Monday, February 14, 2011

Can a brother get some respect for his time?

I've had two experiences in the past week that are really making me reevaluate just about all of my thoughts on our society as a whole, and both of them have to do with customer service, people having some respect for my time, and why you just can't expect companies to act reasonably anymore.

Let me first preface this by saying that I'm a realist first and foremost (actually, first I'm an elitist, then I'm a realist) and I that recognize that companies work for profit and that pandering to me specifically is the easiest way to go out of business (took a LOT of student loans to learn that lesson). I, however, don't think it is unreasonable to expect any company to not go out of their way to do a terrible job and then go out of their way to reply to my being-pissed-off-ed-ness.

Last week, I was very excited that pi, a hip and cool pizza place relatively new to St. Louis was sending their lunch truck over to my office park. Not being hip or cool, I don't get to visit many "good" restaurants, so this was going to be a very pleasant respite, until my experience led me to the following email.

"Just wanted to let you know that, at least in my opinion, your visit to City Place didn't go very well today. I headed out in the snow about 30 minutes after you all first arrived to see wave after wave of empty-handed people walking back into the office park. When we made it to the truck, we went to the back of the line, where people were talking about how the wait was 30 minutes in order to place an order for a pizza that would take another 30-45 minutes to order. I can't verify if that was true, but it seemed plausible enough I turned around and went into the cafeteria (which I never do, but was sort of stuck since I had planned on buying and didn't now have time to run out). If I may be so bold, I'd like to recommend that if your food takes 30-45 minutes to cook you park, open the phone lines and the windows and start taking orders and letting people know when to come pick up their pizza (I think pre-paying would be fine to make sure you don't get stuck). I'd also recommend that even if it takes 30 minutes to get your pizza after it is ordered, a 30 minute line to *place* an order it ridiculous and you should let people order then move back. Finally, if you are going to have a huge line waiting outside, I'd recommend having an employee out there to at least direct the conversations (they may end up as a whipping boy, but at least you wouldn't have some customers bad-mouthing your truck in a vacuum, which is what was happening)."

I have yet to hear back from them.

Then, trying to get some closure in my ongoing and very personal war on fertility, I sent the following email to LabCorp, a local medical testing place yesterday morning.

"I had to drop off a specimen this morning. I normally go to one of your locations by my house in St. Peters, but because of timing and my need to drop my kids off this morning I went to the one near my office in City Place 5 in St. Louis. I got there at stood patiently at the window for 5 minutes until the person manning the window opened it to talk to SOMEONE ELSE at which point I said I just needed to drop something off and he said I'd have to sign in anyway. Over AN HOUR LATER I went back up to the window to see how much longer it might be before I could JUST DROP OFF my sample, and he said he wasn't sure but that he had 4 other appointments before he could take my sample. I had visited your website and knew you took appointments but didn't believe I'd need one just to drop off a sample. I finally had to walk out so I could get to work which I was already late for. I understand that you all have a process and that it isn't fair to let people cut it line, but I don't believe that dropping something off should take that long and that if appointments even apply to that you should say that somewhere on either your website or in the office, and I think it is reasonable to expect that if I am going to have an unreasonable wait (and over an hour to drop something off is totally unreasonable in every case) then I think it would have been appropriate for the person manning the desk to tell me that when they told me I had to sign in. I'm extremely disappointed and I'm going to complain to EVERYONE about this experience. I understand things take time, but I would have probably been there for 4 hours just to drop something off, and that isn't any excuse for that, and even if there was there is no excuse for not making me aware of that upfront."

I don't anticipate a response, especially since I didn't make an appointment to contact customer service. I was able to successfully, and in about 30 seconds, drop my specimen off at another location in the afternoon.

So I can't actually, at this point, review the goods and services of either of these vendors, but I can report that their customer service is on the level of an egg salad sandwich that has been waiting very patiently only to be treated very poorly.


  1. [...] Comments « Can a brother get some respect for his time? [...]

  2. [...] time. I understand your time is valuable. I understand that you want to let people who also have no respect for my time show when they will and still make it to their seats in plenty of time for your first raging guitar [...]