Businesses Experiences

Jan. 23, 2019

I frequently visit a specific nail salon, Asian Nails. When they are busy, I usually leave and come back later. This action usually generates a conversation between us (customer and salon) as to why I leave and come back.

I explain that I’m busy and when I am out and about, I’m running errands and I am depending on someone else to carry me around (son or hubby). When I do not have the time to wait, I will just come back when it’s more convenient for the both of us. They accept my answer. More importantly, they KNOW I am not a customer who has a lot of time. Such was the following case…

I had a little bit of time, so I did not mind the 10-minute wait to get a chair. The young lady got halfway done with me, then abruptly got up and moved over to the chair to my right and started working on another customer.

A couple of minutes later, I asked, “Are you through?”

To which the customer, not the staff, the customer to my left, answers, “They’re trying to do two people at a time. Someone will be with you shortly.”

Five minutes after this, one of the other young girls finishes her work and pushes in her chair. I say to my son who is behind me, “No one else is waiting so she’ll be coming to me next.”

Instead, the girl walks in the back. I thought that maybe she needed a breather, bathroom break, something along those lines. Nope. I smell food cooking. She’s making lunch. Okay...she needed a break.

Five minutes later, the little guy finishes so I tell my son, who is checking his watch at this point, as he has to get ready for work, “Just a minute longer.”

The little guy pushes his chair in and moves over to the computer and starts working. So...the customer can wait, but whatever work that needed to be on the computer cannot wait.

“We can leave if we need to,” I suggested.

He answered, “No, we’re okay for a few more minutes, but don’t forget, we still have to go to the post office, Walgreens, and the Meat Locker to get something for dinner.”

Five minutes later (which totals to almost 20 minutes when you add the first few minutes I waited before questioning anything), the man next to me finishes the helpful customer to my left.

He gets up, get a bottle of water, and stands there staring out the window drinking it. Then he walks over, pushes his chair in, and walks to the back where he’s talking to the girl who is eating her lunch.

I got up and walked out. The lady up front asked, “What happened?” and I did not stop to tell her.

I feel they were rude. First, you don’t start with one customer and then leave them to go do another. I explained to my son, that’s like someone ringing you up at the store and then stopping in the middle to go to another register and ring someone else up. You need to finish what you start!

Second, if that’s not rude enough, it was even more so with three staff ignoring the one customer who had been sitting there waiting to be finished. They left me waiting a few minutes to...5...10...15 more minutes and then sauntered off to the back.

My son says, “But Mom, they’re trying to make money so they work on two people at a time.”

To which I replied, “They were not working on me at all, much less two at a time, but for the sake of argument; how much money did they make with me getting up and walking out?”

In the past, I have told them, “No, you need to finish me first before you move on to someone else. I did not come in here to be shoved aside. My money and time is just as good as anyone else’s and if you want it, you’ll need to finish what you started.”

Dec. 26, 2018

You would think that online banking is great. No more calling on the phone, being put on hold, only to listen to elevator music for the next twenty minutes.

That soon became a thing of the past when automated phone services came about. Now, we go through ten minutes of prompts, and then finally, get to the elevator music. I always loved the 70’s track and would sing along with ABBA’s Dancing Queen whenever it would come on the line.

However, thanks to technology, we can bypass all of that and go straight to the source with a simple user name and password. Armed with those two very important tools, we can now gain access to everything about our bank accounts in a matter of seconds. We can even apply for a loan if we need extra cash without leaving the comforts of our home.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. It used to be as easy as mentioned above, but now, I have to go through an act of congress to access my account. It asked for my user name and password. I gave it and noticed the “remember username,” button underneath remained unchecked.

I have clicked that box so many times it should be saying, “Hey Philippe, she’s back again!” What good is it doing when it doesn’t remember my username?

For some reason, it started asking me my three security questions. Apparently, I answered them incorrectly. It asked for my favorite song and I answered “Dancing Queen.” It told me it was not!

Me: “Is, too.”

Bank: “Is not.”

Me: (retyping) “Dancing Queen.”

Bank: “Wrong answer.”

Me: (repeating it again)

Bank: “That’s not the answer, Lady!”

Me: “YES, IT IS!”

I have to call the bank.

That in itself requires a lot of patience. In order to get a contact phone number, I have to go through a series of online prompts and questions to direct me to the correct number (which used to be a matter of a simple click of the “contact us” button). It’s the same number no matter how you answer the questions. They aren’t fooling anyone.

At long last, several minutes later, I get the number and I call only to be asked to press one for English or two for Spanish. I was held up by more questioning prompts. You know what I mean: “If you’re calling for online banking problems, press or say ‘two.’ If you’re calling to check on a loan or credit card account, press or say...” You get it.

