(Posted Thursday 10-14-99) I really wonder at times where some of these companies are coming from. And aside that, what goes through some of these people's minds that you talk to over the phone who represent these corporations?
On Thursday 10-14-99 I scratched off the silver coating that covers the pin number on the back of my phone card. I then dialed 1-800-593-8380. This number should have let me dial in my PIN number for my ($10) phone card at the prompt. But a computerized (male voiced) recording came on the line saying, "I'm sorry we cannot complete your call as dialed. Please hang up and try your call again, thank you." I tried the number two more times before I called up the customer service number of "GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK" at 1-800-480-0875.
A lady came on the line and asked me to explain what was wrong. I gave her all the information that was on the front and the back of the card. She also tried the number and couldn't get through. After ten minutes of going over the same information again and again all she could conclude was that there was 'nothing she could do!' "Excuse me," I said, "this is one of YOUR cards. It specifically says here that the telecommunications services are provided by GCN and to call your customer service with any problems. And after doing this, you're now telling me that there is 'nothing' you can do?" "That's correct Sir," she responded. With that, I asked to talk to a supervisor. A minute or so later 'Ruben' came on the line. I went over with him everything that I had already explained to the lady. After he had tried a few things, he simply said, "I'm sorry Sir there is nothing we can do. Take the card back to where you bought it." In response I said, "I don't know where it came from, it was a gift and considering there's NO expiration date on the card, I never thought about using it until now. The card simply states that it expires one year after first usage. That sounds very straight forward to me?" He didn't even think about his next sentence he just rolled on and said, "well, you'll have to write a letter to our main office." "Excuse me! You mean to tell me that "I've" got to write a letter to "your" main office because I have a card that is under "your" service and "you" CAN'T fix it? What is the phone number to your main office or fax line for that matter?" I asked. "I'm sorry Sir, they don't have a number." "So you mean to tell me that the only way that you communicate with your headquarters is by writing letters to each other," I said, "and you're a telecommunications company and your headquarters doesn't have a phone in its building anywhere?" "Just write to this address," he continued. "No, hang on a minute. I cannot accept that fact. That a telephone based company has to write letters to each other and for that matter, customers that have a complaint have to do the same thing when the whole purpose of you being there is to be a customer oriented service?" He asked me to hang on for a moment. When he came back he said, "OK call this number, 1-877-236-6912." "So you had a number all the time?" I said. "Well we aren't supposed to give this number out," he replied. With that I put the phone down in disgust.
I then called the latter number. A few seconds later 'Mark' came on the line and I explained to him everything that had happened up to that point. He seemed rather rude if you want my opinion and didn't seem concerned about what I had to say in the slightest. "Well we no longer deal with this card," he said, "and you'll have to write to this address: 1158, 26th Street, PMB 443, Santa Monica, CA 90403." Again I was stunned. I couldn't believe I was getting this same line from someone even higher up in this corporation. "Well obviously you cannot help me," I said. "So I'd like to talk to the next person up the ladder if you don't mind." Arrogantly he responded, "well 'I'm' the customer service manager and I choose who speaks to whom! There's no one here right now, so just write to that address." "Well, will there be anyone there tomorrow?" I asked. "There might be," he said, sounding like he didn't have a care in the world regarding my request. At that point I'd certainly heard enough from three different GCN representatives, and simply ended the call.
What have businesses come to? Does a customer really have to go through all of this bull shit, arrogance and not being given the phone numbers that are there all along. And on top of that, being told that we have to write letters, to simply sort out a problem that should be resolved at their customer service's 1-800 number to begin with. That's the whole fucking point of a "Customer Service" isn't it? Or am I simply behind the times here in the modern day, "fuck you-the customer-in Corporate America!" I thought that the era of the Civil War and when King Henry the 8th was in power were the times of letter writing. Weren't they the centuries of horseback riding where the ONLY way to correspond to one another over long distances was by man and his stallion? But to have to go through all of this crap in the latter part of the 20th century? And of all things, this being a "telecommunications company", come on! I welcome any comments, thanks:)
Thanks for your reading, Johnny Anderson.