Greg’s Monday WE prompt: write a tale in the form of a message. This entry is based on real events. I wish it wasn't, but there you go.
The Credit Department,
LISP Internet Ltd,
Private Bag 10111,
Regards Tax Invoice IS10449, for $0.07
Dear Sir or Madam,
With reference to the above tax invoice, I would just like to start by saying how happy it makes me that you are still thinking of me after all this time. I have been receiving statements for this amount from you, every month for the last eleven months. This regular contact from you surprised me: after all, if someone had told me that I couldn’t organise an orgy in a brothel, I would be well rid of them.
Anyway, just in case you have forgotten or the troglodytes in your customer service department failed to inform you, let me just review our dealings:
- After seven years of loyalty to your brand, I was rewarded with an email advising me I would have to upgrade to another service. Of course I use “upgrade” in the broadest possible terms as the only thing being upgraded was the amount of money I was going to have to pay you. Never mind, it was still less hassle than changing my email address on the dozens of websites and subscriptions I had signed up to.
- After signing up for a new service I was advised that, no, I could not keep my current email address, so that particular advantage went out the window. Kudos to your customer service department by the way, for managing to spend about an hour and a half on the phone with me and failing to provide any actual, useful information.
- I was then advised that my new service would be activated within five working days. Twenty-five days later, when it still had not been delivered. I spent forty-three minutes on hold, only to be rewarded with an automated message that I had called outside hours and I should try to call again tomorrow.
- When I next called back and got a real live person they informed me that, hey, look at that, the technician assigned the job had a problem and had placed it in an escalation queue. Never mind, it was now flagged and would be reassigned that day. I could expect my new service within ten working days.
- Another twenty five days, four phone calls, two quite nasty emails and much head-banging later, another customer service person tells me that the next technician had also had a problem and put it back into the escalation queue. When I asked why nobody had contacted me the conversation went, I kid you not, like this:
Me: Well why was I not kept informed? It has been nearly two months now for pity’s sake.
Them: Do you want to know the truth?
Me: That would be nice.
Them: The fact is nobody ever looks at that queue unless they have a reason to.
Me: What… well when does it get checked?
Them: When somebody rings up about a problem.
Me: So what you’re saying is, nothing gets done unless somebody, like me, sits on the phone for hours on end to let you know there’s a problem?
Them: Pretty much, yes.
Me: So how can I be confident that the next technician doesn’t do the same damn thing and I’m calling you in another month?
Them: Well I hope not, your current service is due to be terminated in about two weeks.
It was at this point that I made the orgy in a brothel comment and told your customer service department not to bother hooking me up as I planned to sign with another ISP the very next day. Which is exactly what I did.
So you can imagine my surprise when I got something in the mail three weeks later from yourselves. In it were two invoices: one for my old account which had been short paid by seven cents, and another congratulating me for choosing my upgraded LISP service, and here is my first bill for connection costs and one month’s subscription.
I won’t repeat what I said in my letter of reply. It should be on file somewhere there. Hopefully being used to train your staff on how to not deal with a customer.
And now we find ourselves here, where you have been diligently trying to collect the seven cents I owe you for the last eleven months. Well, you win. I’m paying up. However, seeing as it will cost me more than seven cents in bank fees to pay this electronically, please find attached a ten cent piece* I fished out from behind my couch cushions.
Please forward me the three cents change at the earliest opportunity. I would prefer a cheque.
*for readers outside New Zealand, the ten cent piece is the lowest denomination coin currently in circulation here.