Thursday, April 13, 2017

All I want is a Hammer, Internet Connection, and a basket order. That’s all I am asking for

Customer service calls, when done right, can be a sweet
thing.  (c) 2017 P.Lynne Designs
Customer service is not what it is cracked to be these days.  I am mean really people, I am tired of the automatic response unit, or ARU for short. I call it, Siri’s evil twin (Or Galaxy’s and Cortana’s, whoever you deal with on your device).  Here are the problems with the ARU and customer service.  Yes, it does help route the call in the direction that it is supposed to go.  That is the purpose, BUT it also does not allow you to talk to a human.  Here is my story (short, sweet, and to the point, I promise):
I have AT&T Uverse, the vain of my existence.  I had Time Warner Cable (Now Spectrum, as I am reminded of constantly from the commercials that play a million times a day), but when they kept on charging me over the amount that I was willing to pay, I called it quits in 2013, and got Uverse.  I have no problems with the cable (TV) nor phone, but I have had problems since month 5.  This has been an off and on problem.  There have been times when I would be connected, and then no connection.  Technicians would come out and say things like, “You have old wiring, let’s fix this”, “you have an old modem, let’s fix that”.  Finally, someone came out a year ago and solved the whole problem by rerouting the whole system.  So, I thought.
The problems came back 5 months ago.  Since at that time, I was a night owl, staying up until 6 or 7 in the morning (being an entrepreneur does that to you sometimes), I noticed that this interruption would go on throughout the night.  It would stop my work, video watching, and my Facebook gaming to a screeching halt, and 5 minutes later, act like it never did that.   Since I have been going to bed and waking up like normal folks for 2 weeks now, I have notice that it is doing it during the day too.  I have talked to customer service like a dozen times, changing passwords, rebooting the computer, and so on.  I use MS Outlook to send and retrieve emails, and now I have gotten to the point where I can send an email, but I cannot retrieve them.
I called an hour ago, and the Uverse ARU has a funny way of saying, “you are not speaking to a rep today. Not on my watch.”  Here how the convo went:
It goes through the normal “Hello, I see you are calling about the account associated with (xxx)xxx-xxxx.  Is that correct?”
Me: Yes
ARU:  How can I Help you?  You can speak to me in complete sentences (You really can’t, but eh).  What seems to be the problem?
Me: Internet Connection (there is no sub-category for cannot retrieve my emails on MS. Outlook 2016)
ARU (after repeating everything I said in its own little special way): I will run some tests to see what the problem is.
ARU: Still processing tests, please wait….
ARU: Still processing, sorry for the inconvenience….
At this point, I do not want to bore you, but this went on for 15 mins.  Finally, it said (and I am not joking) …. Wait for it…. This is getting good …..  “REBOOT YOUR COMPUTER”.  I have made a note on your account, and within 24 hours, and you have the same problems, give us a callback, and we will resume where we left off.  (Phone goes silent).
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  WHAT KIND OF TEXTBOOK CROCK IS THAT?  I could have done that myself without calling.  No transfer to a human, nothing.  I rather do chat online than this mess.
Note to companies everywhere:  get rid of your ARUs.  I know they are a wonderful convenience for your company, and it helps with efficiency and your quotas, but how does it help with mine, when I have not retrieved what I needed in the past two weeks.  I need to be as efficient with my business as you need to be with yours.  If you want to increase efficiency, HIRE MORE PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO WORK.  NOT IN INDIA, BUT THE UNITED STATES.    
Sorry, it turned into a rant, but that is the second problem, not enough people, who have a basic high school diploma are hired to work in these companies.  For some reason, and I do not need to know this fact, but it is an individual problem that people who did not receive their HS diploma or GED are not able to get a decent job, such as a customer service center call.  These companies feel that they need to hire someone in India and buy expensive equipment like ARUs to screen calls than to help people who need it the most.  A person should be able to articulate and understand how to give a solution to a situation, and I am sorry, but half of these people who are hired in these companies have thick accents, which can be hard to understand.
A hammer
I cannot find a hammer to save my SimCity’s mayoring life, and I have 24 hours (actually I have 22 hours) to find one. (I am also on my Ipad)
OK, it is a virtual hammer.  I have the real thing.  I have everything I need for the moment to build a building in SimCity BuildIt, but I really want a stupid hammer.
So, if you are not a gamer at all (I am not talking Mortal Combat, which I will never touch, I am talking about cute games here), you do not know what I am talking about, so let me give you a rundown of the game:
You are the mayor of your city.  You build it up, but you also have residents, businesses, things you can find in your “real” city (I named mine “Nope” at first, then recently changed it to “Walt Disney World 2”).  Anyway, I am on level 26, and I need a hammer.  I can buy from other players a hammer if I see one, but no one is selling one right now.  I call it my fun frustration.  I have tasks to fulfill within 24 hours or I have to start the process all over again, which this is my 4th time.  Oh, by the way, you have to please these people who take up residence, and 53% of the people are pleased with me being mayor at the moment.  
One the things I do not like about this game is it keeps going when you are not running it, and the other thing is if you run out of play money, you can use real money to buy play money and points, but I have not gotten to that point in my life yet.  I need my real money for real things in life, not a stupid virtual hammer.  I did that once with Cityville two years ago, and I still feel guilty for doing it since that time.
The hunt continues….
I will now return you to your regular reading channel.   Hope you enjoyed the commercial for SimCity BuildIt.
The changing of the guard, Basket style….
On the other hand, customer service can be a good thing.  I liked it when I was working at a call center. I want to give a shout out to one customer call center who has deserved it lately.  It is the Longaberger customer call center. 
Recently, our back office, websites, and other things received an upgrade, and if you have ever serviced customers in any direct selling company, such as Avon, Younique, Tupperware, et al…, you know what it is like to have customers who want their orders, and they want them two seconds after they have placed the order.   Well, the Longaberger system needed updating, but to me, TPTB (the Powers that be), waited to do that at the wrong time to start replacing back office stuff, especially around tax time. (I have put in a request to find my sales reports as we speak, which is the reason why I know the “send” portion of MS Outlook was working).
Anyway, I cannot find sales report (not uploaded), and so on.  I wrote them an email a couple weeks ago about an order I put in, and Customer service was on it.  They gave me the answer I needed without an ARU.  They have one, but another consultant told me about emailing them instead.
So, thank you, Longaberger Customer call center.  You rock. 

Meanwhile, I am still searching for hammers.   I will continue that game later.  Ohhh, Pinterest items.