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  • I’m Giving The World A Spanking And Then I’m Going To Put It In Time Out

    May 30, 2007

    Recently, I got a message on the answering machine from the phone company saying they were going to cut off my phone service for non-payment.  Since I pay my phone bill automatically every month on my credit card, and I have ever since I signed up with this company a few years ago, I did not see how this could be. 

    So I put in a call to see what the problem was. After obediently listening to all my options because they might have changed since the last time I called in, I pushed every button exactly in the prescribed manner.  Finally, 25 short minutes later, I finally had a human on the end of the line – Bobbie Jo from Bangladesh!

    I very carefully told her my story about how I have always paid my bill with my credit card and that no other charges to this card had been denied.  And then she transferred me and I told two of her friends my story and they both transferred me and I told two of their friends, and so on and so on.  I was just like Heather Locklear in that shampoo commercial from the 80s!  I told everyone in Asia my story in painstaking detail, including my name, account number, zip code, zodiac sign, and that I once had dinner with Ralph Nader.  Until finally I was transferred to Darryl in building maintenance where this fun fun game ended when he disconnected me.  At this point, my boiling blood was racing through my arteries at the speed of light which caused my eyeballs to pop clear out of my head, bounce off my computer and roll under my desk.

    Later, much much later, I learned that the phone company had requested funds from my credit card company three times but failed to collect.  And instead they decided that they should threaten to cut my phone service off for non-payment.  And it only took me six or seven hours of my free time to track down and solve their problem. Doesn’t everyone want to spend their free time on the phone doing pro bono work for the phone company?  Really, can you think of anything more fun?

    Later that same week I bought a camera from a national retailer that was going out of business in our area.  Unfortunately I discovered after I got home and tried to upload my pictures that it had come with the wrong USB cord. So I drove ten miles back to the store and was given another USB cord.  I even tested it there in the store.  But when I got it home, it did not work.  It didn’t plug in “enough” which apparently is sort of important.

    I immediately drove another ten miles back to the store to find Bubba, the fellow who had “helped” me, but he had gone to lunch and no one knew if/when he was going to come back or where the original cord was.  So now I didn’t even have the original cord to mail back in with my brand new camera to the manufacturer.

    I inquired of the store manager what my options might be and he pretty much said, “You’re screwed.”  And so then I said, something like, well if this is your idea of customer service, no wonder you are going out of business and then he said something snotty and you can’t really out-snotty me, so I one upped him and then he walked away and then I may have yelled at his back.  It’s always a good day when you are shouting in public at a bald guy wearing a red vest.

    Not wanting to scrounge around behind their customer service desk for my eyeballs, I took a deep breath and just stood there silently counting.  One of the clerks took pity on me and offered me a card reader doodaddy thing, which as it turns out, works just fine, but I had to go home and explain to Antique Daddy that I had just spend several hundred dollars on a new camera with no USB cord.  But hey! Look! I still have my eyeballs!

    Later that same week, I drove ten miles to visit my branch bank, my bank with whom I’ve had an account for 26 years, only to find that they had moved.  I called to find out where they had moved to and then drove another ten miles to the new location only to find that they were not there either.  So I put in another phone call to the customer service person who was neither apologetic nor helpful before she disconnected me as she was transferring me, probably to Bobbie Jo in Bangladesh. And then my cell phone died a sudden death, so I couldn’t even call her back and yell at her.

    Knowing that I would need my eyeballs to drive home, I merely rolled them instead and went home to lie down.

    And that’s when I decided that the world needs a spanking and I needed a time out.

    61 Comments »

    1. Deborah Li says:

      ewww. i hate when those happen. makes me wanna smack them.

      May 30th, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    2. Marie says:

      Ugh!!! I’d love to help you with administering the spanking of the world. I had a similar phone experience calling Lowe’s the other day. There’s a feature on their web site that allows you to check inventory, but when it’s not working you have to (gasp!) call the store. But apparently they’re not prepared to handle phonecalls, or answer questions. I was passed around like a hot potato for what felt like an eternity. And hotter and hotter I got! By the minute!

      And for your time-out, may I suggest a massage? I know a FANTASTIC masseuse. But you’d have to come up to NY.

      May 30th, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    3. brenda says:

      MY blood pressure was high while I read this!!! One of the WORST things about being a teacher (my former life) is there is no private phone from which to conduct business such as this while you are at work. Not that you have enough time, mind you, becuase they always put you on hold. And who really wants to use your cell minutes when you know your next birthday could come and go before you get through to Bubba?
      Enjoy your time-out! 🙂

      May 30th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    4. Rachel May says:

      I’m so sorry! I hate days like those, especially when they string themselves together. Take a short trip down 35 and I’ll buy you some ice cream. Kinda need it — it’s getting hot!

