An Ode to Days Inn– Chattanooga

Oh, Days Inn Chattanooga,

How you let us down.

Your double bed room

Really made our family frown.

Non-smoking, it decreed

On the suite door,

Yet the stale smell of cigarettes

Seemed to rise from the floor.

The room – it was tiny;

The bathroom – really tight.

It was a very good thing

That we had packed light.

Cracked tiles in the lavatory,

Sloppy mending all around;

Apathy for good work

Was exceedingly abound.

The most frustrating part

Of the entire night’s stop

Was realizing the linens

Reeked of smoke, bottom to top.

From the smelly bed sheets

To the lumpy beds,

There was no point

Trying to rest our heads.

And then upon exiting

The very next day

No compensation was given,

Just a “Thanks for your stay,”

Even though we had advised

The room smelled like an ashtray.

Well, Days Inn at Chattanooga,

We will not stop another time.

Your squeaky front door

Will not sound its chime,

For staying at your motel

Is just an abomination

To our poor backs, our nostrils,

And any hope for relaxation.

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American Express — customer service NOT at it's finest

It’s said that a satisfied customer will tell one other person about their good customer experience but a dissatisfied one will tell 10. Well I am an over achiever. I am happy to update everyone on the Amex is an A- hole campaign. Although it was s low start it seems to be picking up momentum. I have been able to recently reach over 120,000 people direct through email. The blog post is slow to pick up but with more exposure I am certain I will reach more people. Its been an amazing process to watch these idiots stumble all over themselves. American express idiot brigade has said they would look into the issues but never seem to be able to get back to us. It’s not the mistakes they make but the way they handle it. This is a company that doesn’t have to care. Maybe people should start to realize where the real thieves in the business world are. Its these monopolistic credit card companies. They don’t have to care because good old capitalism is not at work. Perhaps we need to consider a movement to disband these giants and break up their tyrannical hold on the finances of the American consumer. When was the last time you saw a credit card company go after the thieves for stealing? They don’t care because they don’t have to because the American consumer pays the price through fees and finance charges. So next time your credit card company says “this is for your protection” tell them “the American consumer needs protection cuz were bending over and takin it from you”.

Why American Express Sucks

It’s with great pleasure that we induct another company into the “Shameful Service” Hall of fame. It all began the day we had left for Argentina for our family vacation and we were advised that they were cancelling our card due to a “possible” compromise. Now to global travelers this becomes a huge problem. Its complex but in a nutshell it could mean a disastrous situation for a family abroad.  Now understand we are one of those card holders that get the black titanium card ( I know you think we are really just whiney @$$holes ) The experience all began with a supposed manager who has the brains of  a gnat. When we pleaded with him that he was putting us in a horrible situation and we were going to be left high and dry in Argentina he said that it wasn’t his problem and that we should have brought enough cash with us. So the brainless gnat was telling us to break the law and carry illegal amounts of cash on us. Congratulations Gnat boy. When we asked to elevate this he says there is no one else to talk to and that he is the “messiah of American Express”. He claims this is for our protection. ( just an FYI . read the consumer credit protection I’m already protected you mindless ignoramus, you’re protecting you) After much arguing and pleading the mutant brained self proclaimed messiah promised to get us our new card in the next 24 hours but two weeks later after traveling from city to city we still received no card despite the 8 different calls we made to the global assist department. Not only is this organization a lesson in a company that can’t take accountability for their actions but one that can’t live up to their promises. They not only can’t fix their mistakes but can’t make amends for them. Perhaps this is the reason that monopolies shouldn’t exist.  What’s amazing is that American Express did this for $20 charge and it cost them probably more than $200 in expediting, phone calls and other expenses. ….  and most likely it cost one of their top customers. Congratulations gnat boy.

Hello Visa… Now that’s priceless

Cable companies. I can't stand them.

By Cathy Thurber

 

They jack up their prices and only give their good discounts to the unsuspecting people they are trying to sucker into signing a contract with.  There was a time not long ago when I dealt with Time Warner Cable.  In the end it wasn’t even the amount of money I was being charged (which was A LOT) that caused me to switch providers, it was Time Warner’s customer service.

Oh, yes.  Time Warner can consider themselves an epic failure on the subject of customer service. 

Now, the operator I was on the phone with was calm and relatively friendly, never deviating from her script; but I could have sworn that somewhere down the line customer service also meant trying to help your customer in any way they needed.  Not so!  Let me back up a little….first, I had just seen a commercial on TV for how low their prices were.  Plus, I had spoken about my ungodly high cable bill with my sister and found out that I was paying at least $40 more a month than she was – and she had movie channels!  I called Time Warner, and in my hey-I’m-a-long-time-happy-customer voice asked if there were any deals they had going on that they could give me, as I had been a paying customer for many years.  I was told that I could take away some of my services to lower my bill.  What?  What am I going to take away – my non-existent movie channels?  Apparently I could go down to the bare minimum cable channels and also slow down my internet.  Seeing as how my internet had suspiciously started crawling around the time Time Warner began offering their upgraded internet for $10 extra a month, I certainly didn’t want to go any slower.  I advised the girl that I knew other people were paying a lot less than we were but had more channels.  Her response?  “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy, would you like to disconnect your service?”  Really??  That’s your first move…to basically just say, “screw you?” 

