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A human, please!

Ann Swanson

While I realize that businesses are attempting to save money, I am sorry but one size does not fit all! When I call a business, it is because I need some sort of service. All I get these days are automated services. This is very frustrating because when they give the choices often, they do not fit what I am calling about.

If I could speak to someone the problem could be probably be solved in a couple of minutes. What happened to the old adage the customer is always right? The customer does not even get hold of anyone to make a complaint or request service.

This has happened to me several times over the past few weeks. I had to call Direct TV to request additional service. I asked them to send me a schedule of their channels, but I never got it. She told me to look it up on the Internet. That may be fine for some people, but I could not access my account – maybe I never started one I do not know. I am not looking forward to calling them back to adjust the package. Wouldn’t you think they would be happy to add service?

Then, there is Verizon. I can never make them understand what I want. I have tried saying things differently, but alas, I end up hanging up without getting what I want done. I have tried the Internet for this, too. However, you cannot use the Internet if that is what you need service on.

Thank heavens for Discover Card. When I call there, I get a real live person to talk to. I get everything done that I need to and am very satisfied. They do have an automated system, but as soon as you punch in the number for service you get a person to talk to.

Yesterday I tried to access the pharmacy at Wal-Mart. My husband turned in a prescription and they told him it might be ready yesterday but they were not sure. I had to know so many numbers that eventually I gave up. Once we were home, we got a call that it was ready. With that nifty traffic light by the country club that is set up to facilitate the traffic without a flagman, we decided that we would be in the going-home from work traffic so we opted to pick it up another time. The last time I got caught there at going home time it took me a half-hour just to get up to the light.

I have reward points on my Amazon account. While Amazon is amazing for most of their service, I have trouble with the bonus points. By accident, one day did manage to use some of my points on an order.

Folks, we need to band together and refuse to use the services that operate this way. I will find alternatives as long as possible. Somethings you simply cannot find an alternative for. Isn’t that a monopoly?

These businesses need to hire people to troubleshoot for them. I will trade locally whenever possible because of the service. When I deal locally, I get a live body on the other end of the phone to answer my questions.

Incidentally, the hospital operates in the same manner. We were trying to find someone who had been admitted after hours. The runaround we got was discouraging. In the end, we ended up calling the facility where the person lives to get information. That was not without difficulty either. No one answered the phone since it was after hours!

How come all of these telemarketers can find me, but the people that I need to talk to will not answer? I finally installed caller identification to eliminate all of the nonsense calls. I can see who is calling unless they block their number. When that happens, I simply do not answer. Wireless calls are another story. You just get the number. I did not answer calls from my stepson because I did not recognize his number. Now I know the number so I answer.

How about Walmart! Now you have to pack your own groceries! If I am going to pack my own groceries, I want to get them cheaper. I told the clerk the last time that when they do not have enough aisles open people are going through the ten items or less aisle with a lot more groceries. I also told that clerk that I intended to trade elsewhere. At least at Aldi’s, you pay less for many products. Wegman’s is not that far away either!

I will only trade at Walmart for things that other stores do not have. I always make a list so I know what they have. I can get my over-the-counter medicines at Wegman’s – some of them cheaper than at Walmart.

Appliances – I will buy those from the little guy because of the service. When my refrigerator broke down the repairman was here in just a couple hours. He was able to get my part and the thing was up and running in short order. When you trade with the big box stores, they might be able to schedule someone within the next week – if you are lucky!

I am sure that many of you have the same gripes. Now we just have to figure out how to get rid of the stuff we do not like. A lot of voices just may hit them where it hurts – their bottom line!

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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