      May 30th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    5. Linds says:

      I have extensive personal acquaintance with Bobby Jo from Bangladesh. You have my sympathies. Empathy. I have often wished for the ability to shoot down the telephone line and emerge in a rage at the other end and do some serious head bashing. And I am a calm and rational person. Sigh.

      May 30th, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    6. cathy says:

      we must have different phone servers as i always talk to allen paul from argentina, who has very little english. and my hearing is not what it used to be, and the blood pressure boils. excuse me, that’s not the phone company, that’s the cable company! and it is usually over movies charged to my account that haven’t been. how do i know this you might ask? i’m the only one who lives here! and i would know if i rented de**ie does da**as, and i didn’t! try having that that conversation with allen paul with little english in argentina! the top of my head blew right off and the blood just boiled on over!

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    7. Robbin says:

      AAAAHHHH! I had a similar situation with my cellphone company. I use THEIR autopayment service and I got a shutoff letter.

      Thankfully, their customer service girl seemed to not only speak English, but resolve the problem quickly.

      Then again, mobile phone companies have a bit more competition…

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    8. but Momma says:

      I think I’m just gonna be really careful with my eyeballs this week.

      *shudder*

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    9. boomama says:

      Okay, and now I need a massage. Because few things make me more frustrated than poor customer service. One time a girl with our cell phone co. was so rude that I had to count to ten, run around the block and take a sedative to keep from reaching through the phone and strangling her. Which would have been such a fine example of the love and peace of Christ. But still – SHE WAS SO RUDE.

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    10. Southern Girl says:

      Just be glad you’re not the woman in New Zealand whose power company cut off her power for being a few weeks late in the payment, AFTER a family member told the tech that she was on oyxgen and if they cut the power she would die. They cut it, she died two hours later. Now THAT’S some bad customer service. 😉

      (I wonder if Bobby Jo knows Darrell…he’s my go-to guy in Bangledesh.)

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    11. Antique Mommy says:

      Yes indeed Boo Mama – the peace and love of Christ. That and I want to get to heaven with my eyeballs.

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    12. Big Mama says:

      I can promise you that I would have left the camera store in need of a seeing eye dog because I would have lost my eyeballs. I am normally very calm and rational, but the USB cord thing would have driven me to new heights of frustration and potential yelling.

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    13. Net says:

      I SO want to not only spank the world, but tar, feather and beat them all to a bloody pulp! As I was explaining for the 3rd time this week, “No thank you, please, we would not like to partake in your ‘best deal of the season’ in taking care of our lawn with your various asundries of chemicals……my husband wants to do it all by himself!” The pushy, slathering with all things pompous man on the other end said, “Oh, he does, does he”
      and get this……..laughed. Actually snickered that “poor you, just try to get your yard as nice as I can” laugh! To which I said, “Well, DON’T LAUGH, that’s VERY CONDESCENDING of you.” He apologized and hung up. I wanted to drag him through the phone by his cheap cologne smelling tie! Lightbulb: Maybe that’s why I threw a huge hissy-fit when my husband failed to mow the yard last night before the next weeks worth of rain began. UGH!, DOUBLE UGH!!

      May 30th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    14. Clemntine says:

      When I was a teenager, I was hanging with my cousins at my aunt and uncle’s house. My uncle had been on the phone with some sort of customer service rep for a while.

      Before going on, I should tell you that my uncle was a 40-something Baptist preacher with a paunch and thinning gray hair. The kind of guy who walked around little bugs on the sidewalk.

      Okay. Back to the story.

      The cousins and I knew that Uncle Gary had HAD. IT. when he yelled, “YOU HEAR THIS?!?”

      BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG! <-phone receiver hitting kitchen table "THIS IS YOUR FACE!!" BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG! <-deep dents in kitchen table now Then he hung up, looked at us and said, "Sorry kids." and went outside.

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    15. Dianne says:

      Okay, first I must pick myself up off the floor from laughing – NOT because of your frustration, but the WAY in which you tell it is hysterical!! Only because I can totally and completely relate. What is it with phone/cable/cell service that makes it all so unbelievably difficult?!?!? I don’t even remember the details, but moving a year and a half ago wrought all sorts of strange telephone issues, myriad idiotic phone conversations, and changing my number a couple of times (good luck calling me!).

