Customer Service. 12:09:21 PM 1/17/2011
In my experience as an IT professional, I have had to call support lines on many occasions. Some have been bad, some have been good. I basically view a support call as two major grades: a "how long does it take to get to a human" grade and a "how helpful is the human" grade. I've called my former host (1&1) on multiple occasions. It generally takes minimal time and effort to get to a person, however the person has ranged from being "immediately helpful" to "elevated my call and it took a month to change the time zone on my server". So yeah.

Anyway, I think most people that read this are aware that I will no longer be in my current housing situation much longer. I am considering buying a place (as opposed to renting), but I'm still very undecided. So, like any home buyer, I went to the banck to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The ensuing customer service experience was one of the worst I have ever had.

On Thursday, I made the call. A woman answered and we promptly started filling out the application. She asked some financial questions and got my info in. It went really fast and was painless. She said it would take two hours for it to go through and I'd get an e-mail with the results. It seemed all too easy. Well, two hours came and went and there was no e-mail. So I gave it until Friday, but there was still no e-mail. Call #2.

So I called again and got a different guy. I told him what happened and he said that they had THREE different systems for this junk and he could only use 1. Wait, I missed the part about how that makes any sense. He asked who filled out my first application, but she had only said her name right at the beginning and I couldn't remember it. So he asked for my name and then sent out a mass e-mail asking who had filled out my application. I feel like there should have been a way better method of finding this out. He said if I didn't get a call in an hour, to call him personally and he would do it again. However, he didn't actually give me a number to call.

So whatever. I waited and completely unexpectedly, I got a call! Only it wasn't the first woman or the second guy. It was a THIRD guy who had sort of read the mass e-mail and saw the name "Greg" in it. Only, it turns out he was thinking of a different Greg that he had dealt with - not me. However, he said that if I didn't get ahold of the right person, then I should call him and he would help me out. A got a direct number from him, but not a name. Here's the current summary:

Call #1 - woman - allegedly filled out application - no name - no phone number
Call #2 - man - supposed to call back - name - no phone number
Call #3 - man - supposed to call back - no name - phone number

I was getting rather pissed, so I gave it one more shot. I called the main number again and asked for the second guy since I knew his name. I got his voicemail. What a pain. I tried to leave a voicemail, but his mailbox was full and it told me to send an e-mail to Fine, whatever. I sent an e-mail and it got rejected.

At this point, I was too pissed and gave up for the day. Today is a new day, though - a new day for more confusion and futility. Maybe I'll even get another blog post out of it for your amusement.

3 responses to "Customer Service."

    1/18/2011 8:09:34 PM
5/3 bank = worst customer service in the world (or at least the worst i've ever dealt with). just absolutely awful. i'd rather borrow money from the mob
    1/18/2011 9:45:56 PM
Yeah, after this I think I'm going to try somewhere else.
    1/19/2011 8:38:49 AM
Man. That's rough. You should try a different bank.

My experience with my local bank (Main Source) was painless:
1. Call to setup a meeting (they even stayed late to accomodate my schedule)
2. Go to meeting (15-20 min.)
3. Get a rough estimate of how much I can spend
4. 2-3 days later, receive pre-approval letter in the mail with official amount

As a bonus, they are also very responsive if I need anything. One example was asking for another pre-approval letter for the bid amount (since I didn't want the seller to know I was pre-approved for more than I was bidding). I emailed my rep asking for another letter and got an email with the new amount in less than 30 minutes.

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