I pressed the respective button(s) and find I must endure a minute and a half of an advertising spiel encouraging me to take out a loan for all of my personal and business needs.

After the end of the spiel, I wait for what to do next, only to find it has started over again. I am so ticked off at this point that about half-way through, to rush things along, I push zero (this prompt is invalid), and it starts the ad all over again.

I waited until the end thinking I must have missed hearing the correct prompt due to the fury that is creating steam and whistling through my ears. Instead, it started over a third time.

I decided to press the number one (rather hammer the button with my finger) to see what would happen. It worked and it connected me to an automated teller who says, “All of our agents are busy now. Your call is important to us so, please hold for the next available agent,” and then 90’s elevator music, 90’s! Where is ABBA?

By now, I’m screaming into the phone. I’m holding on to the receiver so tight, my knuckles are sweating. I yell at it for not playing Dancing Queen and insist that they turn that crap off or else find a human being for me to speak to at once, except I was using some colorful language. 

“Who are you talking to?” my husband asks, laughing at me.

“The DJ playing this stupid 90’s elevator music,” I yell. “I want to speak to a person!”

Finally...finally! A live human being comes on the line and asks me the same questions the prompts asked, only to follow it up with asking my security questions, and personal info such as address and phone number associated with the account.

Me: “What is wrong with this bank?!”

Agent: “I’m sorry? What do you mean?”

Me: “I just went through all of these prompts half a day ago trying to get to you and you’ve asked me all of these same questions over again. Why does it bother asking me online if I have to waste time repeating it back to you?”

Agent: “I’m sorry, Ma’am. I do apologize. It’s for security purposes for your protection.”

Me: “Isn’t your web address https: ‘s’ meaning secure?”

Agent: “Yes, Ma’am, it sure is.”

Me: “Well, it’s not very secure at all then if you have to ask me the same question it just asked me to get your phone number, now is it?”

Agent: (She pauses for a second and I hear her smiling on the other line.) “I guess not.”

Me: “Listen, I’m stressed, it’s the holidays, I’m old, and I’m broke. I have been trying for nearly 30 minutes to reach a person I could speak to and instead, I’m yelling at the elevator music DJ I got stuck with. I am very well versed in foul language and I was two seconds from unloading on that DJ and giving him the full experience of my expertise and knowledge in cuss words! I just want one question answered: just one!”

Agent: (Laughs openly now) “What can I help you with, Ma’am?”

Me: “Was I seeing triple three days ago or are there really three zeros in the balance column of my checking account?”

‘Tis the season!

Nov. 1, 2018

Telemarketers are forever calling. Even though we have robo-block with our phone company, they still manage to get through. When the latest one called our home, I decided to have a little fun with him, but ended the call soon into the conversation. I was laughing too hard to continue so I just hung up.

Me: (Knowing it’s a telemarketer from the caller ID) Hello?

Max: Hello, Ma’am. This is Max from – (name of company that I could not understand at all because of his thick accent).

Me: What did you say your name was?

Max: Max; M-A-X.

Me: Oh, Max! Okay. Well, what’s your last name?

Max: Well...W-E-L-L. (I’m openly laughing on the phone). Ma’am, why you smiling at me (Now, I’m really laughing and can’t speak).

Me: (After a few seconds to compose myself) Well is not a last name. It’s part of the name Maxwell. Max is just short for Maxwell, like a nickname.

Max: No, no, that is my full name; Max….(I had to hang up).

Oct. 8, 2018

I placed my Christmas order for chocolates, as I do every year, with Swiss Colony. In the 35 years I’ve been ordering from them, they’ve always been punctual, with the exception of twice. I called on a Saturday and spoke to customer service to ask where my order was.

Me: I see by the tracking that it’s in Atlanta, Georgia and has been for the past ten days. The Christmas party is this coming Friday and I need some of those packages by Thursday night, four or five days from now.

SC: Let me check your tracking. Can you give me the order number please? (I gave my order number, verified my address, and type of payment.) Yes, I see your order. What did you need to know?

Me: It was supposed to be here by the 15th. It’s stuck in Atlanta so I wanted to know what was going on.

SC: It’s in Atlanta, Georgia from what I can see.

Me: I said that already. I know where it is, but I want to know why it is there and not here. As I said, it’s supposed to have been here by the 15th of December.

SC: I don’t know why it’s there. You are the fourth phone call today about missing packages and all four have been stuck in Atlanta. I’ve already given out three free orders today and I’m not giving out another one (she said this with more haughtiness in her voice than I cared to hear).

Sensing a challenge – Me: Well, it looks like you’re giving out another one then because I need some of those things by Thursday for the Friday Christmas party.

