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January 15th, 2009

Credit Union Suck

This was about a year ago....

I purchased gas @ a station near my friends house, not somewhere I regularly go, on Sept 27th. I got a receipt and saved it until it had cleared my account. It was posted as clearing my account on Sept. 29th so I tossed the receipt. Never went to this gas station again.

In early November, I logged in to my online banking and saw a charge from the same gas station. When I went into the details it said Sept 27th with the same trace #, amount, location, etc of the previous transaction that cleared my account back in September.

I called tele-services at my credit union to verify I was reading this correctly - that the charge had posted twice. Sure enough the person there confirmed it was in fact the same charge and to go to a branch to start a dispute. Ok, great.
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I got very, very annoying_service from the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway when I was trying to get home from Sheppard Station. On the southbound line, at about 7:51 pm, a subway was passing through. Perfect, usually I have to wait for five minutes for a subway nowadays at least because it seems they don't do enough maintenance on the lines so there are many, many delays. (and the new buses can't handle the cold or tall people but that is another rant for later).

So I wait on the side for people to get off first. The rule is, you wait on the side out of the way while the doors open, the people step out and you go in. Doors close. IDK if that makes any sense, but it's really inconvenient for people to get on while you're trying to get off, so I wait patiently for everyone to get off and then I get on. We're also not supposed to "rush the doors, but wait for the next train" as they announce this every single day several times over the PA system.

Anyway. Three tall, black guys get off. They aren't moving slowly, but at a normal male pace. (as in, not walking "gangsta style" all slow). They all get off and... the doors close. (ETA I am merely describing the guys because I remember, plz not to be saying I'm racist. Actually they weren't bad looking either but that was from me looking at them for half a second)

I yelled a very loud "fuck". I hate when that happens because I feel like I am being punished for obeying a rule that the TTC has always had: waiting for people to get off FIRST.

I am still annoyed. This service isn't cheap, either. At least the next subway was there in about five minutes.

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A belated update to this post about bad service from Origin.

We received our bill from our old place last week, and it was an estimated account. I scanned the bill and realised that they hadn't even come to read the meter on the 7th like Herbert told me they would, they'd come on the 6th. I hadn't actually been able to get anyone at the house on the 7th, and had been planning to reschedule it, but reading that date erased any bad feelings about not being there on the 7th.

So I took the opportunity to call Origin again, and this time got a woman called Emily. She was lovely. I explained the situation to her, and she has arranged someone to come today. When I asked what time I needed to be there, she put me on hold for a moment and told me that although it wasn't a service they usually offer, they would get the meter reader to call me on my mobile approximately an hour before he arrives! I was extremely grateful to her, and cannot imagine why A SUPERVISOR did not offer me that service on my previous phone call, especially since I made it clear how difficult it would be for me to get someone there to allow access to the meter.

Oh, and also? The supervisor told me to be there between 7am and 9pm - Emily told me their official hours of meter-reading are between 8am and MIDNIGHT. Herbert clearly didn't know his arse from his elbow.

So, assuming everything goes to plan and the meter reader does, in fact, call me, I should be on the road to getting this all fixed!

Insurance Suck

A few months ago I signed up for short term insurance because I had a gap of time between being dropped from my parents’ insurance and getting on my work insurance. I was told that if I canceled in advance I would get a refund for the unused months. I was signed up until January 1, but when I learned my work insurance would go into affect December 1, I called in the middle of November to let the short-term insurance company know that I would be cancelling early.

I didn’t speak with the man I signed up with, but instead one of his secretaries and just left the message with her. She asked my last name, and I said “Wilfert.” She thought I said “Wilson” but I correct her. So I just continued on my merry way until the start of January when I realized I had still not received a refund for my unused months.

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In a nutshell: I’m almost out over $100 because my last name is too difficult for human comprehension.

For the record the secretaries were very friendly, I was more made at the insurance agent with how rude he was and how he tried to push all the blame off on me. He didn’t even apologize for what happened. I understand mistakes happen, but it's important to work with people to fix them, not just blame your customers.

Lovely girl - non existant service at all

The National Gallery, on the kind of cold wet sunday afternoon that London specialises in, is buzzing with crowds.  The Gallery probably does more business in its shops, restaurants, and help desks on a Sunday than on any other day - and of course the great art is also attracting appreciative hordes.

But I have a specific aim - to buy a ticket for a lecture in March.  So I approach the section of the Information desk labeled "Information and Advance Tickets", behind which stands a delightful, softly spoken young lady of Eastern European origin.  She has a pile of brochures, a computer terminal and a Van Gogh Calendar tacked to the wall beside her.

Me: Hello.  I'd like to book a ticket for Andrew Graham-Dixon's lecture on the Sistine Chapel on March 20, please.

The NG assistant reaches uncertainly for a brochure.

Me: It's probably not in the brochure - it's just been rescheduled from January in a larger theatre...

She pauses, then continues to flick through the brochure with a puzzled expression.  Then she points to the page for January.

NG Assistant: It is passed.  It was last week.

Me:  It was cancelled and rescheduled for March 20...

She moves, not to the computer terminal but to the Wall Calendar, and checks a penciled entry.

NG Assistant:  It is sold out.

Me: Are you sure?

NG Assistant: Not really.  (peers at the calendar).  It might be something else that week that is sold out.

Me: (Looking at computer terminal) Can you check?

NG Assistant: Not really.

Me: Is it on the system?

NG Assistant: (stares at computer terminal with tredidation, but does approach it)  I don't know.

Me: How can I check?

NG Assistant: I don't know...

Me:  Could I try to buy a ticket on-line tomorrow?

NG Assistant: I don't know...  I will check

She picks up the brochure again, and flicks uncertainly through the last few pages.  I have time to glance down at the "comments" book on the counter. One entry leaps out.  "Customer Assistants who know how to use the computer system and can sell tickets would be a huge improvement". 

She is still unable to find the information about in-line booking. I give up.

Me: It's alright.  I'll try from home.  Thank you.

I take a copy of the brochure and wave it reassuringly as I back away.

When I glance back she is still standing sadly behind the sign "Information and Advance Tickets".

Arby's sucks!

So, a few days ago, I went to Arby's drive through to get some yummy food. I got two french dips, an order of curly fries, and two chocolate milkshakes.

And what follows is not one, but TWO bad experiences!Collapse )

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Public Transit fail!

I live in a small city for school, where hourly, shitty busses are the only way to get around. It's also in Northern Canada, so right now it's very cold(today was -37C before wind chill), which makes waiting for the busses painful.

The door to my college is about 30-35ft from the bus stop, and according to the school security staff(whom we asked about bus routines and etiquette after what happened), in the winter, it's the norm for students to wait inside for the busses to stop at the corner, at which point we go outside to board. The bus drivers usually understand this, and have no problem waiting for all of 10 seconds for students to run out and get in.

Today we had someone different. A few kids were out waiting by the stop instead of inside, and when the bus started to pull up(10 minutes late, but that's totally normal), the rest of us ran out to meet it. The kids who'd been waiting got in, as the rest of us started to line up, at which point the driver closed the doors in front of a my friend BJ's face and gave us a "No, sorry" brush-off wave, before driving off in an almost entirely empty bus(out of 30 seats, maybe 5-6 were full, including the four kids who had been outside).

The busses come once an hour, but it was the end of the school day(last class ends at 5:30, school closes at 6), so about 20 minutes into our wait, the doors were closed by security and we had to wait outside.

And that's my shitty service for today.

One of the guys in my program suggested we write a letter, but I don't know if that'll do anything. Thoughts? I mean, besides not being on time, today was actually a danger to our health, rather then just the usual inconvenience.

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