Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dear Big Book-Ordering Company,

I am not very happy with you right now.

Yesterday, when I was extremely busy and barely had time to EAT LUNCH, I spent 45 precious minutes trying to reach someone at your Customer "Support" Center. 45 minutes that I? DID NOT HAVE.

Here are the facts of my experience. I can only hope you will put this in a PowerPoint presentation and use it at customer service trainings, which I can only assume DO NOT HAPPEN VERY OFTEN.

  • Number of choices on your automated Customer "Support" hotline: 11
  • Number of times I called and listened to those 11 menu choices: 12
  • Number of times I selected the correct menu item but was launched into the galaxy of misfit callers, where one waits -- neither on hold nor disconnected -- for NOTHING to happen: 3
  • Number of minutes I waited like a sucker the first time this happened: 7
  • Number of times I deliberately selected the WRONG menu item in desperate hope of reaching a real live human being: 3
  • Number of times this plan was foiled: 3
  • Number of times I slammed the phone down: 12
  • Number of times I said "Customer support, my ass!": 5
  • Number of other expletives muttered: still calculating

At last, Big Book Ordering Company, I reached a Customer "Support" "Specialist". I don't know how I managed this, but somehow, despite your best efforts, I did. So great was my relief, I almost freakin' proposed to her. I explained the problem I was having with their website, and she replied, "No problem!"

A tear trickled slowly down my cheek as I thanked any higher power that was listening.

Alas, my joy was short-lived:

Customer "Support" Specialist: Are you registered?

Me: Well, I was able to log in to the program, so does that mean I'm registered?

Customer "Support" Specialist: (actually snorts) Just because you logged in doesn't mean you're registered.

Me: Are you talking about an online registration? Or something I would have filled out on paper?

Customer "Support" Specialist: Look, you are obviously not understanding this. I need to know IF YOU ARE REGISTERED.

Me: (getting upset)

Customer "Support" Specialist: So ARE YOU?

Me: (getting homicidal) I think I am registered.

Customer "Support" Specialist: (voice can barely fit through the phone wires as it is positively THICK with condescending attitude) Okay. I guess I'm going to have to go into your account and see for myself, because you obviously can't understand what I'm asking you.

Number of times I hung up on her: Once, with gusto

Number of times I felt bad about it: Zero



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Blogger Cole said...

I've personally had many experiences like yours. I'm beginning to just not believe that there is a such thing as this so-called "customer support." The origins of this myth are unknown, but I believe that when we call these telephone numbers we are actually connected to a magical land of make-believe much like Santa's Workshop in the North Pole or Oz or Denmark.

Oh, and I'd like you to go here ( and listen to any of those songs. The first four are my favorites. I just got the CD. You seem like the kind of person who might appreciate this type of music. It's different. Take care.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Actually, in all likelihood, you are being connected to someone in India who has a script in front of him (or her) and is completely flumoxed when you deviate from the script ("What do I do if she doesn't say yes or no? There's no 'think I am' option in my handbook").

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0000.. 0....

12:38 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Someone asked me in email if this is about Amazon. No, this is actually a company that many libraries use to place book orders... and we have been customers for YEARS. Sheesh.

Thanks for commiserating with me!

10:01 AM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...


And they're called Customer Service? Doesn't sound like it to me!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

Big Book Company Bastards!

11:38 PM  

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