Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Customer Serviced

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It was my mistake. The website was precise in clarifying the quantity was “1 bracket” and I knew I needed two, so I ordered two. When my package arrived, the box revealed it was “One kit.”

I didn’t need to order two.

These weren’t cheap. Despite my preference to simply ignore the whole dilemma and have it fade away as if it never happened, I figured my time was easily worth recouping the otherwise wasted money.

There was no information about returns included in the package and the emailed receipt was incredibly oversimplified and devoid of any helpful detail. I pulled up the site online. While I was hunting for links hinting about support or customer service, an invitation to chat materialized in the lower right-hand corner of the window.

I always prefer chat sessions over waiting in the queue after navigating a phone maze to speak to a customer representative. The chat window launched with a well-labeled “automated response” offering me an opportunity to see the latest sale promotions.

Discounting that opening gambit, I typed out my initial query asking how to proceed with a return.

A notice appeared indicating there was one person in queue. No problem for me. The chat window was off to the side and I was simultaneously multitasking on actual work.

After a reasonable wait, a second “automated response” popped up asking for my email which would allow them to contact me at the next opportunity. I willingly complied.

Minutes passed. Eventually, many minutes passed. I watched my email and that notice indicating “one person in queue” for any hint of activity.

In hope of priming the pump again, I typed into the chat window asking if communication would move exclusively to email.

Do you know that scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” where principal Ed Rooney is at the front door and finally hears the taped dialogue start over again? That was my experience when it was confirmed for me that I was talking to a bot.

The chat window responded to my latest question with an opportunity to see the latest sale promotions.

After a pause, a second “automated response” popped up asking for my email which would allow them to contact me at the next opportunity.

Later in the evening, I spotted a new message in my email from the company. Subject line: “Hot Exclusive Prices That Won’t Last Till 2021!”

I’m pretty sure they have me right where they want me, and it has nothing to do with providing information on returns.



Written by johnwhays

December 22, 2020 at 7:00 am

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