Category: Customer Service


On this day, ten years ago, I took my brand new car to work for the very first time.  It would get dubbed “The Toaster” by my friends in San Francisco.  I truly loved this underpowered box on wheels and it was fun to drive.

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I had a meeting with a very important new client and they were very unhappy because their drive array began to die on my first day of work for the company.  My predecessor had only done the most minimum of upgrades on their hardware. The motherboard and drive array were damaged when the four year old power supply failed.

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When I arrived onsite, the owner of the business was irritated and kept mentioning that the corporate Lawyer was out of the office at a client but would be returning soon and they would be discussing their legal strategy.  This is a company that relied on it’s email and they now did not have access to it.  I patiently explained that I was not sure what was wrong but that I would figure it out and offer a solution as soon as I could.  He took a deep breath and walked away still annoyed.

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When I figured out the problem and explained it to him, he asked why only the hard drives were replaced and I explained that I wasn’t sure that my recommendation would have been to replace the current hardware with the most energy efficient and reliable hardware possible.  I had to take the server back to the Depot in San Francisco to Marin and a co-worker had to drive both of us and the server back.  The client called and wanted to meet with us on Monday to discuss this.   On Sunday, I went to Santa Clara Honda and this is what I got.

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On Monday when the meeting began, the client asked what I would do for their Network.  I explained what I recommended and that was two new servers, a backup device and server software upgrades.  The client eventually agreed to all new workstations and computers as well as Notebooks for the executives.  In total about $150,000 worth of equipment.  He then asked how they could be assured that I would not be like the last five Field Engineers and I explained about buying this car as I dropped the keys on the table and explained the job, their business paid my salary.

 

NOTE:  This blog was recreated from backup files from a self hosted blog posted the day it happened.

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Starbucks randomly displays advertising that you are forced to endure before accessing their “free” wifi.  Very rarely is it for something that I might even remotely be interested in or willing to try.  This time it is for Citibank, which is a company that I would never willingly do business with.

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I guess I can thank them for paying for the free wifi, I guess…  Another online forced advertising fail because they are not reaching their intended audience.

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So when I bought my HP Envy 17 3d notebook in 2011, I also bought the $350 priority warranty with accidental damage protection.  It sort of paid for itself in the first year because they swapped out the unit 4 times to resolve heat related issues.

Today my notebook did a humpty dumpty and fell off the hood of my car. My fault. I challenged Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of Gravity and lost. So I called HP and followed the voice prompts telling them the device was a notebook and an envy model. The automated system transferred me to a lady who spoke English as a second language and I told her I dropped it. From the follow-up questions I knew I was going to have a problem and 20 minutes later she admits she cannot handle envy calls and transfers me. The next guy doesn’t want to transfer me and when I finally get a supervisor, 10 minutes later I have a box on the way.

This is why I recommend paying for the insurance because accidents happen when you least expect it and these repairs would have costed at least the price of the warrany. I had been planning to send it in because the keyboard was showing wear in the most annoying way.

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There was this guy sitting in Starbucks and he was getting frustrated trying to install Office 2013 on his new Windows 8 Lenovo notebook. He had purchased both at Fry’s Electronics. The confusion came from the fact that Lenovo installed Office 2010 and it asks for a key and will accepy the 2013 key but it wony work.  You have to uninstall the 2010 preload. So I helped him get everything setup and found out he also goes to American River College.

I wondet how this would have turned out if I had not of helped him. This should not happen and Microsoft should work with OEMs to ensure that it doesn’t.  Morw then likely the purchaser would try to return it and be denied a refund. Then they would eat the cost.

So I have been using Straight Talk for almost a year now and in that time the service has been pretty amazing but renewing each month is a chore.  Let’s start off with I never set anything to Auto-Renew or Auto-Bill because I just do not trust the companies to be honest and we have all heard about billing mistake nightmares.  I am not even sure if I can access my account online and getting through to a live representative who not only speaks English but truly understands it is difficult at best.

So I know tomorrow is the last day for my cycle and decided to pay today.  Well, the automated system wanted to ask too many questions to verify my identity to pay with a credit card that they had on file and that I had previously used to pay for my service.  That personally identifying information, the zip code for the billing address is often asked for in Pay At The Pump situations, where they business does not know you.  I have never had this problem with any of the other carriers or service based businesses in my life.  So I asked for an operator, who in the middle of the transaction says she needs to verify my security information and my account information.  I ask her why she is wasting my life and making this transaction so difficult.  She says she is following procedure and I ask her how their procedure could require me to go through these hoops just to add airtime to my plan when I can go to the store and purchase them, and add them without providing any additional information.  So I ask for a supervisor.

The supervisor comes on the line and asks for my phone number, keep in mind the automated system asked to verify it.  The first operator asked for it again as well.  Three times I have had to provide the same information.  Why?  I know that call monitoring software and help desk tracking and customer service software all allows for this to be done, I worked for a company that wrote software like this.  I explain that I just want to add air time and I do not want any automated payments or anything else, just a one time $45 Unlimited Monthly Airtime to add to my account.  I tell him the last 4 of the credit card and that I can provide the security code but I am not going to provide anything else.  He says ok.  Then he tells me that my service will expire on June 29.  That is when I decide that to hang up is better then to continue to waste my life.  I tell him I am done wasting my life and hang up.  Rude, yes.

He calls back.  Asking if he can please explain.  I tell him there is no reason to explain, either he does not understand something or he is being dishonest.  There is no way that I am going to pay for a month of cell phone service and get less then a month.  He explains that the service is only for 30 days and that it will be added today, the last day of the month and there are 31 days in the month.  I sit in stunned awe as he explains this to me.  My friend was sitting across from me and I made eye contact and he looked as bewildered as I did.  Now keep in mind, oral agreements like this can be contractually binding if all of the requirements for a contract are met.  I explained this to him and then asked him why he was wasting my life that it had now taken more then 30 minutes of my life to not refill the service on my account.  That I did not want to hear his explanation and that I would call the American Office tomorrow where I can speak to someone who understands how this works because they do not discount the service for February and that means they owe me two days.  Please do not call me back.  And I hung up.