This is a short bit of very annoying bad service from the US College Board. For those of you unfamiliar with standardized testing in the US, the College Board is in charge of the infamous SAT test that high school students have to take to get into most colleges, as well as the GRE (Graduate Records Exam) that is required for admission to a lot of graduate schools.
Ever want to poke someone's eye out? Because I do.
My husband and I went to stay at the Hampton Inn on Wednesday the 5th because the power went out at my house. We arrived at about 10:00 PM, and right after we got into the room, we received a phone call from my mother saying the power was back on. My husband called the front desk and talked to a girl [whose name we got] about perhaps checking out without being charged. This girl said that as long as nothing in the room was astray and the bed was still made, we could leave without being charged. We were not given a receipt, since there was no charge to be had. We thought, "Great! What nice people!" and then apologized repeatedly for being pains in the butt.
Too bad this hotel turned into the real pain.
Today, I check my bank balance and notice a charge for $96.60. This overdrew my account and put me into the negative numbers. THANKFULLY, it's only a pending charge at this point, and so nothing has bounced yet. I put $100 into my account from savings [of which I don't have much] and called the hotel, KNOWING this is the charge's place of origin. I get on the phone with a guy named Jake, who tells me that the room was indeed charged, and there's nothing he can do to reverse it, but that the manager could change it and he would be in tomorrow or the next day. This does NOT help my situation with my bank.
Of course I'm pissed off, but the only other thing I can do is call the Hampton Complaint Line. So I call them and get on the phone with a woman named Brenda. She puts me on hold after getting my info and then comes back and says that the manager of that hotel will be in at 2:30 today [NOT tomorrow as I was informed] and that he would call me and straighten it out. In the meantime, she's filed an official complaint with that hotel. I thank this wonderfully helpful woman for her help and hang up.
About three minutes ago I get another call from Jake, the guy who says he can't do anything to reverse the charge. He says that he doesn't want me to have to wait for a manager and has already reversed the charge. Then he shortly says he's sorry and hangs up.
So, I was lied to three times [once about being charged, once about when the manager would be in, and once about whether Jake could reverse the charges] and, although I was given what I wanted in the end, it's still a huge pain in the ass: what if I hadn't checked my bank account? Every single one of my other pending charges [which amounts to four or five] would have bounced, thereby causing a $32 per charge bounce fee. You can bet your sweet fannies that Hampton would have been paying for each of those, had it happened. Thankfully, it didn't come to that. But it's still a huge pain to have to go through all the red tape. :P
I did pay off my Stafford right? I thought so, the devil Sallie Mae even sent me a confirmation e-mail.
But it appears no one told my college. Mom got a letter from the old college the other day saying that I should call Wells Fargo (I'm not sure I actually took that loan out with them... but who knows) because I'm not current and in danger of defaulting.
So, I call Wells Fargo and they don't have anything under my SSN for a loan.
I've never received a letter like this before.
I'm not sure if this is just vexing service or not. But I am very confused and so is Wells Fargo.
Hell, I'm old fashioned. I like using a camera that requires a film and putting my photos in to get developed. A few days later: hey presto, photos! There are a few photo developers near where I live but there's only one 'good one' really. Lately, they have not been impressing me.
My mum asked me to put in a disposable camera to get developed. I went in and put it down on the counter. Usually the person behind the counter asks what service I would like etc. Nope, this woman gets my details, fills them out on the packet and asks for eight pounds. I remembered thinking that was rather steep. I wasn't until I got outside and realised she had automatically charged me for an hour service. I know it's in their interests to make money but it would be nice to ask what service I would like/could afford. She did mumble something about how I was able to pick them up in a few hours but I was too busy putting my change into my purse.
Maybe it was my fault for not checking with her what service it was. I haven't used a disposable camera for a while so I just figured the price had shot up.
This begins on Saturday. This time I am putting a film from my camera in to be developed. I usually pay when I put the photos in but the woman serving me swatted the money away and said I could pay when I picked them up. Fine, I was going out later on that day and the extra cash meant extra drinks at the pub. Then, she turned to talk to her collegue without telling me when I could come back in to pick up the photos. I asked "So, should I come back in on Tuesday or something like that?" Shop Assistant *finding this really funny* "Oh no! They'll be in on Thursday!"
Fast forward to today (Thursday). Now the shop is closed tomorrow for a refit. So, when I went in, the shop was a bit chaotic. I couldn't find my little slip which had the ID of my photos on it - usually they don't bother taking it anyway. So I went up to the counter and the following occurred:
Me - I just want my photos! SA - Shop Assistant (who was actually the manager according to her nametag)
Me: "Hi there. I'm really sorry but I can't find my reciet slip. I'm here to pick up some photos." SA: *sighs really heavily* "What's the name?" Me: "Mac." SA: "Mac or Macson?" N.B. My real surname is sometimes confused with a similar sounding surname with "son" on the end of it. Me: "Mac." SA: "Mac or Macson?" Me: "Mac." SA: "Mac or Macson?" Me: *a tiny bit louder but not shouting* "Mac!" SA: *sighs heavily again* "When did you put them in?" Me: "Saturday, but the girl said I could pick them up...." *trails off when I see SA is not interested* SA: "They're not here." *makes a big deal of crossing a 6 inch distance to the other cupboard behind the counter* SA: "What's the address?" Me: "102 Mickey Mouse Lane" *obviously not my real address* SA: "Mac or Macson?" Me: *wondering if I have a speech impediment at this point* "Mac." SA: "Here's your photos. That's five pounds."
Throughout the whole exchange, SA was snappy and rather abrupt. I realise a lot of people come in within the slips and I apologised for not being able to find it. The irony was that it had got stuck behind my cinema card which I found when I was putting my change in my purse. I know you're probably stressed out and your shop looks a mess at the moment but do not take that out on me. And open your fucking ears, woman!
EDIT: Sorry to disappoint you folks but the above was just a typo and not Scottish slang. I meant to say "without the slips" but feel free to introduce it into your vocabulary ;-)
Today I got the, and please note, BABY SPINACH AND CHICKEN SALAD. She proceeded to put on lettuce first which they usually do so it didn't bother me. She then put on everything including the dressing...only no chicken. When she handed it to another employee to be bagged he asked me if that was everything. I said, "No, I think she forgot my chicken." he then turned and asked if it was there. She looked at me and said "Oh...well...you didn't specify" and it really pissed me off. I looked staight at her and in a smart-ass voice said, "Baby spinach....and CHICKEN salad" I know it was wrong of me, but it really made me angry that she was trying to make it my fault. After I got home I realized she didn't even put the spinach on the salad. I was so worried about getting chicken on it, I forgot about the spinach. So, she didn't put spinach on my salad, and would have forgotten the chicken if I wouldn't have noticed. I wish I knew where another Subway was. I can't part with the place.
What I don't understand about the trains is why does my express train go local when its supposed to be express. Then, about 5 stops before mine, the conductor makes an announcement that the train will be going express (and bypassing my stop) because it fell behind schedule by going local. The conducter then promises there is another train "right behind us" which passengera can take to the bypassed stops. Except ... There never is another train. It's all a lie. The promised train actually doesn't appear for another 10 minutes. So, that's another 15-20 minutes added to my ride cause of all the extra stops. There there's the other 10 minutes spent waiting for a phantom train. I just don't get it at all. Sometimes it makes me want to cry. I want to cry right now. I am finding myself turning into that crazy person who yells at the PA system on the train because I am just totally fed up with the b.s. bad service and lies told by conductors. Its even worse when they thank you for being patient, because most passengers aren't really patient. They are really just hostages.