A new day in the life…Customer service calls…

Shoe display in the souk in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2014.

Gosh, we’re almost at the end of the month of January when it will be only two more months until we depart Las Vegas. Each day passes so quickly. As we’ve aged, we’ve noticed how time seems to fly by more quickly than it did when we were young. That’s why it’s so important to treasure each and every day, let alone every moment. We’ve made a point to live in the moment, as opposed to anticipating what is yet to come.

Sure, with our lifestyle, we have no choice but to plan ahead, which can often preoccupy us for days at a time as we book venues, flights and activities. But, once that part is completed, we revel in the pleasures and joys of this otherwise uncomplicated life.

However, now and then, regardless of where we may be at any given time, it’s impossible to avoid dealing with customer service departments of various businesses we employ in our day-to-day lives. This morning was a perfect example of the issues in dealing with customer service departments.

Our Smith’s grocery order arrived right on time at 10:00 am. When the “picker” knocked on the door, letting us know our groceries were in plastic bags outside the door of our unit, Tom jumped up and started bringing in the items. The order total was $167, which I noticed was more than the amount of the order I’d placed.

Tom noticed there were two packages of bottled water included with our order. Immediately, I texted the picker that we hadn’t ordered two cases of bottled water. As a matter of fact, we never use single-serve bottled water since we both feel it’s a waste of plastic. We always put water in our reusable mugs from five-gallon bottles or from the tap if the water is safe to drink.

Fortunately, I caught the picker in time before she left the building, and she returned to pick up the two cases of water, stating it was intended for another customer. When I checked our receipt, it showed we were charged $3.99 for each of the two cases, for a total of $7.98.

As indicated on the app, I could enter the error and request a refund of $7.98. Carefully, I followed the instructions for the refund, But, wait a minute…it wasn’t so easy. I entered a “chat” to get it corrected but realized the chat was automated, and as expected, I didn’t get anywhere. At this point, I’d already spent 30 minutes on this error made by the picker.

I ended the chat and called the phone number. It was another 40 minutes until a “human” corrected the error. In total, I spent an hour and ten minutes dealing with this, most of which I was on hold once a human came onto the line and had to keep putting me on hold to work on the error.

At one point, the human realized I’d been working on this for quite a while, and he not only credited me the $7.98 but an extra $5 for “my time and inconvenience.” Gee…my hourly wage is infinitesimal! But, in my usual way, I stayed calm and polite and finally appreciative of the correction made by the human.

This is not an isolated circumstance. I have been waiting for almost a month for the Railroad Retirement Board to process my enrollment for Medicare Part B. I tried calling again, but there’s a minimum of a three-hour wait. I finally found an email link and sent a message asking for the status of my request. There was nowhere on their site that I could check my enrollment status, although there was a link for it that didn’t work. Oh, good grief.

I’m certain every one of our readers could tell a recent similar story of dealing with customer service for one business or another. We live in a digital world. It would be nice if all the kinks were worked out and if humans were properly trained to be fast and efficient. If everything worked as well as the automated laundry here in this building, using a flawless app on my phone, life would be easier for those of us looking for speedy resolutions.

As I said, each moment is precious. It’s a shame to waste them on customer service calls.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, January 26, 2014:

We were so excited to get this shot of one of the two monitor lizards living in our yard.  This photo was taken at the hottest point of the day. Louise and Danie told us that they’ll swim in the pool from time to time. We’d have loved to see that! For more photos, please click here.