January 8th, 2007

Ikea Suck

This happened a while back, I remembered it when seeing an ad for Ikea's winter sale.

So, I bought a lot of furniture for my new house from Ikea because it's cheap but nice - hence pleasing both my dad and me. We went to get stuff on various trips, and this happened the last time we went.

We went to get 2 shelves to add to a bookcase we previously purchased. Simple, right? Now this particular range of bookcase has been selling there for years, and we didn't think there would be any hassle. But as I looked at the label to write down the number to collect it from the warehouse bit, I saw that there was a thing saying 'ask for assistance'. So I ask the guy standing by the nearest computer. He asks what I want, I tell him, he looks it up on the computer and prints out the price and information, telling us that we might have to go across the other side of the car park to an extra warehouse place to pick the shelves up, but we'd pay for them at the cashier here like normal. Okay, never done that before, it's the tiniest bit inconvenient (with all the other big furniture we're planning on buying) but that's fine.

So we get to the cashier, pay for all our other stuff, and show the cashier the printout. She says where we have to go to pick the shelves up, and we pay for them. It wasn't especially easy to find this extra warehouse, especially as it wasn't in view and car park lanes/directions/signs suck, but whatever. We get there, and join the (fairly long) queue. 15 minutes later, a woman comes to take our receipt, and comes back saying 'Oh..no, we don't have that in stock. We only had one in stock and it's gone. You'll have to go back to customer services to get a refund.' Ummm...wtf? Surely they'd know what was in stock by computer since the original guy I asked said it was fine, the printout said it was in stock, and the cashier charged us for the shelves without us even picking them up. And if they only had one in stock, when I wanted two anyway, why did nobody pick that up in the first place?!

So after driving back to customer service, and waiting in another queue for 20 mins to get a refund on a product we'd paid for but hadn't even seen, you can imagine we weren't in the best of moods.

Point of using computers for stock checks? Point of 'ask for assistance' signs? Anybody?


Someone representing the "BellSouth Yellow Pages Online Business Directory" has called me at work every fourth day for about three months now. I know it's every fourth day because after the half-dozenth call I started keeping track out of sheer "oh my god this is so horrible it's hilarious" delight.

How in the world do I get these people to back off?? Every time they call now I just say, "No we're not interested" and they protest with, "But but but I haven't even offered you something yet!" like it's some huge mystery as to why they are calling. A few times I've asked them to take us off their list and they say okay. I've asked to speak to their higher-up and told him to take us off the list and he says okay. At this point I just flat-out hang up on them which yes is very rude but this is getting ridiculous.
paul's new hair gay

CompUSA business solutions

Went to the CompUSA today, needed to get some equipment ASAP, otherwise I never really go there.
Headed over to the business counter, where there were 3 guys in suits, a woman who was behind the counter and obviously worked there, and one person I could not tell whether or not she worked there.  One of the guys was struggling to understand why you would need a piece of paper in the fax print try if you were going to send a fax (fax confirmation receipts evidently a new concept to him), one of the women, it seemed, decided her job was to watch as the rep on the fax worked on it.

One of the reps was on the phone for the person who was at the counter before me, and I guess I listened for a good 5 minutes to him calling people to find a piece of inventory.

The other rep answered the phone, which was directed at the tech dept, not business sales, and left the business sales to walk across the store to the tech department and stand in line for his customer on hold.

A few minutes go by, I look at my phone and it's 12:17 and the rep who was calling around for the cable says another store has them... I think "great, now he'll help me"... no such luck.  He takes the cable, I guess to return it, my fear is he was eaten by wolves.

The rep who was working on the fax never looked my way, he left and the woman who was watching him left too.  The other woman who I am not sure why she was around had disappeared at this point also.

The rep who went to wait in line got back, it was about 12:28 at this point, and he proceeded to tell the customer on the phone that the tech department was slammed and that the only way they were going to get an answer was to physically come to the store and stand in line to talk to the techs.  I looked over at the tech line and it was now 2 people with 2 techs talking to them.  He tells the customer he could take their number but that was not going to really do anyone any good.

Finally it's my turn.  I tell him the name of my company and it doesn't exist in their system.  This, I know is false as we have a long standing account with them, I tell him to try it again.  Yup, comes up..  He scans the items in, another rep appears and helps one of 6 people who have appeared.  My rep appears to blow a circuit and starts walking all around the place spinning and looking in every drawer he can find.  He wanders off, I don't say anything, I check my phone, it's 12:31.  I tap a note to myself to toss CompUSA business services a note about how although I get a discount with business services, the amount my employer has just paid for me to wait in line far exceeds the amount that we have saved.