      Clemntine’s story is a HOOT!!!

      I hope you and your eyeballs are better. 😀

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    16. Stacey says:

      Oh my goodness! When it rains it pours, huh? Sorry to hear about your bad week but I’m glad to hear you still have your eyeballs!

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    17. Addie says:

      Whenever I get a little frustrated around here, my husband will jokingly send me to my room. I always reply with a very happy “OK!”

      Antique Mommy, GO TO TIME OUT! (and take some chocolate with you.)

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    18. stephanie says:

      welcome to earth!

      I’m reading all these comments and am amazed how many nice people (of the world) want to smack, tar & feather, and beat strangers on the other end of a phone line!

      Life is rough.

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    19. Jammie J. says:

      Sometimes it’s so very difficult to keep our body parts all aligned and in their appropriate respective places.

      I recently had an experience at my new HMO dental office wherein it took 2 1/2 hours for a simple cleaning because no one seemed to be there. Oddly, they took my blood pressure. I say “oddly” because I’ve never had my blood pressure taken in a dentist’s office before and I wondered if they were monitoring me to see how long I could wait before popping.

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    20. Linda says:

      I hear ya, I hear ya, I hear ya!!

      I sooo could have written this post… grrrrrr…..

      May 30th, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    21. Blog Antagonist says:

      That. Is. Such. A. Good. Idea.

      May 30th, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    22. Barb says:

      I don’t normally believe in spanking. In this case I’m all for it. Good grief.

      May 30th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    23. Kara says:

      Man, what an ordeal! I agree with you, the world needs a spanking! Customer service just isn’t what it should be.

      May 30th, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    24. melzie says:

      Yeah I love customer service in Bangladesh also, it makes being a SAHM worthwhile….NOT. xoxo melzie

      May 30th, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    25. Meg says:

      I think I lost my eyeballs in this one lol…

      Don’t get a dell if you want customer service out of Asia either 🙂 Thanks for another giggle

      May 30th, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    26. Sandi says:

      It’s so sad – I received great service from Amazon.com regarding a lost order and I was so stunned that I felt I had to tell everyone I knew! Amazing that good service is so shocking!

      May 30th, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    27. Susan says:

      Man, that’s almost as bad as the day when you dropped everything on your feet!

      May 30th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    28. chilihead says:

      This isn’t really terribly sympathetic, but…can I watch you lose it sometime? Having met you, these stories actually fascinate me. I mean, yeah, that all sucked, but I would LOVE to take some pointers from you. 😉

      May 30th, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    29. Faithfulmommy says:

      A time out indeed girl!!

      May 30th, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    30. Tara says:

      Have to say this post and the last post are almost polar opposites… gave me a good giggle.

      May 30th, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    31. Deanna says:

      We are all feeling your pain! I have recently taken a job taking phone calls…customer service…and, maybe I’ll be torturing myself, but I’m so sick of NOT getting pleasant, helpful customer service, I’m going to GIVE it to the best of my ability! It’s both disheartening and shameful when I’m told on the phone, “Thank you for being so nice. I’ve never had someone nice help me before!” Hope your days are better!

      May 31st, 2007 at 1:36 am

    32. Brigitte says:

      Eek, Southern Girl, do you know if those New Zealanders sued the pants off that company?

      I had the same problem with automatic payments with eBay, they suddenly forgot how to take the money out of our account after years of doing it, and blamed us. It took THREE MONTHS of back-and-forths with Bobbie Jo (and the like) to resolve it!

      You’ve certainly struck a chord here!

      Like Sandi, for me Amazon has had the most amazing customer service (these days meaning ANY customer service, ha ha). I heart Amazon . . .

      May 31st, 2007 at 4:55 am

    33. Wind says:

      Oh my word!! I have to tell you that I was nodding my head up and down as I was reading though. It happens to all of us, unfortunately. You’d think the world would be in permanent time-out with all of us putting it there, wouldn’t you?! 🙁

      The phone company has to be the worst though. The absolute worst. I hate them!!! I wanted to totally get rid of our phone service and just use our cells but hubby said no. I have NO idea why! I hate the stupid thing… right down to the ringing. I hate to hear my phone ringing. Ugh!

      Peace (sure can’t have it with a telephone)~ Wind

      May 31st, 2007 at 5:31 am

    34. Donna W says:

      I can certainly relate to this! It’s getting to the point where I’m so thrilled to finally get a live person on the other end after button-punching for ten minutes that I don’t even care if she’s in Bangladesh.

