April 21st, 2007

doll

Best Buy Yet Again...

Well, not exactly them, but Retail Services, their credit card company. Not horrible service, but more stupid than anything.

I moved last fall, filed a change of address, and changed my address on my bills one by one as they were redirected the first month. On the Best Buy statement, I checked the "change of address/phone number" box on the front and wrote my new address on the back as directed. Easy enough, right? No.

The next month, the Best Buy bill shows up with a post office change of address label on it. It was sent to the old house. Mistakes happen,  no big deal. I check the box and fill out the form again. Next month, same deal. This goes on for a good five months, which I honestly should have found another way to stop but I kept forgetting about it until the bill showed up, always redirected. It also starts showing up later and later, until I start getting the statements at least a week after the bill is due. Finally, I decide to do something about it.

I signed up for their online bill pay and used it to change the address on my account. I get an email confirmation and all is well. A little less than a month later, I get a letter from them also confirming that I changed my address.  The thing is that they sent it almost three weeks ago. They sent it to the old address...To let me know that this was no longer my address. Brilliant!

Meanwhile, I still haven't got my statement for the month and the bill was due three days ago (I remembered it and paid online). Ten bucks says it's at the wrong house.

Online woes

I'd have to say this is the first freaking time I've encountered a lost package in the mail. It boggles my mind....This is a minor suck....but it is still some bad service.....


So here's the story:

Cake Mania for the Nintendo DS came out at the beginning of this month. I made my rounds to all the local game stores and they tell me that since no one pre-ordered it, they probably wouldn't be getting any in for a very long time. They tell me my best bet is to go online and get it...

So..my sneaky hubby decides to use a Circuit City gift card he got at work and order my game off circuitcity.com. He ordered it on the 10th and he paid extra for 3 day shipping. The game shipped out on the 11th...now here's where it gets kinda sucky.....

The game shipped from the Circuit City Marion, IL distribution center....which is 7 miles away from my house. It also happens to be where the husband works. (When he found out it was shipping from there, I don't see why he didn't call IC and see if he could pick the damn thing up, but that's another rant). The game went through the Marion Fed Ex processing center and for some strange reason, it got shipped up north to the main Fed Ex processing. The last information they had on it was April 12th at 9:41 p.m. saying it was on its way BACK to Marion. I should have gotten it on the 13th.

The husband tells me about this on the 19th. He's freaking out because he doesn't know what happened. I contacted Fed Ex. They said they would trace it until Tuesday, but I should call Circuit City and have them resend the package because it is obviously lost. So...right now Fed Ex is giving me some decent service to make up for them losing my package. I can totally get over that. Shit happens..

So I call Circuit City's 1-800 number to tell them what the Fed Ex people told me. Now, I'm not a racist person. But for the love of god, if you are going to be a damn customer service rep please be able to SPEAK CLEARLY!! I had to constantly have the person I was talking to repeat herself because I couldn't understand what she was saying. First she basically accused me of lying about not getting my game. I told her what the Fed Ex guy told me and she said she'd have to check with them. No problem. When she comes back on the line she tells me that I HAVEN'T spoken with Fed Ex because I'm waiting for a call back. WTF? I told her that I had just spoken with them 2 effing minutes before I called her!! I gave her the phone number and extension and the name of the guy I spoke with. I gave her the freaking reference number the dude gave me and she still accused me of lying!!!!!!!!

So after arguing with her about it for a few minutes, she agreed to resend my package. She gave me a few reference numbers, but I still haven't been e-mailed a tracking number for the new shipment. I e-mailed their customer service this morning to find out what is going on because I so don't want to deal with calling again. When my husband goes to work on Monday, he's just going to get in touch with Inventory Control and E-com to see what's going on and if it hasn't shipped, if he can pick it up.

But there's MORE Fed Ex suck. It just so happens that my cousin works at the Fed Ex that my package went through. I asked him if it was normal procedure to send something all the freaking way up north if it was going to end up 2 towns over from where it started. He told me that the night shift just wasn't paying attention to what they were doing, because it should have never left for Champaign, it should have been put on a delivery truck when it arrived at their place.

