Before I start…I’m well aware that this entire thing is the textbook definition of a ‘first world problem.’ There are FAR worse things going on in the world, but ‘my’ world consists of the day to day business that I interact with, and I have been interacting with this business for weeks now…and it’s getting very annoying. Also, this is about me bitching about a phone…if you came for a music blog, please come back tomorrow!
Flashback, just around three weeks ago: I find out that there is a grace period on my phone contract, meaning I can finally move on from my old iPhone 3G (which a Fido representative perfectly described as ‘tired.’) to a new iPhone 4S! New…that means it probably won’t crash when I try to look up a map, or take five minutes loading up the text message a notification told me had just arrived.
I went straight to a Fido store (Fido is my phone carrier) and talked to the sales dude, who told me that I should go home and order the phone online myself. I didn’t think anything of that…just assumed that’s the procedure these days.
So, I go home, order online, and discover that I’m 2400th in line! That’s fine, the phone will be released very soon, so I should move up that line lickety split! A week goes by, and my patience is sound…a week seems fair to wait for the list to shrink. AND IT DOES! Woot! A message comes to tell me that my new phone is being shipped! I have to pick it up at the Fido store. Only I can pick it up.
…except as I watch the tracking it goes from Ontario…to Manitoba…to British Columbia.
And then…it’s delivered to it’s final destination.
Confused, I call Fido…they have no clue what’s going on. Literally, they say they’re blind to the situation. So I call UPS…they say they shipped to the destination that Fido supplied. So I call Fido again…they say to wait for two days and call back.
I call back in two days…and I’m told there’s nothing they can do…but I should wait for two days and call back.
…I do…I get in touch with a third person…they say there’s nothing they can do. The phone is gone. I have two options:
1) Get back in the line and wait again.
2) Wait until late November, and then ‘maybe’ they can ship me a phone directly…if they get one.
That was the customer service I received. “OH…we don’t know what happened, but we can’t do anything, get in line.”
I eventually found out I could order a phone directly in the Apple site. I started this process four days ago. But, you see…I’m battling EVERYONE who wants a phone…and their website seems to go down a lot. Twice now I’ve had the phone selected, I’ve logged in, and I’ve confirmed a time only to be told the phone isn’t available anymore. One I selected, logged in, and was told the store had no times available to order.
I repeat…this is a first world problem …but it started when a company screwed up, continued when that company told me there was nothing I could do, and is continuing with me trying to virtually wrestle a phone from the hands of another person.
My thoughts: the automated systems suck. Sure, human error is craptastic, but I had human error anyways. A LABEL was printed up with my name and a phone was shipped across the country despite being automated. At least with a person, you can explain your situation.
Second, the reservation system sucks. I could’ve ordered a phone a week ago, and had it shipped in that time, but instead it’s a nightly race to the Apple Store online at 9:00 pm, and a window of about 15 seconds to succeed…assuming the site doesn’t crash.
Thirdly…customer service is becoming too segmented. I get that there’s a flood of calls each day, but I’m shocked that each time I call I go through the same story, the same actions, and am given the same advice (call back, we can’t do anything.) When I ask to talk to a Supervisor, I’m literally told ‘No’ sometimes, or told “Well, they can’t do anything differently than I can.”
Maybe I’m the outlier…maybe everyone else is having a smooth experience. But so many strings of bad luck (misshipped phone, inability to help, web sites crashing) lead me to believe that I’m not alone. And as companies get bigger, their customer service…hell, their ‘service’…suffers.
I’ll keep this place updated if anything changes, but for now, I’m not holding my breath.