October 16th, 2009

Apparently this craft store doesn't sell craft items. Clever, huh?

This is from a few weeks ago  but left me quite stunned, due to rather absurd employee stupidity and bad service.

I was looking for some basic craft construction paper - the kind you use in school for simple, cheap projects - and I decided to go to my local Michael's as I assumed they would have a large selection than some place like WalMart or Target. I also just enjoy browsing the store, which is full of fun stuff, especially for holiday seasons! I want to say now, that until this moment I'd never had a problem with Michael's.

I walk in and immediately notice the place is in an upheaval, as they're apparently not only stocking items but rearranging for some holiday displays. That's fine - the basic craft items are always in the same place anyway (I've been sent here before for random stuff by my mom and my boss). I've never bought construction paper there before, and the employees are obviously busy, so even though I'm in a hurry I decide I'll look for the paper myself - afterall, it's a well-organized store and construction paper is very common, so how hard can it be?

I literally went up and down all the isles on one side of the store - the side with all the craft pieces, straight down to the framing. Okaaay, maybe it's with the poster board and yarn for some reason... nope, not there either! Obviously it's not with the holiday decorations - that leaves only the isle displays! But, no luck there either.

Not wanting to be a bother, but still needing my construction paper I decide to approach an employee stocking items by the card paper (where I initially expected to find construction paper). Her response was, "I have no idea. Check the kid section, it's a couple of isles down. 9 or 10 maybe." I explained I already looked there and she tells me, "well look again, it must be there. Or ask someone else." Right. I double check and it's still not there. There's not even a sign or an empty space or anything for it. I find another employee who also tells me they're not sure where it is.

Third time's a charm, maybe? The next employee I find is by the poster board, in the back right corner. I explain the situation and he just stares at me. I stare back, a little uncomfortable and wondering if maybe I've got something in my teeth... until he says, "I don't think we carry that item." I explain it's a common craft item, sold everywhere, and as Michael's is a craft store, and is he sure they're not carrying any, is it maybe in the back room somewhere (I'm thinking they're just out). He then says, "I don't even know what that is and  I think you're making it up. I've never heard of construction paper, it sounds weird, and you're messing with me when I'm trying to do my job! We don't sell weird or imaginary stuff!"

I just stand there stunned for a bit and then walk away, to find a manager. The manager was VERY helpful, and informed me they indeed sold construction paper (and that it exists, to my relief, as I was starting to think I'd entered the Twilight Zone or something), but that they hadn't stocked it yet in the frenzy. She was kind enough to get me a pack from the back and check me out, apologizing profusely for her employees and that she'd speak to them. She offered me credit but I hardly ever shop there so I decline and just said thank you. Overall, it was just an incredibly strange situation and I just can't believe someone working at a craft store - let alone a human being - isn't aware of construction paper?? Is it not as common as I think it is? I assumed everyone must've come across it at some point or another during their childhood at least...
me

Yay for scams -- Phone Phun

Yesterday I checked my Bellsouth phone bill because it was about 60 bucks higher than I thought it would be. For the record, I do auto debit and don't usually check my phone bill line by line because I know what it generally should be, give or take a few bucks for text messaging. I accept reponsibility for this whole thing because if I had checked it sooner I'd only be out maybe 8.23 or 16 bucks or something, not more.

Well, the extra 60 bucks was from Bellsouth for something that was rather darn sneaky but it was technically one of those itty bitty lines on a service agreement that I agreed to, so I can't fault them. But then I noticed an extra 8.23 or so for "Third Party Charges" from Agora Solutions. I go back through my old phone bills and realize that I've been charged by Agora Solutions since Feb of this year.  In January I changed some of my services so I didn't really think much when my phone bill increased.  Again, my bad for not doing a line item check.

So I do a websearch on Agora. As you can see, they are complete scammers.

I give Agora a call and talk to "Elaina". For a company based in MN, "Elaina" has quite a heavy Indian accent. We muddle through the conversation. She says she has canceled the service. I ask what the IP address was of the computer that signed up. It's an IP based in MN . . . and I live in Georgia. She keeps repeating my full legal name and saying that I -- full legal name -- signed up for the service, but I NEVER use my full legal name unless I have to. It's on my phone account, driver's lisc, etc, but all magazines, other bills, etc are under my name, but not my full legal name. Oh, and the email address the confirmation was sent to? Never heard of it.

