Friday, January 7, 2022

Crustomer Disservice

Stupid fracking week, grrrr. 

First, one of Mrs. Andrew's doctor's office called to reschedule an appointment, from noonish on this coming Friday to 11AM on Monday the 3rd.  Bleh.  I know, sounds horrible, but since the great reset of 2009 (many many health issues all boiling up into a really nasty night) Mrs. Andrew doesn't do mornings.  Like, no bueno on the morningo.  But this doctor has switched his schedule to only mornings in the office and afternoons at elsewhere and we really need the doctor so...


We get up early so as to make sure everyone, Mrs. Andrew, Dog Kegan and me, has potty time and we get to the doctor's office 10 minutes early.  Well, we get to the entrance and the Mask Police are there and they say Mrs. Andrew's homemade mask is A-OK but the one I'm wearing, one of those balaclava versions, with a filter and multiple layers of cloth is BadThink and wrong and I was fully expecting to see Donald Southerland point at me and scream.

Fully expected that the way the door troll acted.

 Then, of course, considering both our vast histories of allergies, well, let's say we can't answer the Covid Purity Test with any truthfullness at all.  You know, "Have any fevers, coughs, sore throats, minor loss of taste, sputum development, alien probing, cheap ChiCom cyborg implants, yada yada."  Duh, I always have a slight fever when my nose is snotting off my face.  And I cough lung butter up all the time.  Which exasperates the sore throat from the constant post-nasal drip.  And when snot and lung-butter production is up, like when pollen (it's Florida, Jake) is falling, there goes the taste buds.  I haven't yet been alien probed, and I only use state of the art South Korean cyborg implants.  So if I answer truthfully, We (Mrs. Andrew and I) are screwed, blued and tattooed by the medical authorities here in the Democratic People's Republic of Alachuacountystan, capital city of Gainesvillegrad.

So we lie.  Like a politician.  What? You tell the truth to the Branch Covidians?

They hand me a paper mask to wear.  Made in ChiCom Prison Factory #47593954-A.  Which smells like a wet sloth.  This is so much better than my clean and sanitized balackava with the charcoal filter?  I know, Branch Covidians and if the doc shop doesn't follow the fedgov rules, Xiden will send his Gestapo to thrash the doctor's ability to doctor.

We get up to the doctor's waiting room, where clumps of chairs have been removed to ensure at least 6 feet of separation (remember this later) and the new desk troll (did the one at the front door have a twin or just reproduce by mitosis?) Hrumps if anyone gets within 10' of anyone else.  Except at the front desk, where there's one person on one side of the corner of a wall, another 2-3 people on the outside of the other side of the corner with the desk troll on the inside of the corner.  All clearly within 4' of each other and no alarms going off.  Weird but Branch Covidians, it doesn't have to make sense.

We finally get seated in the room 15 minutes after our appointment time.  And sit. And sit. 45 minutes after the appointment time, Herr Doktor comes in without a face mask, shakes hands, asks questions, and... sends us downstairs to the in-house Laboratory for lab work.  

Head downstairs (thankfully elevator) and get into the Laboratory Waiting Room and it is literally standing room only.  As in all seats are full, seats right next to each other, people leaning on the walls and standing in the lanes between the chairs and pouring out the door into the hallway.

And there's a big sign over the Laboratory Check-In with "Must remain 6 feet apart by order of DPRAC Health Department" which is in clear violation of the State of Florida's Covidiocracy rules.

Looking around?  People coughing, chuffing, horking, burbling, wheezing, sliming, and just about everything else except actually bleeding or evacuating, everywhere.  Think NYC Subway during rush hour.  Not quite that bad but...

We finally get in, get out and go home.  Mrs. Andrew has been in Lurch the Wonder Chair (so called because it's a cheap ChiCom knockoff because that's what insurance paid for) for 3 hours and her back is shot.  Get her into bed and... Bring, Bring... it's another doctor's office, calling to say they want Mrs. Andrew in soonest to something-something and they have 9am on Tuesday, Jan 4th available, otherwise it will be weeks.  Ah, great. okay, fine.

