Customer Service…

Last night I got a call from the Houston Chronicle, the local newspaper. Before I go into the phone call I will take you back to the 14th of October:

Oct 14: I go on-line and subscribe to the Chronicle paying in advance for 20 weeks of delivery.

Oct 15: I receive email confirmation of my order.

Oct 16: I wait anxiously for my first paper to be delivered… drats, well maybe it will start tomorrow.

Oct 17: Again, nothing in my driveway, so I venture out to see if the paper might be in the bushes or on the roof… Nadda.

Oct 18: I sit patiently and wait for the paper guy to drive down my street hoping to catch him when he delivers my neighbor’s paper. He drives by too quickly … drats.

Oct 19: still no paper, but I receive a lovely letter from the Chronicle thanking me for my order and confirming that my delivery was to begin on the 16th. I call the number listed in the letter and explain that I have not received the paper yet. They are very sweet and assure me that I will receive a paper in the morning.

Oct 20-30: A bad rendition of Ground Hogs Day… No paper, I call them, they promise it will start the next day, the next day comes and goes without a paper.

From time to time when I called them I would ask flippant questions such as, “Is my carrier afraid to deliver to my house because I have a tree?”

or

“Will my carrier deliver if I sit outside and offer him breakfast?”

or

“Does the carrier accept bribes?”

or

“My carrier does realize that he is blowing his Christmas tip doesn’t he?”

 It did not matter how many times I called, I NEVER received one copy of the paper. I know that they still print the news on paper cuz a co-worker brings one in to work in the mornings.

Well, I gave up. I called and asked them to cancel my subscription and refund my money. That was on the 31st. Which brings me to last night’s call:

The caller wanted to know why I was dissatisfied with the Chronicle and IF I would consider a couple weeks free delivery to once again become a customer.

I calmly explained that a year’s worth of free papers would do me no good because I would NEVER receive them. Oh heck, make it two years worth of free papers that I never receive.

She said I sounded irrational and that she was merely trying to remedy my problem. She then went on to ask me a series of questions: (my answers in bold)

On a scale of one to five, five being the highest, how do you rate the service of your carrier?

“Um, you have got to be flipping kidding me, RIGHT? You do know I did not receive any papers, right?”

She continued: Did your paper arrive in a timely fashion?

“I am going to say no, unless by timely fashion you consider three weeks and still waiting to be acceptable?”

She paused and asked, “Three weeks of what?”

Good Grief, she is going to make me curse aloud. “Three weeks of never receiving the paper. Do you see a pattern with my answers?”

She responds with this gem: Perhaps you would be more content to only receive the paper on Sundays as many customers state that they do not have the time to read the paper daily.

I know by this time that my teeth are clenched because my jaw is beginning to ache… and I fight back the urge to slip into a Chris Tucker role and say, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” I gave up…

From that point on the remainder of the conversation was blah, blah, blah, something, something-else.

I was almost afraid that I would wake up this morning and actually find a newspaper in my driveway. Not to worry, my carrier did not let me down.

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11 Responses to “Customer Service…”

  1. Just a Mom Says:

    Sometimes I really miss the Houston Post! I have had numerous problems with the “Barnicle” as I call them! I have gone to just buying the Sunday paper at the grocery store just so I can get my coupons and make sure I am not in the obituaries!

  2. the Grit Says:

    Hi B,

    Print is dead. They’re doing you a favor. You should send them a thank you letter, with mysterious white powder in it. :)

    Oh, and I had a disappearing paper problem once. After actually getting to speak to the carrier, who assured me that he was tossing a paper at the end of my drive every day, I got up extra early and waited to see who was stealing my news. Turns out it was one of the neighborhood dogs. The next morning I shot him in the balls with an air rifle and never missed a paper again.

    the Grit

  3. Taoist Biker Says:

    That’s pretty much the same reason we quit having the paper delivered. And we had a similar talk with the paper about it. Yeesh.

    Internet-only for me, thanks!

