May I help you?, came the friendly, easily intelligible voice over the phone. Uh, um, yeah, I guess, was my hesitant response, so surprised and unaccustomed was I to talking to a live customer service agent. Still unsure that this was not a highly sophisticated “bot”, I carefully explained that I had purchased a 16-bottle spice rack (https://amzn.to/39dM52T ) from their company 6 months ago, was running out of my favorite spice, and asked if I would be able to order more. The nice lady explained that their company had set up a website, where I would need to go to register, then order whatever I wanted. BUT, she said, since we’re on the phone, I will do the registration for you and take your order. You will? I asked, incredulous that I was actually talking to a live human being who was being helpful, conversational, not reading from a prepared script, and speaking perfect English that I could understand. For the next 15 minutes, we chatted about the spices and cooking, while she registered me, took my order, and explained that replacement spices were FREE, with just a $4.95 shipping charge for the WHOLE order, not each individual bottle.
After hanging up, I must tell you that I was in a good mood for the rest of the day, as opposed to the massive headache I am usually left with after a customer service call, and determined to not only write a blog about the experience but give Kamenstein Spice Company some unsolicited advertising.
How sad is it that the customer service we used to take for granted is so rare that I feel the need to blog about it? It is not just that quality customer service is rare, it’s that it is a downright blood pressure raising, aggravating, counterproductive exercise in futility. We have all been there – I wrote about it in a previous blog (https://talktimewithjoan.com/2020/08/25/customer-service-nightmare/).
Although, as I cited above, I have written a blog about an all too familiar frustrating customer service call, I am compelled to bring you this latest chapter in 21st century “customer service” in stark contrast to the Kamenstein experience. After you read it, you will understand why I had to write this. I had to.
I guess I should begrudgingly give Amazon credit for having live service agents answer the phone, regardless of the fact that they are nearly impossible to understand. Here is the synopsis of last week’s phone call to Amazon. I have an Amazon Prime Credit Card. Amazon tried to charge my $119 yearly Prime Membership Fee on it, and it was declined. I knew I had paid last month’s bill. Looking up my account online verified that it was paid. So I had no choice but to call Amazon Customer Service, and ask them to put the charge through again. They did. It was declined. Mr. Customer Service Agent told me to call Synchrony Bank, the issuer of the Amazon Prime Credit Card to inquire why they were declining the charge. I turned over the card and called the number that said SYNCHRONY BANK CUSTOMER SERVICE. An agent I could barely understand came on the line, was totally flummoxed by my issue, and said……………..We don’t know anything about that. You have to call Synchrony Bank. But you ARE Synchrony Bank, I impatiently informed him. No, we’re Amazon, he said. Perhaps I then raised my voice a little. But the back of the card lists this number as Synchrony Bank, I again informed him. No, we’re Amazon, he said. Then give me Synchrony Bank’s number!!!! He did. I called. Mr. Synchrony Bank Agent listened to my issue, and said……………..You have to speak to Amazon about that. At that point, I totally lost any vestige of control onto which I had a tenuous hold, and screamed at him about being shuffled from one place to another; that I wasn’t calling another number, and he was going to FIX THIS NOW! I could hear him explaining my situation to a supervisor, who took over and spoke to me. Within 30 seconds, she told me that my issue had been resolved, my card had been properly charged, and my Prime Membership had been restored. Well, now, I wonder how that miracle occurred so quickly.
I literally could set up a separate blog category devoted entirely to customer service nightmares. Contacting Facebook to resolve issues is so impossible that there are pages in Google and YouTube devoted to explaining how to get to a ChatBot to help you. ( They don’t work, by the way. None of the “tabs” they tell you to press appear on my screen.) A direct phone number to a human at Facebook does not exist ( At least not for us plebians). It took 3 hours and multiple transfers from one incompetent agent to another to set up and fix error messages on a new HP printer. A DOCTOR’S office does not return calls to set up an appointment for an important test the doctor himself spoke to me about and ordered.
So that, my faithful readers, is why I felt it was necessary to give a shout out to Kamenstein Spice Company for their throwback early 20th century, helpful, efficient customer service. Oh, and after the Amazon phone call, I spent the rest of the afternoon zoned out in my heated massage chair, which does a better job of relaxing my frazzled nerves than a bowl of Fudge Royale Ice Cream****.
****Speaking of ice cream……………be sure to click the “course” tab at the top or left side of this website to view my FREE and low cost HEALTHY, low-fat snack and full meal recipe videos………..tasty alternatives to high-fat snacks and meals! Or go directly to YouTube, type my name into the search box, and the videos will come up.
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