I call Bellsouth and ask them to block this service. The catch is that my cell phone is AT&T, so if I block third party billing I can't bundle my cell phone with my regular phone. The Bellsouth guy is rather nice and says that they scammed him too. Hmmm.

Call Agora back. I want to be fully refunded for every month. Elaina just keeps repeating that my service has been canceled. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Put on hold . . . and the call disconnects. Call and talk to Elaina again, ask to speak to the supervisor. Get to talk to "Shelia" who says they will credit my account for 3 months and it should show up in 1 to 2 billing cycles. I'm not holding my breath.

So I'm obviously pissed with Agora but am feeling let down by Bellsouth as well. If your own employees are being scammed, then why is the company still allowing random third party billing? I'm going to call Bellsouth again today to let them know, politely, that I'm dissapointed that they do not have an alert system in place. And I may be canceling my services with them.

Not really sure what I can do about Agora. A lot websites talking about how the company is a scam said they would file BBB reports, but I don't really see how that would help. It's not like Agora actually needs a high rating. I'm thinking about talking to some consumer reports people in local media.

BLAH!

snarky, daniel kitty, stfu, meow meow

Walgreens Mail Order - Where Everything Is Impossible.

So I'm currently on the hunt for a name and address of someone at Walgreens corporate that will actually read and possibly respond to a complaint letter regarding their mail order service. (Yes, I've googled and have the main address and phone, I need a particular name) So as I put together my letter of frothing rage, I thought I'd share the fun times with you.

Many moons ago I submitted a prescription to Walgreens Mail order... Collapse )

(no subject)

A link to some definite bad service (which I heard of from Derren Brown on Twitter):

http://www.jonathanmacdonald.com/?p=4024. (Apologies if it's not appropriate to post b_s stories that're off-site.)

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The worst thing? Stuff like this probably happens plenty often with underground staff, I feel lucky to avoid such service.

Worst I've had was having to talk to about five different staff members, in person and on the big 'Help' devices on the platform, being told completely different things each time just to find out that there were suddenly no longer any trains running to my destination and so I had to get a different train (one that had been running constantly just behind me) and go to a different location on the same line, and attempt to get another train or a bus to my destination. There were no announcements about this, and I was on the platform for around an hour and a half.
bridge

Canadian Tire

Ever had a moment where you were so disgusted with the service you asked for a refund on everything and went elsewhere?

Today, I had that moment.

I went into my local Canadian Tire on a time limit, 40 minutes to buy some windshield wipers and get those bad boys installed (I suck at this stuff.. so I wanted extra time).

I got into line with my purchase and was behind a lady with an accent (this is important I promise). She was trying to pay on a company credit card and for some reason they rang it through incorrectly and had to refund and redo it. I was waiting patiently and didn't say anything at all while standing in line so I heard the entire conversation. Finally the cashier hands the customer the receipt to sign, she signs it and the cashier scruntizes it and goes "I can't see your last name on it". Ok? You can't see my last name on my signature either - but apparently the cashier was having none of that and told the woman to sign her "full name". The woman was understandably put off going "But they match! I never sign like that!". "It's company policy ma'am". Yea okay... fine, company policy. The woman said something in closing about having to go through all of this and the cashier snapped "PARDON ME?" before the woman walked away.

That ALONE put me off... keep your trap shut, that was uncalled for and you should have just let the woman leave.

Ooooh how I wish that was the end of it. I push my items up onto the counter and am nice saying hello and smiling. The woman just... glares at me, okay.... asks if I want to donate for a tennis ball - no thank you.

Here's where it gets good! I hand her my credit card. She prints receipt, puts it onto the counter.

THEN PUTS HER HANDS ON IT AND STARTS VENTING ABOUT THE PREVIOUS WOMAN! I'm standing there eyeing my receipt longingly.. just wanting to sign it... she's going on about "Did you SEE they didn't even match! So much attitude, and they wonder why we have so many problems here with fraud, I couldn't even understand her!" (I'll note.. I understood her fine, she did have an accent, but it wasn't that heavy)

I just stood there with my mouth hanging open... lady, I am not your friend. If you want to vent about a customer go nuts - but don't freaking do it to ANOTHER customer.

Finally after a good few minutes of this - she takes a pen and literally SCRAWLS a giant X right through the middle of the line I'm supposed to sign and shoves the receipt at me.. I am just shaking my head at this point, signed it and ran.

I seriously wanted to just go back and be like "you know what? I don't want to give you my business if this is how you treat your customers not only in front of their faces but behind their backs as well".