Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

We’re Downgrading Ourselves To Former Customers

, , , , | Working | January 6, 2022

I’m on business and arrive at the airport, quickly finding the car rental booth.

Sales Guy: “Good news! We have upgraded your car.”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Sales Guy: “Sorry? It’s a free upgrade.”

Me: “No, I understand, but I would prefer the car I booked.”

Sales Guy: “Oh, I’m not sure how to un-upgrade you. Are you sure you won’t take the better car?”

Me: “Really sure. Last time, you upgraded me to some oversized four-by-four — completely inappropriate for the roads I will be driving.”

The sales guy starts acting like it’s my fault.

Sales Guy: “Well, I will need to call my manager.”

Me: “Okay.”

I can see him on the phone, making big arm gestures, clearly not happy. But I don’t care; I booked a specific car for a specific reason. Driving a massive car around rural single-lane roads and tight bends won’t work without losing paint. He eventually comes back.

Sales Guy: “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any of the cars you booked — hence the upgrade.”

Me: “Okay, well, I’ll talk to my company, but I think you will need to refund me.”

Sales Guy: “No refunds unless there’s three days’ notice.”

Me: “You failed to provide me the item I ordered; you are breaching your own conditions by not providing a suitable alternative vehicle. Like I say, I will talk to my company, but their external legal team will certainly be in touch if your company wants to be difficult.”

I get on the phone with my company. It’s not the first time they have had this complaint. The rental company offers cheap cars that they don’t have, so they can advertise cheap prices and hope most people go for a bigger vehicle. My company gives me the go-ahead to find any other similar car from any other rental company. By the time I get off the phone, the sales guy is coming back to the desk.

Sales Guy: *Smugly* “I spoke to my manager and they said they can offer an extra free day hire if you take the upgrade.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s no benefit to me whatsoever. I’ll take the refund now, please.”

Sales Guy: “I can’t override the deductions.”

Me: “That’s fine. My company is a legal firm; you can bet they will get it back.”

I managed to find a car that was actually more suitable and still struggled on some of the roads. I’m told that we got a full refund, an apology, and a new hire company.

This was at a time when we had twenty-plus guys going out every week and using hire cars. Then, when the lease contracts were renewed, they lost those, too.

Sometimes treating the little customers well pays back in dividends.

Judgy AND Whackadoo!

, , , , , | Working | January 5, 2022

When I was in my late teens, I was unlucky enough to come down with a nasty case of the flu. I was so weak that I could barely walk and it took me weeks to recover to something like normal. What I didn’t really realise at that point was that I had lost a lot of weight and had a bit of an unhealthy pallor to my skin. This led to several incidents in which people assumed I was an addict — a very humbling experience, believe me.

My girlfriend came to visit me at home and we decided to head into town and catch a movie. We stopped off at a local corner shop opposite our bus stop to get some snacks before catching our bus, but I could not make up my mind about what I wanted. Whilst she was waiting on me, my girlfriend looked at some comics, and whilst she had picked up an annual she was thinking of buying for her niece, the store clerk suddenly appeared in front of me.

Clerk: “Can I help you?”

Me: *Somewhat surprised* “No, thank you. I’m just trying to make my mind up.”

The clerk muttered something about being over there if we needed him and stomped off. My girlfriend and I exchanged a confused look, but I grabbed a few packets of sweets, she put the annual back, and we went over to the counter to pay for our stuff.

Clerk: “What about her magazine?”

Me: “What do you mean? She didn’t have a magazine.”

Clerk: “Yes, she did! She was holding a magazine when I spoke to you, and you didn’t go back to the magazine counter, so where is it?”

Girlfriend: “Excuse me. I was not holding any magazine! I took an annual from the display right next to where you spoke to us, and I put it back. I don’t like your insinuations!”

Clerk: “I am sure you were holding a magazine!”

Me: “Look, man. You are mistaken. What do you want us to do?”

He muttered something, sniffed, and rang us up. We left the shop and waited for our bus. We were talking about how ridiculous he had been when we looked up and saw him staring at us through the shop windows. We laughed at how absurd he was being, at which point he literally ran to the magazine rack, had a look through it, and then angrily left the shop and stomped over to us at the bus stop.

