Jan 10, 2009

My hardware store is part of a cooperative organization that is regularly ranked in the top ten businesses in America for excellent customer service. In fact it ranked first in the Home Improvement Store category, in the 2008 JD Powers survey. Our advantage in the survey came in the areas of the helpfulness and knowledge of the staff, as well as the quality of the store facility. In the other categories, quality of merchandise, price and sales events, we ranked only so-so. People love good customer service. Here's a hardware store joke. What's the difference between Home Depot and Ace Hardware? At Ace, there is no place for the employees to hide. Think about the times you have gone into a large retailer and tried to find someone to help you. If you found someone, they were not likely to be much help. People will pay a bit more to get the help they need. In the midst of the recession, good customer service will save you and bad or even indifferent service can kill you, or at least it would if I had my way. Case in point. You my recall that on Christmas Eve I got a call from the weasels at Visa letting me know that although they knew on December 19th that some criminals had stolen my Visa Debit Card number, they did nothing. That is, until December 24th, when the aforementioned crooks stole $423.80 from my account. Then Visa canceled my card. At that point it was personal to them. Visa claims that they didn't immediately cancel my card when they first detected the irregularity because they didn't want to inconvenience me. The reality is that everything Visa does is in its best interest. Screw the cardholder. So instead, they waited around for someone to make off with my money, which was so much less inconvenient. Next came the whole paperwork business; the trip to the credit union for the sworn affidavit and then the police report. Finally, the wait for the safe return of my cash, which the credit union people assured me would be about ten days. It has been 16 and counting. Fortunately, I have $423.80 to spare, not everyone is that lucky. If this was the grocery money, I would be screwed. Imagine my surprise and irritation when a knucklehead at Vantage West Credit Union notified me by mail today that; "In accordance with our Electronic Funds Transfer Agreement, we require that written notice of these fraudulent transactions (be sent to us?) within 10 business days in order to proceed with our investigation. As of today, we have not received written notification from you in this regard, as such, your pending fraud case has been closed." It was signed Andrea Sxxxx, Deposit Servicing Specialist II. At least she specializes in having her head up her arse. As Daughter Sneed would say, "The hits just keep on coming." Well, this pisses me off and not just because the first paragraph of Andrea's letter is incomplete. I like to think of myself as the Dirty Harry of bad customer service and Andrea just made my day. Come Monday morning, she will get her notification. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Megan said...

Oh boy oh boy!

Barbara said...

They most have spent at least $423 at Visa just communicating with you! And that's really been productive, yes? You may end up having to write this one off. Maybe you should just cancel your Visa card and move to American Express, as though Visa even cares about your account, which I can imagine they never collect interest on. Maybe in fact they would be doing more for you if you kept a large running balance the way most of America does!

Reya Mellicker said...

I hope you give her a MAJOR tune up.

How I miss good customer service! I remember when you could walk into a camera store (for instance) and the people behind the counter actually knew about the cameras they sold. Remember?

Nordstrom is still pretty good in terms of customer service. I can think of a couple of other stores, but mostly it's every person for him/herself.

I detest Home Depot. Love the hardware store joke.

Coffee Messiah said...

We were in a Office Depot yesterday. We never go into these stores much. We were there an hour looking around, and although there were at least 4 people working, and only 3 customers, not once were we spoken to.

That clinched it for not making any purchase at all.

Kurt said...

Long story short, you aren't responsible for charges you didn't make, no matter what they try.

Avid Reader said...

Damn!

Adrianne said...

I'm just catching up on blogs and am so sorry to hear about your trials with the CU. I'll dust off my old copy of Reg. E (which governs this painful process that you're going through) today -- although I'm not an expert on that reg, this doesn't sound (or smell) right to me (especially since they *know* they owe you the money).

bella rum said...

Crooks! All of 'em!

Love hardware humor. Home Depot sucks at customer service.