Richard sent us this screen capture of a chat he says he recently had with a Roadrunner CSR. I can’t figure out why the CSR would withhold bandwidth stats from a customer, nor why she would capitulate so quickly when Richard asks for her supervisor. Maybe that’s one mean supervisor.
Check out the nickname for the Comcast CSR who helped Lauren set up her new account. Lauren adds, “‘Nem’ did a good job setting me up, though. I can’t wait to see what the service tech’s name is! Bane, perhaps?”
Stephanie just encountered a Chase CSR who I’m pretty sure will never fall victim to social engineering, and who would likely be unbreakable in a courtroom cross-examination, too. Of course, in Stephanie’s situation this just means that the CSR refuses to help her in any way at all, which isn’t the kind of thing you hope to find when you call customer service.
We’re happy for Comcast that it’s a giant company and all, but is it really that impossible to have someone in Connecticut talk on the phone with a Connecticut-based customer about a no-show installation tech who we presume should also be in Connecticut? Maybe that’s the problem—maybe the technician was accidentally outsourced and is presently driving around Mexico or the Antarctic looking for Karah’s address.
Courtney had some questions about an order she wanted to place with Jansen Medical Supply of Houston. Their website offers large discounts on medical equipment and chairs that automatically dump grandma on the floor when it’s time for her to leave. What they don’t offer, however, is answers. Courtney found out the hard way, and we’re not sure but we think she’s been banned from ordering from them. Well, unless she disguises her voice and calls back.
When some lowlife tried to scam Andy the other day through his friend’s hijacked Gmail account, Andy tried to get him to use PayPal, and he came up with a great reason why. “It’s the fastest way to send money,” Andy told the scammer. “Once I deposit the funds, you can print it out of any color printer and it’s real money!” Another reader was so amused by it that she decided to use it on her own Facebook scammer earlier today.
Andy logged in to Gmail on Sunday, and his friend Jeff started to chat with him. Things seemed a bit off, but Andy really became suspicious when Jeff asked him to wire $500 to an injured friend in Nigeria. The real Jeff, of course, was off playing XBOX and has no friends in Nigeria. Like the scammers hitting up people’s friends for money via Facebook, thieves can log in to your e-mail and chat accounts, pretending to be you.
Matt is having some trouble getting Dell to sort out its billing mistake with his new TV purchase. It’s an interesting story because for the most part, Dell employees or outsourced CSRs are trying to be helpful to Matt, but nothing has actually been accomplished yet over email, chat, or the telephone. Matt wants his $300 back, and Dell wants Matt to just return the TV set if he won’t pay the non-discounted price. We think he may have a case here for disputing the overcharged amount.
Something bad has happened to Symantec’s once-good chat service, notes Neil J. Rubenking at PC Mag. In the past, he says, they were helpful and knowledgable; now they pass freeware apps off as their own and attempt to get you to pay $100 fees for their “expert” service when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem with them. He writes, “My new experiences while evaluating Norton 360 version 3.0 opened my eyes to the magnitude of the problem. Did Symantec switch outsourced support companies? Has the chat support team gone rogue?”
Reader Brad forwarded some links to chat transcripts in which he tries to tell Comcast that he can’t make local calls, during which he alternates from incredulity to despair then back to incredulity again. He even sings to the CSR.
This chat transcript from “Yet Another Girl”‘s blog is an example of how sometimes you can find exactly the answer you’re looking for on a customer service chat. Unfortunately, in this case, you’ll do all of the work yourself while the chat agent stares numbly at the screen, wondering how did I end up here? I don’t even know what this “apple” thing is!
A Consumerist reader called HP to ask whether they could help him with a broken computer. They couldn’t, of course, but that didn’t stop the CSR from trying to ever-so-politely upsell a brand new HP computer at a low, low price. Thanks for calling HP Total Care for Desktops! What can we do to put you in a new computer today?
Before we get to the typical bad-company shenanigans—in this case, Dell’s $599 discount mysteriously shrank to $400 between when he placed it in his shopping cart and when he reached the confirmation screen—we want to share this bit of ridiculousness. Dell’s CSR Vanessa gives us the scoop on Dell’s sophisticated order fulfillment system:
A former camera store manager came forward to defend retail renting as a common tactic that helps drive sales. Retail renting is when a customer buys a pricey item like a prom dress with the intention of returning it later. Our completely unscientific poll shows that 70% of you disapprove of retail renting, but our tipster insists that it is a victimless crime and a valuable sales tool. Our enlightening chat with the former manager, inside.
A reader noticed that Apple is selling refurbished 8gb iPhones for $349, and they’re listing the original price as $599. “Save 42% off the original price,” says the Apple Store. Gosh, that’s a huge savings! Wait… well sure, the original original price was $599, but we all know that Apple knocked that down fairly quickly, and now a brand new 8 gb model sells for $399—which means actually you’re only saving 12.5% off the Real World Price Right Now of a brand new iPhone, if you went and bought it today.
Some non-game playing exec at Namco Bandai has decided that the gun controller that ships with Time Crisis 4 for the Playstation 3 cannot and will not be sold separately, even though there’s a 2-player mode in the game. Their CSR’s helpful suggestion? “You will need another copy of Time Crisis 4.” It’s as if the game is a license to use one gun controller—if you want more gun controllers, simply buy more licenses!