Zen and the Lost Art of Customer Service

Remember, in the days before the internet, when there was this thing called customer service? People who worked for companies would actually try to help their customers because they knew that the customer had the money and if they wanted it they’d have to actually provide a service or product to get it AND that product/service would have to actually work.

What happened to that?

I’m in a customer service argument with my cell phone provider. I call them that because they did, indeed, provide the phone… the service? Sometimes. That’s the part I have an issue with. The phone is paid for so it’s the service that I’m giving them money for. You’d think that if they wanted money, they’d give me the service. Well, you’d think that. Thus begins my little horror story.

The company in question is tMobile, and they have the most lackadaisical customer service I’ve come across in some time. I tried calling them, but, that being the issue, the phone doesn’t work that well. “I know!” I thought. “I’ll use Google Hangouts to make the phone call. My ISP hasn’t let me down (lately)!” Here’s the issue:

They have no phone service for this.

I know that for writing purposes that last line should be included in the previous paragraph, but it needs to stand on its own so you can read it again and think about this. The phone company has no customer service phone service. Staggering, right?

Next attempt, email. This company has to have email service. It’s the 21st century, dammit! I’ve been scouring this website for twenty minutes and there is no email service for this type of issue! What the hell? How can you not have email?

According to what I do find on their website, this leaves me with one of my least favorite means of communicating: Twitter. I’d like to be making that up. The only customer service provided is through Twitter. I’m blaming Trump for this but here we go. Starting tweets.

Just a sampling of the actual tweets. Still not fixed, by the way.

The problem is that when I’m at home, the phone will say that I’ve moved out of cell range. Usually, I’m sitting in a stationary chair when that happens. Perhaps that’s the problem, the company is called tMobile and thus I should be moving while using the phone. Except I need to transcribe what my wife is telling me to do on the phone and it’s annoying to try to type while moving and talking on the phone at the same time.

Their solution? A transmitter. They sent me a box that hooks into my internet at home and provides, essentially, an antenna boost. And it worked, for a couple weeks. Then the box died. I was told, via Twitter, to either mail it back, via UPS, and there isn’t a UPS store within 20-miles of my house, or take it to a tMobile store and they’d send it back and give me a new one.

I took it to a tMobile store and they said “no, we don’t do that.” “But corporate said you do!” I said. “Well, we don’t” they said. Store number two: same thing. Store three: ditto. Back to twitter. “No, you can take it to a store, we do that.” “Have you told the stores this?” I asked.

Short form, I found a UPS store and sent it back. They sent me a new box and, guess what, it doesn’t really work that well. No particular reason that I can tell. It’s a small(ish) black box with five lights on it. They should all be green if it works. The middle one is yellow. I told them this, via twitter.

The response? Send us a picture so we know which light is out. Are you f*cking kidding me? So I did. I sent them a picture with the caption: “because me telling you that it’s the middle one isn’t good enough for you.”

I was then told that the box wasn’t on their system. I’ve had the damn thing for weeks and it’s not on their system? Why not? They didn’t know when I got it, they said. You sent the damn thing to me! Morons. Magenta colored morons, the lot of them.

“So how do we get it on your system?” I asked. They said they need my address for that and asked what it was. I explained that they send me a bill there every month and MAILED THE BOX TO THAT SAME ADDRESS! But sir, we don’t know that that’s where you hooked it up. Why on Earth would I have you send it somewhere else?

At this point, I’m usually asked why I haven’t switched companies yet. I had AT&T when I moved here. No signal at all. They actually came to my door recently trying to sell their service. I asked the young girl how many bars she had on her phone right now. She said, “Our service is second to none in the US and we have more bars than… than… I have no bars here.” She then tried a variation of a Sailor Moon transformation to get bars. I was amused but it didn’t work.

Verizon? I will admit that Verizon did work best of the three, but they added more to our bill every month for things like, “We want to charge you more fees” and “We haven’t drained enough of your account bills.”

Unfortunately, it seems I’m stuck with tMobile, or t-Mo-Bile, as I call them, until 5G comes around. If the service so far is any indication, I suspect somewhere in the mid 2050s. So, if you need to contact me, apparently Twitter works.


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