Gah. So he's going to look around when he goes to work to see if it was dropped or misplaced there. He's also going to keep a look out for the second one in case the hubby can't intercept it before it leaves the warehouse.

Arg! I'm just soo freaking frustrated. I want my game!! Oh, and on top of everything else, guess what the Gamestop, Electronic's Boutique, and Wal-Mart all have?!? The game that they told me they wouldn't be getting for a LOOONG time. Yup...I'm a tad pissed at that one.

So yeah, this isn't major bad service, but it still sucks.
afraid of happy endings

Resolution Center

This company called my parents last week and said that they were calling from Card Member Services, which is a company that handles one of my parents credit cards. The spoke with my Mom, and had woken her from a sound sleep (she works 3rd shift, and hadn't shut off the phone in the bedroom that day, for whatever reason).

They tell her about this program, where if she pays them $779, they will get the rates on all her credit cards reduced, etc etc etc. Mom agrees to it, gives them her credit card information, and goes back to sleep. They get the info in the mail a few days later, Dad asks me to look at it because it's fishy, even to him.

I look at it, and alarm bells are going off. I do some research on the company and find that they have had 11 complaints filed with the BBB in less than 3 months. I talk with my parents, we draft a letter stating that we want to cancel. We call their bank to block it, but the charge has already cleared. Card Member Services tells us to fill out a dispute form and once they have that, they can reverse the charges. We call and tell them that we want to cancel. They say that they will have to have their refund manager call us.

Refund manager calls us today, and says that they have my Mom on tape agreeing to everything, and that they won't be refunding the money as there are no red-flags on their end. She (umm... I, since she told me to be her for the conversation as she didn't want to deal with them), snapped at him, as he refused to let me finish a sentence and kept talking over me. He also tried to compare their business to McDonalds, saying that all companies have complaints with the BBB, and that if I checked the credit card companies out, they have complaints too (which they do... but theirs have all been resolved! only one of theirs has!). He ended up hanging up on me after telling me that we'd have a callback from them on Monday. Mom already knows to not answer the house phone on Monday.

I'm just so upset by all this! Yes, my parents are in debt up to their eyeballs... But they don't have to PAY someone to get them out of it! We've figured out a way to get things taken care of without having to resort to them doing that (transferring one of their 21.9% cards to one of my cards with a rate of 4.99%, and then I pay that card payment instead of rent, since I'm living with them right now, and borrowing from their retirement - as much as I wish they weren't doing that).

My parents are going to contact the attorney general on Monday about all this as well. Mom would normally NEVER do anything like this. They just called at the "right" time... for them. *sigh*

EDITED TO ADD:Resolution Center is the name of the company that called my parents. When Mom spoke with the representatives, they introduced themselves as "Jane Doe with Card Member Services," which was misleading. We didn't know that they were not actually my parents credit card company until we got the paperwork in the mail.

The guy I spoke with hung up on me as soon as he'd said we'd have a callback on Monday, not giving me a chance to tell him that I (my Mom) wouldn't be available until later in the day on Monday, due to working 3rd shift and sleeping during the day.

I think that a refund is due to my parents because they misrepresented themselves as being Card Member Services, when they have NO association with CMS at all. The paperwork we received also stated that there was a 7-day rescission period, which we were within (and still are, because of when Mom signed for the package).

My bad service moving story

I have to move soon, and while I'd dread it under normal circumstances, after last year's bad service from USA Movers, I'm really nervous about it.

I clicked on a Web site link that looked good. It offered to get quotes from a number of movers in my area and I could pick the one I wanted. That part worked--I heard from a number of movers by both email and telephone and listened to their pitches.

I was unhappy with the poor service I had gotten the previous year when I moved--it cost $1600 and even though the boxes were color coded and labeled which room they were going to (I used Smart Move tape), I still had to haul boxes clearly labeled KITCHEN from the upstairs bedroom. Little did I know I would look nostalgically back on that experience.