      May 31st, 2007 at 6:08 am

    35. Jeana says:

      This is hilarious, and the title is just gravy. Or whipped cream and a cherry.

      I mean, sorry about your phone and camera…

      Sorry, still laughing. I’ll get back to you when I can give you sympathy with a straight face.

      May 31st, 2007 at 6:19 am

    36. Antique Mommy says:

      Oh Chilihead – It is SO not pretty. Especially when the fury and indignation dissolves into snot and tears.

      May 31st, 2007 at 6:43 am

    37. Bon says:

      could you ground the world while you’re at it? cause it just gave me the same run-around the other day and nearly caused me to stroke, and i wouldn’t want it to think it’s getting away with this shite.

      my genuine sympathies.

      May 31st, 2007 at 7:15 am

    38. Lois says:

      There is nothing that irritates me more than to get India on the phone. Then, tell me their name is Stanley. I immediately inform them that there is no way their mother named them Stanley.

      May 31st, 2007 at 7:34 am

    39. Beck says:

      Some days just make me cry with frustration, really.

      May 31st, 2007 at 9:21 am

    40. bee says:

      Thank you, oh disciplinarian of the planet. Give ’em one extra whack for me & the cell phone company that double drafted my bank account and has YET to return the money. Oh yeah, and for my husband’s former employer who, during an audit, turned his information in incorrectly, causing the IRS to send us a nasty letter wanting to collect more than he makes in a year. AND, our credit union who (b/c of the IRS debacle) froze all of our accounts with no word to us and for some strange reason took all of our money out of our vacation account and now (one year later) have yet to put the $$ back in our account…

      Oh, just give ’em all heck!

      May 31st, 2007 at 9:22 am

    41. mcewen says:

      We feel your pain! I blame modern life [generally] myself. It’s this kind of lifestyle that makes me long for a cave…..preferably on an island.
      Cheers

      May 31st, 2007 at 10:09 am

    42. problem girl says:

      Ay yi yi. My blood pressure rose just reading that. I’ll have a brownie on your behalf to. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

      May 31st, 2007 at 10:59 am

    43. sheilah says:

      You need to get a copy of Bob Newhart’s album (see how old I am?), The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back – totally hilarious…and there is a bit on the album where a guy is trying to call a department store across the street from where he works and he keeps getting passed around and around and around.

      It will make you feel better.

      May 31st, 2007 at 11:14 am

    44. Laurel Wreath says:

      Nothing would makes me madder and more unChristian like….customer services many times is a tool of devil. I am convinced.

      May 31st, 2007 at 11:28 am

    45. day at the beach says:

      Two words: Full Moon. We all need a time out with dark chocolate and red wine.

      May 31st, 2007 at 11:45 am

    46. midlife mommy says:

      I agree with “day at the beach.” Lots of chocolate and wine.

      May 31st, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    47. Jess says:

      If you want to talk to Bobbi Jo even faster, you can try pushing the button “0” repeatedly or if it’s a voice activated menu, just say “help” or “operator” over and over. Some menus will automatically put you through, and many will just “time out” after you press the wrong buttons and kick you over to a human being.

      I’ve used this trick with great success several times. Of course, I sounded like an idiot at my desk saying, “Help. Help. Help! Help! Help!”

      May 31st, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    48. Sally says:

      Oh doI ever know what youare talking about!! Been through this so many times!! The most recent was when our 2 year old oven broke and the part they needed to fix it was on back order for an entire month!! (Evidently it was a very common problem and everyone else on earth needed the same part!!) The company refused to honor our warranty, so my husband got all over them about that,and they finally agreed to honor it if we faxed them our repair receipt. That was a month ago and he has had no response from them ever since about refunding our repair charge and the cost of the part as per their agreement. He has been trying to call them every day for a week and keeps getting transferred to another person and having to go through the same story over again (sound familiar??)or getting put on hold for a half hour, etc.

      May 31st, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    49. Damselfly says:

      Sheesh, Just reading stories like this makes my blood boil. Hear that bubbling? That’s my blood, all right… Hope a better day is ahead for you!

