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In The Dishwasher Dumps – Part 4

January 31, 2011

I am unused to this new method of customer service, the method in which the customer gets ABSOLUTELY. FREAKING. NOTHING. Especially after paying a boatload. I grew up in a time when things were made to last, when folks came to your home to take care of the problem, when customer was King. This ugly slide we’ve made into disposable, replaceable, don’t-even-care-what-you-think-land is disheartening.

And? It torks me off.

So after I hung up with the Ccustomer Sservice woman with no dishwasher, I looked up the number of the store where we bought the darn thing and called them. My cheeks were red with irritation as I furiously punched in the digits. I was NOT amused by this whole thing. Perhaps the Store Management, more at ground level than the folks in Georgia, or Romania, or inner Zimbabwe, or wherever, would have a bit more skin in the game.

I have called the store a thousand times before. Not because I’m a shopaholic, but because My Hubby used to work there. I expected to get the Customer Service desk, but I quickly found that even the answering of telephones for a store that was literally two miles away from my home had been outsourced. I reached yet another person, probably sitting in a giant room with 250 others answering phones from God knows where, who had no clue.

“Yes, I’d like to speak to Julie Smith*, the Store Manager, please.”

“Who?” came the drawl. She might even have been sitting next to the Queen of Boredom I had talked with just 15 or so minutes earlier.

“Julie Smith, please.”

“Who’s that?” she queried, in as unprofessional a manner as she could possibly muster.

I sighed, then answered slowly. “She’s… the… Store… Manager.”

“Oh,” the voice from who knows where said, as if I should have been more clear when I DIALED THE STORE DIRECTLY. “One moment.”

She punched some numbers, there was ringing, and I got connected with yet another voice, but I still had no idea whatsoever whether I was speaking to someone in the actual store, in another state, or in another country.

“Yes, hello?”

“Hi,” I responded in as polite a voice as I could. “May I please speak to Julie Smith?”

“Oh… uh… hang on a sec, would you?”

Hang on a sec? Really? While I was thinking that I could probably make a mint teaching people how to just answer the phone decently, and calculating how many weekly, hour-long sessions might be required to makeover the industry, I replied, “Sure.”

There was clicking, and buzzing, and then some Muzac. I drummed my fingers impatiently on the counter. I inspected the damage done to my pinky fingernail during the Dish Handwashing Extravaganza 2011 and made a mental note to go get that fixed. I looked around the kitchen at the counters that needed cleaning, at the butter someone had left out that was starting to look oily and warm, at the stack of mail by the phone that sat… unopened. I looked up at the cobwebs on the lovely, Tiffany-style pendant lamps hanging from my ceiling and thought about vacuuming those suckers right after this phone call. I wondered how long it had been since I’d last cleaned the fridge.

The thought of the fridge touched that irritated nerve from the phone call I’d just been on with “refrigeration unit” girl and I snapped out of my to-do list making and got back to business. I had been on hold for nearly three minutes. I hung up and dialed again.

To my surprise, I actually got the same woman. Still no idea where she hailed from, or where she was actually sitting right that moment (but I was definitely thinking of “Peggy” from the Discover Card commercial). I told her I’d been waiting for quite some time just to speak to the manager of the store and wondered if she might patch me through to someone who could actually NOT leave me on hold for longer than 30 seconds.

Anyone else go through that phone etiquette training? Am I the only one?

She put me through again and this time a man’s voice answered.

There was a whole bunch of fluff about which store I had called and what their mission statement of the day was, then “This is Mark*, how may I help you?”

That seemed like a positive sign. At least he spoke like someone from my neck of the woods. AND he said how MAY I help you, which gave him bonus points in my book for proper use of the English language. Perhaps I’d finally found the ONE… the ONE who could solve my problem.

“Yes, hi Mark. I’m trying to reach Julie Smith. Is she in?”

“Unfortunately, no.” My irritation level began to rise. Seriously, this was getting ridiculous. Was there not ONE. SINGLE. PERSON on the planet who could get ahold of a dishwasher part and fix my problem in a timely fashion? Was there not ONE. SINGLE. PERSON who wanted to? I was beginning to think the whole thing was futile.

I had been through an unarmed repair person, incompetent parts ordering folks, customer service that made a mockery of the title used to describe it, a supervisor who obviously was imparting the poor attitude that her employees passed along to the unfortunate saps on the other end of the phone line, failure to reach a live person at the store just two miles from me, terrible phone etiquette… and now I couldn’t even reach the Store Manager?

I thought perhaps I should give up and just shell out another grand for a new dishwasher. As this thought ran through my head, Mark said, “But I am the Manager on Duty. I’m sure I can help you with whatever you need.”

And just like that, I was back on the roller coaster.

* Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mara permalink
    January 31, 2011 2:38 pm

    Looking forward to the next installment, esp. since “Mark’s” name was changed to protect the guilty!

    So sorry for your ongoing woes…

  2. Mister-M permalink
    January 31, 2011 7:25 pm

    I know exactly how you feel, Stephanie, because I’ve just read all four installments AND STILL DON’T KNOW IF YOU GOT THE F**KING DISHWASHER FIXED!

    Where’s my f**king phone and Steph’s number…

  3. ChapmansRus permalink
    January 31, 2011 8:48 pm

    You certainly know how to keep us all on the edge of our seats 😀

  4. February 1, 2011 2:40 pm

    This saga totally reminds me of the Dooce v. Maytag battle (read it here: http://dooce.com/2009/08/28/containing-capital-letter-or-two) If only we had the power of Dooce level twitter on our side, you’d be rolling in free dishwashers by now.

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