Clerk: “I don’t think what you have done is funny, and I don’t think you should be laughing at me! You definitely took one of those magazines and you didn’t put it back!”

Me: “What the h***, dude?! How many times do we need to tell you? We never had a magazine! There is an entire display case right by where you saw us; check your cameras! I can’t believe you have followed us like this!”

Clerk: “Your girlfriend must have taken it; it must be in her bag! Let me see her bag.”

Girlfriend: “F*** off! You have been told what happened. You have until our bus gets here to check your cameras or call the police. Do what you like.”

Clerk: “Oh, that’s nice language. Very good.”

He stormed back across the road and into the shop and watched us until our bus pulled up and we left. You’d think that would be the end of it, but I decided I wasn’t going to let it go. When I got home later, I looked for the area manager’s contact information online, couldn’t find it, and called the shop looking for it.

Guess who the assistant who answered passed the phone to?

Clerk: “I can’t believe you stole from me and now you’re phoning to complain!”

Me: “This behaviour is crazy. By now you must have checked your tapes and realised we were telling the truth.”

Clerk:No! There is no camera covering where you were — as if you don’t know that.”

Me: “That’s unfortunate, but no, I did not know that, and it’s not my problem. Your behaviour has been erratic and outrageous. Please give me your name and your area manager’s contact information. In the meantime, I suggest you go do a stock count because you’ll find nothing missing!”

Clerk: No! You give me your name! I want to make a complaint about you!

Me: “You realise that makes absolutely no sense, right? Just give me the information I’m asking for.”

At that point, he scoffed and passed the phone back to the assistant who first answered, and they gave me the area manager’s information.

I spoke to the area manager later that night. They apologised but obviously said that they would need to speak with the clerk and review the tapes to see what had happened. They never got back to me, so I never went back to the shop.

What Is HAPPENING Over There?!

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2022

My spouse and I, after many years of saving up, bought ourselves our first house. The house has a fairly old refrigerator, and when we test the electrical draw, we find that it’s gotten inefficient, so we save up to buy a new one.

We first attempt to buy it online. It’s “Cyber Monday” (in November) and there’s a huge sale on refrigerators, so we’re able to order one for about a quarter of the original list price. Because the deal is so good, they say that they’re low on stock, and the earliest time they can get us the fridge is several months later, in March. We call the energy company to have our old fridge picked up for a $50 rebate.

In January, we get an email from the refrigerator company saying that they cannot fulfill our order and that they’re canceling it against us. We call the energy company and cancel the pickup of our old fridge. Then, we start looking for a good deal on a fridge from a brick-and-mortar company.

Somehow the cancellation didn’t stick, and the energy company shows up to take our fridge in March as previously agreed. We talk to the fridge recovery people, and they look at our client notes and agree that it says in the notes that it should be canceled. Because of those call notes, we’re able to talk our way out of a cancellation fee.

In May, flush with our tax refund, we finally find a fridge we like, and it’s at about half of the original list price. We buy it and schedule to have our fridge picked up by the energy company.

The energy company initially refuses to do it because they think they’ve already picked up our fridge. Then, they cancel pickup because someone read the notes from the old pickup. Then, they come, but they somehow get the address wrong; they end up on the West version of our street rather than the East.

Finally, in June, they get the old fridge and take it. The $50 rebate is applied correctly to our energy bill for that month.

Fast-forward a year and a bit: on July 17th, a group of refrigerator delivery people shows up. This is almost but not quite two years after we placed the original order online.

We explain that we already have a refrigerator and they take it back. They promise that we’ll be refunded within three or four days. Refunded?! We check and, sure enough, money was taken from our bank account to pay for the refrigerator in late April and we hadn’t noticed.

Three or four days pass. No refund happens. We call the online retailer. Customer service is very understanding; they tell us they’ve fixed it, and if we give them three or four days, we’ll have the money.

