Tales from the world of customer serviceBy Wade Kwon
The war on customer service continues â€¦
Or triple your money back
As written about previously, I bought $50 in gift cards from Sprint Nextel that ended up being worthless. The good folks at the credit card company refunded my money.
Then, they refunded it again. I called them to point out the error, but they appreciated my honesty and told me to keep it.
Then, for fun, they refunded it a third time.
Yeah, it was a hell of a complaint letter, especially when you spend $50 and receive $150 in returns.
I have a message to call back someone at Sprint Nextel (contacting me today, five months after the transaction). If they think theyâ€™re getting their money back, Iâ€™ve already blown it on hookers and booze.
Update: Three days after writing this post, I received a fourth credit of $50. If Sprint Nextel declares bankruptcy, you’ll know why.
A case of the sniffles
My company uses Welldyne RXWest for mail-order prescriptions. All I wanted was a 90-day supply of my allergy meds, the same ones Iâ€™ve been taking for years. This was back in October.
They charged me 10 bucks and sent me half the order. When I called and e-mailed to complain, they claimed it was an error in the prescription â€” never mind that the local pharmacy has filled it correctly for years, up until that month.
I asked them to get another copy of the prescription from my doctor or local pharmacy. They refused.
So I had my doctor send another prescription. The reps at Welldyne swore theyâ€™d get it right this time, sending me just the other half of my missing order.
Two months later, they charged me another 10 bucks and sent me a full 90-day supply. I have enough sniffle pills till 2010.
I called and I e-mailed. No one ever called back. I contacted my credit card company, which cheerfully refunded my $10 on the spot.
I also let someone at our company know about the situation. She let me know that she had talked to Welldyne, which promised to do better. I donâ€™t know what irks me more: that she wasted time defending crooks, or that the crooks couldnâ€™t be bothered to call me back to lie again about how theyâ€™d work to improve their track record.
Last monthâ€™s business trip hit a severe snag in Denver, thanks to United Airlines. One hour spent on the tarmac for no reason ended up costing me a missed connection, five hours in the airport, an expensive lunch and an important meeting that afternoon.
After visiting five(!) service counters in Denver, I finally found a manager who would at least hear me out. She kindly gave me a nontransferable ticket voucher for $150. Not bad, but a mere fraction of what my company spent on the entire trip.
I wrote a letter back in the office that week, detailing the chain of problems. A United rep wrote back, asking for additional info on the flight and the ticket.
Today, I received the response for which I had been waiting. My colleague had just finished telling me why sheâ€™d never fly United again. I proudly showed her my letter from the airline rep, apologizing for the problems. Included was a second nontransferable ticket voucher for $150.
So, United made good, with $300 that I can use toward a future business trip. Of course, it has to be on United, so weâ€™ll see what adventures pop up.
On that same trip, I stayed at a Ramada hotel. When I wrote a letter to United, I also dashed off a letter to Ramada because they froze me out.
Two nights in a hotel room, with lows below freezing. Whatâ€™s the one piece of equipment youâ€™d rather not fail during your stay? The heating unit.
Tomorrow, I write again, to corporate headquarters, because I never heard back from the franchise owner.
In the war on customer service, I rarely surrender.