I tried a few more times to get her to understand that I didn’t want to disconnect my service, but that I knew what I was paying was unnaturally high.  Was there any option for a current customer to lower their price without lowering their service?  No matter what, I just kept getting the same chipper response, “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy, would you like to disconnect your service?”  You know what?  Yeah.  Yes, lady, I DO want to disconnect my service now – because YOUR service SUCKS.  Wait, it doesn’t just suck – it’s non-existent! How do you tell a customer that has been with you for years that their loyalty doesn’t mean a thing?  Only new customers get the good stuff….once you’re signed with them they could care less! 

Customer Service isn’t jumping from A to Z in one heartbeat.  It’s starting at A, working around B and possibly jumping over C, until you get the best result you can for both you and your customer.  Sometimes it’s not the answer that they wanted, but along the way you may have found something that is close to what they needed.  I had always been taught that you try to work with people that have been dependable – that their loyalty means something.  I guess in this day and age, that just doesn’t count anymore.  And you know what?  That’s pretty sad.    Apparently, I’m a rebel believing in that old-fashioned nonsense.  I hope you are, too.

And Time Warner Cable….yeah, have you checked the complaint boards online?  They’re calling you pathetic.  I have to agree.

“Orlando: Home of the So-Called ‘Happiest Place on Earth’” A Cleveland Fan’s first hand account from Game 6 in Orlando

My roommate and I, both females in our mid twenties have been dubbed Cleveland Cavaliers “superfans” by many of our friends especially this past season. It was no surprise to anyone that we flew to Orlando on a whim to watch the Cavs vs the Magic in game 6 this past Saturday. We went into it expecting being greatly outnumbered by many intense fans, but we had no idea what was in store for us.

Before arriving at Amway Arena (we got there about 45 minutes before game time) we decided in the taxi that we would take the “high road” approach toward the fans. Obviously, in any sporting event, especially the playoffs, you’d expect the hometown fans to be intense; we figured it’d be safest for the two of us to just take the comments in strides, wish the opposing fans good luck, and refrain from making any cocky or rude remarks in return.

We hadn’t even been there 30 seconds, and a group of men started yelling in our faces and booing us as we walked towards the Magic Fanfest area. At this point, we thought it was funny.. and just wished them good luck. A little further my roommate and I were greeted with a group of young men who attempted to spit on us, tear up the posters I was holding and eventually grabbed my jersey and was pulling on it. I had to actually yell at them to “quit touching me”. Again I repeat, we were just WALKING outside, not saying a word.

As we finally get shuffled into the arena before the game like a herd of cattle, the woman taking tickets decides to scold my roommate because her ticket is folded saying “I don’t have time for this… do you see how many people are waiting in this line”. We didn’t realize this would be foreshadowing for how we would be treated by ALL workers inside the arena. We decide to get beer before we make it back to our seats, and instead of being asked what we wanted the people behind the counter laugh at us, and say they can’t serve us. After about 3 minutes (this isn’t exaggeration) of laughing at us, they finally ask what we want… we say “Miller Lite”… they then make fun of us saying “of course you want Miller Lite, you’re from Ohio”. Great service so far, right?

Finally we make it to our seats, and proudly raise the posters we made during the pre game warm ups. An elderly woman (I’d say she’s about 80 years old) who is sitting 6 rows behind me starts screaming at me and telling me to sit down because she can’t see. There is absolutely NO WAY possible I was obstructing her view. But being the polite person I am, I just sat down, no need to draw any more attention to us. So the game starts and my roommate and I are the types of fans to cheer…a lot. Every time we said anything, every man or woman in the vicinity of us stared or yelled directly at us. One guy who had been giving us a really hard time actually ID d us saying “if you’re actually from Cleveland I will respect you”. We literally had to take our ID’s out for some guy from Orlando just to be left alone for 10 minutes. Again I repeat we did and said NOTHING negative, at this point we knew better!

We decided to chance running to the bathroom, which ended up being not as bad as expected, and upon our return someone in the rows behind us spilled their entire drink under our feet. We had asked someone in the arena to help us mop it up, but of course nothing happened. The mess was only cleaned once a Magic fan so politely asked for me. (Another example of fantastic service at the Amway Arena). As the second half went underway, my roommate and I did what we have done all season, remained positive even when we could see the game slipping through our fingers. Anytime anyone would even score a basket we cheered as normal and the fans continually screamed in our faces. As the game neared about the 2:30 mark and shouts of “MVP” for Dwight Howard were being chanted, one of the classiest fans in the stands decided to take his keys and shake them 2 inches from our faces. This being the only time I actually broke down and said anything screaming to the guy to leave me alone. The only reason he left us alone eventually is because an older gentlemen (fellow Magic fan) said we didn’t do anything to him, and asked to leave us alone.