Three or four days pass. No refund happens. We call the online retailer. Customer service says that there’s an error with the supplier. They forward our call to the supplier. The supplier makes some sort of changes in the computer system. They say it’s good, and we should give them three or four days and we’ll have the money.

Three or four days pass. No refund happens. We call the online retailer. Customer service says that there’s an issue with the supplier. They forward the call to the supplier. The supplier says that there’s an issue with the delivery people. They forward the call to the delivery people. The delivery people make some sort of changes in the computer system. They say it’s good, and we should give them three or four days and we’ll have the money.

Three or four days pass. It is now August. No refund has happened yet. We call the online retailer. Customer service says there’s an issue with the supplier.

Before they can forward it, I ask:

Me: “I’ve done this before. Can you please transfer me to a supervisor who can just give me my money back, and you guys can deal with whatever labyrinthine bureaucracy you’ve got to deal with on your own time?”

They transfer me to the supervisor.

Supervisor: “Yeah, I can fix it. This is going to be easy.”

This is followed by some frantic typing.

Supervisor: “Um… I think I can fix it, but something weird is happening.”

There’s more frantic typing.

I’m a bit unnerved by this response.

Me: “Something weird?” 

Supervisor: “Yeah, the number keeps changing on me… It shouldn’t.”

Further frantic typing follows. Then, she speaks once more.

Supervisor: “Okay. Well, at least I’m not going to be making this any worse.”

My eloquent and confused response is:

Me: “Uh… what?” 

Supervisor: “You’re going to get a lot of weird emails. Please just disregard them.”

It’s meant to be reassuring, but her tone is tense and afraid.

I stay quiet through more typing and arcane interjections.

Supervisor: “What if I credit it to the account directly?” “No, please don’t revert. Please don’t revert.” “What? Why?! That can’t be right.” “No, no, no! I have to start over again?!” “Okay, easy does it. Easy does it… Please take it… No!” “Why does it think that the ice maker hose was delivered with a different company?” “It’s the ice maker hose!” “It’s not the ice maker hose.” “Maybe it’s the ice maker hose?” “Okay, I can refund the fridge, but not the ice maker hose, but if I try to refund the fridge without the ice maker hose, it cancels out and I lose my work.” “Are you still on the line?”

Me: “Yeah. I’m still on the line. How’s it going?”

Supervisor: “Well, the problem is the ice maker hose, but I don’t seem to be able to resolve this within the system. I’m going to work around the system; I’m going to put in a fake order, apply the payment from the first order to it, and automatically refund it, okay?”

Me: “Uh… okay.”

Supervisor: “Okay. Good. Here goes.” *More typing* “And that was $918.17?”

I check my invoice.

Me: “Yeah. That’s correct.”

Supervisor: “Good.”

She’s literally panting on her end.

Supervisor: “I can see why. I can see why you weren’t getting your refund.”

She gives a slightly unhinged-sounding laugh.

Supervisor: “Uh… So, you should be seeing a credit to your account within twenty-four hours.”

Me: “Thanks. I appreciate the effort.”

Supervisor: “Thank you for your patience. Really.”

She says this with such heartfelt earnestness that I feel awkward and uncertain about how to respond.

Me: “Um… You’re welcome?”

Supervisor: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

She asks this sounding like she’s just lost a boxing match with a kangaroo.

Me: “No. I’m good. Thank you very much.”

All in all, the supervisor portion of this phone call took about forty-five minutes.

Exactly twenty-four hours later, sure enough, the credit showed up on our account. My spouse and I also double-checked to make sure they didn’t accidentally take more money from us, and they have not yet.

I want to thank that call center supervisor, who apparently wrestled some sort of arcane crocodiles to make sure I got my money back. Thank you. I hope that you have easier cases going forward.

It’s Lonely At The Top… Because You’re Bad At It

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2022

My husband and I are regulars at this popular global pizza chain outlet. We always ask to be seated at the same set of tables because of this awesome waitress. She’s always smiling, she’s super attentive, she never gets the orders wrong, and she has great customer service overall. Every time, I compliment her in person and to her manager and leave fabulous online feedbacks.

