A Week of Fails
For every service we purchase, every ticket we buy, every item and every interaction, we should now expect less. I find myself having to reset my expectations every single day on the quality of goods and services purchased. Global companies are politicians making promises they simply don’t keep. The mission, vision and value statements are just words on an ever changing webpage. I suppose part of the reason is the focus on immediate revenue generation vs long term gains. My personal experience isn’t unique and the consistency across companies makes my shitty experience so common that we have come to just accept it. The only way to get the attention of service providers is to call them out with either the backing of a public influencer or be highly persistent in chasing them. I’ll give you a few short examples here.
- Citibank has a protections for purchases. If something goes wrong with a transaction or there is fraud, they are supposed to help you and potentially reimburse you. We had a few transactions over the past year including a purchase where we literally received a piece of cardboard. Citibank promised to help and reimburse us and it didn’t happen. In fact, after over 10 phone calls we just let it go because it wasn’t worth our time any more. The people we spoke with on the phone promised us over and again that it was taken care of. The only thing that was taken care of was our friends in China who took the money and sent us a literal piece of garbage in the mail.
- SIxFlags had been rolling tickets that were unused to the next year for people that couldn’t go to the parks due to Covid. In a quick turn, they changed their policy. We have 5 tickets that we sought to move. Their answer to us was “sorry, we aren’t doing that anymore.” I guess it will be a “Great Adventure” to find another park to go to because we aren’t ever going back to a SixFlags park again.
- ServiceTech local appliance company came to my house to look at a broken refrigerator. The guy put his ear on the door, told me it’s working and left. That cost me $90.00. His service call was good for 30 days, where he’d come back and offset the cost of any services if required. I called the next day as the freezer was at 30 degrees. He said “50/50 chance the fridge is done, you can buy a starter online, I don’t have any.” After hours of research, and a call to another local appliance store, I found a bunch of options and I was told by a local story owner that service companies make these calls, take the money and don’t do the work. It makes sense, after all, appliances are all electronics now. The local appliance store owner told me he is “getting out of the business” as it isn’t what it used to be. In a world where you can’t repair anything, we are doomed to create more garbage. What a shame.
- Following the bad service call, we went to Lowes. Many stores don’t have appliances because they are log jammed between here and China. It could take 4 – 6 months to get something. In fact, if you tried to buy a generator right now from Lowes or one of the other large stores, you may not see one until March or April. Luckily, they had one refrigerator in the store and we were all set for delivery. We waited in the delivery window, never got a call, never got a product. When we called the store the phone rang out and there was no voice mail. Called the store back and there was no store manager available. Finally got a hold of someone and he blamed XPO logistics. They gave me a number and XPO didn’t have any idea what I was talking about and sent me to another company called Last Mile. The number they gave me was not in service. Called back to Lowes and found out that the order was never placed for delivery. Called Lowes corporate and they told me someone would call me within 24 hours. Well, 48 hours came and went and we never got a call.
- Western Digital My Cloud devices were hacked. They WD, didn’t update their firmware and invest in updates for security on their devices. These days, if you want an update, you need to pay for a subscription even though the code was written with agile methods. This means they deliver software garbage out the door and fix it over time. WD offered in the kindness of their hearts an opportunity to buy a discounted newer version of their product. Firstly, the newer version doesn’t even compare to the functions of the old one and the quality is poor. To make things easy, I shipped them my old device (at my expense) and bought the new device. After 30 days, it stopped working. I setup a return with WD and shipped it back to them for an exchange which I paid for. It’s almost 90 days later and I have no device and when I call them it takes me through an endless loop of prompts. What I should have done was go to a box store and buy the product and return it but I did it the right way. I am asking myself why I didn’t just do it.
Unfortunately, when I speak to other people the story is the same with company after company. We are possibly past a point of no return. The only way to get help is to expose companies and that’s more work than most of us want to put in.
This year I have had to repair or replace almost everything myself. I had to service my own equipment and fix things that service people damaged. We live in a time where we are worried about climate change and global warming but throwing things away at an unprecedented rate. Today, it cheaper to replace a computer vs repairing it. It is the same with many things. The quality of products and services are going down. While some of the names on products remain the same, these are being acquired and absorbed into the great abyss of large business.
I’m not asking for anything at this point but I’m calling it out. If this is how it is, then at least we know what game we are playing.
What do you think? I’d like to know.