Fix lunch and look at cable box and go WTF?  Cable box was rebooting (cable company sends periodic (meaning almost daily) updates between 10AM and Noon) when we left, it's still rebooting.  So I do the Tech Level 1 Support thing of checking connections and unplugging, waiting 15 seconds, plugging back in and... 5 minutes later, still in the booting up stage.  Not good, not good at all.  Repeat process, wait 5 minutes before replugging it in, and definitely not good at all.  Ah, this sucks.  Call cable company, begin process of wading through phone-tree-from-Heck (there are worse, just wait.) Finally get to actual human Customer Support, as they have secret pinging they can do to diagnose and update your machine without needing you to do anything. And said pinging goes sideways. Which means scheduling Cable Repair Guy to come.  Said first time is between 7-9PM on Jan 4th.  Ah, crap.

So I go about cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and rerouting the cable that, well, when I first moved in, I got those 90 degree cable elbows and put them in so I could run the cable behind everything and that was not good because the 90 degree cable elbows aren't good enough for 'modern cable' so I had to cut a hole in the back of one of my bookshelves so then (4 years ago) Cable Guy could run a 10' jumper of good quality cable out in front of my bookshelves to the tv.  

Gottta replace the cable box, why not reroute the cable?  Drill hole in sidewall of bookshelf, run cable between bookshelf, around corner, behind everything where it won't be a potential tripping hazard.  Check.

Replace the dead power supply/surge protector with one we bought almost a year (or over a year) ago.  Check.

Why, yes, I can take procrastination to a new level.

Vacuum up the dust-elephants behind the bookcases, generally clean and neaten and install the DVD player Mrs. Andrew got for Christmas and get it hooked up to our tv, clean and vacuum and find more dust-mastadons that clog the vacuum cleaner and keep cleaning.

Why keep cleaning?  Because FedEx is delivering my new Samsung cell phone, required because 3G is going away.  Or is it?  That's okay, my old phone I managed to break the glass within a week of getting it, and will now enjoy having a non-broken screen (and, yes, I bought a protective case for a relatively armored phone because, yes, I am a klutz.)

Finally tired.  Lack of sleep, getting up early, having to deal with Branch Covidians, and still no damned delivery by FedEx.  Of course.  Whodathunk?  FedEx not reliable?  Nah...  Go to website, check tracking, been returned to distribution center.  What?

Ah, Dawn breaks on the 4th.  Dawn is one klutzy lady, lemme tell you.

We get up, go to doc's office, it's the good doc, only have to wait 30 minutes past the appointment time, said time being 9am.  Get in, get out, get a referral (doc will call referree and get them to set it up and call us.  See, it's the good doc.)

Get home, get settled, get lunch and 'Knock, Knock.'  It's the cable guy.  The very surly Cable Guy.  Did I say surly?  He set Mrs. Andrew's teeth on edge.  Surly Cable Guy looks at the cabling inside and out and pronounces cable box is dead, pushing up electronic daisies, the magic smoke has been released.  Swaps out the old box for a new one, things seem okay, he leaves.  New cable box starts malfunctioning as soon as he's out of throwing rock range.  We call cable customer service, wade through the phone tree from Heck, get a live body and we set up a new appointment for Wednesday, Jan 5th, at 1pm. 

What is infuriating about the cable box situation is I couldn't just hop into the van and drive the 5 minutes to the CABLE OFFICE THAT'S ONE MILE AWAY FROM ME because that's wrong and stupid and not done so we have to wait for Wednesday for (potentially surly) cable guy to show up.  Yeah... 

So, in the meantime, since I am now punchdrunk from being awake in the morning two days in a row, I go to and look to see where my package is and lo and behold it's out for deliver and, wait, what's this? Yesterday (Monday) package wasn't deliverable because incorrect address.  What?

Call FedEx non-Customer Service and because I'm not the shipper they can't help me at all.  They can't even tell me if the FedEx package is actually the package is from my phone company. They can't confirm diddly. They can't even take my address or phone number or anything.  Great job there, FedEx.

