I actually got a comment on a post! That means somebody is actually reading this stuff. That's awesome. Thanks, Darth Nepharia. Your blog is very interesting. I can appreciate it being a complete Star Wars geek. I won't embarrass myself by going over how many times I've actually watched the movies or citing how many Star Wars books I own. And yes, Geeks Rule.
Whatever happened to customer service? I watched Back To The Future again a couple of weeks ago. One of the most interesting scenes in the movie is when Marty first goes back to 1955 and is wandering the town square. Everything is alien to him. Being around that same age when the movie came out (1985, since I've already dated myself) it seemed alien to me too. One of the most striking images was the staff running out at the gas station to check the tires, wash the windshields, etc. Full Service gas stations were rare when I was a kid, they don't exist now. We don't even call it Self-Service anymore. That's just the way it is. Go to your local Taco Bell and the disgruntled teenager at the window is likely to see if they can complete the sale without actually speaking to you. We don't even find it odd anymore when they lean out the window and just hold their hand out like a beggar asking for spare change. No, even that's not a good comparison. The beggars I've met actually spoke to me. Then again, even the beggars seem to be fairly half-assed about it: re-using the same lines like a cheap hooker, not even bothering to try to dress the part. One Christmas I was accosted by a beggar wearing what must have been a $100 Packers jacket, asking for spare change. Come on, at least try to look like you really are poor, and not just faking it.
I recently had to reformat my hard drive. I did better this time, saving everything to an external hard drive and not trying to filter what was important first. Even so I still failed. I purchased Pocket Quicken for my Palm Pilot when I still had one. When I upgraded to a Windows PDA, I contacted Landware for an upgrade code and they graciously gave me one. After the reformat, my desktop side software was gone, but the PDA software was still there and still legally licensed, so I went to their site to get the desktop connection software again. This was mistake #1. The install removed the licensed software from my PDA and re-installed it IN DEMO MODE. I now have about 23 days left on my trial version of software that I have a license for. Cute, eh? I couldn't find the code I received before, so I contacted Landware again. They sent me a terse little note saying "You purchased the Palm version, buy the upgrade butthead!" Okay, paraphrased and embellished but essentially the same message. So I sent back "Thanks, but you've already given me the Windows Mobile code before, I just want that same code again." So they graciously sent me the Palm code again. No message, just a repeat of my registration from years ago. I can see the CSRs chuckling as they put this message together: "Dumb ass, trying to make us do work or something!" This piss poor attitude towards customer service has turned me off to Landware permanently. Intuit too, just for good measure. They did partner with the assholes. How long would it have taken to look it up and see if I was telling the truth? How long did it take to piss off a long time customer? How many customers did they lose? More than one! Me, everybody I tell this too, and hopefully whoever reads this blog. So we're up to like three or so. Whatever. Don't buy from Intuit or Landware.
This is on the heels of my fiasco with the cable company. We had one cable box and one DVR. We traded the cable box in for another DVR a while back. I'm taking a close look at the bill a few days ago, and notice I'm being charged for three boxes. So I call them. The lady wants to argue with me and keeps repeating "one is for the receiver and one is for the DVR", to which I keep saying "No I can see the two DVR charges, below there's three receiver charges. I don't have three receivers!" Finally after a while of this I give up and move on to other issues I'm calling about. Mid sentence, she states "They are actually charging you for three boxes, sir". No really? I never would've known if you hadn't told me because I'm obviously too freaking STUPID TO READ THE GODDAMNED BILL! If only somebody had tried to bring that to your attention LIKE FREAKIN ME!!! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that she actually looked at the bill and realized something was wrong, but why didn't she do that when I was telling her point blank something was wrong with the bill? At least they took it off. With three year old crying in the background I didn't press the issue that they'd been charging me that for nearly a year, but it's noteworthy that she didn't offer. What a jaded society we've become...