Uninformed Customer Service Reps.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Bitchin' About

I'm sure that most people (at one point or another) have held a customer service job; whether it's retail or telemarketing, or secretarial. These jobs, that are the foundation of the service industry, are usually held by people who:

  1. Hate their life.
  2. Hate their job.
  3. Hate you.

Thereby creating a toxic environment where nothing gets done, everyone gets frustrated, and gouging your eye out with a spoon seems preferable to waiting in line/calling back/staying on hold ONE.MORE.TIME.

I've had my fair share of run-ins with these people. I believe they live solely to suck the life-force from your body until you are nothing but a sniveling, fragile, shell of your former self - crying naked in the fetal position.

What I don't understand is how these people get these jobs in the first place. I am, by no means, a customer service type of girl but when I had these jobs I at least pretended to care. I mean, that's your livelihood you're receiving when you tell someone information. Why would you give them the wrong information? Or withhold it? How is it that you can fill out an application or type up a resume and yet still not be able to navigate a simple computer program?

Real Life Example # 1: At one of the (many) schools I have attended I waited (rather impatiently) for the Financial Aid I knew I was due. I'd check online, scared that my classes would be dropped if the financial aid didn't come through on time. It was getting closer and closer to the Drop deadline so I decided to go to the office and talk to someone. I waited (30 minutes) to speak with a work study student who, in my very tainted and biased opinion, wasn't qualified to shovel horse shit-- clack their way around a keyboard and double click their mouse a few times only to tell me that "Nothing is wrong. You're still being processed, you should receive it next week." I waited a week, checked my student account daily, only to see absolutely nothing change.

"It's ok, I'll give it a week and a half."
"Two weeks. Just give them the benefit of the doubt. They're probably behind, we'll wait two weeks."

By the third week I was (once again) starting to panic. Scared that maybe my paperwork had gotten lost or accidentally deleted I went back to the financial aid office once again to soothe my nerves.
Once again, I was half-heartedly greeted by a student, no older than myself, only to be told that a lot of the FAFSA applications had gotten held up but they were getting to them. They should be done by next week for sure.

Well, the next week was when my tuition was due and was the drop date. And of course, my financial aid status had not changed. I went the day before the tuition due date hoping to get an extension due to their lack of competence.

I waited in line, over an hour, with all the other procrastinators to speak with a financial aid representative. Irritated, upset, and tired I walked up to the window and saw another work study student. It was then that I got angry.

I asked to speak with someone who wasn't getting paid a shitty 7.00$ an hour, who maybe had a few days worth of training, but didn't need to retain any of the information because hey they might get another work study job in the next semester.

I spoke with a full-time on the payroll lady who informed me that I would not be granted financial aid due to whateverthefuck. And I was absolutely livid. Because I had one day to come up with my tuition. Did she care? Not in the least.

"You can take out loans," she of Satan's spawn calmly told me.

Yes, of course I could take out loans. That was always an option. The fact was that if I wanted to be bogged down by loans with high interest rates I would have never filled out a financial aid form in the first place. I would have signed the loan Master Promissory Note with my gold-plated, ivory quill on a MPN printed on silk. You know, because coming up with a semester's tuition in the course of a day is easy when you wipe your ass with hundreds.

When I  told her that I had been coming every week for a month to ask about my financial aid and was told (3 times) previously nothing about being denied she stayed silent and didn't even offer a fake apology. Which just made me angrier. "Weren't these students trained to look at my highly sensitive information? Couldn't they pull up, just as easily as she did, the page stating that I wasn't going to be getting any help from the government and therefore would have to find another means of paying? Why was it, that not one of them told me anything helpful, useful, or correct the times that I had come in?" She looked at me like I was dog poo on her white carpet.

I wish I could make the story more dramatic by telling you that I was unable to come up with the money and I had to drop out of school, sell drugs on the corner and become a hooker but my (awesome) parents came through for me and I went to school that semester anyway.

What really confuses me is the fact that these people are working in some pretty important sections: financial aid, admissions, basically anything relating to colleges, DMV, the place you have to pay your car registration, etc. These people are your cell phone carriers, your internet providers, and (Real Life Example #2) the people who are in charge of your payroll. The level of their incompetency should scare you. Really. I'm sure Stephen King could do quite a bit with their material.

What aggravates me is not just the bad service, because you can get bad service anywhere, it's the constantly and predictable bad service. They don't even try anymore. Well, I have a way to remedy that.

Whenever a business gives you the wrong information they should be fined.
Yes. Monetarily fined.

Hell, let's do what they do and call it a "fee". Everything has a "convenience" fee now. I pay my CPS bill online and they charge me 2$ to do it, for the convenience of it. So let's turn the tables and whenever they mess up and we have to redo something: call back again, speak to a manager/someone more knowledgeable -- let's charge them an inconvenience fee.

Yes, I'm serious.

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