29 October 2010

On the bus. No internet. Five more hours to dc.

19 October 2010

How to do customer service right.

Dear Companies Who Use Automated Answering Devices for your Customer Service,

It's cool if the option is "press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish". I don't even mind entering my account number (if I can find the damn thing). But that's about the extent of patience I've got for your automated system. Much more than that, and the rage begins to build. Having me route myself is merely going to piss me off, because often times, it took /way/ longer than it should have.

Verizon is a prime example. It takes me at a minimum, 2 minutes and 47 seconds to get through /just/ the prompts to get to tech support. Time Warner? About 15 seconds, give or take. Bank of America is another one that's pretty foul, especially if you have one of their credit cards. TD Bank? ANSWER WITH A HUMAN THE FIRST TIME. No automated anything. You ring up the 800 number, and a human answers. Yeah. THAT is outstanding. I think that my brother was calling (if I recall correctly) Dish network or something. Same deal there. He was actually surprised at not having to enter anything on his phone. He called the number, and a human answered.

It's getting to where I'm actively avoiding those folk who make me jump through hoops to get stuff done. I've spent more hours than I care to think about at work, sitting through Verizon's obnoxious phone prompts. Even if it takes a long time to sort out the mess, I don't mind, as long as I reach a human promptly. Because the thing is? All those prompts did NOTHING. I still have to restate all the information. What the fuck was the point of the prompts then?

So you mean to tell me that I spent the last 3 minutes of my life, punching random buttons, so that you can ask me to repeat it all again? Are you serious?

It's going to take anywhere between 10 - 15 days to do it, and it's going to cost us money to get the switch over to happen, but it's gotten to where I've flatly told my boss to switch to Time Warner, and the hell with the cost. Anything is worth getting decent customer service, promptly, and on my terms. You know what was even BETTER? When I was done with the call with Time Warner, the lady said, "And if you need to call me with any other questions, here's my direct number. Call me, and I'll personally handle everything for you."

I used TurboTax this year to file the taxes for Chow. It was difficult to use, because our books were a mess, and I had to do some fenagling. However, when I had an issue with technical aspects of th software, a techinician sorted me out in minutes after I asked the question. For that reason (along with the ease of /reaching/ said tech), I'll be using them again in the future.

17 October 2010

The News is for crap

I used to have respect for CNN news. Note the past tense. Yesterday, Steve and I were sat in a government building to sort some stuff out, and they had the news on the idiot box. There's a reason why I haven't watched TV since I quit smoking: it fills me with rage.

There was a story about how thin women make more money than plumper women.

I turned to Puppy, and said, "Next they'll have as breaking news: 'Cake is delicious!'"

Seriously, people. I understand that it's a slow news day, but there comes a point where there is no point to saying something, if what you're going to say is bloody inane and mindless. There was other news going on. Unfortunately, none of that was apparently ratings-worthy enough to warrant any time. No no. I had to sit there and listen to inane patter about how the study was so "interesting" and how it "revealed so much".

If I were rolling my eyes harder, they'd turn around.

The preceding story was about how people with high IQ tend to drink more. Guess what? Now we know why.

06 October 2010

Weekend of busy

This upcoming weekend is about to get a little crazed. Steve has his GRE on Saturday, and Sunday is our trip to Pennsylvania to attend the wedding of a friend of mine (I've known him for years). The sweetest thing ever was to get the wedding invite, and see a little check box for "If you'd like a vegan meal, please say so here".

I was stunned, and floored by it.

When I've been to other weddings, I was the lone vegan there. The "vegan option" generally consisted of roasted vegetables (delicious, mind you) with nothing else. No, seriously. No starch, no protein, nothing. Just the roasted veg. Yeah. It would be filling, but not satisfying, if that makes sense. In this case, they're having a vegan option built into the wedding meal, which is incredibly nice.

OK. Onions on the stove are starting smell a little strong. Time to get back to work.