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Inspired by Blogger Terrie Schepps posted question!

September 30, 2009

I see the perfect blog to answer….one that I had never had the freedom to be heard and my opinion registered! Boy, years of being taken advantage of as a consumer had built up until I no longer realized what a fight I had been engaged in every time I chose to be a customer.

Can You Complain? Information posted will be turned into an article. Good suggestions will be quoted and credited in the article.

Terrie Schepps explains: I’m looking for examples on how companies make it easy for customers to complain. I’m developing tips to give customers and alert them to why this is important to know before the purchase.

Here is my VERY LONG (NOT SURPRISING) RESPONSE! I had to post in the comment sections 3 times just to get this off of my chest.

OH Boy! Good Topic. Here I go!1. Vonage – I purchased Vonage for the first time and when I put the base together everything worked just fine, no problem, easy to set up, fine. A year or so later it needed to be replaced, in which they sent me a new one for free. It didn’t matter how many times I tried, I could not get it to work. I had to take a WHOLE day off of work, to go through each technician’s “mandatory questions” that they tried everything to resolve the problem for me. I asked what country he was in and it was India. I was escalated to the next technician, which was heading North, I spoke to the next technician, he was in Guam, and the accent was getting harder to notice. I finally was escalated while I was on my cell phone (because my Vonage was out) after 8 hours and dropped calls, and returning calls and starting each time from the beginning, and I say, “Look, I have been doing this for 8 hours, I work with computers, I have never had this problem, the base is simply defective and I don’t want to do the routine again, I have it memorized” and he said, “Sounds like it to me, we’ll replace it.” I said, “Where are you located?” He said, “Texas.”2. I have been working like crazy and I sent 2 e mails to Wachovia to tell them that I was not receiving my automatic bill payment to my work e-mail for my student loans and that I have no time to have to think about that. In order that I am not late, they have to do their part. They write me back that I am paid ahead. The bill day passes and I write them back I haven’t been notified, they send me a notification and I am behind and pay in full twice as much as I was expecting but what I owed so no problem. I realized once my job ended, I hadn’t received any of my bills. I call the number provided from an old e mail and for 2 days ever time I call my phone is knocked off of the line with no explanation. I finally decide that my credit is too important to wait for them to fix their phone lines so I call the main branch. It takes me 30 minutes to maneuver back into the personal student loan section. I find out that when your account becomes delinquent, the bank doesn’t want the people assigned to answer the phone handle the call, because a “big gun debt collector hired gun” has to deal with you. I am always very nice though, and I always have ammunition in hand of my attempts to avoid these situations, so I find all this out, and I pay up, things are cool, but when I got off the phone I thought about all those people who are deciding if it is worth it for them to pay their loans or feed their 3 kids, and if they don’t ever get through when they try to do the right thing, they certainly are not going to go much farther out of their way as I did to play hide and seek so I can give them another $1500 dollars…..and why is our country in debt?3. How come every time you call when you have a service (cell phone excellent example) that there is never a better rate for your phone habits? Until the day comes that you are switching companies and all of a sudden you get half off, and free this and free that and the kitchen sink …. oh by the way …. dating sites do that too. Just sign up for a month and they will offer you back for the next 3 months at a discount. If you sign up for Life Lock to protect your credit (best service ever) and back out at the last minute, you receive a code that gives you 10% off. Airlines don’t usually tell you this, but there are certain days you can fly across the country from NY to LA or WA for 86 as long as you call on Tuesday and leave on a Friday… if you pay for your gas with cash you get a couple cents off, I don’t have the time. I just am annoyed that nobody ever tells you!

