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Forcing You To Call Customer Service
Old 05-28-2019, 01:33 PM   #1
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Forcing You To Call Customer Service

This is just a rant, so may safely be ignored. Ignoring this would probably make your world a better place.


If Andy Rooney were still around, he would have a great bit to do on this topic, I'm sure.


It seems like if an organization doesn't want you to succeed at getting a problem straightened-out, they make you call instead of write.


They've got their 12 things that happen a lot figured out and you can do that online without any personal interaction. But if your issue doesn't fit, and you use their own "secure messaging system" to ask for assistance, they tell you that you need to call customer service.


They have two buttons to respond to everything sent through the "secure messaging system": 1) Use the web site and fix it yourself, or 2) Call.



Calling is a pain. You wait on hold for way too long, then you often get someone who doesn't have the tools or authority to solve your problem. So a complete waste of time.


Health insurance companies are famous for it, but what precipitated this post was a dispute with Fidelity Visa (really Elan Financial Services). A restaurant server altered the total (gave themselves a huge tip). In the past, I've just written a letter and the whole charge disappeared. Not with Elan. They wanted to me to fax my copy of the receipt, which I did, to the fax number they specified. It turned out they gave me the wrong fax number, but that's just more bungling of a different flavor.


So I write a message to get a status, and they respond, saying I need to call 866-729-8984



When I call in to get this thing rolling again after they lost my fax, they say I'm "selected for a survey". "Good", I think, at least I'll be able to give them feedback. Just "stay on the line at the end of the call". Fine. So the rep gives me the bad news that the fax number I used was the wrong one and gives me the good fax number. I stay on the line and sly rep that she was, doesn't hang up. She puts me on hold again. Ok, two can play at that game: I just sit there and listen to the music for a while. Then, when she realizes I'm not going anywhere, she brings out the "big guns": she transfers me back into the queue (at the number I called in the first place). I'd already been on the phone for a half an hour, so what's another 10 minutes? I wait. Finally another rep picks up the phone and I tell her I was just following instructions: waiting for the survey. Reluctantly, she actually does hang up and the survey begins. But now I'm afraid to rate the rep properly because it'll probably be attributed to the innocent transferee.



All of this could have been solved if they would have answered my written inquiry. And you wouldn't have had to listen to my rant. But thanks for listening.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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My empathy.

I've had some health issues lately and been fooled into calling Anthem. They have a neat feature on their VRU, after you accumulate an hour of hold time they send you to the "goodbye" queue, where your options are to hang up. My urologist was calling for a physician to physician consult on my behalf and they did that to him.

When I was last working we were talking about "customer care", it's truly "customer we don't care".
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:04 PM   #3
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The group tele number for my physician offers a multitude of options, press one if you are a doctor, press two if you need an appointment, etc. When I press option 5 (check on a referral status), I almost always get a canned response of "we are sorry all specialists are busy, please try again later, goodbye." Then I am disconnected and left to call back and go through the options once again. Good thing I am retired and have lots of free time!
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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To add insult to injury, many organizations, when you call C.S., taunt you with a recording about how "you can solve many problems by using our web site."

Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
T
Calling is a pain. You wait on hold for way too long, then you often get someone who doesn't have the tools or authority to solve your problem. So a complete waste of time.


:
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
To add insult to injury, many organizations, when you call C.S., taunt you with a recording about how "you can solve many problems by using our web site."
And if a problem could be solved that way, why wouldn't anyone in their right mind choose that option instead of the torture of trying to get a rep that is easily understandable and who can do more than quote out of a manual?
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
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And if a problem could be solved that way, why wouldn't anyone in their right mind choose that option instead of the torture of trying to get a rep that is easily understandable and who can do more than quote out of a manual?
I suppose that they've found that it drives enough "on-the-fence" people who'd rather talk to a human to hang up and try to resolve the issue on-line, but I agree with you. Typically I'm on the phone because I'm trying to do something the web site won't do. Airline web sites are a good example.

