 14 day trial. It automatically bills to your credit or debit card. It is a legitimate business but I could not get any information on which Parent Company supports this product. I wanted the next level of contact. I was able to cancel the commitment for a friend after searching for contact information but I was not able to return the unopened, unused product. What do you do with that waste? Environmentally it is not a good idea to flush it. I wasn’t asking for money back I just wanted to return the product.

4. Verizon. Verizon used to be the absolute best in customer support. The times they have changed. Another associate of mine lost internet and phone on the same day and put in a service call. The next day an “outside” technician arrived, climbed the pole and said, it’s not an outside problem, its inside and since there is not an additional service contract I can not help you without a fee. It needed to be fixed. I was then told by the “outside” technician I am not allowed to do service inside another tech will have to be called out and most likely it will not be today. Two weeks later due to inconvenience on both ends, the owner finally received service, another technician came to the house and found that it was an “outside” issue. Two weeks without internet and phone imagine if that were a home business, the loss in revenue these customers would have suffered. In my opinion, Verizon was a little slow in resolution.

5. Sears Customer Service. It is rare to receive excellent customer service anymore. We have all come to accept that you are pretty much on your own when searching to buy a product. I began my search online as most of us do now a day’s because I needed to replace a battered by the storms, patio umbrella. I went to the Sears. Exiting the escalator, we were greeted by a pleasant customer service rep who was more them willing to help and direct us. Our request was not in his area of expertise so he directed us to yet another friendly and very helpful service representative. It was entirely my fault. I was seeking a product that was out of season. Who needs to replace a patio umbrella in July and is also seeking a deal? No replacement umbrellas were available but I could have replaced the entire set for $400. I ended up ordering an umbrella online free delivery in-store pick up at Wal-Mart. I was still please with the Sears sales agents they did want to help.

6. HP Support. Now I may get some flack for this one. I made a support call on a new mini computer when the screen went randomly blank. After I explained the issue, he commented, hmmm you are going to have to ship it back. Ship it back? I needed it today. Never accept sorry on a support call. Best advice, politely say thank you, hang up and call back, the next rep may be more experienced, as was the case here. HP also does a follow up call or will send you an email asking how your customer support experience went. I always respond. I also always ask the name of the person I am speaking, along with the spelling of their name and yes many times they are not local. I ask where they are from not as a prejudice question. Usually I’ll ask about the weather there. People are people and I try to make it a friendly exchange, no one wants to help an irate customer no matter what country you are from.

7. Comcast Internet Support. Great people, always a pleasant experience and I loved the feature where they used logmein or one of the other programs that allows them to come on to your computer and see just what you messed up. I was told due to privacy concerns they no longer offer this service. Unfortunately, my last blunder was not something they could help me with. It was an email problem. I attempted to send a large file and it got stuck in my outbox. I couldn’t get rid of it. I goggled the problem, went to Microsoft’s support site followed the directions and still it was stuck. It wasn’t Comcast’s issue but I sure wish they still had the support technique to log into my pc. I think that feature is one of the best inventions ever in the support arena.

8. Microsoft Corporation. Ok so they have almost total control over everything you do on a pc. I’m still running XP and have an older version of an email product so support is no longer available for free. The stuck email was a minor annoyance, my email was still working so I caved and paid $40 for the assistance. They do, with your permission log in to take control. The issue was handled competently and quickly for a price from the experts at Microsoft. I wasn’t happy about the expense but I’ll never do it again.

9. Rest Stops on the eastern corridor. They are not only important but necessary. I like the seat cover feature when available it would prevent a lot of extra toilet tissue that ends up on the floor. Also, I did not have the pleasure but attained this information from a reliable source, North Carolina has waterless urinals. A waterless urinal saves on average 25,000 to 45,000 gallons of water a year. I attained that information from the website if anyone has a further interest. The automatic soap dispenser and water source via sensor feature still baffles me. Although I feel it is much more sanitary, I have a heck of a time finding the trigger, others seem to find it with ease.

10. Abuse of power. I am a fan of law enforcement; I feel they have a very difficult job. There are a few however that give this position a bad reputation. A relative, she’s young, was stopped by a young police officer for doing 28mph in a 25mph zone in a beach town in the off season. The officer was kind enough to let her go with a warning and the next day he tried to friend her on Facebook. I am one of her friends on Facebook and he is very lucky I did not report him. There are good cops and there are unprofessional ones. I hope this young man has since learned his lesson and makes friends while he is off-duty.

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