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May 16th, 2008

Bank of America Bad service

Edit: My personal finances are NOT the bad service here, I added them in to make sense of what is going on. Im bad at managing my money, I openly admit it. The long story short is that I talked to three different people, asked them about my overdraft protection, and got 3 different answers. That's my whole gripe, in a nutshell.


recut, to save space.. here is the full storyCollapse )

Outsourcing at it's finest...

I was posting a customer suck about an eb at a photographer's lab when I remembered this bad service from my uncle.

So, my younger cousin has been in dance for a long time now. They do tons of recitals and stuff and she's really good and has tons of fun. So during the recitals and whatnot, there's this particular photographer who always comes in. He takes pictures during the dancing, and then afterwards he sets up backdrops for anyone who wants particular poses and the like. My uncle likes to get some pictures every now and then and send them home (he lives a few provinces away) since we don't get to see my cousin dance.

Now, from what I'd known of the photographer beforehand, I thought his stuff was a major ripoff. It was decent, but not amazingly professional or anything, and he charged a fortune. There's an absolutely AMAZING photographer near here who charges barely more than half of what this guy charges. But whatever...who am I to tell my uncle how to spend his money, right? This is not the bad service.

The bad service came during a photo shoot about four years ago. It was a ballet, and my cousin looked adorable in her outfit, so they got a nice shot done. At the time my uncle didn't have a lot of cash on him though, so he bought a large shot for himself and got the recording number so that he could go get more copies later.

So later he goes to the guy's shop, gives him the number, and orders a number of pictures for the family. I can't remember how many he got, but they were only 5X7's, and he ended up paying over $200 for them. He's asked to come pick them up in a few days.

So he comes and picks them up; they're in a manilla envelope. He drives home with them, opens up the envelope, and dumps them on the table. They look fine, so he's satisfied, but then he notices a slip of paper that came out of the envelope with the pictures. He picks it up, and guess what it is?

A reciept from WALMART, showing that the photographer had made his copies at their photo center, at a grand total cost to him of $18.50.

My uncle paid over $200 to this "professional" for what would have cost less than $20 at Walmart, had he had the copywrite to be allowed to do so.

I never really got the whole end of this story, but it involved a rather large arguement with the photographer and a demand for his $180 back. My uncle even addmitted that making the copies at Walmart is probably easier and cheaper for a photographer than having his own printing hardware, but the fact that he marked the price up by 9 times was just a little too much to swallow, and I agreed totally.

May. 16th, 2008

I just remembered this gem.  I don't think I ever left a store more pissed.

I went to the bullseye store, my favorite, to pick up a few things with my roommate.  Now, it was my turn to buy toilet paper.  We typically by the 20/24 pack, so I purposely chose the cheapest one.  It was 11-something.  We finish our shopping and check out.  The toilet paper rang up 13-something and I asked if the cashier could check the flyer. She does, and it's not there.  No big deal, I pay.  After we're done, my roommate waited for me while I went back to check the price.  Sure enough, the item that I bought had a tag for 11-something.  I was SURE to check that the tag was the same exact item I had; I know and understand that sometimes things aren't stocked where they should be.

Now, there was no sale sign, no sale tag.  It was a regular price tag.  If there was a sale sign, I would have taken it with me to the customer service desk so that I could show them.  My intention was so that they wouldn't have to go look once I got there - save time.  Since this was a regular tag, it was part of a long strip that spans the whole rack.  I'm not about to pull the ten-foot long price list out to show the customer service rep.

So I go up to Cust Service and tell her my problem.  I told her that I couldn't grab the price sticker since it was attached to the shelf.  The following ensues:

Her: It's not in the flyer, so it's not on sale.
Me: I understand it's not on sale, but the price tag is a regular tag, and it says 11-something, not 13-something.
Her: Well it's not on sale, so it's this price. 
Me: I know it's not on sale, but the REGULAR price is 11-something.  That's what the shelf says.
Her: Bring it to me. 
Me: What?
Her: Bring me the tag.  That's the only way I can change the price.

Now, I'm pissed.  She's not listening to me at all and she's being all uppity in her tone.  I explained to her how I would have brought the tag if there was one to bring.  But I didn't feel like it was my responsibility to BRING any tag to her.  I was trying to be helpful.  I explained to her that it seems like it's simply a pricing mistake (perhaps the prices were changed and the computer missed this one.)  She insists that I "go get the tag" for her.  Now, I could have gone and taken down the big long tag and ruin the shelf, but that's not necessary.  I would have been being a jerk.  I asked for a manager, who just gave me my money back, without even checking. 

Even though it worked out in the end, I wished that they would have checked the tag, admitted the mistake or showed me that I was wrong if that was the case.  Neither of them paid enough mind to the TP I had, so I know that it was unlikely that they checked the price later.  I just was completely dumbfounded.  I've never heard of a customer being demanded to prove that the price is what it is.  The whole situation really just irked me.

May. 16th, 2008

I got a call from Charter this morning--apparently I didn't pay my cable bill for May.

That's because I had absent-mindedly paid it twice last month, and my bill said I had a balance of -$111.86, i.e., they owe me.