Two additional irritants: the periodic "Please continue to hold. Your call is important to us." (Apparently it's not.) Also- interruptions with commercials for the service.

At least Apple let me choose from a few types of on-hold music or none at all when I called with a login issue this morning!
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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Someone put a $3 charge on my Elan card for a donation to a charity in Ireland. Guess they figured I was less likely to dispute it because it was a charity. Ummm...nope, after the BS charity donation comes the big fraudulent charge. Called Elan, got a suspicious CSR. Had to lay it out for her what was likely about to happen to her company and that I was putting Elan on notice. She finally agreed to cancel the card and send another one.

A week later I got a six page request for information to "dispute" the transaction. Questions included who made the transaction? Was I present when the charge was made? Huh? I filled it out completely and faxed it back. The transaction was finally removed. Not very impressed with Elan.
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:59 PM   #8
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When I had a fraudulent charge from Elan ($5,000 to some charity I'd never heard of), I got no trouble at all, but several card holders had already been reporting the same charge, so that might have made a difference.
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:59 PM   #9
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"Your call is important to us.
Please stay on the line until your call
is no longer important to you."
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:09 PM   #10
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Don't forget "Please listen carefully because our options have changed."

Yeah, they changed about six years ago.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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The same issues arise when using the chat feature for customer service.

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Originally Posted by gwraigty View Post
the torture of trying to get a rep that is easily understandable and who can do more than quote out of a manual?
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:18 PM   #12
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“We are currently experiencing high call volume. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

Just another way of saying “we’ve cut back customer support reps, so you’ll have to wait.”
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:31 PM   #13
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If it's an option where you can pay more, you can do that online. If it's an option to where you can pay less, or cancel, you'll have to wait on hold for 37 minutes.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:39 PM   #14
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With some businesses, I need to talk to a human and bypass the endless level of menu options. I hit zero on the phone, yell "representative" to try to trigger it. Often, one of those works. But when it doesn't, it is maddening to try to get through that quicksand and looping around to the initial menu!
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:06 PM   #15
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Businesses love when you call because doing so gives them your current phone number, something they sell to others.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:14 PM   #16
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Last but not least: I have the greatest admiration for anybody who can speak two languages well enough to get a job using the language that is not their native one. Nevertheless, it can be tiring to discuss a complicated customer service issue with them, while trying to adapt to the unusual inflections, etc.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spock View Post
"Your call is important to us.
Please stay on the line until your call
is no longer important to you."
"To be accidentally disconnected, please press 5 now"
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:29 PM   #18
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What drives me crazy is that after you talk to a customer service rep and they promise to straighten it all out, nothing happens. When you call back to follow up, you start at step one with a completely new rep, a new promise and zero accountability. You can never go back to rep #1 and ask "what the hell happened? Why did you not fix it like you promised?"

Ask for a direct number to follow up to avoid the circus and you get nothing but a run around. I actually has a "supervisor" at AT&T claim she did not have her own number. I asked, "so if one of your kids has an accident at school, the principal just calls the 800 number?" Crickets....
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:53 PM   #19
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Mrs Scrapr was calling the local hospital admin dept to dispute an ER bill (long story) the 2nd prompt? If you are a lawyer press 2

yikes...unfortunately they are the only hospital in town

I can sign up for the NYT online....but I have to call to cancel.Intro period expired so subscription went from $8 to $16. I call.We're sorry to see you go. We have a special offer for you...$8/mo. No thanks. Would you believe $4/mo? Sure. Sounds great
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
“We are currently experiencing high call volume. Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

Just another way of saying “we’ve cut back customer support reps, so you’ll have to wait.”
Today, I phoned to book a cruise as the web site was saying 2 different things, so figured I'd talk to someone.
After pushing 3 buttons to get to the right submenu, it said: " Your wait time is over 1 hour"

I hung up, but I'm thinking I need to put this on my answering machine for spam callers...
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