During the course of about three years, I gather that she is studying in college and works here part-time. Once, I ask her about her wages, and I am upset because she doesn’t get paid a lot. My husband is a manager at a global footwear chain and I persuade him to hire her as they pay considerably higher. He just says that he would rather consider her after she’s finished her college degree as she can join as a manager-trainee rather than a store assistant — that’s if she is willing.

Then, just like that, we start eating more at home and we do not visit that restaurant for about a year or so. One afternoon, we are both back from work early and plan to meet at this restaurant for a quick lunch. The place is not so busy. There is no host, so we just seat ourselves at our usual table.

A new waitress brings us the menu. I am a little disappointed that we do not have our regular waitress but do not mention that. We place our orders: two meals (one drink, appetizer, and a personal pizza), one additional large appetizer, and a pasta. The waitress seems a little stressed out in general. We talk about the old waitress and think that she may have graduated and left this job.

We wait for a few minutes and our drinks have not arrived. We flag down our waitress and she signs at us that she’s getting our orders. Soon, she brings our drinks and just two appetizers that come with the meals. The large appetizer is missed out.

Me: “Hey, where’s the additional appetizer?”

Waitress: “Sorry, ma’am, it will take a while.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. And I ordered my drink without ice. This has ice in it.”

Waitress: “Oh, sorry, let me take it back.”

I never order drinks with ice because I start wheezing. When my drinks get mixed up, the staff (at all restaurants I have ever visited) usually remake the drink without ice, or, if it can’t be made without ice, they suggest me an alternate one. This drink can definitely be made without ice, so I send it back for a new one.

And we wait! After a long wait, the waitress is back. By now, we have finished off our appetizers.

Me: “Hey, did you just remove the ice from my old drink?”

Waitress: *Without missing a beat* “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “But I had taken a sip out of it. Even otherwise, why would you do that? Don’t you just remake it?”

Waitress: “No, ma’am. We are not allowed to remake drinks. You can place a fresh order, but we won’t replace this one for free.”

Me: “But my order said, ‘No ice’.”

My voice is stern and the waitress looks like she’s about to cry.

Husband: “You know what? Leave it here. Get a fresh one without ice this time. And please bring our appetizer soon.”

She looks relieved and goes away.

Husband: “Before you say it, I know; you were right and she was wrong. But she looks like she’s having a hard time.”

Me: “It’s not even crowded. Why would she be so stressed?! [Old Waitress] was super awesome; we never had trouble!”

After a while, the waitress brings our pizzas out. There’s no sign of our large appetizer and my fresh drink at all.

Me: “Hey, what about the appetizer and fresh drink?”

Waitress: “Ma’am, I’m really sorry about the delay. I will get them for you right away.”

Husband: “The pizzas are already cold!”

She just looks at us in tears.

Me: “Never mind. Please go and get the rest of the food.”

We eat the cold pizzas with no drink. We have waited long enough to just want to go away now. We flag her down again.

Me: “Hey, you know what? Please cancel the rest of the orders and get us our bill. We’d like to leave.”

Waitress: “Bu, ma’am, the appetizer is ready; I can bring it out.”

Me: “Go ahead and bring it immediately. But please cancel the others.”

She goes away teary-eyed and comes back with the appetizer, which is awfully cold already. I can’t take it anymore!

Me: “I do not want this; it is cold. Please return it and do not charge us for it.”

Waitress: “Ma’am, the manager will not allow it. You have to pay for what you have ordered.”

Me: “But we have only eaten cold food and you have gotten every order wrong so far. We have never had this bad an experience here.”

Waitress: “Okay, let me check with my manager about what can be done!”

Every time she goes inside the kitchen, she comes back looking worse. She’s now almost in tears again.

Waitress: “Ma’am, the manager does not agree. We will bring you the drink and pasta, too. We cannot cancel anything as it has been so long since it was ordered.”

Me: “Exactly, that’s the point. It has been so long and we just want to get away now.”

The waitress starts sobbing slowly.

Husband: “Hey, are you okay?”

