Monday, May 15, 2006

Customer Disservice

On Saturday I had to go to the library to pick up a package-- and this isn't so much a customer service issue or complaint so much as glowing example of the US Postal System at its "finest." Now I have nothing but the utmost respect for most mail carriers (although my current mail carrier is a different story altogether!). They bust their ass in some really shitty weather to make sure we still get those 215 credit card offers, 32 catalogs, 679 bills, and etc. day in and day out-- no I'm referring to the ones who work in the post office itself. The ones who sit at a desk, retrieve our packages from the back room, sell us stamps/passports/etc., the ones who are supposed to be representative of the US postal system.

So, anyway, I was at the post office patiently waiting my turn-- luckily the line was relatively short. But while waiting, one of the two people working was about to go on her break, before finding out that her coworker who had been there longer than she had, hadn't gone on his break yet.... She said-- "Well I'm due for my break too, I've been here since 9." I looked at my watch-- it was just after 11 am! Just over 2 hours of work-- and then gets a break?!? Then I thought to myself, no wonder people go postal-- I'd be inclined to "go postal" myself if I were a mail carrier busting my ass 6 days a week through any and every kind of weather while some of my coworkers were allowed to sit in a nice climate controlled building and take breaks every 2 hours or so...

And then it got me to thinking of the absolute WORST customer service I've EVER experienced. I was at Dominick's waiting in line for a fresh pizza that I'd ordered. It was a Friday, they were having their "Friday special" (large 1 topping pizza for $4.99)-- so there were A LOT of people also waiting for their pizzas. My pizza was ready and just as I got to the counter to pick it up and pay for it (over a half hour had passed at this point), the lady comes up to the register, she's about to ring me up-- her fingers are literally ON the cash register. She looks up at the clock-- "Oh, I'm over on my hours, I've got to go" she turned on her heels and left! This happened nearly 3 years ago and has remained fresh in my mind...

Another fun instance, a handful of years ago my parents & I were staying at the Orlando airport Days Inn. My father had gotten "the manager's special" or something of the sort. My mother noticed a cockroach in our room, to which my father promptly called and complained about. The front desk said, "well that's why it's the manager's special" (I don't believe that motel is a Days Inn any longer, I think Days Inn severed ties with them shortly thereafter).

1) What are some of your favorite examples of customer disservice?

2) To the Canadians who read my blog-- is the Canadian postal service anything like the US Postal service? I hope, for your sakes, it's not.


Green Eyes said...

My brother works for the USPS, as a mail carrier. He absolutely hates it there and could share horror stories.

Bad customer service happens so much! I couldn't give you one example! People and their breaks!

Bruce said...

I have two that come to mind immediately; one was when my family was on vacation in Florida back in 71. We stopped at a HoJo's for lunch on the way down, and were unlucky enough to get a trainee as our waitress. She got every order wrong, and when we got up to leave, my Dad left her a 2 cent tip. He said a 2 cent tip sends a bigger message than no tip at all.
The other one happened once when I went to a Circuit City. I went in looking for a VCR, and I found an employee who was standing literally three feet away from the VCRs. He proceeded to tell me that his "territory" ended 4 feet from the area I was in. Not only that, but he was an asshole about it, too. I never went back to that store.

St. Dickeybird said...

I had a bad pizza experience.

I phoned a "30-minutes-or-free" place and ordered a pizza for delivery even though it was right across the street. It was cold outside.
25 minutes later, the pizza arrived. It was wrong, so we phoned and had them bring another one. 30 minutes later it arrived, and was wrong again.
I walked across the street with it. They remade it. Once home, we realized it was wrong AGAIN.
So I walked back across the street again.
By this point I was tired, not hungry anymore, and annoyed.
The pizzaman called me rude (I wasn't, yet), but said that it wasn't my fault - I was just young and didn't know any better. Bastard!
He also refused to give me back my money, even though it had been nearly 2 hours.
So I took my paid-for-but-wrong pizza and smeared it all over his store windows as he called 911.
And I never bought from 241 again.

Perplexio said...

st dickeybird: When I was living in Ohio, one of my friends/co-workers told me a pizza pick-up tale that was quite amusing.

He didn't have enough cash to pay for his pizza and there was a huge tip jar on the counter. Whenever the cashier was looking away he was taking money out of the tip jar to pay for his pizza. He took out more than enough to pay for the pizza and got tremendous thanks from the cashier when he "left" a rather sizeable "tip."