      May 31st, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    50. Sarah says:

      Sweet Lord I had a problem like that in November with our ISP. It stopped working, but they told us it was our computer and to contact them to get it fixed. Well, after 3 days of working with tech support from Apple and having had to revamp our whole hard drive, we discovered that it wasn’t, in fact, our computer, but our ISP! I called them, furious. They reset our IP address and voil

      May 31st, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    51. Judy says:

      One problem is that all those people in India and Bangladesh named Stanley and Bobbie Jo THINK they are speaking Englsih, sotheytalkrealfast. I speak several languages and I work at a multinational company, and I don’t generally have a problem understanding accents of any kind. But put Stanley on the phone and I am constantly saying “What?” “WHAT??? Could you please speak slower??” And then pretty soon my eyeballs are rolling around on the floor too. Love that image!

      May 31st, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    52. Lynn says:

      I have SO SO been there. I got mad just reading your blog. My pettest of peeves are the Bobbie Jo’s from Bangledash. I have yet to understand them. It is impossible to Americanize that accent. I think that it should be against some law to employ them. The large companies should get the idea somewhere and hire stay at homers to make some extra money by doing this. At least if they are mad or rude we can understand them. If you didn’t drink before you deserve one now.

      May 31st, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    53. simply me says:

      Those phone calls and those kind of sales people are just enough to make you bust your gut. I have had my share and as a matter of fact the post traumatic syndrome was so bad that I’ve buried them deep deep deep in the unconscious.

      May 31st, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    54. sara - The Estrogen Files says:

      Yes, please administer said spanking/time out combo promptly. My world needs it, too.

      May 31st, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    55. Amrita Singh says:

      You have it good out there. Try living in a third world country amd you ‘ll know what FUN is.

      May 31st, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    56. Amrita Singh says:

      I can tell you about my experience of last week I went to my cell phone co. office to pay my bill in person and the tweetie girl, my nephew ‘s age tells me there was no one at the counter and I come back tomorrow (which was my last date of payment) When I told her I was not free to return the next day she started giving me instructions to go to another outlet to pay my bill.At this point my eyeballs and hair and most probably nails fell out.I gave her a slice of my mind and walked in to the manager ‘s office.The guy there helped me and deputed another tweetie to collect my check.
      I know, even I (from India) have trouble understanding those call center accents. And yes they don ‘t have western names too.

      May 31st, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    57. shelly says:

      try gethuman.com to avoid the phone dance to get to a live body. This guy created a list and put it on his website, of the shortcuts to hit so you can avoid the entangling button pushing. I think somebody ought to put a list together so we can get a human being who is in this country. The lag time and volume are terrible not to mention the language difficulties.

      May 31st, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    58. Jan says:

      I once fought a company for hours over the phone with no success and several disconnections. Hubby came home and, finding my eyeballs in the foyer, offered to take over for me. After 30 minutes or so of getting nowhere, he yelled, “I WANT SATISFACTION.”

      I laughed so hard I rolled off the couch and ran out of the room so I wouldn’t make him laugh, too. He finally got “satisfaction” and now we can laugh about it.

      May 31st, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    59. Lisa (qtpies7) says:

      Yesterday I got to talk to Bobby from Bangladesh when our mortgage company refused to take our payment because we’d bounced a check to them in April. April of 2006! They didn’t understand why I didn’t get that bouncing a check 13 months ago would affect my payment this month. We finally hung up on him when he kept insisting I talk to my bank about it why a year ago check would come through bounced now. Yeah, um, our bank said we bounced it 13 months ago.
      Another call back to the mortgage co. to speak with someone who spoke ENGLISH, which was my goal, because I was hot enough that I was going to scream for someone who spoke English. She keeps saying I didn’t pay last month. Umm, I did, I paid April’s on March 30, you are going to penalize me for paying early? So she SEES we’ve paid. Oh, well you bounced a check. YES DEARIE, LOOK AT THE DATE. Hmm, that doesn’t make sense. Ya think?
      Finally a super is called in and we find out that they somehow forgot to take away the credit from our account that we had paid it, so they thought they’d update the records NOW, take last month’s payment and put it back there, screw up our records and demand $9000 from us in 2 weeks in order for us to keep our house.
      You bet I went all ninja on them!
      Its all better now.

      June 1st, 2007 at 8:49 am

    60. Carolyn says:

      Did you know….that you can request to be transferred to a customer service rep in America? I had problems with our phone company when we moved to a new home and they were so hard to understand, too. When I finally got someone that was from Atlanta she said that the customer can request to be transferred to some a rep in the USA. Hope this helps. I get very frustrated with poor customer service, too!!

      June 1st, 2007 at 9:12 am

    61. mizmell says:

      Definitely a lack of customer service this day and age. I so feel your pain.
      Enjoyed the post and the comments.

      June 12th, 2007 at 6:48 am

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