I am your typical frustrated customer in today's global and automated economy. I don't have a Discover credit card but their subway ads boasting human customer service rep makes me almost want to have one. I have nothing against Discover, just that I already have a few credit cards and don't need another one. When I hear the phrase "customer service", cynical me automatically think of auto-generated email as soon as you submit an electronic request, then not hear back from anyone for a long time, or if anything at all it would be some canned response that most likely doesn't solve my problem. Also groan-inducing is the maze of voice menu, or someone who has a thick foreign accent and talks fast! And what's with being passed from one person or system to another and having to provide the same info over and over? More like Customer Disservice!
But let's be fair and acknowledge those instances when Customer Service actually provides the customer with a useful service. Some months ago I had a bad subway car (NYC Transit MetroCard). The local clerk was quick to give me an envelope to have the defective card mailed in. I suspect that the clerk didn't want to be bothered with the work of trying to solve it there and then, but maybe it's just me. Anyway, I filled out the form to the best of my knowledge. It sure asked for a lot of information. Just my luck even though I often save all the credit card receipts from the MetroCard vending machines, I didn't have this particular one I needed. Still I sent in the bad card and expected it to be an exercise in futility. I probably get back a form letter saying the card cannot be read and I didn't provide enough info. Lo and behold, a few days ago I got back a replacement for almost $10. Customer Service actually works!
Another personal experience of mine that shows Customer Service to be of assistance to the end-user is with CitiBike. I love the idea of using a bike to go from Point A to Point B without having to lock it up. Just check the bike out somewhere near your start point and return it somewhere near your destination. Unfortunately, almost every time I return the bike something didn't work. Sometimes the green light went on to show all was well, but when I checked record of my trips it would show that the bike was not returned where I did. Worst instance was when the data claimed I took it out for about seven hours and returned it elsewhere. It really stinks that once you tried to return and the thing locked up, whether with yellow, red, or green light, you cannot take it out again. Luckily, each time I wrote to CitiBike customer service I got back a reply, something along the line that they fixed the error. Maybe it's because the system is so notoriously buggy they are taking customers' words at face value. Whatever. This past Friday I could have used a bike but I didn't feel like putting up with having to write to customer service after making the trip, even though they are helpful.
It's almost Monday, time for the 120-point limit of My Cokes Reward to reset. Then I'll be able to try to use the few codes I gave away this week, to see if anyone used them. Just a little experiment I'm conducting. Who reads blogs these days, right? But it's a free MCR code, who can resist freebies?
Today's code is RRNF966 JKV6M7X. It's from a Powerade Zero, so it may have double value if that promotion of no-sugar drinks is still in effect. Happy Point-Collecting!