April 15th, 2009

How To Retain New Clients

Who loves letter format?

Dear Tax Preparer Place,

If you are in the business of preparing tax returns, and you tell your new clients that you will have their tax returns completed by Thursday (April 2), PERHAPS it might be a good idea to have their tax returns ready for pickup sometime before April 15. Or at least be able to deliver a solid answer to the question, "Are we going to have to file an extension?"

Seeing as it's now (past) the evening of April 14 and you have failed on these and many other levels*, perhaps you should review the helpful hints above.

Certainly this is a great way to ensure we'd like to pay you for your services next year. (FWIW, we haven't yet paid them for this year, since they haven't finished our taxes!)

With not a whole lot of love,

*Other levels include but are not limited to:
--receptionist not communicating to tax preparer that we were bringing in both business and personal taxes, even though I specified multiple times when making the appointment that it would be for BOTH business and personal taxes,
--tax preparer telling receptionist to tell me he would definitely call me back that evening or this morning but not actually doing that either (promises mean a lot to these people, apparently), and
--promising to e-mail important information about the business taxes that one of our partners needed to do her taxes (you guessed it, that hasn't been sent either).
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
Mind Fuck  By:  marumaru_san

Pizza! Pizza!

A couple of months ago, we drove 8 hours to TX to help a friend move (she was moving to where we live).  As her vehicle was already loaded on a trailer, I took her to run a couple of errands.  Since we had a house full of hungry kids, I decided to grab a couple of Little Caesar's pizzas because it would be cheap and quick.

We pull up at 11:15 and the place is dark.  Not sure if they are open, I get out and try the door.  They are and the hours on the window state they opened at 11:00.  My friend gets out and we go in to order pizzas.  There is one girl working and she doesn't look especially happy.  In the warmer behind her, I can see several boxed pizzas.  The menu says that cheese and pepperoni are cheap and readily available but you can order from a variety of other toppings.  I tell her I need a cheese and a pepperoni and she immediately says, "It's gonna be 15 minutes."  I thought it odd but said that was fine, we weren't in a hurry.  Plus, I also had a special order, 1/2 bacon-1/2 Canadian bacon.  "That'll be 20-25 minutes."  Okay, that's fine.  I shrug off the attitude she seemed to be giving me because she was the only one working and I figured someone called in or she was having a bad day, whatever.

We are standing around waiting and not FIVE minutes later a guy comes in and orders a cheese and a pepperoni and she turns and immediately hands him the pizzas.  At this point, based on what she had told me, he should have had to wait 10 minutes for those pizzas.  Still, I'm easy, it's a Saturday.  Fine.

We get back to the house and everyone is eating pizza.  I'm eating a slice of the bacon and notice what appears to be a slightly larger bacon bit, something I've run across before.  I bite into the pizza and start to chew and something goes CRUNCH!  I spit it out and look at it.  I show it to my husband (pretty sure I already know the answer) and say "What does this look like to you?"  "A rock?"  Yes, a ROCK!  Cooked into the pizza.  I nearly broke my freshly (like that Wednesday fresh) re-applied crown.  I'm too easy though, my crown stayed on so I didn't call to complain.  How would I have proved the rock came from the pizza anyway?

david tennant, 10

Burger King

I dunno if this is nessecarily "bad service", but it caught me a bit off gaurd. I went to Burger King to take part in their buy a value meal, get a kids meal for 99 cents. My son loves Spongebob, so it was a treat for him.

Went, ordered food at the drivethough, total came to something like $12 for my whopper and his meal. I asked, "Isn't the kids meal 99 cents?"

"Oh! Yeah drive around, I'll fix it," was the response I got.

I drive around, am waiting for the new total with my debit card in hand, and the cashier says to me, "Next time try to tell us you want the deal." Huh? "Well, we're just charging everyone the basic price unless they ask for the 99 cents deal. We're essentially losing money if we just give them all away for 99 cents."

Isn't that... the point of the sale? I mean, I got it for the right price, but lets say someone was making a bigger order and didn't notice the price difference. Can they do that? Why even participate in the sale? And WHY tell a customer "we're losing money if we do it"?

Jumping on the train...

But there is no train in the story... a post below about participation in ads made me recall a bad service story from not too long (concluded in February) ago.

I used to go to Rite-Aid for my prescriptions. They offer to match "all competitor's" drug prices (in other words, they use the Wal-Mart $4 list, and even have it behind the counter with Wal-Mart's logo on it). I ordered my large group of 7 prescriptions online and went to the store the next day to get them. Instead of the price being $40 (two of the drugs aren't on the list, so I pay my insurance co-pay for them, which is $10), it was nearly $100. I asked the tech about this, and she had the pharmacist (who has an attitude problem anyway) to correct the price. He huffily said "it's your responsibility to tell us every time you call in." He had forgotten or gotten cranky a couple times in the past, but had never said it with that much attitude, and when the other pharmacist was on duty, I never had a problem.

Now, I have a couple issues with that. First of all, if I called in and went through the phone fill process, there is no option to inform them of the $4 price... unless I chose to speak to a pharmacy rep each time (I checked). Second -- the person in front of me in line had the same problem, and the guy didn't cop an attitude with her.

The two drugs that didn't get reduced to $4 were charged at $41.99 and $23.99. Those prices were also incorrect, since my insurance would have covered the cost and reduced it to $10. Apparently, the Rite-Aid system will not reduce the price to $4 without manual intervention.

So, the next month, I wrote out a list of the prescriptions I was having filled, complete with the prescription number, name of drug, and "$4.00" beside each one that should have been that price, and I delivered it to the store. The pharmacy tech who took the list rolled her eyes, sighed, and said "it'll be after 2:00", turned her back, and didn't say another thing.

I switched to Kroger, half a mile down the road and their computer system automatically adjusts prices to match the apparently infamous list.

And to answer the question "why not Wal-Mart anyway?" -- because Wal-Mart is 12 miles down the road. These two places are under 3 miles from my house. And they offer the same deal. If they had no intention of offering it (Rite-Aid's marquis plainly said they matched all competitor prices) or making it ridiculously difficult, they shouldn't have offered it.

(no subject)

My university's dining hall marks each item with certain signs: a heart for "heart healthy," a square for "low fat," a triangle for "vegan," etc. The latter is of particular use to me as I've recently gone vegan, but as the menu items change every day, sometimes the signs get left off. Rarely a big deal, and any time that's happened the employees were super helpful and would even ask the chef to be sure, etc.

Today I was eyeing these red potatoes, by which the yellow triangle was notedly missing. The baked potatoes are not prepared with any sort of butter, so I decide to ask on the off-chance that they are, indeed, a-okay. I ask the nearest dining hall employee, explaining that sometimes the signs are left off and blah blah.

Me: I-
Her: REAL VEGETARIANS KNOW YOU CAN EAT POTATOES. THEY'RE NOT A MEAT. If you're still confused you can email the dietician.

I just blinked at her and said ".. oh" because honestly, I've never encountered any sort of reaction like that.. from any employee. Had I not been so shocked I would've corrected her (useful information for allergy purposes, after all), but I just walked away, leaving her to feel superior to the dumb poser-vegetarian or whatever she took me to be.

Maybe I should have said "dairy-free" right off the bat instead of "vegan," but you'd think since it was a common menu descriptor, the employees would be trained in the lingo, not to mention possess a working knowledge of the difference between vegan and vegetarian.. oh well.