Sunday, October 2, 2011

Just When I Thought That Customer Service Could Not Get Any Worse, I Realize That I Was Naive.

We have all dealt with those mind-numbing situations that require the assistance of someone who is very courteous, yet spectacularly obtuse, because the thing [and it is a thing, one can insert anything into this space] we are paying for or have paid for is not in compliance with its purpose, ceased to function, kicked the bucket or simply put is broken.

Not only can it no longer be repaired, but as a valued customer you are expected to repair it yourself or haul the thing into the Distribution Deposit Decomposition Center, conveniently located in a different country. Alternatively, one is expected to pay for the replacement of the thing, because the repair person who has recently attempted aforementioned repair managed to destroy it beyond all recognition.

One is then asked to abandon reason, dignity and hope by contacting "customer service":

"Hello, someone was here to repair the thing and it is not working."

"The report from the tech says that the repair was completed."

"Unfortunately, it was not. The thing is not working. Could you send someone else?"

"The report says that the repair has been completed. Did you turn it on?"

You want me to do what? Turn it on? 
At this point I realize that persistence is futile. Time for escalation.
"Can I speak to your manager?"

"There is no manager here."

"You do not have a manager? Could you transfer me to the office?"

"There is no office."


While waiting for the disclosure that I am an involuntary participant of a new reality show called "punk your customer" or a test subject, I re-examine the purpose of my existence, the passage of time and my life and ultimately decide that this is not the hill I want to die on.

"Ms. Wasteoftime, this was most enlightening, but I have to go since my cat Spawn is performing his annual poetry recital. He bites those who are late."

For 10 minutes of sheer wish fulfillment, I highly recommend that you watch the most elaborate prank pulled on a call center here 


  1. Ms. Wasteoftime really gets around! I've run into her so many times. Last week we had the (dis)pleasure of dealing with her longtime colleague, Mr. Stubbornox.

    P.S.- That prank was hilarious!

  2. That was a damn good prank! I'm about to resort to simply not being a consumer of any goods or services anymore...

  3. Loved this post! Good customer service is a thing of past.

  4. I just tweet about it now and then companies call me asking what they can do to fix it and remove my tweet. Thanks for sharing the video, hilarious.

  5. @Vinny, I think a pre-requisite of employment for those jobs is to excel at getridofcustomer service.

    Yes, it was. 10 minutes of vicarious glee.:)

    @DocCyn, I know, right? Glorious vengeance.
    Loved the "they sound just like us".
    They took your money too, didn't they?
    Thinking about going Thoreau.

    @Barb, it's getting worse. They hire people to get rid of you rather than resolve problems they caused. *Sigh*

    @Nubian, that's a really good idea. Would be worth joining twitter.
    It was funny. Remembered and watched it after my SNAFU.

    @Laoch, agreed.

  6. I find it frustrating when the person you call isn't even in the same country as you. SO many companies these day are outsourcing their call centres.

  7. "persistence is futile" = hilarious turn of phrase

  8. Huh...I never got past this whole "customer sevrice" thing...never heard of it.

  9. @Sprite, me too. Especially here we could use those jobs locally. Global problem and annoying.

    @dbs, Yeah. Quite proud of that one.;)
    HQ hates it. *whispers winning*

    @Nari, back in the old days of the 20th century I am told they had it. We do not.:)

  10. "Good afternoon, this is [insert company name here], your business is very important to us. However, both of our technicians are with other other customers. Plus, it's after midnight in India, so you may have to wait a while. Expected wait time, 1 minute."
    "Thank you for holding. We totally cocked up the expected wait time. We meant to say 1 hour. Please listen to some pleasing whale song in the interval."
    "Crap! Are you still here? Sigh.....okay, Chip's scooter broke down on the side of the road when a bull fell off an overloaded truck. He's not expected in for another 2.5 hours. Please help yourself to whatever snacks are in your refrigerator while you wait."
    "STILL on hold? Well, that's just fuc....yes, hello, this is Chip. Please excuse my Southern Asian accent. How may I help you?"
    "Yes, hello, uh, Chip, my Ultradyne 5000 microwave doesn't seem to heat my food properly. Can you help?"
    "Okay, let's see what I can do to get you some help. Does it have any other symptoms?"
    "Well, when I turn it on, I get an erection."
    "Then what the hell are you complaining about????"

  11. @Al, still laughing.
    That pretty much sums it up, except for the side effect. Nice.:)

  12. Ah yes but guess what? Fido, a mobile phone company here has decided to capitalize on the very issue. It's hired locals,creating some jobs,and offers live prompt service and actually tries to help. Fido even has twitter reps that will DM , direct message, with you to ensure things are dealt with.
    If only more locals would move in this direction!

  13. Hello little moth,

    That's as it should be. If enough customers complain, maybe they'll return jobs to the local economies and save us the time of dealing with futility.
    One can only hope.


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