My last post was July 5, 2006 and now its the ending hours of August 12. This is not good in the spirit of blogging and I'll have to do better. I had only told three people about this training wheel blog and that makes three who came here, plus my own 7 times or so to add on things like pictures and such. Stats say 40 hits! Who are they? The power of my refrigerator! And Google.
It's dangerous to buy stuff. Some people laugh when I say the blog name, and most start telling me their stories. I asked a couple of people to send their comments on their experiences and they did. But I have a large folder with the name 'experience' on it and into that folder I throw all kinds of stuff that get sent to me and in ads I see. I started to call it the 'bad companies' syndrome.
KitchenAid, Home Depot, Bank of America were cited in a previous posting (actually, my only previous post) as doing bad things, at least to me and that's who counts.
So I've developed a starter list of Cluelessness, not the companies, but the way companies seem to be clueless -
1. "Problem? What Problem?" The ways they have to contact them - phone, email, mail?, web all assume that you only want to talk to them about what they want to talk about, not what you want to talk about. When was the last time you heard "Press 5 to tell us what we did wrong"? No, its "Press 5 to order our new package of sports programs".
2. "Part? What Part?" You experience some quality failure such as a recent post from Judy on HP's not having a replacement pen (what is more likely to get lost on a tablet pc than the pen - aka, the stylus?) for a not-that-old Compaq tablet computer that cost you $2000 and HP doesnt have a clue as to how to get the part.
3. "The policy is the solution!" You have a problem and they tell you why it's that way. THIS DOESN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM. This was the problem at Bank of America in a prior post where the rather unpleasant person at Customer Solutions told me that the bank cannot let me know my checking account was overdrawn except by snail mail that took 6 days, but were totally able to charge me $34 for every debit transaction that came in in the meantime. I asked why? Unpleasant person says - we cant do that. I asked why they didnt take the money from my other account and UP says: we cant do that. Then he declared the problem solved and refused my request to talk to someone at the bank who would tell me why not.
4. "Gotchas, AKA "Double secret probation!" This is where something happens, maybe you are late on a payment and maybe its for a good reason, or not, but terrible things happen as a result because you were on 'Double Secret Probation!' (DSP). "Its in the contract that you agreed to." For example for Credit Card companies love DSP so much - they can whip that 4% balance transfer they promised you into a investor-pleasing 20% because you paid your phone bill late, possibly even because it was incorrect. You think they care? DSP is any kind of "Gotcha!" where you find out later what the small print, or not print said. Credit card companies (again) also like to send you the rest of what you agreed to in your application AFTER you apply. Kind of like signing a contract to buy a car and they'll let you know what it will cost later.
5. (This one needs a good name- can you suggest one?). I've heard of three examples in the past week where, during a long and discouraging call with Customer Service, the company rep ends the call with some incredibly clueless attempt to sell you something else. It happend to Judy at HP where they were totally unable to supply the missing part for the $2000 tablet and after acknowledging their sorrow, they moved to ask her if she would like to buy a new one!
There's five. Got more? Let us know.