• Re-Dressing The Sauce
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  • July's Theme Of The Month: Thrown Under The Bus!

    Category: Technology


    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Employees, Technology

    (I need to get an optical audio cable to go join my Blu-ray player to my sound system. I go to a local audio store to get one, and the following exchange occurs:)

    Salesman: “That one’s $35, but this one is much higher quality and well worth the $65 for the added clarity.”

    Me: “Wait. It’s literally a clear tube that flashes light pulses. It’s all zeroes and ones. It either carries the signal or it does not. Clarity is not an issue with a digital signal.”

    Salesman: “But this is a [Brand].”

    Me: “Are you saying the $35 cable doesn’t work?”

    Salesman: “…Let’s just make it an even $30 for that cable.”

    Would Be Quicker If Used Carrier Pigeon

    | USA | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I have ordered a new phone from this company, but when I receive the phone, it is programmed for the wrong carrier, even though I had specified my carrier when purchasing. So, I call their customer service. I have been on hold for 15 minutes.)

    Customer Service: “Hello, how can I assist you today?”

    Me: “Hello, I ordered a phone from you for [Carrier] and received a phone for [Other Carrier] instead. I would like to return this phone and have the correct one sent to me.”

    Customer Service: “Okay, let me pull up your order.” *clicking* “All right, I see here that you ordered [Phone] on the special $99 offer if you signed a two-year contract, and you need to return it? What is wrong with it?”

    Me: “I just need to exchange it; you sent me a phone for [Other Carrier] when I specified that I needed [Carrier].”

    Customer Service: “We cannot accept exchanges unless the phone is damaged and you have a care plan for it. How is the phone damaged?”

    Me: “It’s not damaged; you sent me the wrong product, and I would like the phone that is programmed for [Carrier].”

    Customer Service: “Oh, okay, well there is a way to connect your phone to [Carrier]. Let me walk you through it.”

    (Proceeds to have me try to reprogram the phone myself; this takes about 45 minutes.)

    Me: “It’s telling me that I can only connect to [Other Carrier] network and not the one I need. Can you please just send me another phone and I can return this one?”

    Customer Service: “Let me talk to my supervisor.”

    (I am on hold for 30 minutes, and then the supervisor gets on.)

    Supervisor: “Okay, so you need to return your phone and exchange for another phone. How is the phone damaged?”

    Me: “Like I told the rep before, it isn’t damaged; you sent me a phone for [Other Carrier] when I specified [Carrier] on my order. You sent me the wrong phone and I want what I paid for.”

    Supervisor: “Well, our policy is not to return or exchange any items unless there is a factory default.”

    Me: “Fine, your factory defaulted me a phone with the wrong carrier. Why is this so hard to switch out? I don’t understand? It’s fine; the phone is in working order, but my plan is through [Carrier] which was specified on my order, but you sent me a phone for [Other Carrier]. You guys made the mistake; I want it fixed, now.”

    Supervisor: “Let me put you on hold for a few minutes to talk to my supervisor.”

    (I am very frustrated at this point, and am again on hold for almost 45 minutes, so I am seething when the new supervisor picks up the phone.)

    New Supervisor: “Okay, so you need to exchange [Phone] because it is the wrong phone. I am seeing here that you ordered [Phone model]. What did we send you?”

    Me: “Look, this is the last time I am explaining this so you had better listen: I ordered a [Phone] that needed to be compatible with [Carrier]. I received the correct model of phone, but because your company hates competition, you have locked this particular phone only to work with [Other Carrier] which is USELESS to me seeing as how I am with [Carrier]. Look at my order; pull it up in front of you. I will wait.”

    New Supervisor: “I am looking at your invoice.”

    Me: “GOOD, now what carrier does it say on my order? What carrier should my freaking phone been programmed too?”

    New Supervisor: “It is for [Carrier].”

    Me: “Precisely. You sent me a phone for [Other Carrier] that I don’t need. How is this NOT your company’s fault, and WHY won’t you let me exchange it for the phone I actually ordered?”

