Monday, March 25, 2013

Customer Service: Roses and Thorns

by Pa Rock

I had four customer service experiences today, two of which were great, and two which were much less satisfactory.

First the thorns:

I tried to call three medical providers today to arrange follow-up appointments.  Each had an answering machine screener.  One call, to my heart surgeon, got through with just a minor wait.   The other two (names and specialities to remain anonymous  - but two which would ordinarily have an appointment scheduled after a major surgery) were horrid.  The first kept me on hold with recycling messages about how "your call is important to us - please wait for the next available operator" for fifteen minutes.  I finally opted for the leave-a-message option and it wouldn't let me access it.  I hung up and will try again tomorrow - and I will give the physician a personal ear-full when I see him.  The second kept me on recycled messages for fifteen minutes and then a receptionist finally came on the line.

Automated answering machines represent piss poor customer service, and they should be forbidden, by law, in the offices of medical providers.

Now for the roses:

First rose goes to Walgreen's.  I bought stock in Walgreen's a few years ago because they have many, many stores in Phoenix,  carry a nice variety of merchandise, and are easy to navigate.  Today Nick and I went to one to return a set of bathroom scales that Molly got for me when she was here.  It turned out to require stooping over to push a button, something I cannot do at present.  The scale was still in the original packaging, but we did not have a sales receipt.  The young lady who was handling our return said that she would have to get her manager to ring-up the return because of the missing sales receipt.

The manager was an extremely nice and competent young man who quickly took care of the matter.  When we told him that we also needed to find some other items, he gave us a personal tour of the store, and told us how to possibly get Medicare to pay for one of the items at a specialized Walgreen's store.   After some more help I told him that I was a shareholder (albeit a very minor one) and how impressed I was with his customer service.  He talked about Walgreen's stock and told me some positives about the corporation of which I was unaware.  As we were checking out, he started explaining discounts that brought our total order down significantly in price.

Walgreen's, you are a winner in the stock market and in the community!

The other rose goes to my credit card company which I will keep anonymous, but my card is associated with VISA.

After we returned from Walgreen's, I got a call from a representative of the credit card company.  The only personal information that he wanted from me was my zip code to verify that he had reached the right party.  He then told me my street address and the amount of the purchase that we had just completed at Walgreen's - so he was who he said he was.  The young man said there had been an attempt to use my card number at a Rite Aid in New York today for $300, and the credit card company was suspicious and declined the transaction.  He was right, I had not been shopping in New York today.  The card was cancelled and I will receive a new one shortly.

I don't know what type of algorithm VISA uses to sniff out fraud, but I am impressed.   VISA, you rock!

And one rose to each of my kids and my sister who are taking weekly turns being my maids, butlers, and chauffeurs!  I am so fortunate to be related to such caring individuals!

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