(I felt like a parrot having to repeat myself to her so many times)

SC: Something is going on in Atlanta, and they’ll probably be there by Monday. If not, just give it until Wednesday and then call us back and we’ll send out another order.

Me: Oh, so you’re going to Overnight Express them to me if I don’t have them by Wednesday?

SC: Overnight Express? No, that costs way too much money. They’ll come regular USPS.

Me: I just told you, twice, I need them by Thursday so if I have to wait until Wednesday for you to send out a replacement order, then you’ll be over-nighting them to me. What is your name again?

SC: Hold on. I’m going to put you on hold for a couple of minutes and try to figure this out.

I can tell she’s perturbed. She has so much attitude that I just want to tell her off. However, she’s holding my goodies hostage so I bite my tongue and just remain firm with her.

She comes back on the phone – SC: Did it snow down there?

Me: Yes, yesterday.

As if she’s trying to prove something to me, she says with a full-blown attitude – SC: Where?

Me, confirming what she already knows: In Atlanta.

SC: That is what the hold up is! You’re not used to snow in the southern regions and it’s held up the Atlanta post office. I’m NOT sending a replacement order!

Me: Excuse me. I’m in South Carolina. It snowed in Atlanta YESTERDAY, meaning my packages have been in Atlanta for ten days BEFORE it snowed. Are you telling me they knew it was going to snow ten days in advance and closed everything down until after the snowstorm passed?

(10 second pause) SC: Hold on.

I wasn’t put on hold so I can hear her talking to a supervisor or someone over her. I cannot hear what they’re saying, but the other person does not sound happy. I mentally dared whomever to be upset with me. I was already dealing with this person’s unhappy tone; I was not going to put up with another.

SC: Okay, we’ll send out a replacement order. They’ll prepare it tomorrow and it will go in the mail on Monday (As if it were an afterthought, she snaps), and we’re not sending the free gift with it, either!

Me: That’s fine; I just want the other packages that I have as gifts.

SC: Fine. Your order should arrive no later than Wednesday. If your original order has already arrived, call us back and let us know. You can either return the replacement order or we’ll just bill you for it.

The original order arrived Tuesday night as the post office had extended their delivery times due to it being the Christmas holidays. The replacement order came Thursday afternoon. I did not call Swiss Colony back, either. They could tell by the tracking both packages had arrived.

In all of the thirty-plus-years I have dealt with them, I’ve only had to request a replacement order once because the post office lost the package. In the thirty-plus-years with them, I have never, not once, dealt with one of their customer service representatives with that attitude.

Swiss Colony, not only has the finest chocolates and deserts, but they’ve always had the finest people working for them, except that one. I will not judge them for that; they are way too awesome. I’m pretty sure the other person I heard in the background took care of the situation anyway.

Aug. 10, 2018

I received a call from one of those telemarketer scammers. I was in a good mood so, I decided to let him go through his scammer spiel.

“Ms. Cox,” he begins as he tries to pronounce my name through his Middle Eastern accent, “do you remember about six months ago you paid $299 for a warranty for your computer?”

“No, I do not remember that,” I stated honestly. “I don’t recall paying $299 for anything, much less a warranty for my computer.”

“Well, you did,” he insists.

I start laughing. “No, I did not.”

“Yes, yes, you did,” he repeats.

“What’s your name?” I ask. “Tell me your name.”

“My name is Henry,” he answers.

“Where are you from?”

“Georgia.”

“Georgia State or Georgia County?” I ask in attempts to throw him off. It worked because he answered county. “Oh, downstate Georgia?”

“Yes, downstate. Do you remember having a warranty on your computer?” he said trying to redirect me back to the scam.

“No, I do not have a warranty,” I said again laughing and then hung up.

Two weeks later, Henry calls me back, and again, insists I have paid $299 for a warranty for my computer.

“Is this Henry again?” I ask a little amused.

“Yes, it is Henry.”

I shake my head into the phone and explain patiently, “Henry, I did not pay you $299 for any kind of warranty, much less one for my computer.”

“Yes, you did.”

“What card did I use then?”

He wasted no time answering, “Visa. If you give me your numbers on your card I can verify it with the one I have on file.”

I openly laughed at him. “I don’t think so, Henry. Please don’t call back.”

He did call back a week or so later. I just laughed and hung up on him. Again, a week or so afterwards, another phone call. I hung up that time, too. On Henry’s fifth try, I was exasperated.

I finally asked, “Henry, do you know why I laugh at you and hang up all the time?”

“No.”

“Because I don’t have a computer in my house. I’m old and I don’t use them. My kids have a laptop, not a computer, but they do not live with me. That’s how I know I did not give you $299 at any time for anything, ever.”

I think we broke up. Henry hasn’t called me back since.