Rant-Man’s Notebook: Customer Serviced Part 2, and Other Tales

When last we spoke, I was waiting not-so-patiently for my new computer to be delivered. Here’s what’s transpired since then. Last Wednesday I called the company (IO Sales of San Jose, CA, doing business online as eDOT Direct, though they also call themselves Advanced Vision) and asked where the computer is. They told me it would be here on Monday the 17th, and I told them that if it wasn’t I would cancel the order. That’s where we left off.

So Monday, there’s no computer. About 4:45 or so, I call them again, and talk to an argumentative young man who tried to explain to me that February 25 to March 17 is only 14 days. Never mind that they never told me it would take 14 days; actually, on March 6, the woman I spoke to told me it would take three days. In any case, the guy was so thick-headed I found myself yelling at him. I started to say something, and he cut me off with another mealy-mouthed excuse, so I said “I’m the customer; that means I’m right!” I was really fed up with them.

Here’s a tip if you work in customer service: don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. This idiot actually tried to tell me that the delivery was delayed because they had to verify my credit card, so it was my fault. He didn’t want to discuss the fact that it took them 11 days to figure that out, and then a week later forgot that they had already done it. He kept saying “we didn’t do anything wrong.” I told him that they hadn’t done anything right.

He ran through his excuses again and told me to be patient, that the Mac would be delivered “tomorrow or Wednesday.”

“I’M CANCELLING THE ORDER!” I screamed into the phone. He told me that I would have to pay the shipping charge for returning it. I told him that I certainly would not, that I would dispute the bill with the credit card company. I told him that their company has the worst customer service I have ever encountered in over thirty years, and that they ought to be put out of business.

He yelled back, “you should be out of business too, you stupid idiot!” and hung up the phone.

I called up my credit company and spoke to a very nice and helpful woman in the dispute resolution department. Told her the whole story, informed her that I had cancelled the order, but that I believed the company would fight the refund, so I wanted to get it on file immediately. She put me on hold and called the guy at IO Sales/eDOT/Advanced Vision/whatever other dubious name they operate under. Eventually she came back and told me that the guy had assured her the computer would be delivered on “Wednesday or Thursday” (gee, he told me Tuesday or Wednesday; truth-impaired or what?), and that I should just refuse the shipment and they would take it back. She also promised me that she would put a note in the file and make sure I got a full refund from them, with no shipping charge.

It was so nice to talk to a competent person who knew how to do her job instead of that fly-by-night incompetent who’s probably operating out of his garage and wouldn’t know customer service if it bit him on the butt.

The saga continues. Meanwhile I’m still shopping for a Mac.

In other news…

We have a new addition to the household. My oldest daughter had spent the last couple of months browsing ads online, finally finding one that caught her interest. She wanted to meet this one, so she answered the ad, and then I had to drive her (and the rest of the family) about 50 miles in the rain to meet him. His name is Duncan. That’s a good beginning, since my great-great-great-grandfather was named Duncan. It seemed like a good sign. He’s young, but very friendly and outgoing, and the whole family was immediately taken with him.

So what’s he like? Well, he’s black, about average size for his age, very intelligent and completely charming.

He’s nine weeks old, and he’s a labrador retriever.

Two of our cats took refuge inside the floorboards in the bathroom we recently demolished and only came out today. The third one set about laying plans for an assassination the moment he laid eyes on Duncan.

So far it’s interesting.

Before we drove to East Pootwaddle to pick up the dog, I led a five-mile hike for the Boy Scouts through the city of Sierra Madre, a wonderful little town best known for serving as the setting of the 1956 movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” It still looks the same. We assembled in a parking lot not far from where the pods were distributed, and the rain began to pick up. I told everybody that we could reschedule the hike if they wanted, that we didn’t have to do it in the rain, but that if anybody wanted to hike, I would lead it despite the rain. A few people bolted for their cars, but 22 of them decided to go for it. We were thoroughly drenched by the time we finished three hours later. My jacket finally dried out yesterday.

So, no, I do not have enough sense to come in out of the rain. But you knew that, didn’t you?

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