  4. thegirlfromtheghetto Says:

    OMG, that was absolutly hysterical! (But I’m sure when you were talking to that brain dead idiot it was hell!)

    You are sooo funny …. glad you are back!

  5. Peter Parkour Says:

    You are far more patient than I. I would have flipped the f@#% out on them. I feel like flipping the f@#% out just reading this. Grrr…

  6. DNR Says:

    heh – Not that you want the paper now, but you should try stopping the carrier. I drove one of those motor routs back in the day. He probably has an extra paper and didn’t get notification that a new customer started.

    I remember distinctly going back to the dispatch office;
    Me – “you gave me 2 extras today, is there suppose to be new customers?”
    Distribution Mgr – “I’ll check, let you know tomorrow. Here’s a credit for the 2 extra today.”
    - insert Groundhog Day here -

    This occurred several times. I’d get an extra paper, no notice, then after a couple weeks, the extra paper would stop…

  7. trishatruly Says:

    Maybe, ( I know I would if I had that job) just MAYBE the woman at the newspaper who took that call was just f*cking with you! That has got to be one of the shittiest jobs of all time: customer service at a freakin’ newspaper subscription service!
    Good luck getting that refund!

  8. Sarah Says:

    When I moved in with my husband, I wanted to be a real grown up and receive a daily paper. So I called the newspaper office of my choice, paid for a years worth of papers and awaited my paper. A week went by and nada. I called the office and was told that my papers had been delivered. One day I got up early (I found out what time my delivery guy came by) and waited.

    Yeah, no one told me that at apartment buildings the jerk offs just leave the papers by the front door. First person out the door grabs a paper. I actually managed to get one paper. The next day I saw the guy who lived downstairs from us sneak out in his robe and steal my paper. One day I confronted him, and he asked why I was trying to steal his paper.

    Needless to say, I cancelled my subscription and have decided that I can just as easily read my news online. I’m fully aware that this was not so much a comment on your story, but a story of my newspaper woes.

  9. kaylee2 Says:

    hahaha I love you but am very sad

  10. Steve Says:

    I LIVED IN HOUSTON FOR MANY YEARS AND CAME TO CONSIDER THE “CHRON” A PRETTY GOOD NEWSPAPER. SEVEN YEARS AGO I MOVED TO ALPINE, TX (REMOTE) AND SO STARTED READING THE CHRON ONLINE. YESTERDAY I SUBSCRIBED TO THE “E EDITION” WILLING TO PAY MONEY TO TRY IT OUT. THIS MORNING NO E EDITION AND I SENT THE CHRON AN INQUIRY THROUGH THE CUSTOMER SERVICE WEBSITE. I GOT AN EMAIL RESPONSE ASKING ME TO RESUBMIT MY INQUIRY AND INCLUDE MY ZIP CODE. I COULD NOT REPLY VIA EMAIL. I WAS ASKED TO “RESUBMIT”. ALSO, THIS SUBSCRIPTION WAS FOR THE E EDITION….WHY THE NEED FOR MY ZIP CODE?? I HAD ALREADY GIVEN MY CC NUMBER SO PAYMENT OR BILLING WAS ALREADY HANDLED. I CALLED THE 888 PHONE NUMBER AND THE REP WANT MY PHYSICAL ADDRESS. AGAIN THIS IS AN E EDITION SUBSCRIPTION PAYED FOR BY MY CC. THE REP HAD NO RESOLUTION OTHER THAN TO EMAIL ME TODAYS E EDITION AND I AM WAITING FOR A CALL BACK FROM YET ANOTHER REP IN ORDER TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. THIS SHOULDNT EVEN BE A PROBLEM. MY CC IS GOOD. THEY HAVE MY EMAIL ADDRESS. WHEN THE SECOND REP CALLS BACK I AM GOING TO CANCEL.

    IT PISSES ME OFF.

  11. Steve Says:

    Wait until you try their e edition. It takes me two hours to down load the paper. The Chronicle is so bad I won’t miss it when it goes under.

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