Ermagod.  Can no one do their darned job?  Do I have to do it all by myself?  Why are my temporal veins throbbing like the speakers at a heavy metal concert? 

Call my wireless company.  Who have the phone tree from HELL.  Waddle through the whole phone tree, only have to redo the whole process twice, and finally get lined up for to potentially speak to a hooman (trust me, spoken to them before, they are not human, they are a bad ChiCom knockoff of human, thus hooman.)  And wait.  And the wait music is full of horns and drums and other loud and annoying noises.  And I wait.  And wait. And wait. Finally get Hooman #482-013-9138-184-B, also known as 'Fred' (right, Fred, not with that accent, nope) and I engage Hooman in a conversation much like this.

"Hello, Beans here, have a problem.  Did you guys ship my new Samsung phone to me via FedEX?"

"Uh, is no way to tell."


"No can tell you nothing."

"Wait.  I spend money to buy new phone from you because 3G shutdown (of which I had to hear about for 20 minutes while on hold) and you can't tell me how you shipped it?"

"Need ask questions.  Can you tell me exactly how much you paid for the (implied supposed) phone?"

"About $XXX.XX plus tax, title, dealer prep."

"Sorry, we don't have a purchase of $XXX.XX.  We do have a purchase of $YYY.YY but not XXX.XX."

"So would the difference between XXX.XX and YYY.YY be the aforementioned tax, title, dealer prep?"

"Could be,"

"So, assuming that it is, did you ship said phone that costs XXX.XX and with ZZ.ZZ tax equals YYY.YY via FedEx?  Because I wasn't given any input into delivery methods.  If you all had told me you use FedEx I would have hired some methed-up street bum to ride a bicycle up to wherever your distribution center is and pick it up because I trust any methed-up street bum more than I trust FedEx."


"So will you please contact FedEx promptly and confirm my actual physical address at (redacted address) and make sure those knuckleheads actually deliver my package to me, please?"

"Um, what's your address?"

"I don't know, what does it show on my account?"

"(redacted address)"

"That would be me.  Please send them the correct address, please."

"Um.  What's your email?"

"(redacted email address)"

(insert long, very long, very long explanation as to what my simple email address is, using the 'A is for Alpha' code system as I had confirmed said email address with hooman lady the previous week when I ordered my phone, while listening to her yappy little shin-fornicators yap and shin-fornicate in the background.)

"Got it?"

"Yes.  And your address is... (redacted mumbled incorrect wrong and totally fubared address."

"No.  My address is as it is your system.  It is (redacted address."

(insert long, very long, very very long explanation of what my actual address is, and actually having to use the 'A is for Alpha' code system.  Again.  Again and again.)

"Got it?  Repeat it back to me, slowly, so I can hear you clearly."

(readback works.)

"Thank you, hooman named Fred, Good bye.  (hangup) Friggin MORON!!!!!!!"

Mrs. Andrew, being a gentle and gracious lady, was highly surprised that I didn't unload the full silo of whooparse cursing like I normally do, as I tend to be a raging rageaholic when having to deal with sub-par ChiCom cheap knockoff hooman customer service personnel.

Package arrived, within an hour, with the address hand written on the box.  How do I know?  Ink still smeared when my fingers touched it.

Now all I have to do is deal with wireless customer service to get my new phone that takes a completely different SIM card than the old phone to transfer my phone number.  That will be for a later time, like Monday, as I am all hoomaned out.

Now, I have done customer service for over 30 years, of one form or another.  Batteries, outboard motors, crazy people (yes, I dealt in crazy people for a while, theatrical lighting, word and data processing and phone answering and staff assing and crime analysising (for which I did not get paid for as crime analysising was a much higher paid job than staff asssing) but all of it was customer service, over the phone and in person.  Good customer service.  Great customer service.

But these days?  Phone trees, door trolls, yada yada, I swear, some days it is all I can do to not stroke out over all the stress.

Other than that, cable box is working.  Phone seems nice, just wish it was, you know, activated with my number, and I am so happy I don't have to deal with the cable company or FedEx or pretty much anyone else until next week.  Brain tired.  


