Friday, March 30, 2012

The Sting

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Can I just state how relieved I am that this guy is not in my garden? I am so horrified at this latest Giant Garuda Wasp discovery in Indonesia that I'm not even sure I have the words to adequately convey it. I am so thankful that the wasps I have to deal with are just your normal run of the mill social wasps. I even managed to wage a small psyche war against them this past week and it looks like I've far.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

I want to post this simply to thank Cassy for giving me the award. I thought it was super sweet of her to award it to me. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

OMG Not That! (Otherwise Known As: A No Non-sense Guide To Surviving The Barf Zone)

I love spring. At least, I love this spring. It's sunny, warmer, and the flowers are so pretty. Almost nothing could ruin all of this for me. Except this. That phone call you get from your kids school...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Rachel Rant

Dear Three (or 3 if you prefer),

Your business practices make me sad but mostly they're making me mad. They're unethical and I'd be surprised if they're legal. When my husband paid for an unlocking code so that he could use his phone internationally, the technical advice provided by your company was so unprofessional it resulted in the phone locking up and the phone refusing to recognize any SIM card.

From the initial complaint there were several failures from 3's technical support. They failed to follow through and return calls as they said they would. Promises that the issue would be "escalated" left my husband with no mobile phone during a business trip that cost his company thousands of dollars to arrange for him.

Upon his return here to the UK, my husband diligently continued to work with 3 to resolve the issue with his phone which was no longer functioning. There continued to be unfulfilled technical support  returned phone calls and "escalations".  We estimate about 25 hours have been spent either on the phone with "3's" technical department, the customer complaints department, the online website, or in the store we purchased the phone from within the initial 2 weeks of this incident. We have been jerked around day after day with promises of returned phone calls, instructions to take the phone to the 3 store, to pick up a loaner phone and ship my husbands phone in for repairs, only to be told once at the store - not to send it in. We were told it'd be faster if it was picked up from our house because there are only 2 pick ups from the store per week. The company doesn't provide a loaner phone to someone if they've shipped their phone in for repair from their home. They only provide a loaner phone if you send your phone in for repair from the store. My husband's job requires some sort of cell phone.  The sales representative in the store phoned the technical support team in regards to the situation. They also discouraged us from turning his phone in to be shipped off for repairs at that time because we should be receiving a phone call within the next 24 hours that would hopefully resolve the issue. Needless to say, we didn't receive that phone call so we phoned 3....again.

There was no resolution given and they were now saying that our situation was going to have to go through yet ANOTHER escalation process to customer complaints. We were informed this process could take up to 10 days. That's dandy but it still didn't provide the necessary phone for my husband's work.

For the rest of the week my husband went about playing phone tag with 3. He missed one of these phone calls as he was already in the middle of a phone call with his employer. Shocking isn't it? Someone actually having to work and earn the money to pay to have the phone service and a phone, missing one attempt to reach them. Subsequently, they never followed through with a return phone call. That landed us once again, in the store where we purchased our phones and signed up for service with 3.

We decided to bite the bullet, to accept the loaner phone that lacks every single feature my husband needs in order to do his job even though we have to pay a 30 gbp deposit fee for it, and to accept that we're now looking at him not having the tool and services he's paying for, for about a month's time. And somehow, this company is comfortable justifying no refund for his monthly service.

Everyone, meet Dave:

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Mr. David Dyson, if your responsibilities include "a focus on improving customer experience" you're failing. You're not failing just a little bit. You're failing on a massive scale. Our customer experience is costing you 2 of our monthly service plans as soon as possible since they're not under contract. I can promise you, that as soon as our other contracts are complete, you'll be losing the rest. It is also costing you some bad press here. I have no problem with making a public outcry and calling "foul!" when a company is happy leaving their customers feeling ripped off. Ultimately, true power lies in the hands of the consumers. It's up to us to demand that companies behave more ethically in order to stay in business  so I'm doing my part here.

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Mr. David Dyson, I'd like to challenge you to go without any mobile phone and to try and meet your tech heavy job requirements for 2 weeks. I'd then like to invite you to try using the S2 Skypephone that your company provides as a loaner phone to conduct your business dealings for a further 2 weeks. Obviously, as per your companies policy which was quoted to us today by your financial department, you will be required to pay for your regular monthly service and not expect any sort of refund. 

I can only suppose this policy is to protect 3's bottom line. I'm just an average person and no lawyer but demanding payment for a service that isn't being provided would seem like a breach of contract. Your complaints process is one of the most convoluted inefficient experiences I've ever had the displeasure of going through and each time I think we're through the worst of it, it seems like 3 finds yet another opportunity to slap us in the face. 

Luckily, I'm not just a complainer. I come bearing some simple solutions to help prevent a similar situation happening to other customers and overall "improving customer experiences." 

1st. Establish a more concrete method of protecting your company and customers when dealing with unlocking codes. It's as simple as sending an e-mail to the customers chosen e-mail address or if there's some legal issue with sending it electronically, send it through the post, registered. In that letter/e-mail, include important instructions like "Do not attempt to enter this unlock code more than once. Your phone may be irrevocably locked if you disregard this warning." You could even get crazy with it and write it in bolded text in a bright color to really draw customers attention to it. 

2nd. Accept the fact that your business employs human beings which are flawed and that it sells products to other human beings that are also inherently flawed. Therefore, there is in all likelihood going to be some incident in which one of them somewhere is going to make a mistake. You obviously need to establish a more efficient protocol with Samsung (the manufacturer of my husbands phone) in which to rectify these situations. Not having a more effective solution is a massive time waster not just to your customers but to your employees as well. 

3rd. If there is an unfortunate amount of time that lapses where the customer is dealing with the technical department and they're unable to use their phone, do the right thing, refund their money, and build some brand loyalty. It goes a long way. 

4th. If all else fails, offer the customer a comparable loaner phone. Even if that means the customer has to give a larger deposit that they'll receive back when they return the phone, at least then their jobs and daily routines may be disrupted as little as possible which again, builds brand loyalty. In a time when customers have many companies to chose from, it's probably wisest to try and entice customers to stay. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

To Be Mental With Danger Mouse

It feels like aeons since I last chatted with everyone and I just can't keep all the possible crazy inside anymore. I say "possible" crazy because there seems to be a tendency here in the UK to hold people liable for just about everything/anything should they show any previous awareness of something that might cause harm or damage to someone else. For instance let's say you had a dog...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

To Be Worn Or Not To Be Worn

It's been at least 3 long years of no make up wearing for me. I've always loved make up but being out of the loop for that long has left me with a whole new set of toys to explore. Have you heard of L'Oreal's Studio Secrets Primer?