Waitress: “Sorry, sir! The manager is cooking today as the cook has called in sick. She’s slow and has been getting all orders wrong since morning. We are having a tough day.”

Me: “Oh, no! That explains your stress. I’m so sorry for being harsh on you. Calm down; it’s not your fault anyway. Please get your manager here. We will explain the problem and cancel the rest of the stuff.”

She goes away to bring her manager. I hear someone screaming from the kitchen that the orders cannot be cancelled. A minute later, the “manager” walks out angrily with the waitress in tow.

My husband and I look at each other in disbelief; it’s our regular waitress! The moment she sees us, she’s all smiles.

Old Waitress: “Hello, ma’am! Hello, sir! How are you?”

Husband: “Well, not having a good time, as you may know by now.”

She looks sheepish.

Me: “You cannot remake drinks, orders are delayed, and food is cold. And you cannot cancel the orders?”

Old Waitress: “Ma’am, it reflects badly on our sales metrics to cancel orders.”

Me: “But you did it all the time when you were a waitress.”

She’s struggling to explain!

Me: “You knew that you couldn’t just take the ice out of drinks. Is that even allowed? That’s so unhygienic!”

Old Waitress: “Well, I made some changes since I took charge. But I can remake the drink now. We will get your food out soon. We will fix it, ma’am!”

Me: “No, you gave our waitress a hard time all this while and now you want to fix it. You have changed so much, haven’t you?!”

Husband: “Just cancel everything and give us the bill for our food. We are done here.”

She tried hard to convince us to wait, but we were beyond done by then. When we just placed the money on the table and started leaving, she was forced to give us the bill.

We tipped the waitress and apologised to her for the hard time she had. We really felt bad for her for having to deal with that obnoxious manager. I did give feedback about our experience and we haven’t been back to that place since.

My husband dodged a bullet by not hiring that lady. Now, any time we want to talk about someone moving up the ladder and becoming rude and obnoxious, we use her name!

Thanks So Much For The Upgrade

, , , , | Working | January 3, 2022

My family and I are going to a resort. The day before we arrive, we are told that our meal package was “upgraded” completely out of the blue. The employee we speak to doesn’t give many details — they don’t seem to know themselves or explain the difference — but they do say we can ask at the resort. We ask about what choice we have, and it is clear our choice is to take the upgrade or a refund and they will throw in some food vouchers. We take the upgrade.

We arrive and ask at check-in. The employee there explains that we will use a separate restaurant, which looks like it has a more high-end menu. We are still hopeful and ask for a copy of the menu as we unpack, but quickly, there is a problem. I head back to check-in.

Me: “We’ve been upgraded to [meal package #1] but I don’t see half of the vegetarian options available.”

Employee: “Yes, [meal package #2] is more suitable for vegetarians. We advise guests to choose that package if they have special requirements.”

Me: “No, see, we did choose that package. We were told that we were moved to the other one.”

Employee: “Let me see.” *Checks his computer* “Okay, I see a note. We upgraded you as we overbooked [meal package #2]. But you’ve saved over two hundred pounds.”

Me: “Okay, but we weren’t told about the restrictions. Can we change back? The options are very limited — not enough to eat there all week.”

Employee: “I’m afraid that package is full.”

Me: “But we can’t use the new restaurant.”

Employee: “[Meal package #1] has access to several other excellent meals and drinks.”

Me: “Which we can’t eat.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but if it’s full, I can’t add you to the package. Maybe you could ask around for someone to swap.”

Me: “No. I appreciate that, but could I just get my money refunded? I mean, you are not providing a suitable alternative.”

Employee: “Are you sure? I’ve eaten there myself; the food really is excellent.”

I wanted to scream, “The food may be world-class, but it doesn’t matter if we cannot eat!” After a lot of back and forth and insistence that we “give it a go,” we finally got a refund. I also rang the booking line to get the offered vouchers.

Things did work out well in the end, as they mistakenly refunded the cost of the much more expensive meal package. While it wasn’t the fully catered holiday we’d booked, between the refund and the vouchers, we ate like kings for the week!