(Posted 10-31-03) When I was growing up I used to look at the Untied States as a country that was so advanced, so ahead of every other country out there. Today I view it very differently and I'm sure the rest of the world does to. The point of my story here is customer service, how companies are run and how they go about their business here in the US. Take "Telecom USA" for example. This is a company that is under the umbrella of MCI. In late September 2003, I made a phone call to the United Kingdom on their 10-10-987 service. All you do is dial 10-10-987 before the international number is dialed. Then you're charged 39 cents connection and 3 cents every minute thereafter.
I'd used this service numerous times before and with every call I'd made they ran from 1 to 3 ½ hours (to make the extra 39 cent connection fee worth its while.)
So, some 35 minutes into this call the line goes dead and I'm cut off. The phone I'm using is fully charged and usually goes for up to 3 to 4 hours and I always have another fully charged phone ready to go after that. The recipient's phone wasn't even portable, so this was a landline issue! After the disconnection I instantly called the person back and continued my call totaling an hour.
After this, I called MCI to try to get in touch with (their umbrella company) "Telecom USA" to debate the second connection fee. What a fucking nightmare! For half an hour I went through 6 operators at five different locations of MCI before anyone even had any idea of what number I needed to call to get in touch with this company and some of the operators even asked if this was an MCI related company?
Then it took another 3 operators and another half an hour before I was told that they couldn't remove this charge from my bill. Instead of simply taking the 39 cents off right there and then (saving the customer any more hassle and saving MCI time and money) (of course you're asking for logic here where logic doesn't exist), I was told to call back when it showed up on my next bill. And even then I may have to submit in writing a to their headquarters a letter to straighten all of this, out. Sure what a fine way to run a business? I'm trying to resolve a 39 cent issue here and it'll cost almost that to mail in my request. Isn't this a "Telecommunications Company" that I'm dealing with here, so why the fuck, do I have to mail something in? And by the way this isn't to do with 39 cents, it's the principal of the matter, something my Father was a great believer in!
When my next bill came in there were no overseas charges. So I gathered they'd been considerate enough to remove the whole call/s from my bill. But of course that was too good to be true wasn't it and when the following bill came in (on Friday 10-31-03), I proceeded to call Telecom USA as requested.
Firstly the recording comes on saying that the call would be recorded. Then I get, "Hi this is Brian, I'll be treating you with exceptional customer service today, how can I help you?" "Firstly how can you be treating me or any other customer for that matter with exceptional service if you're 'wire tapping' the phone call and on top of that you give your customers NO option whatsoever but to have their rights to privacy invaded? Is that what you call exceptional service?"
Knowing that I'd have to go higher up the ladder I asked to be put in touch with a supervisor. Next, Alan in Colorado Springs, CO came on and after explaining the whole ordeal to him he told me that he would put in a request for the removal of the 39 cents. And get this ladies and gents; 'this could take up to TWO TO THREE MONTHS to finalize and also going through three to four different departments?'
This is my whole point here! How many people have to look at this simple request before it's finally removed? How many MCI employees does it take to screw in a fucking light bulb? How many work hours have to be wasted for this simple request (and I'm sure hundreds of others at the same time) to be honored. Couldn't this all be done in one department by say 5 different employees dedicated to just this one thing, opposed to the request unnecessarily going through scores of eyeballs in numerous departments all over the MCI network before its finally sorted out? And lastly and my main question here, can someone out there please tell me HOW and WHY it takes up to 90 DAYS to sort something so simple out?
This reminds me of a mail in rebate I had recently for my phone. Shouldn't companies be honored that you're buying their product, so if and when a rebate is offered shouldn't this be made as easy and as possible for the consumer by going to say, a website, typing in your receipt barcode for example and it being just as simple as that? But oh no, this is what gets me, TEN to TWELVE fucking WEEKS to get a rebate sorted out? Am I missing the point here somewhere? Shit this is the 21st Century here, what are MCI and these companies using, horse and cart to communicate with? OK lets allow a week max for the mail to get to its destination and a week to get back, vastly exaggerated I know but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. This is where I get lost. Why do they need 10 weeks to fill out a check or a credit slip and put it back in the mail? Again I look at the United States' way of running businesses as appalling and way, way beyond my any sense of recognition for logic period? My advice, avoid MCI period!
Again I thank you for reading, all the best, Johnny Anderson.