As we hit the 1 minute mark my roommate and I decided to sneak out of the arena and try and figure out how we were ever going to find our cab driver. On our way out fans were booing and yelling at us, meanwhile all we did was wish them good luck in the finals. (at this point I’m choking back tears of frustration with the fans and disappointment in my team.. we couldn’t get out of there fast enough!) We rush to the Marriott nearby thinking we could find our cab driver there; unfortunately he said he couldn’t get us for another 35 minutes. At this point, I am actually questioning our safety and concerned about where we can hang out for 35 minutes. As we say something to the girls working the desk at the Marriott they tell us, “why don’t you just take off your jerseys”. Well excuse me, but I thought I had the right to like my own team without being completely harassed. So at this point, like lost puppies we walk the sidewalks trying to figure out where to find our driver, can’t find him so we wait in a corridor of the entrance of the hotel. We aren’t speaking or even looking at anyone else, meanwhile the absolute hatred kept coming our way. Finally our driver is on the way, and at some point walking in the sidewalks the security and police directing traffic ended up even laughing at us and making rude remarks. Pretty incredible.

Our cab driver finally comes to save us (I now refer to him as my savior) and decides that we need to stop at a gas station to get beer so we can go to our hotel and drink (since obviously we can’t be in public). At the 7/11 we were at the woman behind the counter starts screaming at us across the room “you catch that game? SUPERMAN! You see that mvp SUPERMAN blahblah blah”screaming at us while we are trying to pay for the things we were purchasing.  Again we just responded with yep, good luck in the finals. All we were doing was buying a 12 pack of beer, and we couldn’t even skate by that without being harassed.

I am sure there are more accounts of complete harassment and inhumane treatment we received that I’m not even mentioning in this statement. After reflecting on all of it, I can say I have personally never been treated more poorly just for wearing a jersey. I have been to countless Browns games where fans for both teams completely taunt eachother, but for fans who aren’t saying or doing anything negative to be treated so poorly that they are actually scared is absolutely absurd. After my two days in Orlando it is safe to say that I will NEVER cheer on a team that houses such poor sports and horrible fans. I usually would cheer on our conference, last year I even mustered up the strength to cheer on the Celtics as they advanced to the finals. You can be certain that’s not the case this year.

The only bonus in all of it was meeting Daniel Gibson in the airport on our flight back to Cleveland. In talking to him, he genuinely apologized for the team’s loss, appreciated that we came all the way to cheer them on, as well as apologized for the horrible treatment we received from Orlando’s fans. I can only hope that I never see the day Cleveland fans treat any opposing team the way we were treated in Orlando.

The Lights are on but No One's Home

I moved from my apartment on April 30th. I called the Illuminating Co. to have my service turned off as of April 30th. Mid-May I received a bill from them for the apartment for the month of May. Confused, I called them to explain that I canceled service on April 30th and I should not be charged for any activity in May. The customer service person explained “well, you name is on the account. You called back on May 1st to have it reinstated”. I most certainly did not. I have come to find out that the woman that rented my apartment after me lost her job the day after she forced us out of our apartment early. She called the Illuminating Co. and had it put back into my name. I proceeded to ask the customer service person how it is possible that someone else can call and put service in someone else’s name?! After speaking with her manager, she said that all charges would be taken off my bill and I would be refunded the overpayment. Last week I received another bill, the same amount, with April dates on it. The fight continues…

Insurance Ignorance

After having my insurance with the same agent for 12 years, we were robbed. When I called the agent for assistance he laughed and said ‘gee, I don’t think you’re covered for that” and advised me to read my policy . We had to call the carrier and handle the whole claim ourselves. Needless to say he is no longer our agent.

Rudeness in Retail

Checking out at TJ Maxx, the cashier was on a personal phone call throughout the entire transaction. She never spoke to me, and after placing my purchase in a bag, she literally threw the bag at me. After fuming about it overnight, I returned everything the next day and told them the reason for the return was due to the horrible service I received. I also told them I will never shop at TJ Maxx again but will spend my money at stores that treat me like a human being.

Presenting Jim Carrey as "The Cable Guy"

Wonderful experience from our cable company. Two problems:

1: Wiped out full e-mail account when switching us over to the wireless connection. When we complained, they said oops, that is not supposed to to happen. There is nothing we can do to restore it.

2. When we switched our phone service over to them, they did it again, and even shut down the e-mail account. Again, we were told, I don’t know why that happened.

Result, move e-mail to a more reliable provider. Wish we had other options to move the cable because we would have done that too!

Insensitive Nurse in the E.R.

I was with my mom at the ER – she was having severe chest pains and could barely talk. When the patient nurse came over to talk to her and ask what was happening my sister and I tried to explain, as my mom was hurting too bad to speak. The nurse shooshed us and told my mom to walk back into the room, when my mom said she couldn’t walk the nurse said “well there is no other way for me to get you from here to there” . Horrible patient service!