  1. Technology allows functional idiots to have complete control of important purchases. My favorite is the cheerful ones. They make you smile, as they bumble their way through the list they have in front of them, provide you enough information to know they are probably dyslexic, and leave you crossing your fingers in hope a problem is resolved.

    1. If it hadn't been for having to go to the good doctor's office, it would have been solid urine-poor customer service till yesterday.

      And I hate the script-readers. Especially the ones that if you go off-script, they have to start from the top of the script again.

      Cheerful and understandable would have been very nice. I almost called USAA just to hear cheerful, understandable and competent customer service people. Almost.

  2. My solution is to contact a brokerage, purchase about $100.00 worth of shares, then write a letter to the Chairman of the Board,(not mentioning the amount of shares) outlining the problem and suggesting a solution. Surprising how often it works. It usually does take a little time but you can't herd dinosaurs in a hurry. Old Guns

    1. Interesting. Unfortunately, my cable is Cox and, well, they're pendejos. But far better than any other solution possible in my current location.

      Now the wireless company? Hmmm.

      As to the first doctor's office, it's a place that specializes in back and musculature issues and there's only 4 handicapped spots for 6 doctors. Brilliant, people, absolutely brilliant.

    2. Handicapped spaces are a function of the building's Occupancy Permit. It has nothing to do with the number of Doctors. In many areas you can't add handicapped spaces. Technically the Police are only allowed to enforce the number of spaces defined by the Permit.

    3. I know. And it's still damned stupid. It's Florida and the Occupier has the ability to jiggle the number up.

  3. Beans, this reinforces why I pretty much hate dealing with people at all. Under any circumstances. The existence of phone trees make things that much more difficult.

    That said, there are companies that actually have very helpful customer service. I have had stellar experiences with Southwest of late (saved my bacon more than once), and our bank has always been very good.

    Cable box - Have you thought about streaming? I was against it for years, but we have a Roku and I have to admit it is pretty slick. Cost is probably about the same by the time you add InterWeb service and the "channels" you want, but at least for us we pay for the InterWeb already.

    The "6 feet apart" rule is hilarious as it is routinely ignored everywhere even when all other "rules" are in place.

    1. Yep, phone trees and script-reading idiots, the bane of my existence.

      USAA is the one that I love to talk to. Minimal phone tree, their personnel speak English in a clear and often Southern way, and they know what their individual limitations are.

      Internet is through cable, so a bundling is cheaper than streaming. So far. Though the way everything is 'streaming' these days, grrr... I just want to turn my tv on and watch. That's it. I don't want to have to play subscription games, had enough of that back in the 12' dish satellite days.

      As to the Laboratory, what's the one place where you really don't want to be crammed in like lice in a homeless person's armpit? Yep, the laboratory. Felt like, after leaving, I needed to take my clothes off in the lobby and do a complete decon scrub with the gallon jug of hand sanitizer that was on the Door Troll's table, but between Mrs. Andrew's pain from sitting in Lurch the Wonder Chair and the Door Troll itself, yeah, no. But I did think about it.

    2. Yesterday I had a meeting at work. There were four of us in the meeting. We had to be six feet apart and masked. Our Safety Clown walked by twice looking in the window to make sure we were following the rules. When the meeting was over all four of us walked outside, took off our masks, got in the same car and went to lunch.

    3. One of the things I do is as soon as I break the plane of the door on the way out, I rip my mask off, very theatrically, and take a deep breath and say or shout "Freedom!"

      Even more annoying is when they require you to wear the mask but they don't.

  4. ?Customer Service?

    Si se puede, mofo! (If you are LUCKY!)

    1. C'est le merde!

      Except for a few places. Like finding a diamond ring in a sewage lagoon.

  5. I heard that FedEx had a problem with thieves calling in to reroute phones to different addresses, so they don't allow the customer to change a delivery address, only the shipper can. Too many insurance claims I reckon. And IIRC, it's a signature required delivery. They won't throw it over the fence, or leave it on the porch. But that doesn't fix the employees that steal them out of the shipping containers.

    I feel your pain, man. I can tell a high functioning human immediately now, from a drone in customer service. Too many phone calls over the last six months. Too many....

