Anyone who follows me on social media knows that recently I launched an all out war with Verizon. And by war, I mean I sat futilely and angrily by while my internet wasn’t functioning for over a week.
Day 4. No internet. @VerizonSupport
— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) October 13, 2014
How do you dress up as useless and overpaid? I'm going as @VerizonSupport for Halloween this year
— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) October 14, 2014
You know the guy who can't get it up and says "wait, give it a second, I swear this doesn't usually happen." That's @VerizonSupport
— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) October 15, 2014
Day 7!!! No internet!!! @VerizonSupport today I officially give up. You've broken me. Switching to a new provider. Peace out.
— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) October 16, 2014
In my mind, Verizon CEOs were laughing, drinking champagne and ignoring my carefully worded emails, while I did everything possible not to bash my head in a brick wall out of mute frustration.
The Verizon M.O.? (And I guarantee there must be some handbook or manual dictating these guidelines.) Is basically to initially deflect you with some sympathy. Such as “oh no, no internet? Let’s get right on that for you!” Then you give them all the details, they give you some semblance of “we are working around the clock on it” explanation and then an estimate of when you can expect it to be fixed. Except they were wrong for EIGHT FULL DAYS. I would have rather been told “hey, only thirty two people are affected by this outage, that’s not enough to warrant working around the clock, so we’ll get to it when we get to it mmmmkay?”
This is not an attack on customer service workers.Customer service people deal with all sorts of shit that they don’t deserve from their bosses and customers. And they don’t get paid nearly enough for it. This is about the mentality and dick philosophy that pervades all corporations.
Earlier this year, I flew Delta and due to an ice storm my flight was rerouted and the passengers were dumped in Scranton, Pennsylvania with no assistance to get to our intended destinations. It cost me an additional hundred dollars to finally get within forty five minutes of home. I couldn’t even get home from there and Delta balked at reimbursing its passengers or even acknowledging that they completely deserted a plane full of people without any guidance on how the hell to get out of Scranton (no offense The Office I still love you). How is that an acceptable way to run a business? We literally pay for everything on a plane from luggage, to food, to legroom and LivingSocial sometimes even has a great deal on a coupon that lets you cross your legs and breathe unlimited air for twenty dollars. YOU HAVE ONE JOB TO DO. And that’s to get us from point A to point B. Yes weather can delay things. Ice storms will happen. But nowhere on my ticket did I agree to be left hundreds of miles from home with barely a shrug and an apologetic smile. Did I accidentally check the box for “in case of Scranton reroute due to ice storm, you accept full responsibility for the fact that we are a bunch of dicks running this airline”?
Twice this year Amazon failed to deliver gifts I purchased. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Amazon is one of TheExComedy.com’s advertisers.] Their business model seems to be that they still deliver the initial order and a replacement but they want you to return one of them or they’ll charge you. I don’t understand this. Don’t send a replacement unless the original is faulty and just reimburse the shipping charge since it wasn’t delivered as promised. And if you’ve had these items sent directly as gifts, now the gift giver has to contact the gift receiver and say, “hey you know how you got two of those? Can you ship one back to Amazon? Because they’re going to charge me for it if you don’t.” I mean WHAT. THE. FUCK? Now your dick behavior makes me look like one.
I’m not surprised by any of this. None of us should be. When I worked in corporate America, one of my bosses “jokingly” suggested that the teenage daughter of one of my co-workers would be calling out sick from school soon with chlamydia. Lots of companies are run by pigs with the brain power of a crayon.
The larger problem is that the individual doesn’t matter. Our business as individuals doesn’t matter to these places. It’s only if their bottom line, their profit margin gets disturbed that they pay attention. The NFL is now taking domestic violence issues much more seriously and if you don’t think it is mostly due to large sponsors threatening to pull advertising dollars, then I want to live in your bubble. Do you think Verizon cares about some random pissed off writer in New York? Or Delta about twenty people on a tiny shuttle plane? Or Amazon that some twelve dollar book didn’t get delivered on time? Hell no. It’s not even a blip on the radar.
Every day when I check in on Facebook I see things like the following:
“I hate you, Time Warner!”
“Suck a dick, United Airlines!”
“You are the WORST, Comcast!”
“American Airlines: thanks for the terrible service.”
And on and on. The reality? Is that we are relegated to choosing companies and services that merely give us the least amount of headaches. How awful is that? A majority of the time it’s not that we are choosing the best. We are choosing the best of the worst. How depressing.
I admit it. I haven’t cancelled Verizon even though I often despise them with a virulent rage that I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. Because I will just deal with some other issue with one of the other carriers. They know this. I know this. The American people know this. We would rather piss and moan than get stuck in automated “press three for this option” hell trying to find anything on the list that even remotely fits our particular grievance and get a live person on the phone. I’m also convinced that those “contact us” email forms on websites just get lost in cyberspace. These companies don’t value customers and they make it so time consuming and difficult or impossible to be in touch, that in the end, many times it doesn’t seem worth the extra aggravation. Or the additional time out of my life feeling aggravated.
So because this feels like a losing battle, I decided to end this week with listing a few big businesses that have been wonderful to me and and even if it was just a well executed customer service illusion, made me feel like I mattered as a customer. And that they are grateful for business from each and every individual consumer:
May other companies one day learn to follow your example of not being dicks to me.