Will the poor service ever end?
2/15/06 - by drunkennewfiemidget -

I know I've bitched about this before, but it seems I can't bitch enough. What the fuck happened to the customer is always right? What the fuck happened to treating your customer as though they're worth more than the shit between your toes? Why the fuck do companies who don't give a fuck about their customers continue to prosper? I'm confused.

Paypal advertises all over their website that they do instant transactions, and that if you pay for your eBay or other online items using PayPal, then you automatically have $1250 in buyer protection!

That's bullshit.

I put in a claim with PayPal because I bought Amanda (my fiancée) an Xbox for Christmas on eBay. (Yes, I should have known better than to buy broken-assed Microsoft hardware, but it's what she wanted). It arrived in a moderately timely fashion. I plugged it in. Fucking thing turns on when it feels like it. Once it begins reading a disc, you better like what's in it, because the eject button stops working, and if you turn it off, you have to wait at least 30 minutes before it'll turn on again.

It's the exact same problem her old broken Xbox we were replacing had, only it slowly deteriorated to the point where it didn't turn on at all anymore.

After about 3 weeks of nothing in my submitted claim happening, they sent me an e-mail. The e-mail said that I basically had to take the Xbox to a repair shop, and get a quote on getting it repaired, and then fax them a copy of the quote to whereever they are in the United States all at my own expense.

Getting someone to pull the thing open and find out what it is that's broken is going to cost me at least half the price I paid for the damned thing, plus my time, plus faxing it to god-knows-where.

So I'm closing my PayPal account, and my eBay accounts. They suck.

Then there's the phone company, Primus. These assholes require you pay for your service via credit card or preauthorised bank account debit. Neither of which I'm particularly fond of, because I like to control when and where my money goes, and how it gets there, and I have a terrible memory, and would inevitably not budget properly for automated payments if I didn't have the bill in front of me. Primus is basically my only choice because Vonage is a fucking rip off based on their prices for activation, shipping, and service for a fucking VOIP service. Bell Canada wants a $55 hookup fee to give you a phone line in exchange for no work on their part -- and if a Bell employee tries to tell you they actually do any work to hook up your home phone, and you believe them, I have some water-front property in Louisiana I'd love to sell you.

Anyway, I suck it up, and get Primus. They say, "OK, we'll charge your credit card every month on the 1st." I'm cool with that, I budget it as such, and put the money required on my credit card every month on the first.

Someone in their billing department decides they're going to change the billing date to the 22nd of the preceding month, causing one of my payments (ON MY CREDIT CARD) to go bouncy bouncy.

Instead of throwing an e-mail or even a phone call my way that says, "Hey, your CC payment didn't go through. We'll try again soon. Just wanted to let you know." like most companies do, these assholes call, and basically say, "You have 24 hours to fix it before we cut you off." What a nice thing to say to your customer, huh?

Alright, fine, I call them back, and I (very politely) say, "You might want to work on your customer service skills. Being so threatening is not going to win you any customers or good reviews." they say nothing more than, "We'll retry your card later. If you have a problem with our billing policies, this is the phone number to our collections department."

Gee, thanks, assholes.

So I put the money on my card, they rebill, and all is well. I get my next month's bill. There's a $25 NSF fee for bouncing a credit card payment! For those of you unaware, if you're being charged NSF or processing fees for bouncing credit card payments, you're being ripped off. Companies with credit card merchant accounts can sit there and swipe a card over and over and over and over and over and over ad infinitum, and if the payment comes back declined, it costs them nothing. Not almost nothing, not close to nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. So I bitch them out, and after much arguing, they credit my account the $25 NSF fee. You should probably note that the most any institution pays directly to the bank when you make an NSF payment through your bank account is about $6. They're banking quite nicely on your ~$25 fee.

Then there's a local bank, PC Financial. They sell themselves as a great Canadian bank because they have no-fee bank accounts. No monthly fees, free cheques, and you can collect PC Points, redeemable towards groceries, etc.

They fail to mention they're a bunch of idiotic peckerheads.

I got sick and tired of my bank fucking my money around, and doing things like investing in SCO -- which, I'm aware, they eventually rescinded -- so I thought hey, a free bank account! I can't go wrong with that.

So I tried to open the account. I gave them all of my information, and clicked submit.

Three days later, my father sends me a message on MSN, "you have mail here from PC financial." Confused, I go and fetch it. It's a letter saying, "due to information contained in your credit bureau, we cannot open an account for you at this time."

I call them up to find out why A) they can't open account, despite my credit being absolutely perfect, and, B) why the fuck they sent it to my father's house.

Turns out when I tried to open an account with them FIVE YEARS AGO, that I later closed, they kept my information on file, and despite me putting in the correct information in the account opening form, they kept the information they had on file, and then couldn't open the account because the address I gave them and the address on my credit report differed.

Fucking. Imbeciles.

And here's the kicker: I have a PC Financial Mastercard with all the correct information on it.

Oh there's more!

I decided I'd give them another try, despite their stupid policies (what can I say, I'm obviously a glutton for punishment), so I called up their 1-888 number, and asked for the closest pavillion. They said there was one near my work that was open from 10 until 6. I thought this was great, and headed on over at 1:15pm.

There was a sign on a chair at the pavillion that said, "will return at 3pm."

Well, I guess you get what you pay for, huh?

Then there's every gas and hydro company I've ever dealt with.

I recently moved back from Ottawa to K-W to be closer to friends and family. Both Union Gas and Waterloo-North Hydro wanted $250 each for deposits. Based on my account usage, I'd have to go delinquent on my account for 4 months before I'd be in a position to require a $250 deposit. And again, my credit is perfect, so their reasoning is broken. It took letters from my previous utilities providers saying, "yes, he pays his bills on time, he's an excellent customer", to get them to waive them. So those of you looking to move out on your own: be sure to save up an extra $500 for needless expenses.

And if you read my rants with any sort of regularity, I've already done quite a bit of bitching about what the last hydro company did to me.

So, I give you my list of companies to avoid at all costs due to archaic company policies and/or horrid customer service. If I can stop one person from giving a cent of their money to any of the following companies, I'll be a happy guy:

  • Rogers Communications
  • Primus Communications
  • Vonage
  • President's Choice Financial
  • PayPal

Amidst all of my bitching, however, there is a silver lining.

There is one company that deserves some praise: Telus Communications. Since my last rant where I complained about cell companies hosing you in the ass, I switched to Telus, and I've been rather impressed. Their prices suck, but then again, they're completely on par with every other cell company on the planet. The nice part, though, is that they seem to care about their customers. When you call, they have one of those annoying computers you're supposed to talk to, but if you ask for a customer service rep, you get one, and they answer quite quickly. No long-assed wait times. Also, the person you talk to can almost always help you. They don't have to transfer you to 300 different departments. The person you have to talk to will take care of you.

I wish there were more companies like Telus.

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