Posted On: Tuesday - August 25th 2020 1:09PM MST
In Topics:   Curmudgeonry  Big-Biz Stupidity  Scams  Customer Care
It's time for another Peak Stupidity "customer care" story. It's been a while, and this one is a doozy, really more like a scam than just a customer service failure.
In our post Thank you, TSA guy! of a week and a half ago, derived from a family road trip, I noted that we had lost something, which was related to what slowed us down at the TSA. Part of it was somewhat important, and I was sure I'd left it in, around, or under the rent-a-car that we returned, as we were in a big hurry there. While getting on the plane I used some of their internet to figure out how we'd reach these people.
As usual, they made it impossible to call them, at least per the web site. That is the thing now - nobody wants a phone call. The young people don't even know how to use it properly as a telephone anymore. I found that there was a web page for lost items and went through the whole semi-frustrating thing. (You always get stuck on something or other.) OK, fine, but, as I've written before, doing everything electronically gives me absolutely no confidence that any live human being even knows or is thinking, or ever will know or think, about this lost item! How would I ever know?
We've all been through something like this, and one thing (which deserves its own post) you learn is that it's best to try to find something right away. Even with honest people - and in this case, it was nothing but 3rd world immigrants (they were very nice, I'll admit, but who knows about 'em?) - someone may hold your item for you, but the chain of custody can get longer than the chain of communications.
Therefore, I was happy to find a local area code phone number of the rent-a-car location. That had to wait until I got back, that night. I laid in the bed, not expecting to get a live person right off the bat, but maybe soon... maybe ... With my obstinate policy of not talking to computers, I went through some button-mashing sequences. No, "0" right away hangs up, OK, try to get through this one, OK got "lost and found", excellent, should be someone answering... nope, more menu options ... "listen, as our menu options have changed", that last thing being a scam of its own...
Within the lost and found menu, I tried every sequence I could find but it wanted you to listen to what was an ad, AARP discounts, something like that. There was no way around that. OK, I gotta get a person, so I went through that ad and found out there was another after it. Keep in mind that during these trials, I hung up, or got hung up on (for mashing "0"), many times in my experimentation. I was resigned to listening to now a 3rd ad, as one had to get through them to get anywhere. Here's where you get - it hangs up on you after that 3rd ad!
Man, I was pissed. Not only could you not get a live person at all, I'd wasted 1/2 an hour, and got suckered into listening to 3 advertisements in order to TRY to get to a live person. It's just plain a scam. (In case you are wondering, this was definitely the rent-a-car company's voice system, as I got to the front end each time, and then their lost and found option.)
Oh, the item was deep in my luggage, I found out the next day sometime when I rummaged through it better. That doesn't let these marketing bastards off the hook. Now relieved to have my belonging back, I just have to put up with auto-emails from the company daily that tell me that, yes, the lost-and-found computer program knows that I lost it, but does not know where it is. I can't figure out how to stop these emails so far, unless I tell the computer I found the item. I will not give it the satisfaction - haha, like there's anybody to care!