A guy who was born in Canada, grew up in Indonesia, went to high school in Australia, spent half a year in Hawaii, and ended up back in Canada.
This is my story...
DR's Corner
Friday, August 13, 2004

What is customer service?

So for the last week or so, I've had to deal with lots of customer service people regarding address changes. They call themselves different things, business operations associate, owner, etc, but in function, they are performing customer service.

With Bell, as everyone knows from my 2 previous posts, I've encountered really bad customer service. They keep telling me one thing, but don't show enough action to actually make me happy. What's really bad is that they never ever once said sorry or bothered to notify me when the tech was delayed or not coming. They just kept on saying, we'll have to re-schedule you and giving me time frames which was never kept. Because of this, I've un-subscribed from Sympatico and ExpressVu also. (To keep things fair, the customer service for both Sympatico and ExpressVu were very symphatetic and understanding of my situation.)

The mattress people have a similar problem to Bell. The guy was supposed to get there last night, and you guessed it, he changed it to today because of some stupid reason. Of course he decided to give us 4 pillows as an apology, but the same situation occurs. They kept saying one thing, but never did take action to deliver the product on time.

Here's an example from this morning. After I got on my train and sat down, even before the train got out of the station completely, it broke down. 10 minutes later, an announcement was made that we all had to walk to the end of the train because only the last carriage was still on the platform. To add to this, we were told that the next train that came into the station would wait until all of us got on. So I walked in line to the end of the train, and guess what happened when I got out? The other train closed their doors and left. Half of our train were told to wait for the next one 10 minutes behind. Wonderful customer service ey? Tell us that the train would wait for us, and leave. In addition, no word of apology at all.

Which brings me to my question on customer service: Is it really just a service where companies try to diffuse a bad situation by telling customers BS? I mean, in all these cases, I was told by customer service people one thing, and something worse happens. Of course we can find many exemplary customer service people, but I just find that in lots of large companies especially, customers are treated like a number. If we complain, then tell us what we want to hear, even though it might not be the truth or possible, which of course makes us even angrier when we realize that we were lied to. I don't know how some companies live with bad customer service when it's taking away lots of business from them.

Oh well, just a Friday afternoon rant from me :)


Thursday, August 12, 2004

No more Bell for me

OK, to continue my rant from the previous post, here's a rant about Bell and some movers.
The next day after we got stood up by the Bell technician and mattress movers, I called Bell in the morning. (Note: My wife called last week to add my name to the account and give them our contact number while we don't have a phone). The customer service officer apologizes and says that it's apparently been re-scheduled for that day between 6 and 9. She also says that my name is not on account and they don't have a contact phone on file. Well, apparently their system just doesn't save after updates, since my wife specifically told them the week before about the changes. So I put my wife on a conference call and get this solved.

So at 6 o'clock, I'm at my condo waiting for the mattress guy and Bell guy to come in. 7.30 pm, no Bell guy, no mattress guy, I have a bad feeling that this is going to be just like the day before. I call the mattress guy, and he confirms that delivery is still on. I call Bell guy, says that it's still on but to call back at 8.45 if nothing happens yet. So we keep on waiting until 8.45. I call Bell, and the person says that the tech is overloaded and I need to call in the next day and make another appointment. My wife calls mattress guy, and he doesn't have a clue what's going on, so he gets an earful from my wife about being a professional business guy and knowing how to deliver goods on time :)

Today, I call Bell and guess what? Apparently, after being told that they weren't gonna make it last night, a tech indeed went to my condo at 9.25 ! I complain that I was told to re-schedule today and that the time frame was 5 to 9, not 9.25. Guy says that next appointment would be Aug 16. I blow a gasket, since this is really bad customer service. I mean, they stood us up twice in a row, had no courtesy to let us know by contacting us, wasted 6 hours of our time which should have been spent moving, and now they tell me that I have to wait almost a week for the tech to come in ??? How could you act this way to customers and expect them to be loyal to you? I've got satellite, phone and internet service with them, but apparently a small customer like me doesn't really matter to them. So I just cancelled all my services with Bell, and I'm gonna try my hardest to let everyone know about this. Probably an emotional and naive thing to do, since I can't get any phone service now (Sprint and Primus don't have service in our building yet), but at least I'm not doing any business with Bell for now. I've decided to get a Internet phone connection to replace a land line, hopefully I can get this done soon.