I explained this to the lady, and she said I still had to make a payment. So, I just did an online payment for $1.00. It probably will cost them more than that to process it.

WTF???? Calling and harrassing people to pay money who don't owe it to you? Is that legal??

Insane with anger

I placed an order with some little gaming site I hadn't heard of before, called Insane with Game. The game I ordered, while an older one, had no additional notes stating that it was in back-order or completely out of stock. In fact, underneath was a little note reading that it would ship in 3-5 business days. Happily, I placed my order, pleasantly looking forward to my new game. That was April 28th.

You may note that it is now May 16th. THIRTEEN business days since I placed my order.  I do not live in Taiwan (no offense to people who do live there). I live in America. I live ON THE SAME COAST AS YOUR STORE.

To make things even better, you will not respond to a single email I have sent you, and my count is currently at four.

Consider my order canceled.

I hope a GameStop opens up next door  and puts you all out of business.

Optician Woes

Let us skip back a year to eighteen months to my last eye test. I needed the test, and I needed new glasses in a hurry because I had an interview. Because of this, rather than booking in at my usual opticians I went with another one that could see me sooner.

Now, let me first admit that I am hard on my glasses. I can see very little without them, and I don't like contact lenses, which means I live in them pretty much. While they are never off my face long enough to get sat on or stood on, they get hit by anything *I* get hit by or walk into, and may well get caught in the occasional jumper if I forget to take them off before I pull them off. I know all of this and asked the optician for a fairly tough frame. Got talked into anti-scratch and anti-reflective lenses, paid my cash (my employer paid £60, but even then there was a fair bit for me to pay) and came back to get them in a few days.

Didn't like the anti-reflective lenses. They showed up the tiniest smudge. In the first few weeks I polished them fifty times a day until I got used to looking through smudges. But I shrugged and bore that.

First major issue didn't come until I was only holiday in America a few months later. I'd met a friend there, we were quite happily shopping when boom, lens falls out. Fortunately I'd brought my old prescription sunglasses with me and switched to them while my friend took my glasses to her optician to be fixed and the screw replaced.

Back home, I take the glasses in and complain. They check them, say they're obviously find now and give me... a screwdriver. Just in case. Lovely.

Not long after, problem two, one arm is starting to jut about a centimetre to the side of my ear. Again, I take them in, explain it's just been wear and tear and can they adjust them? They adjust them but basically accuse me of having an accident with them and lying about it.

Skip to now. The glasses by now are bnot looking so good, and despite the anti scratch coating have somehow acquired a scratch across one lens. Add to this some vision issues and I figure go get an eyetest and new glasses. So, I go back to my old optician.

The good news: I'm not going blind(er).
The bad news: I've been walking around with a prescription that was TOO STRONG for me. A lot of the discomfort I suspected was blurriness from anti reflective lenses? Was the WRONG PRESCRIPTION.

Here is the difference:

OLD (WRONG) PRESCRIPTION
Right - -3 sphere 1.75 cyl and 45 axis
Left - -6 sphere 1.5 cyl and 155 axis

NEW (CORRECT) PRESCRIPTION
Right - -3 sphere and 2 cyl and 50 axis
Left - -5.75 sphere 2 cyl and 150 axis

Now what I need to know. This far on, do I have any comeback? I mean those glasses weren't cheap, and as I only get one £60 voucher from my employer every two years, new ones will be paid out of my own pocket. As they screwed up my prescription, is there anything I can do?


ETA:- AND when I called the (wrong prescription) optician up, I find they have the wrong date for the eye test/new glasses at that. They were INSISTENT it was Nov 06. Checking my records it was late April 07.

Doubletree O'Hare in Chicago

Should you ever be in the Chicago area, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you avoid the Doubletree O'Hare. While a lovely property, my recent experience has soured my liking for both the location and the chain.

Upon check-in this afternoon, I provided a credit card number (required) but informed the agent (Katie) that I would be paying by cheque at the end of my stay. The agent confirmed that this was okay, and that she would not run the credit card - it would merely be on file in case I did something stupid like set fire to the room. I even called ahead a few days ago to make sure that this would be okay; I'm a bit weird in that I prefer a paper trail for larger transactions, and this one was going to be almost $400.

Imagine my shock, then, when I found a $386.01 charge on my card about half an hour ago, from the Doubletree. I immediately protested the charge to the agent on duty at the front desk, Elizabeth, and found her attitude quite rude and unsympathetic. I now have to come in at 07.00 this morning to speak with the manager and have them call my bank to (hopefully) reverse the charges - and with luck, remove any overdraft fees that may go along with this whole mess.

While having my money returned to me is of course the prime objective, I feel it necessary to make a point to the hotel that I am NOT satisfied with this sort of treatment. I don't necessarily feel entitled to anything (though some gesture of apology would make me more inclined to stay at a Doubletree or family hotel in the future), but this sort of egregious oversight/mistake is not acceptable. Does anyone have any advice for how I can deal with this bad_service without turning it into a customers_suck?

(Oh, and in case I hadn't said it before... Avoid the Doubletree O'Hare in Chicago. The staff are slow and poorly trained, and when they make mistakes of epic proportions, they are surly and quite unhelpful.)

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