I recently used Xoom.com to send money abroad and had a very frustrating experience. I used Xoom because it was cheaper and more convenient than doing an international wire transfer at my bank. I actually used a coupon code that waived the $9.99 credit card transaction fee as well. For convenience and my privacy, let’s just say I sent $20. Without the transaction fee, I should be charged $20, but instead a $49.98 charge showed up on my credit card. That’s an extra $19.98, which looks like they double-charged that transaction fee.
I purchased a Casio EX-Z75 digital camera about a year ago and for the most part it’s been working perfectly and it’s a very good camera. However, I didn’t use it for about 2 months or so and it seems the rechargeable lithium ion battery is dead (it’s a NP-20 battery). When I try to recharge it, the red light on the charger just keeps blinking. After 2 sessions of charging for several hours, I gave up. I searched online and found out a lot of people also had this problem with this camera’s battery.
I’ve been blogging for a while now but the reason there’s nothing before November 2003 is because my previous web host, Valuable Host, deleted all of my data before I could retrieve it. I probably mentioned them in the past several years ago, but I don’t think I have on this blog so I think it’s about time. The reason I even bring this up is because I was going through some old posts adding some tags, and it reminded me of Valuable Host. So here’s why Valuable Host sucks..
So a couple months ago, I switched my phone service to ViaTalk from SunRocket. ViaTalk so far has worked okay but their customer support is exceedingly poor. It’s my understanding that they received a huge influx of customers fleeing SunRocket which overloaded their support staff. But even now, support response times take weeks and months. I’m not kidding. I’m a light support user generally, but they took forever answering my support tickets, which were not complicated issues at all.
Okay so like the title says my car is currently in a body shop getting fixed up. I had an accident 3 months ago which was completely not my fault. I was coming out of an exit ramp and slowing down before merging onto the service road, when all of a sudden I got rear-ended. The car behind me obviously hit me and a third car hit the second car. Both were women. To quote the comedian Russell Peters – “I don’t create stereotypes, I just see them.” The ordeal begins…
Seriously. I can’t stand how incompetent people are that they can’t even complete simple tasks. In my last post I mentioned that I visited a med center to take care of some administrative issues regarding my mother’s health insurance. Well the reason for that visit was to fix a mispelling of my mother’s name on her insurance card. This was something that literally took 2 minutes but we were forced to go in person and wait an hour and a half.
I’m often amazed at how so many businesses and their customer-facing employees provide such poor customer service. As a web developer/consultant, almost everything I do is about customer service. Deadlines are to be met, work provided should meet/exceed expectations and stated requirements, and basically client needs should be taken care of. I really don’t know why/how businesses out there perpetually provide poor customer service and don’t do anything about it – I just know it’s really frustrating. Here are just some recent examples:
About a month ago, I signed for a trial membership over at Doba, a wholesale dropshipper directory. Basically it’s a list of different manufacturers and distributors that will dropship orders for you. For those unfamiliar with dropshipping, you take the order, forward it to the dropshipper, and they’ll ship the item to your customer. You charge the customer a retail price and the dropshipper charges you the wholesale price plus shipping fees. They will usually remain transparent in this process so the customer thinks you’ve sent them the product. So anyway, I called to cancel my trial membership yesterday and I only had to speak with the customer service rep for literally 2 minutes.
06/22/06 UPDATE: The guy trying to cancel the AOL account, Vincent Ferrari, was featured on a NBC segment with Matt Lauer and they played part of the his phone conversation. AOL has even issued a public apology to him. It doesn’t matter. If it has to take this much attention on the web and TV to make you issue one apology to one former customer, then there is something fundamentally very wrong with how your company does business. The rep apparently got fired according to AOL but I’m sure that was what he was trained to do. There’s no fixing this PR mess. See the NBC segment after the jump.
Originally posted 06/15/06:
Here’s another example of how AOL systematically works against its customers. Listen to this phone conversation of a guy just trying to cancel his account. It’s pretty unbelievable how the rep keeps refusing to just honor the caller’s wishes. If it were me I’d be pretty damn pissed off.
(Audio recording no longer available)
Remember my old rants about how America Online basically lied to me? Well, they’re still at it. And I’m not sure why they keep doing this. Their dial-up members are leaving in droves. It doesn’t really help your brand when you keep deceiving people like this.
A story in the Chicago Tribune describes how a man was persuaded to keep his AOL account for just $4.95 a month which included unlimited access but ended up getting charged $1,595.69.