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Customer service? More like torture page 3
Customer service gone seriously wrong

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Date published: 10/14/2007

By Richard Amrhine


The funds were on the card, but they wouldn't "come off" the card. They tried again. They called their own customer service. There wasn't anything anyone could do. The end of this nightmare had been in sight, but it was a mirage.

The associate agreed to keep the shoes behind the counter until the problem was worked out.

I re-entered the picture because, at this point, I already had a lot of time and energy invested in the matter. I called customer service and was told they would take care of it, and I should go back to the store in a day or two. Which I did, despite my vow never to return.

The card still wouldn't work.

The music in the store was so loud that conversations had to be shouted. That's the volume "corporate" wants, I was told. The sales person couldn't simply replace the faulty card because "corporate" had issued it.

I went home and called customer service. They promised to figure out what to do and get back to me soon. Right. A week later I called back, and they could find no record of my previous calls or my problem.

But this time, I had a feeling that the representative, Katrina, was sympathetic. Maybe when you share the name of a hurricane you can tell when people have been put through hell. She took down my name, address, and phone number, and promised a new card would be issued. She actually called back to confirm that the information had been passed to the proper hands.

A week or 10 days later, the new card arrived, enclosed with the exact form letter apology as before, telling me how important I am to them.

Please, spare me.

I went back to the store to buy the shoes. The card worked. I brought the shoes home. Satisfaction was ours, in the-torture-has-finally-stopped sense, three days shy of 20 months later. It was a marathon, but we finally crossed the finish line.

My wife says the shoes fit well. Good thing, because we're never, ever going back.

Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.

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