On the evening of Monday 2-2-04 I went to call the UK using 10-10-987. A recording continually remarked that "this call couldn't be completed as dialed." Only two days prior I'd just paid my $16, 10-10-987 phone bill, which had just come in the mail. The following morning I called 10-10-987 only to find out that there was a glitch and that MCI had "decided upon themselves" to block me from using 10-10-987 because my phone number had been switched to MCI long distance "according to them" and that they had no record of it. Hence my local phone company, another nightmare by the way by the name of Qwest Telecommunications, told MCI that I had switched? Firstly I'd never use MCI for a long distance carrier for as long as I live, period! I've gone through enough crap with MCI over the past 12 years aside this recent 10-10-987 dribble. I only use 10-10-987 as there is no commitment to this service; and I can simply use it at will. And secondly, wouldn't it have been nice to have called the customer to ask if they had switched their long distance to MCI, opposed to simply blocking one from using 10-10-987. I was told it's called a GLITCH in the system, along with a variety of other modern day terms that it's also known as.
I was on the phone with a guy call Phil, a cool guy might I add and he told me that at the corporate headquarters they'd rejected my original request of 39 cents for the above story. This didn't surprise me in the slightest. I think what is upsetting here is customer support like Phil and other names that I could mention do all the ground work. They listen to the customers problems and it should be up to them there and then to make that decision on a customers outcome, hence a refund, credit to the account etc. But sadly all folks like Phil can do is type the customers complaint into a computer and some pin head at headquarters who has never heard the customers voice, and who is totally disconnected from that reality, reads as few lines of text and its up to him or her in a split second to reject your concern like garbage into a trash can. All totally wrong.
And one last thing about MCI which has boggled my mind for years, in order to get your complaint or concern to the attention of the headquarters of MCI you have to waste YOUR time by WRITING a letter to these people! Isn't this a telecommunications company? Why the fuck do we have to write a letter? Are they hiding behind a wall and don't want to have any confrontation with the public about their lousy service, I think this is the case, don't you? Avoid MCI folks!
Whatever happened to the days when you’d call a company and simply dial “0” to get an operator. For MCI it seems that those days are long gone. Try calling 1-800-242-7070. This is for MCI’s 10-10-987 long distance service. Not once, not twice but three times you have to listen to this pathetic recording which doesn’t give you the choice of getting to an operator to ask questions. After listening to this for THREE times the computerized voice then tells you to “hang on a moment,” then informs you that your call will be wiretapped and then this soothing music comes on the line. Two minutes later everything goes silent and as far as I’m concerned I’ve been cut off. I tried this twice on the morning of Tuesday 2-24-2004 and the same thing happened.
But that’s nothing compared to the lousy customer service of MCI. This one tops that by far. Before the above phone call was made I’d attempted to call 1-800-777-2321. This is for MCI’s Priority Customer Support and don’t take the word Priority as anything but completely and utterly LOUSY. I dare anyone who has any patience to try this number. You dial the number, you’re instantly connected, the computerized voice informs you that you’ll be wiretapped once connected and again the soothing music comes on. I waited “THIRTY FIVE MINUTES” listening to this music before I finally hung up. This should be called “Lousy Customer Support” I see no Priority to this at all. Think about that; waiting over half an hour and no one answered. Is MCI to fucking cheap to employ more operators, do we as customers have to wait that long to simply get a live operator, who by the way when one does come on the line they have the audacity to say “hi, how can I help you with EXCEPTIONAL customer service?” Un fucking believable, give me a break, what is exceptional about waiting over half an hour to reach a companies customer service.
I know this because I called the same number on Friday 2-20-2004. I had phoned MCI due to a disconnected call to the UK that had been cut off exactly one hour into my call, the night before. And this wasn’t a first, this had happened THREE times before using this service as the above story explains. All calls had been made on a fully charged phone. On the Friday that I called MCI my first attempt had been a 13 minute wait to reach their customer service. I had tried again at 14.55, 15.10, 15.35 and at 17.02 each time waiting over ten minutes before hanging up.
And lastly, I got a call from a female somewhere at MCI today. My voice mail is very, very clear and I could understand about three words in this 45 second message. I knew it was MCI as the date of one of my disconnected calls to the UK was mentioned in this dribble of a message. It was so badly muffled that I couldn't even understand the phone number that was left. I've played this to friends when they've called and they just laugh at it. A telecommunications service or a dumb service, which is it? What a useless company to deal with and to use.
Back to Some really Pathetic people.
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