As for the mattress guy, there's still no news right now, and I'll be calling him soon.

How's that for frustrating things to happen to you during moving?

On a happier note, our condo is beautiful. It's a change going from a huge house to a small place, but it's nice, no more mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, and less to take care of. It's still mostly construction on the building though, and dusty/messy all around, probably gonna take a few months before it actually feels like a living place.

Long absence

Phew, that was a long absence from blogging. Well, to summarize, I'm attaching an email I sent to a couple of buddies yesterday regarding our move from house to condo. It pretty much sums up what's been going on the last few weeks, packing, getting ready to move, and on d-day ... read for yourself :)

- On Monday, our lawyer said that by 10.am Tuesday, our keys should have been released (ie, their lawyer receive everything from our lawyer and tell the concierge that we can get our keys) - Monday 10AM : On my way to pickup truck, call concierge, receive notice that keys haven't been released, wait few hours
Call lawyer, the secretary says "Oh, you guys were moving in today? I thought you weren't" $#%&%#^*%^* what the heck? Didn't your boss tell me yesterday that my keys should be ready today? anyway, she proceeds to rush it through courier which should get to the builder's lawyer at 12.30 at the latest. Well I think still good, coz I move at 1
- Grab the troops and load stuff into truck (cool truck, ramp, huge space)
- Finished loading stuff, still no news, get worried, call lawyer, concierge, builder's lawyer, back and forth .. lost count how many times.
- 12.45 Our piano movers came and still no keys, so they hang around for a bit, and might start charging by the hour ($100 / hr.. dang.. we should be movers) if nothing happens soon
- ok.. I find out that the courier indeed delivered a package to the builder's lawyer .. guess what IT WAS THE WRONG PACKAGE !!! Ok, by this time, I'm not sure what to do... I'm fuming, but I had a stomach ache since morning, back and forth to the washroom, so no energy left to scream and shout at anyone. Damn couriers
- The secretary said she'll trace the package and get back to me asap.
- I call the concierge and ask if the piano movers can just put the piano in the loading area and leave. She says ok, so I tell the piano guys to go. Pay the $150 bucks for moving.
- Eat pizza... hmmm.. extreme cheese, bacon and mushroom + creamy garlic sauce.... yumm m
- Oops.. that wasn't good for stomach.. back to washroom....
- 1.30 .. no news... start praying a lot
- 2.15 NEWS!!! .... BAD !!!!!! apparently piano wasn't allowed in the loading dock by security, concierge made a mistake. They have to start charging by the hour now... arghh.. my wife makes a bargain to take the piano back for $50. OK deal... $200 for taking piano, take it for a ride and bring it back ... wow.. people should start a piano walking service
- 2.17 (notice the 2 minute difference from last news) call secretary of lawyer, she calls and says package has been received, keys should be received anytime soon ... damn..better try call concierge to stop those piano guys ... ... she runs after those guys. ... 2.19 ... those guys already left . I apologize profusely for keep bugging the concierge, but she's a nice person...
- Call builder lawyer... keys have indeed been released.. ... piano movers come back.. my wife makes another deal.. extra $20 to bring it back to condo. .. so there u go ... poor movers :) back and forth u go ..
- We go to the building and move everything in 2.5 hours.
- OK, now by 5, we're supposed to get our new mattresses... apparently it's been postponed for 6 to 9 ... and Bell guy supposed to come between 5 and 9.
- Call the mattress guy, says it's today at 6 to 9 ... so have to wait.
- I go home shower, change, come back at 6 ... concierge says nobody came. So I wait till 7.30 .. Bell guy doesn't come.. have a bad feeling that he's not ever going to come that day even though Bell promised. Call Bell ... ..... some stupid system being updated, call again later... decide to give up on Bell... leave for dinner with everyone at around 8.
- Get home at 10 ... garbage not thrown... pack up garbage... find out that dollar store garbage bags.. are indeed that.. .GARBAGE ... they tear very easily on the slightest bump, giving me more things to do like double pack stuff....
- Sleep at 11 30...

Well.. that was a really really long post. Next post coming up regarding more annoying people I encountered during move..

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