I wasn’t done….I just hit the max limit:
How about this one, I am staying month after month at a hotel at normal rate of $89 nightly, then I negotiate a weekly rate to $65, then I find out if you stay a minimum of 2 months Extended Stay has a 40$ a night rate, so I ask for that rate and the say you have to pay 1400 up front, I said that’s fine, you have to sign a lease for 2 months, I say that’s fine, they said we are only allowed 25 occupants at that rate so I’ll have to ask my manager. I return 2 times during the week, found out what hotel had occupancy, and told him I was leaving on Sunday for the other hotel if his manager can not approve it (YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO WALK AND MEAN IT) and he all of a sudden had no problems, and he said any one staying in the hotel as a guest now will be allowed. Now come on, people generally go to a hotel for a night or a vacation …. I pretended I didn’t notice he was treating me like a blond.
I use to not be like this, but I was trained by going after a land lord who owed me my deposit and I was forced to get it back no matter how long it took, because I had to learn to protect myself before I left the farm to go to deal with the streets of New Jersey. I ended up on her doorstep on Easter when the whole family was there, I was mortified, but I finally got the check and it cleared. Polite but firm, oh and make sure they know, you have amazing blogging skills. I did that one time when a maid service didn’t show up right before Thanksgiving, and I had family flying in and no way to do everything myself. You know what happened, they apologized up and down (I know they took a regular and dumped me) and I put the fear of god that I was going to ruin their reputation on line and tell all their big clients what happened and how I was treated. They offered to send someone for free, but it was worth saying no to make them worry for weeks on what I could do to them (which was nothing) for 80 bucks. Sometimes you pay to get rid of people.

One more one more! This is a HUGE ONE ….. I help everyone with this. You can call your credit card company and beg and plead and be the best payer in the world, but the truth is the more responsible you are the less they they bend. Interest rates are introductory and before people understand the fine print a worse deal than going to the mob and paying points on a loan, they are tripling their loan and stuck for around 10 years. So after I prove it to them by calling and begging for them to work with them and they drop 1% from 16% (unless they missed a payment they are paying 20 – 25%,) I tell the person, and if I hang up right now, and call a debt consolidation company that will not pay you a bill for 3 months until you drop the rate to 6%, that doesn’t affect your ability to negotiate and be fair. Nope. So that’s what always happens. Yes, credit goes down because the debt consolidator hold out the monthly payments you are giving them on time so they can secure the 6%, but your credit returns to normal as your debt to credit ratio goes down and you are out of debt if you don’t open any more credit cards and stop spending money like a rock star. So – what are you going to do? You have to be creative. Here’s another one: a UPS driver’s wife is pregnant, and he is fretting, because he knows he will retire with UPS, but will never be able to afford college for his child. His friend said, “If I told you 4 year degree in college would cost you $10,000 right now, could you afford that?” He said, “Yeah, of course, but come on.” his friend shopped the colleges, and it was a no brainer. The college agrees that the child of this couple can have a 4 year degree ….. it’s a bet. Is the child going to 1) be born 2) survive 3) care about pursuing an education 4) willing to go to this college by the time s/he gets to be 18 after s/he does or does not graduate from high school without getting pregnant or joining the military. The soon to be father asked his friend, what is s/he doesn’t want to go to that college? My friend said, “That’s not your problem, you provided a college education, the choice that is made after that is out of your hands.” No offense, but I’m going to copy and paste this on to my blog, I don’t think I have anything left to complain about today to contribute to my work. Thanks! I’ll be sure to credit your blog and make it clear this was my response to your thoughts and your story, not mine.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2009 7:00 pm

    Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

    Peter Quinn

  2. September 30, 2009 11:11 pm

    Mr. Peter Quinn,

    You are quite the man with the plan for getting what you want and I don’t blame you for that. I wouldn’t even have known you were bullshitting me if it wasn’t the statement “I’m a long time reader”…..because that can only possibly be true of you being a long time reader personally, since you were taught to read as a child, that is.

    You see, there was no where to be a long time reader of my work. I only launched this site based off of an e mail I received from talk show host:

    Kirby Wilbur:

    The fact that Kirby took the time to read what I had submitted and
    take the time to acknowledge he received my letter, inspired me
    to write, and in doing so I have been healing, thinking and wasting
    time just for me, just for fun. The real work is going to have to begin
    when I get over the inital shock I had of where everybody was and
    what they were doing here. I use to go into different towns and would
    always ask, where do all the geeks hang out, because I can’t seem to
    find anything to do when I go on my assignments. Well, now I know……..

    and that will make it officially 1 week old – TOMORROW
    blog birth date September 24, 2009

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