After the third hack of my debit card, I headed off to a bank known to have uber-security. This house of cash, which calls itself a “store” (I found that very odd), can’t guarantee that cards won’t get compromised either; nevertheless, they promise quick resolution to such problems, if they occur.
I am still working on getting my automatic bill payments set up again. When this works, it’s glorious and time-saving, but when something goes wrong, it takes many quality hours to restore stability.
My greatest hassle thus far has been with an online music subscription I have; its customer service comes from a call center in the Philippines.
Being proactive, I called them as soon as I had a temporary card. The rep sounded as if she was truly across the world on a scratchy line that brutalized already compromised communication. No matter how I simplified what was going on with my account, she had trouble understanding it all.
Finally, it appeared we had a successful transaction, and I reminded her that I’d be calling her with permanent card numbers in about a week.
Instead, within a week (my permanent card had not arrived), the same call center phoned me, informing me of the imminent cancellation of my account. At that point, I re-explained my situation to the representative, who also sounded as if she were on the moon rather than an island in the Pacific. I am old enough to remember how bad Neil Armstrong’s voice sounded bounding back from the moon. Well, she sounded worse – and routinely complained that she could not hear me. So I had her call me back.
But we saw no improvement. Her English was also hardly fluent, and like the first representative I had spoken too, she just didn’t get the basic business nuances necessary to serve me, in this case, the blameless customer.
So, I gave her the new numbers and explained to her that the temporary card did not have my name on it. She seemed uncertain and perhaps suspected that I had some bamboozling in mind. But the transaction, she informed me, when she ran the numbers, finally went through.
Next, I informed her that this card would work for just one payment; I’d have to call her and give her permanent numbers soon.
“Okay,” she said, and proceeded to read to me a script,” Do you now give me permission to bill all future payments to this your YADA YADA YADA card?”
“No,” I repeated. “You will only be able to bill once. This is a temporary card.”
“Okay,” she replied. “Do you now give me permission to bill this payment to your YADA YADA YADA card with these YADA YADA YADA numbers — and all future payments?”
I took a deep breath, thinking that this mega-music company really didn’t care about me at all, since if they did, they would not be providing such deplorable service. Pink Floyd’s mantra was in the background, “All and all, you’re just another brick in the wall.”
Finally, and in the throes of exasperation, I replied, “Yes, I give you my permission.”
Truly, I believe that everyone on Earth deserves a good livelihood. But they also have to be able to do their jobs. Companies have a responsibility to make sure that our calls across the globe don’t strain us in any way.
I know that I am not alone in feeling betrayed by such lousy customer service. Of course, we deserve better. In truth, by remaining silent and accepting sub-par outcomes, we tell the greater corporate world that we will accept their abuse.
On the other hand, we can raise our voices and proclaim, “Enough.”