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Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Dear Holzhauer Auto and Motorsports Group:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Best?

When Gideon was visiting me, he found a 2014 Dodge Charger he liked at your establishment. (What is it with my kids and muscle cars? Just teenage boys, I guess.)

We took a drive to Nashville, Illinois, and purchased the car on the spot.

Gideon save up $2,000 for the down payment.

We were assured that you had inspected the car and all was well. We purchased a warranty to be on the safe side.

We drove back to St. Louis, and arranged for Gideon and Eddie to come up this weekend to drive it back to Georgia.

Worst?

I took the car for safety and emission inspections to get it registered.

I bet you know what is coming.

It failed the safety inspection because it needed a new catalytic converter, engine mounts, an engine leak fixed, etc.

I think you knew this. That’s why we got such a good deal.

And your warranty doesn’t cover any of that. Of course. (So what good is it? I’d love to know.)

More than $6,500 later, the car is finally road worthy.

Happy about the car. Not happy about the 12-hour drive ahead.

Sigh.

It was worth it to see Gideon so happy, but I’ll be contacting you tomorrow for a discussion.

Talk to you later!
Beth

*Thanks, Rihanna!

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Dear Detroit Marriott at The Renaissance Center,

I attended my annual research conference in you this week. I am NOT a fan, and I will not be back (unless I have absolutely no choice).

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. Your staff is not prepared for guests. The line was 10 deep for check-in, and you had one person actually working. Three other employees — one of whom looked like a manager — were at the other end of the counter chatting. Do their eyes work? Couldn’t they see the line?
  2. Your building is not prepared for guests. There are six elevators “servicing” floors 40-70. Only two appeared to be working. A gang of fellow conferencers and I waited 10 minutes Thursday night for an elevator to take us down.
  3. Your events staff is not prepared for guests. Two thousand people attended the last in-person AEJMC conference (Toronto, 2019). That is standard for this conference. Yet nothing was set up to handle this influx of people. Your staff selected large rooms for small events (e.g., the University of South Carolina alumni breakfast featured three tables for eight in a cavernous room) and wee rooms for major events. For example, the Broadcast and Mobile Journalism group awards ceremony and reception was in the tiniest conference room I’ve ever seen. No tables. For an event that featured food and drinks. Group leaders who got to the event early drug in tables and chairs for the 50 or so attendees. Way to go, Marriott!
  4. Your technology support is not prepared for guests. This conference is primarily for journalism/mass communications professors. You know: People who communicate. They have devices that need to be charged. Outlets were few and far between.
This is the ONLY OUTLET in the room!

The various other problems fellow attendees and I experienced had to do with The Renaissance Center in general. It is, generously, an atrium-focused maze of wasted space.

Circulation Ring = CIRCLES OF HELL
Trust me: You can’t get there from here
No, you don’t really want to sit and meet/eat/work do you?

There is a shocking lack of open restaurants. Again, conference of 2,000+ people (and AEJMC was one of at least three going on at once). Hotel with 70 floors of rooms. Yet, it was hard to find a place to eat. Literally (see maze above) and because so many were closed. Note: There was a VERY bougie seafood restaurant open, but who wants to pay $75 for shrimp?

Desperation signage
Starbucks: closed
Another Starbucks: closed
Food court: mostly closed
Oh look! The open Burger King that I thought was only the stuff of legend.

Then there is the location. You are on the Detroit River. So a riverwalk with shops and restaurants would make sense. Apparently, it only makes sense to me. I would not say the United States side has ample commerce. The Canada side (Windsor) looks promising.

The Renaissance Center provides a great view of our northern neighbor.

But once again, you can’t get there from here if you don’t have a car.

I realize that the pandemic took a toll on the hospitality industry. That said, people are traveling again. Conferences are back in person. Do better, or you won’t have guests to piss off anymore.

Sincerely,
Bonvoy Member on Floor 47

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Dear UPS,

You SUCK. Truly and completely.

Scenario:

Gideon left his glasses at a friend’s house. Friend and friend’s mom sent them back via UPS. They never arrived. Tracking number came up as “invalid” on phone searches. A computer search turned it up in Alpharetta. Where? I don’t know. This is all the information I had:

Left at the front desk WHERE in Alpharetta? Friend and mom shipped from Brookhaven to Gideon in Savannah! (Note: Brookhaven is 20 miles away from Alpharetta, and both are more than 270 miles from Savannah.)

So I filed a claim.

A month went by with no answer.

I emailed you.

This is what you said:

Shan K., I can ASSURE you it was not delivered to the address.

I wrote back. (I TRIED to call, but was hung up on TWICE.)

Then Ana Z got involved.

  1. The delivery address was correct. I confirmed that with friend and friend’s mom and THE ACTUAL RECEIPT.
  2. They sent it from Brookhaven. The package ended up in Alpharetta.
  3. There are EIGHT UPS stores in Alpharetta.

I called ALL EIGHT stores looking for a Richard who was working there in March. The LAST store I called was the only one with a Richard. He happened to be working when I called.

Oh, yeah. It’s right here.

He confirmed that the address was correct. And then CHARGED me to have it resent.

