Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bad bad day

Today is absolutely the worst day of my life - or at least in 2007. It started off average but took the turn for the worse after my session at Decleor at Raffles Hotel.

I finally bought the Microsoft Office 2007 today, and the SA told me there is a promotion running and I could redeem some departmental store vouchers for buying that. The redemption office is at Burlington Square and is opened till 6pm on weekends. He gave me the flyer with the contact details and opening hours.

As it was around 520pm when I left Raffles Hotel, I thought I would go to Burlington Square to redeem the vouchers as it was fairly nearby. And it is quite an inconvenient location so I didn't want to make a trip down purposely just for that another day.

I walked towards Bras Basah Complex and hopped onto a taxi. I realized I lost my cross and star pendants after I alighted from the cab. The necklace was hanging loose. I went back to the driveway to search and there was nothing on the ground. Felt real upset and sad about losing that, especially so since I didn't get a receipt, and so didn't have the cab license plate number. But I wasn't sure if I lost them in the cab or when walking out of Raffles Hotel.

I called Decleor and asked them to check if they were there, but nada. So sigh...really down about it as I had been wearing the cross pendant for close to 20 yrs now. I have resisted buying a new cross pendant as nothing can replace that, there is a bond for me. I always hold it, twiddle with it, and it brings me comfort in times of stress. I am grateful I didn't lose the chain too, that will be another blow to me. The star pendant was a baptism gift but the significance paled to the cross.

I will be calling the Lost and Found department of the cab company tomorrow as they are only opened from Monday to Friday. Keeping fingers crossed that I could get them but I know the chances are highly unlikely.

So that is 1 part of the bad day. It continued.

Finally found the unit of the redemption store for the vouchers and it was closed! WTH?! On the glass doors, it said opened till 430pm on weekends. The information on the flyer does not tally. Before reaching the destination, I called the store but no one picked up the phone at all. And there was no answering machine saying they are closed.

There were still people in the store and one guy came over to say they are closed and they can't give me the vouchers. With me losing the pendants, I was not in the best of mood and now I get this answer - sorry, no can do. come back another day. I was majorly pissed off with the standard spiel. I don't want that, give me some solutions, people.

I already wasted my time and cab fare coming down and you tell me sorry come back another day. Don't they make exceptions? Don't they offer other alternatives? The best they can do is the come back another day. I asked to speak to the person in charge. She was ineffective too. First we were having a conversation through the locked glass doors, plus there were some construction work going on. I could barely hear her. She said the same thing. Can't open the door, or get the vouchers cos they have done the closing and did not have the vouchers. Asked where they were, said in the safe and they can't open it. {not sure how true that is - i worked in retail before}

Basically I could barely hear her, and the guy came over again. I asked to speak to someone else, he said no one else. I asked for contact details of someone I can talk to. They dilly dally and deliberated before finally giving me a slip of paper with the company's name and same tel number (which I called and no one picked up).

Hello? That is the best they can do? I requested for an email address and someone to attention to. Then another girl came over and said to attention to her. I told her no point since she is standing there and doing nothing. She was so belligerent in her attitude and made it seemed like it is MY fault for going down to her office when it was already closed and not HER fault I wasted my time going down. And also MY fault for calling after office hours. I told her I called the office first before going down but no one picked up the phone. First she said oh they only have 1 line and that was why it was engaged. I said it rang and rang and no one picked up. Then she said oh, they turned off the ringer after 430pm. And again MADE it my fault that the phone was not answered at all.

Her attitude just infuriated me. The condescending tone and why bother me attitude was terrible. She just refused to empathized with the customers. Said it is the fault of the retailers for not informing customers of the change in operating hours. [blame shifter] And that many other people came down too, and they told them the same thing - come back another day.

So I asked her for the boss's name so that I can attention to him. I am not even sure if she gave me the right name cos she hem and haw before spitting out a name, and when I asked for a last name, she had to ask her colleagues. Errr.....wouldn't you know the name right off the top of your head? And the email she gave was a generic email - according to her it is the email for complaints.

So she knows I will be making a complaint. She wants me to blame the retailer too.

I am going to do research on the company and then I will be writing a formal letter of complaint to the company and to Microsoft and Ingram Micro (name on the flyer) on the promotion, as well as the customer service rendered.

Points to note:
1. Change of promotion informtion not communicated to customers or updated on the flyers.
2. Flyers still displayed prominently in the store.
3. If to blame, retailers...the advertising/promotion department should have brief all retailers and to provide stickers with correct information to paste over existing flyers or at least re-print new flyers.
4. Promotion only started from 19 April and is to run till 30 June. Where is the QC for promotional copy text? Microsoft has a huge marcom/pr department. What happened?
5. Attitude of staff from the redemption store. Can't even offer alternatives or solutions.

What made me mad was that I am in this line. I was in retail before. I ran promotions. I gave away store vouchers before. I briefed all staff on all promotions. I handled complaints from tough customers when they called the hotline when my staff couldn't handle it. I KNOW what it is like. It just galled me when someone tried to pull a fast one on me.

Plus now I am even closer to the media. I know what works. I know if I could, I could write in to the Forum page, to CASE. And I know people who work in Microsoft. Microsoft is very pro-customer service.

I spoke to them before regarding some other matters and they troubleshoot my problem and did not rest until it was resolved. They even called me back a few days later to check on my satisfaction on their service. Now that is what I called delighting the customer.

I just wanted the staff to empathize about my situation, not made it seemed like my fault for not knowing they are closed. If possible, they should have the empowerment to release the vouchers on the spot. If not, they should have the initiative to mail the vouchers over. I used to do that when I was in retail. We would either mail out to their home or leave it somewhere convenient for them to pick up. Or we would give some other vouchers for the hassle/trouble they encountered.

Instead I just got the come back another day. You are not the only one who came down and we told them to come back again. There is nothing we can do. No point complaining. I wonder what they would be if I do belong to THE "Lee" family of Singapore. And it was so damn rude to have the entire conversation through the glass doors.

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