A minute later the rep comes back, starts writing down numbers using a yellow highlighter (he was looking for a pen) - he enters a few things into the computer, takes my corp credit card, and goes to run it in the press, but now the customer behind me is on the press, so I wait a bit longer as the card gets pressed.

He asks if I have a pen as I now have to sign the receipt, nope... no pen... but he could have asked me during his long search for one.  I grab the yellow highlighter and sign my name in big bright yellow whooshies... he finally finds a pen and asks me to sign and I point out I already have signed.  He says his employers might think he did that.  I point out that they might think he signed my name with the little pen also, so I just trace the large shwoosy signature I had signed, and leave.

Well, I tried to leave.

Alarm goes off as I walk through the thing, so I come back in, he's busy now and waves me out.  I walk through the alarm again and a couple of people notice me walking out the front door so I decide to dance a little jig and clicked my heels together when I went through the front door.

Total time in there was about 30 minutes.  Total wait was around 25 minutes.  My total business savings was about $5.  Number of people I watched go through the 1 operating cash register up front was 12, but I wasn't paying attention at the beginning.

Poor Pharmacy service

I have terrible luck with pharmacies. One recent example:

I went to have a prescription filled on a Friday night. Most of the time I go to a different place, but this was the only one open until 10 pm and I needed the prescription that night. So I drop it off and come back two hours later.

There were two employees on duty, one of whom looked quite busy filling prescriptions, while the other was helping a customer in the aisle. She and the customer returned to the desk, completed a transaction, and I was next in line, waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting, while the entire time the pharmacy employee and the customer were having a casual conversation about something completely unrelated to pharmacy business. I smiled and waved. I was ignored. I cleared my throat. I was ignored. I said "hi there" and was ignored. For five minutes, while these two shot the breeze and pretended I wasn't right there at the cashier immediately underneath the "prescription pick-up" sign.

Seriously, when you make good money to do a job that directly affects the health of others, you are expected to provide good customer service. I was the only one in line - if her conversation was so important, she could have at least put it on hold for thirty seconds so I could get what I needed and get out.

Merry Christmas, you heathen.

This took place on the day after the the last night of Hanukkah this year at the Target store in Ithaca NY, which is a city in upstate NY (home to Cornell University and Ithaca College). It does have at least one synagogue (possibly two), so Judaism and Jewish people are not necesarily foreign concepts to the residents. I wasn't mad so much as amazed.

R = me!

C = Chick that works at Target Ithaca (in Customer Service!) and gives all people who interact with her hopelessly blank stares.

R: Hi, do you know when the Hanukkah stuff goes on sale?
C: I can't tell you that.
R: Huh?
C: Corporate decides when we have different promotional sales. Even if I knew, I couldn't tell you.
R: Its not a promotional sale, its holiday merchandise. I waited until after Hanukkah to buy a menorrah because I thought it'd be on sale.
C: *blank stare*
R: When a holiday ends, all the related merchandise goes on sale, right?
C: Right. So?
R: Hanukkah ended. Yesterday. So shouldn't the stuff go on sale very soon?
C: We don't decide when we put things on sale, corporate decides.
R: Halloween stuff goes on sale on November 1st. Valentine's Day stuff, February 15th. Xmas...
C: Christmas items go on sale after Christmas because its a holiday.
R: Right! So since yesterday was the last night of Hanukkah, the stuff will go on sale...
C: I don't know, corporate decides when we have promotional sales, not individual stores.


R: Ok, I guess I'll just call corporate or wait or something. Thanks. *I start to walk away*
C: You're welcome. Merry Christmas!
R: *stares* I'm jewish.
C: Huh? You are?
R: I just spent ten minutes arguing with you about a menorrah and Hanukkah decorations.
C: *blank stare, completely not taking in anything I'm saying* Ok. Merry Christmas.

(no subject)

I got one for you. See if you can top this!

So my car got stolen from my workplace at the end of october. I called the police, filled a police report, etc. They said they would contact me as soon as it was found. A few weeks go by, nothing, a few more weeks, still nothing. Finally on December 30th I get a letter in the mail saying they found my car... ON NOVEMBER 16TH! I read over the letter again and it was dated Dec 29th. So when I call the police department I get transfered three times, get told by this rather rude lady that the department ALWAYS notifies people on time (even when I pointed out that the notice is dated 45 days past the impound date, she just repeats herself), and finally I get someone tell me that the officer forgot to tell anyone that he found it. How does that happen?