Why? Because the package was sent originally from a different store. UPS stores are franchises. So Alpharetta is not responsible for Brookhaven.

So to recap:

  1. The first driver was lazy as hell. (Mailing address was accurate.)
  2. The claims process is a joke. (No updates/information.)
  3. Your customer service is beyond laughable. (Didn’t actually do anything and gave conflicting information.)
  4. I’m out $11.68 and time out of my life to deal with this hassle. (Evidence of your sucktitude.)
I paid the ransom money, and it arrived Friday.

YOU should have tracked down this package for me. I should not have had to call EIGHT stores to find one with an employee named Richard. And I want my $11.68 back.

Never again, UPS.

Sincerely,
A Former Customer

*Sorry, Stevie.

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Dear Sue,

You win.

Your water fitness class almost made me tap out. That would have been a first.

I don’t know if it is because it has been a while since I went to a class (<cough> six months <cough>) or whether it is because you are hard core.

Either way, I had jelly legs at the end of the class.

So thank you.

This pool is great for families (see water slides) but not so great for fitness courses in the deep end. I actually accidentally touched another participant because of the proximity. EEEK.

Not your fault.

I laughed when you shouted, “We always like men in here” to the man picking out a water noodle. To be fair, he did suggest he could be a shark among the mermaids (yuck).

And I appreciate that you gave the chatty ladies hell. (No, lady with pink hair, I don’t want to hear another word about your elbow, thankyouverymuch.)

Anyway, as that great sage Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “I’ll be back.”

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear State of Missouri Government:

LAWD have mercy. Y’all make being street legal SO DIFFICULT. Worse BY FAR than Georgia, and I didn’t think that was possible.

My suggestion for a new Missouri slogan: More backwards than Georgia.

Let’s recap:

I bought a car. In Ohio. The finance company owns the title. (So I thought, because that’s what the dealership said.)

Your tag office wanted me to have the finance company fill out a special form, have it notarized and sent back to me so I could take it to you.

Your tag office also wanted me to get a property tax waiver.

Your tag office sent me here:

It came pre-highlighted!

But they needed the form from the finance company too.

I spent two weeks trying to get a human being at the finance company to help me. No luck.

Then one day I come home from work, and there’s a FEDEX envelope on my welcome mat.

It’s from the dealership. It’s my official car title. Sitting RIGHT THERE in front of my door for the world to take.

Good LORD!

So I make an appointment and go back to the highlighted office.

Nope.

That’s the COUNTY office. I need St. Louis CITY. Downtown.

The County office gave me a helpful slip with the info.

Fine.

I take all my paperwork and go to City Hall.

It’s not Room 110.

It’s Room 115.

Room 115. Let’s take a closer look at that sign.
I can assure you that there are no cards anywhere. There also isn’t a suggestion box.

Once I got the waiver, I went to Room 111 to get the actual tag.

My view while waiting for service.

Then I waited again to get my Missouri driver’s license. Y’all charged me $28 for the privilege. And took two hours of my life.

Good news: It’s over. Lamar and I are legal.

(Lamar is my “new” whip. 😉 He and I are getting along just fine. But I did cry when the junkyard came to get my old girl.)

But I now see exactly why so many people here drive around with temporary tags.

Please add that suggestion box. I’ve got thoughts.

Your exasperated new neighbor,
Beth

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Y’all.

My 2021 was A YEAR. You know: You read about it.

As my new/old mom said, “It has not gone smoothly for you.”

No.

It went out with a bang, too.

Remember I had to have my car towed?

Well. Jeff, my service advisor, shared bad news with me the Monday after Christmas.

It’s dead. As in “needs a new motor” dead. “More than $6,000 to get it going” dead.

And the “new” engine has 123K miles on it.

My car is a 2008 VW Eos with 185K miles on it. It’s worth a third of the repair cost.

So. The new year will feature a new car.

But I’ve spent all my money on moving and a house. As you all know.

I don’t want a car payment and higher insurance.

My university is closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so I had time to investigate.

I found a newer version of my car for a very reasonable price.

Hello there!

The only hitch? It’s in Ohio. Sasha at the dealership said it would take four weeks to ship it.

No, no, no.

I’m writing this on a plane to Columbus. I’ll meet my car by noon, and we will bond on the nearly seven-hour drive back to St. Louis.

Wish me luck!
Beth

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Dear Santa,

Hey there! It’s been quite a year, amirite? Here I thought this year would be better. You brought us all vaccines, after all.

But no. Different year, same pandemic, different variants. Same stupid people prolonging the bullshit for everyone.

Sigh.

When I saw you recently, I asked for an end to the pandemic. I’d like one other thing, if you don’t mind:

Better customer service in the greater St. Louis area.

So far, I’ve had trouble with the following entities:

  • Spectrum (It took three visits from three technicians plus six phone calls to get my Internet/cable service installed. And my bill still isn’t right.)
  • All-Appliance Repair (Three visits — one from a COVID-positive tech no less — to get my ice maker working.)
  • The Chimney Sweepers (Brittany was great, but the fact remains that someone was supposed to come last week and didn’t. Brittany was a reschedule.)
  • St. Louis Towing (I waited 3.5 hours for a tow truck when my car stopped running on Olive Street. It was supposed to take 30 minutes.)
  • Suntrup Volkswagen (A return call telling me they received said car would be great.)

