The New Typhoid Mary in the Business World

It seems more and more that I find that basic rudeness is the new vogue. Recently I bought one of those new type of reclining chairs from the Internet. When I got it some of the bolts were missing. It needed some minor assembling.

When I called the customer service number, I had to wait about 15 minutes before someone answered the phone. The phone did answer by some kind of a computer system, but I listened to elevator music for about 15 minutes before getting a live person. To say this person was rude would be an understatement. She insisted that the missing bolts just had to be in the little plastic bag that was in the big box that the chair came in. The chair had been delivered by FedEx.

Finally I convinced her that I did, in fact, get the “A” “B” and “C” bolts, but all of the four “D” bolts were missing. This lady’s voice tone was such that she gave me the feeling that I was bothering her. Twice, during our conversation, she actually let out a rather loud sigh when I explained to her that I had gotten three of the four bolt types, but needed the “D” bolts.

After she was convinced that she needed to mail out the “D” bolts to me, she asked me my order number. Since I had most of the chair assembled (except the arm chairs that needed the “D” bolts) I had already put the big box that the chair came in, out in the garage. Since I had a wireless phone, I told this charming lady that I would walk out to the garage and find the order number that was on the big box. After I told her that, she let out a sigh that I am sure that everyone in her surrounding area at her office heard, loud and clear.

I got out to the garage and was having a tough time to find the order number on the box. There were about five or six different numbers. There was a “PO number,” a “routing number,” and then some kind of alpha-digit number that was about 25 characters long. As I asked the customer service lady which number it could be, she told me where to look on the box, with a obvious disgust in her voice.

Finally, I found the order number and recited it to the lady. When I finished relaying the number to her, she did not say “thank you,” or “I got it,” or “why don’t you take a long walk off of a short pier for bothering me.” No, she just told me that I would get the bolts in about five or six business days and then hung up.

The bolts did come in six days. But, for six days I had to deal with watching Gunsmoke reruns in a chair that had no arm rests. Sure, there are bigger problems that people have. But every time I sat down in my new chair, it made me think of the charming customer service lady that I had to deal with.

Will I buy anything else from this company? Absolutely not. The question I have is, how many other people feel the same way about this company, because of the charming customer service representative they have, who treats you like you’re a big pain in the neck for bothering her when she talks to you?

I listen to the Wall Street Journal report on the radio every morning. I know that some day (no doubt sooner than later) that I am going to hear that this company is doing a big layoff, that there sales had dropped tremendously in the last two business quarters. I am sure that when Miss Charming Customer Service Rep gets her pink slip, she’ll just get another job in the customer service department of another company. No doubt, her charming attitude will have the same affect on that business’s customers. No doubt, customers won’t be too enthusiastic about buying anything else from that business, after they deal with Miss Charming.

Peace and harmony, Richard

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