Ahhhhh…the glories of working with enormous corporations that have us all by the short hairs. I’ve been scratching my head today, truly wondering what the hell is going on. Wondering whether someone put a whammy on me, or if my stars aren’t lined up correctly, or my horrorscope was not great today.
Or is it just that as much as giant companies like to project that they provide customer service, and are smiling, helpful, and just love us to death, that they’re just full of horse shit.
For TWO DAYS I have been trying to purchase a new phone for the MoH. Actually, today would be the third. It was to have been a Valentine’s Day present to help him with organization. I’ve been looking at the PDA’s and thinking that the Palm Treo 700wx Smartphone would be just the ticket. He’d have wireless access when clients don’t and his laptop is then not a help. Sounds great, right?
Day One: I ventured to the mall and the Verizon kiosk and asked the young lady if she could help me. (Quite the switch from the normal situation where I have to dodge the salesperson who wants to sell me a phone each time I walk by every other time I’ve happened by in the past…) She clearly hadn’t been working there long, so had to rely upon a young man who was also there. I should have known better. It was my car pool pick up day, and I never, ever thought it would take as long as it did to attempt to purchase a phone. Just call me Pollyanna.
So I needed the MoH’s social security number. Sure. That would be something I carry around. I don’t even carry mine around. Not a great idea in this day and age. So I did call the office to get it and things began to move along until we came to another roadblock. If the PDA was purchased and activated, his cell would no longer work. Picture being at a client’s and not being able to access anyone or anything and not know why. Not quite a Valentine, right? So…
I’d purchase the PDA, and then I’d go back after Valentine’s Day to have it activated, yadda, yadda, yadda.
They didn’t have the Treo I wanted in stock. Coincidentally, however, an associate (why do they call them that?) was soon to arrive and he would have one. Could I please wait?
Um. I know I was at the mall, but since the only reason I went there was to get the PDA, then why would I want to walk around? I’m not a window shopper. But it was a Valentine’s present, so I window shopped for thirty minutes and when I went back to the kiosk, ten minutes past the time I was told the associate would arrive, he still hadn’t.
And then I enquired about the other kiosk in the mall. I was told it was corporate. “You know, for business people,” the young woman informed me. Um…well not exactly. And I found out the hard way.
I told them I’d be back the next day when they had phones in stock and purchase it then, hurrying to get the kids and knowing I was already late.
Day Two: I got off at noon and went back to the mall. The rainstorm that everyone acted like they were surprised by had raged earilier, and it was still very blustery. In fact so much so, that the kiosk was closed.
So I walked to the “Corporate” kiosk to find out if they could help me. The very nice “new” employee there explained that the kiosk I had visited the previous day was a third party provider and that although they were authorized by Verizon to sell their products and provide service, they were in it to make money. Oh really? And Verizon Corporate isn’t?
So after trying to help me sort out whatever had already transpired with respect to the upgrade and pending purchase of the PDA, the young man had to climb up on the counter to look for the Treo I wanted.
They were out.
But there was a store across the street and perhaps I could go over there…
So I did.
And they told me since I wasn’t the Account Holder, I couldn’t purchase the MoH his valentine. In fact, even though I pay the bill each month, I couldn’t do a flipping thing.
Ladies and gentle men. Let’s all spell this word together: D-R-A-C-O-N-I-A-N business practice. What century are we living in? Oh. My. Goodness. If I wrote how I felt standing at that counter, my screen would ignite.
But! Because I had left a scathing voice message at the first kiosk about being deceived by their tactics and unprofessional practice, a new associate returned my message offering to lower the price of the PDA and throw in some accessories for free if I could make it over there before a certain time. Totally cut throat, now that I think of it, because he was scamming on the poor young woman I first worked with. Unbelievable. In fact, he said if I could show up the next day after a specific time, the deal was still good. But no, I couldn’t make it.
So no valentine present for the MoH. But when I called him to tell him (he was with a client…) he laughed and asked me if I knew how much he liked me. Yes, I do know, but it still didn’t make me feel any better. And I’m still pissed, but not beaten.
Day Three: So I got on line and decided to purchase one on line. But I should have known because there’s a whole system of checks and balances to make sure you are HE. The ACCOUNT HOLDER. The MAN. Not the wife. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.
The on-line helper chat box lady said, NO GO.
So after calling the MoH to tell him that unless he changes access in our account, Hell would freeze over before I could take care of this and then I’d require surgery to remove my tail between my legs and some helium to reinflate my wounded wonder woman ego.
Sometimes I really and truly detest the way things are set to default in our society. It SUCKS.
Moving right along.
But I was still not completely deterred, so I created an account for the MoH, called him and told him to email the temporary password he would be sent and logged in as him. I chose the PDA, and headed for checkout before realizing that if I continued, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to add this to our existing account. It would be on a new account, and what a potential nightmare to clean that one up.
So I got on with a new helper chat session type lady who wasn’t any help. No matter what I did, even acting as the MoH with his account info…it kept telling me that what I was trying to do was reserved for THE ACCOUNT HOLDER. How did it know it wasn’t him?
Totally stoopid. What a complete waste of SO MUCH TIME and EFFORT.
But you know what I got for Valentine’s Day from my sweetheart?
A weekend at the Four Seasons Ritz-Carlton Aviara. It was the surprise sealed in my valentine!
Funny how things work, huh?
We’ll figure out the PDA thing later.
Post Script: So just to convince you that not much has gone swimmingly well in the past couple of days (read can’t walk and chew gum at the same time and whatta dork…) we AREN’T staying at that particular hotel. We’re staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel — also completely swanky. But I didn’t realize this until AFTER I’d made reservations for dinner, etc. Um, do you think they do brain surgery? Jeez.