I got a series of calls from Movers USA and they were the lowest bidder. (The estimate was less than $1600, which sounded good since I established that the volume of stuff I was moving was pretty much the same.) This was AFTER they sent me a detailed inventory list in which I had to check off items I wanted moved and quantities so they knew it involved two beds, 4 dressers, one table, etc. I clearly noted that I had a safe that needed to be moved.

The movers show up on M-day. One of them spoke a little English but mostly Spanish, the other ones spoken Russian only, except for one who spoke a little English and mostly Russian, and he was the team lead. Communication would be problematic throughout the day.

They did not think my packing was good enough. I have two bookcases with shelving strips holding metal shelf supports for the glass shelves, and I took the glass shelves out and padded and packed them, they refused to move the bookcases with the supports in. They then spent time removing the supports. All when they were supposed to be moving things into the truck. They also made me sign a sheet saying I would pay for any additional packing material. Since all my stuff was in boxes, I was a little hesitant, but figured it would cover minor incidental stuff like taping parts of the bed frames together.

I don't know how they managed to stretch moving a 1,100 square foot townhouse with almost everything packed into an hours long process but I got bored with all their delays and went to the community center behind my townhouse and relaxed there. (With their poor grasp of English it would have been like teaching a pig to sing to nag them.) I gave them my cell phone number so they could call me to come back and answer questions. What I should have done was sent them away.

Finally, 9 hours later, they had the truck loaded. I tried to give them written directions to the new house but they refused in favor of having me lead the way. But they couldn't drive very fast, so I had a line of annoyed drivers behind me as I kept to 25 mph so they could keep up.

Here's where the service suckage starts. Before they would unload my stuff off their truck into the new house, I had to pay the bill right then and there, credit cards only. The bill they presented to me was 3 times what the estimate was.

I use a debit card, but I keep only enough money in it that I think I'll need (but I can move funds online, if necessary). I *hate* using my credit cards, and only use cards with low credit limits because I'm bad with credit, as evidenced by being nearly maxed out on my cards.

After I recovered from my shock, I offered to let them charge half of it (I could cover that much), and I'd give them a check for the rest (from a money market account with a good interest rate but they have a $250 minimum on writing a check off it). They refused. Cash or credit card only.

I called around trying a friend who could lend me $2000 for 24 hours (I was expecting a payment the next day) but (go figure) my friends didn't have a spare $2000 lying around. Finally, I was able to get a family member to agree to the loan but he was at a job interview and needed 90 minutes to actually HAVE the interview, and then drive to my new place.

They refused to unload the truck until he showed up. Meanwhile my new neighbors are trying to negotiate driving around a moving van parked on the street. Not a good way to get started in a new place.

It's getting later and later. I'm trying to get them started unloading the truck because it's getting dark, but they have orders from their boss not to let anything off the truck.

Finally my credit card bearing relative shows up (and he ended up getting the job, the only bright spot of the day), and they unload the truck. They clearly agreed to set up the beds before leaving and it was like pulling teeth to get them to set up my bed, and I don't know what they were doing when they were supposed to be setting up my son's bed, but they left without doing that.

The cherry on the top of this shit sundae? While signing the paperwork (including the credit card slips), I had to sign a statement saying if I disputed any of the charges, they would charge my credit card an additional $500. I protested but they were still unloading my stuff at that point and said if I didn't sign, they'd drive off with my stuff.

AND they charged me an additional fee for my TV and safe I put on the inventory, saying they always charged extra for heavy items.

It's been said experience is what you get when you don't get what you want. It's obvious I won't be using Movers USA again, and I'll probably space out the move over a month's time so I can move the boxes in my car, hire day laborers to load/unload the truck with furniture, and rent a non-UHaul truck to do my move. If I hire a mover at all, they'll only be moving heavy furniture, and I won't accept estimates, only firm prices.

But I keep figuring out ways to warn other folks about them so no one else has to have an experience as bad as mine.