Archive for December 2007

Abysmal customer service

Recently I have been the recipient of a number of incidents of abysmal customer service and I really need to vent.

The worst of all is Bank of America.  They are as extraordinarily polite as they are incompetent.

On a number of occasions they have stopped my card.  Reasons for this have included:
  - You were spending a lot of money (it was Christmas Eve)
  - Someone used your card in another state (I live in Maryland, 20 minutes drive from Virginia malls).
  - You spent money in another country.

The last seems reasonable in some sense, so I have now taken to calling them before travel and advising of travel.   I have also on several occasions asked them to cease this practice as I travel a lot.  They always agree that this is fine and that they have made a note on my record, but it has never had any noticeable effect.  On my last trip home to Australia in September they stopped my card again.  After calling them - at least half an hour on the phone, at international rates - they assured me it had been unblocked.  I went out shopping and found it still blocked.  I repeated this process AGAIN and it was still blocked.  It was not until the third call that I managed to get the card unblocked.  On each occasion they assured me the problem was solved.  Overall I spent about three hours on the phone at international rates. 

I wrote an email to complain and was told they would send a physical letter to explain what had happened.  Such a letter never arrived.

Last Monday, 11/26, while en route to California, I misplaced my card.  Believing I had lost it in the airport, I rang to report it lost.   I spent 25 minutes on the phone and spoke to three different individuals.  The final one told me she could not suspend the card for some reason that she didn’t mention and that I would have to call back some other time.

I did not call back, hoping the card would turn up.  It did, on Friday 11/30, and then they promptly suspended it.  I emailed them to ask if it could be unsuspended, and was told that a new card had been issued and that I would receive it by mail 12/3.  Today 12/5 it had still not turned up, so I emailed again and they told me it was *mailed* 12/3.

On some level it is my own fault for continuing to bank with them, a problem which I will shortly remedy.

However, I am particularly grumpy with customer service assistants this week.

Number 2 was the gate agent at United in SJC on Friday afternoon.  After she twice stopped serving me to help someone else - and gave us each the wrong boarding passes - I politely asked if she could finish serving me before moving on.  She threw the boarding pass at me and it hit me in the face.  Charming.  I said nothing but took my pass and walked away.

Number 3, today I was on the phone to a doctor’s secretary.  She could not find me in the computer and then gave me a lecture on the fact that I was mispronouncing my own name.  If I would only pronounce it the way she did, instead of the way my entire family does, then people would be better able to assist me!

Vent over.  Will resume normal programming shortly.