    New Supervisor: “We will gladly exchange your phone. It will cost—”

    Me: *cutting him off* “—it will cost me absolutely NOTHING because I was not the one in error; it was you. You will pay to ship it back, you will pay to get me my new phone over-nighted, and you will send me a phone for [Carrier] I need.”

    New Supervisor: “I will have to check with my—”

    Me: *cutting him off again* “—you check with them! I will wait. I have already waited d*** near two hours. What’s another 30 minutes of my life I will NEVER get back talking to you idiots?!”

    (After another 20 minute wait, they finally agreed to exchange the phone for the one I wanted, over-nighted it, and I didn’t have to pay an extra dime.)

    Citation Needed

    | USA | Coworkers, Technology

    (A coworker asks me a question, then is called away before I find an answer. I look it up online and email a link to the Wikipedia article.)

    Coworker: “What’s Wikipedia?”

    (I start to explain.)

    Coworker: “No, is it a website? Why don’t they say that instead of calling it a Wikipedia? Why do they have to make everything so complicated?”

    Why Does This Have To Be So Card?

    | The Netherlands | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology, Transportation

    (In The Netherlands, public transportation companies try to reduce cash transactions and paper tickets as much as possible by introducing a (rechargeable) card with cash on it, good for bus/train fare. That did not go smoothly. A couple of years later my father, a senior citizen, moves to a new place. I help out, and so also with the rechargeable bit. For that, I need online access. The following conversation spans about three months:)

    Me: “I cannot sign up my father. He has never been online before and moved months ago.”

    Customer Service Rep: “Wait a couple of days; maybe you made a mistake. Let the system reset.”

    (Days later:)

    Me: “I still can’t sign him up, and I am getting a strange error on the site.”

    Customer Service Rep: “There is a bug in the system and we are working on it. Can you please wait a couple of days?”

    (Days later:)

    Me: “I still can’t sign him up and I am still getting a strange error on the site.”

    Customer Service Rep: “I see this card still is registered to the old address. Please use that. The card on the new address is expired.”

    Me: “I also can’t sign him up using the old address.”

    Customer Service Rep: “Very strange. I’ll have it looked at.”

    (Days later:)

    Me: “What’s the progress?”

    Customer Service Rep: “On what?”

    Me: *explains*

    Customer Service Rep: *gives call center standard explanation on website use*

    Me: “Is there no way somebody there can try this card number?”

    Customer Service Rep: “We will call you back.”

    (Days later, after never being called:)

    Me: “What’s the status?”

    Customer Service Rep: “On what?”

    Me: *explains again*

    Customer Service Rep: “I have no records of such issue.”

    Me: “Can you restart the investigation, please?”

    Customer Service Rep: “No. For privacy reasons your father must be the on setting it up.”

    (Losing it, I hang up. Although along the way being tempted to “lose” dad’s card I always keep thinking someone will eventually get this simple issue and will fix it, if I only can get through to second line support behind this “wall.”. Months later, he really loses the card. Not wanting to call myself after I lost my cool, he calls for the replacement himself.)

    Dad: *explains*

    Customer Service Rep: “Mister who? We have no record of him owning a card.”

    (I have no idea how they are running this organization…)


    | UK | Coworkers, Health & Body, Technology

    (I am serving several customers at once while my colleague does other chores around the store. The latest customer brings a tub of soup to the counter to be warmed up.)

    Me: *to my colleague* “Can you put this on for me while I serve these customers?”

    Colleague: “No.”

    Me: “Sorry?”

    Colleague: “No, I can’t use the microwave.”

    Me: “Oh, it’s very simple. You just need to—”

    Colleague: “No, I won’t use the microwave. I’ll get cancer.”

    Me: “No, you won’t.”

    Colleague: “Yes, I will! Trust me; I know.”

    (My husband works as a radiation safety officer at the local hospital. I told him this later. He laughed.)

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