    1. FedEx has the ability to have stolen anything shipped of value, whether it be legal drugs, or phones, or guns, or gun parts, or $20 crap from Amazon, or just about anything. Just go to pretty much any blogger who has stuff shipped on a regular basis that has had to use FedEx for incoming or outgoing and they'll tell you several tales of woe.

      About the only thing FedEx does right is the tracking system. Which, of course, makes it worse as you watch your next-day delivery of special something go halfway around the world, or even worse, get on the local delivery truck and then return to the depot and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth etc.

      The stories of internal package thieves are too many, especially anything that goes through certain hubs like Atlanta or Chicago.

    2. Not just FedEx. UPS and USPS as well!

    3. I have had far better luck with USPS and UPS than with FedEx.

  6. Reading this, I kept hearing this my ears in Gomer Pyle's voice, with interspersed "Surpise, surprise, surprise!"s

    1. Heh, missed opportunities. That would have fit, along with Dr. Smith's "Oh, the pain, the pain."

  7. Crusty Old TV Tech here.

    "...I didn't unload the full silo of whooparse cursing like I normally do, as I tend to be a raging rageaholic when having to deal with sub-par ChiCom cheap knockoff hooman customer service personnel."

    Hey, no fair, my Base Commander thinks she has the only rageaholic former-mil extreme serial bad word generator in existence! Word gets out, I might have to explain how I learned all those phrases!

    I feel your pain my brother. I find it firewalled-grade stress inducing to even contemplate having to deal with ATundT's cell phone tree charlie foxtrot. Evan post-hewman-contact trauma helps, I find.

    1. I bailed on ATderT when they kept conveniently 'forgetting' that I had a contract with them for multiple lines and phones at a greatly reduced rate, and then when they wouldn't knock the bill down and refund what money they stole me, well, Copulate that!

      Now I use a cheap provider that actually is less stressful in dealing with AT-ATs. Still a pain but...

  8. Beans, I had to deal with customer disservice earlier this week for a clothing purchase for my wife. Among other things the idiots shipped a pair of XXL sweat pants when we ordered a pair of medium. Almost nobody has US based customer service anymore, and I especially dislike trying to understand someone from Mumbai and surrounds. It's like a bad trip to Kwickie Mart. At least I could pretty much understand the people back when they were using immigrants from Mexico, Central, & South America having grown up in Texas.

    At least my cable company will let me swap the equipment if necessary. Unfortunately that involves driving a dozen or so miles and standing in line for a while. At least their technical support is in the US.

    1. Next time I'll just take the damned box the mile away and walk into the 'mask required but certain employees aren't masked' room and plonk that bad boy down.

  9. Ah, the "joys" of customer "service" and the hey-it's-cheaper-than-a-human phone tree nonsense. Sure it is, and since everybody seems to be a type of sheep these days, the customers tolerate it so the corporations do it. More and more.

    Great rant.

    1. Thanks. I like good customer service. Good customer service encourages me to stay with the company, to spend more for the same products, to recommend their company.


  10. I have bought my last 4 or 5 phones, kids' phones included, direct from Amazon. They definitely know where I live, and are pretty careful with the packages. Fortunately we live in a safe neighborhood so no meth'd up street bums on bikes here, but you can also specify where to hide the package when they deliver.

  11. Delta emailed this am that my tomorrow flight back to paradise was moved from noon to three. Of course the connection then wasn’t a valid one. Another overnight in Atlanta? I don’t think so. After the nice ladies and gentlemen on the phone said that I was in a five hour queue, I went back to the app. Very nice, the app. In the smallest print imaginable it said “click to re route”. I did. The nice 1’s and0’s booked me on Sunday’s flight SFO-Daytona Beach. An extra day with my son and others. More wine. It will probably send me the same message again tomorrow for Sunday’s schedule. The only awkward part for me is that my son, the cop, took over. Hard to let go of control of my schedule. But sort of nice, too.

  12. you deal with idiots. youll die young.

  13. srsly,
    you decamp and move to the next local to engage again hopefully with a not idiot.


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