Holly (promisemewings) wrote in bad_service,

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isn't the point of a customer service number to help the customer?

This irritated me greatly today on two levels.

Two weeks ago, I helped my mother place an order online with a company that specializes in collectible knives and weaponry (a gift for my brother). Today, she was wondering how come it hadn't shown up. So I checked my email for the confirmation email (since she doesn't have an email address of her own yet), and I discovered that in the last few days I had been sent another email verifying that the order had indeed shipped as of a week ago. I click open the email to check the information....and it's been sent to some other person in our town. Not only that, but it looks like the credit card information was also put under this other customer's name.

I have NO idea how this happened, seeing as how I was teaching my mother how to place an order online and we double-checked EVERYTHING before we confirmed the order. So my mother's sufficiently freaked out. She's new at using the Internet, and one of the first things she attempts to do--order something online--ends up screwing up her address AND credit card information. I wonder how the hell this even happened. So I call the customer service number on the website to try to get this straightened out. I don't know if this was the right thing to do, because I got NO help at all.

After I explain the situation to "Marilyn" on the other end (we placed an order a couple of weeks ago, we just got an email saying it's been sent to an address other than the one we put for our shipping info, how can we fix this?), she tells me, "I'm sorry, but we don't handle Internet orders. Any order that is placed online doesn't touch our hands." (.....Soooo, what's the point in having the customer service phone number displayed on their website and on their paper catalog?)

She then asks me what the address on the back of the catalog was that we ordered from and for the customer ID number. Here's the thing. I requested this catalog. It was sent to me. My address is on the back, the same as my mother's and the same as our shipping info. I give "Marilyn" our shipping address and customer ID number, and sure enough, she says that account order is under some other guy's name and NOT my mother's. "Marilyn" is then asking, "Are you sure you didn't order from someone else's catalog and use their number?" I don't freaking believe this! She's making it out like we're the ones who made the mistake! Of course I didn't order from someone else's catalog.

"Are you sure you got the customer ID number right?" YES! We double-checked everything before we placed the order; I'm trying to help my mom learn how to do this stuff.

"Well, this is the account that is being brought up when you give me that information." Well, it shouldn't be, because that's not the address we typed in when we put the info in online. There's a world of difference between promisemewings and "Harvey Finkelstein." (For example.)

"Do you know the person who the order was shipped to?" No. Just because he lives on the other side of the same town I live in doesn't mean I know him.

"Marilyn" once again says, "Well, I'm sorry, but we don't handle Internet orders." (THEN WHY BOTHER HAVING A CUSTOMER SERVICE NUMBER ONLINE?!!!! I didn't say that, but I was about ready to.) I got so frustrated with her not being able to help me (whether she knew how to or not, or was just being lazy, or really can't help handle an Internet order), so I asked to speak to her higher-up. I didn't get much further with the superior; at least she didn't give me the "we don't handle Internet orders" thing. She didn't want to admit that they were at fault for screwing up the order, but I let her know that I thought the fact that there is a customer service number listed both in their catalog and on their website means that they should be able to handle any problems from either a manual paper order or online. Not only that, but now that my mother's credit card number has been registered on their website under some other guy's name means that he could order anything he wants to from their website BECAUSE OF THEIR MISTAKE. NOT OURS. That constitutes as identity fraud. And now my mother's scared to try to order anything online again.

Our only course of action now (since the company doesn't want to own up to this mistake) is to call up Discover and report this fraud. We still lose out on the order, though, which is the cherry on top of this whole experience. But I swear...I'm even more bothered by the crappy customer service I got when I tried to straighten this out. I can't imagine how my mom could've dealt with it if she called. I mean, really. Like I said, why do they even bother having a customer service phone number online if they aren't going to deal with Internet orders?

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