Everyone is very nice, but I’m bothered by the inefficiency. And that I have to stay on top of things.

So it would be great if you could give a little Kringle kick in the keister to service-oriented businesses.

Thank you, and I hope you have a merry COVID-free Christmas. Maybe you should just throw the presents down chimneys to minimize contact.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Brittany the Chimney Sweep,

You are an impressive young woman. I was shocked and tickled when you called me this morning to clarify my address before heading over. No, I don’t live in a condemned house on Coleman Street, so it’s a good thing you double-checked.

I like that you are Type A like I am.

And I like that you are a woman who is a chimney sweep.

That’s rare. And very cool.

Then this conversation blew my mind:

Me: “You probably get this all the time, but you are giving me a Scarlett Johansson vibe.”
You: “I do get that all the time. And I also model.”

Whaaaat?

A female chimney sweep and part-time model? You are FANTASTIC!

THEN we had a very girly conversation about spa services, and you gave me the name of your aesthetician.

I’m sure it was just another day for you, but it was a GREAT day for me.

And my fireplace is so clean.

Thank you!

Your fan,
Beth

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Dear Mike,

In my last post, I noted some, um, issues with my move — issues beyond those caused by the seller, my neighbor. Your moving company caused additional agita.

Let’s start with the fact that you were supposed to send three guys between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

I was there waiting at the storage unit by 10. I left just before noon to go sign the closing papers. My saintly realtor took my place while I was closing.

We had no way of knowing that you meant 10:30-11:30 Hawaii Time.

Your guys showed up just after 3. And there were only two of them. And these two had been on two other jobs previously. So they were tired. Moving SO SLOWLY. Great for you as you charge by the hour.

🙄

For THREE HOURS, you promised me that two more guys were coming. When they finally showed up, one left immediately. Again, third job of the day. The other stayed, but complained the whole time, talked to his baby mama on the phone, and barely did anything. And he was wearing slides. SLIDES!

Night fell.

I was DYING.

I couldn’t stand it. I started helping.

Yes, you read that right: I was paying your company to move my stuff, but I put myself to work.

My bruises are proof.

You sent two more sloths workers. Around 8 (8!), the storage unit was finally empty.

Let me remind you that one man, one woman and four teenage boys loaded the same size truck in less time than your “professionals.” And for the price of Zaxby’s.

Then it was time to unload at my house. Angry man left. The others stayed. Actually stepped up the pace. They wanted to be done as much as I wanted them to be done.

Everything was in a bit after midnight. MIDNIGHT, MIKE!

But then I overheard the two original guys talking about how they were going to get home. They don’t have cars. Their buses weren’t running. You — their boss who had scheduled them for three jobs in one day — told them to figure it out themselves. An Uber would be very expensive.

Sigh.

I drove your employees home, Mike.

Josh was going to walk back to just outside the Central West End. He apparently walked to work — a three-hour journey.

I don’t know how Jeff was going to get back to Washington Park, ILLINOIS.

I got back home around 3 a.m.

I think you should have given me a massive discount, but you didn’t.

I think the money I spent should go to your employees, but it won’t.

You thrive because you pay them $14 an hour, no benefits.

I told Josh and Jeff that Target pays $15 an hour with benefits.

I hope they take my advice.

More advice to anyone who will listen: Don’t use your company.

Sincerely,
Beth, a former customer

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Dear Mid-America Apartments:

I hate you with a white-hot rage. The temp of a thousand suns.

I hate you like Bette hated Joan.

I hate you like a high-school boyfriend hated shirts with sleeves (much to my father’s chagrin).

(I hate you so much, but I still don’t hate you as much as I hate Mitch McConnell.)

You installed “smart locks” a few months ago. Ours has never worked properly. Your maintenance folks have been out to fix it more than four times.

Last night, it wouldn’t open. Period.

I called the emergency line. Twice. Eddie called too.

Someone will be right over.

Someone did not come over.

Someone called.

The someone: We don’t do lockouts. We only do emergencies.
Me: This is an emergency. Our lock isn’t working. We need to get into our place. Don’t you have the special key to get into the garage?
Him: No. You’ll have to check with the leasing office.
Me: They don’t open until Monday.
Him: I guess you’ll have to wait until Monday.
Me: How are we supposed to get into our apartment?
Him: I don’t know. We only handle emergencies.
Me: This is an emergency.
Him: We don’t consider this an emergency. Don’t you have the garage door opener?
Me: If we had that, I wouldn’t be calling you, would I?

I hung up on him.

I mean … WHAT the ACTUAL F?!

So we borrowed an extension ladder from a friend. I hummed the “Mission Impossible” theme while Dominic shimmied up and saved the day.

I was TERRIFIED of what bad things could happen here.

We should not have had to do this. Your emergency line people should actually have the capacity to help.

And you should have installed locks that actually work.

I can’t wait until our lease is up. I will NEVER recommend your company/complexes.

Beyond vexed,
Beth

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