Stupid businesses!

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Stupid businesses!

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:54 pm

We need to have some service work done on the hoist device that loads and unloads hubby's powerchair into our minivan.

So, I get intelligent and decide to pull up the company's website to find their phone number instead of digging my iPhone out of my purse to call them.

There are various locations for this company in the tri-state area of Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. I click the link for the St. Louis location where we've done business and call the toll-free number listed there.

Very friendly woman answers. I explain what's needed and mention hubby's name so she can pull up our records. She says she can't find a listing under that name but will check with the service department to see if they have the parts in stock for what we need done and will call me back.

Okay...she calls me back and needs more detailed info about our hoist, including its serial number. Impossible, since hubby has the minivan at work. Naturally, I can't find the paperwork for it to locate the number either.

So, I pull up the phone number from caller ID to call her back, thinking as I do so, "Weird! I think that's a Kansas City area code." Yep, sure enough. I'd been talking to the Kansas City and not the St. Louis location. No wonder they'd no record for us!

Does it make any sense for a company with several locations not to answer the phone with company AND city names when a call to that toll-free number can be answered apparently by any one of their locations? I re-checked the website thinking I must've scribbled the number incorrectly. Nooooo...the same damn toll-free number is listed as the only phone number for more than one of their locations!

Talking about corporate stupidity run amok, this was certainly it!
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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:45 pm

Oh Dot, I feel your pain. I never call the toll free number anymore. I figure it will take me to places I do not want to go, to people who have no idea what I am talking about.

But I used to. Now I will search for the local number, which is never toll free. But most of the time gets me a human being, who can actually find what I am talking about.

You are right. it is stupid. If they are all the same company the records should be easy to locate with out you jumping through hoops.

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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:52 pm

Shocked DotNotInOZ! Shame on you, such foresight & hindsight for possessing & using a brain! Razz
At least YOU have ACTUAL people that answer the phones? Let alone say the Company name? (We've been missing out here! I must move to the Midwest) bounce
Very Happy Seriously, though, the woman that you spoke with, should be given a raise, promotion just for answering the phone, identifying herself, & the company!Then actually giving service! Make her CEO of the company I say!
A milestone was obtained by this hardworking, caring, lady!
I haven't had service like that here in SWLA in YEARS, EONS, to be truthful! What ever did happen to courtesy, & phone etiquette? Must of been skipped in the "I don't care, just drawing a pay check" classes that company's teach!
Maybe you should shoot an email to the Company & tell them of the wonderful service you received & drop her name, then state as a suggestion, your solution to the "city" identifier! Maybe point out that the #'s are the same! Or at least marry up their tech systems between the cities for continued value services to their highly regarded customers! Wink
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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:23 pm

Willow you never fail to make me smile

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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:03 pm

Aha! I emailed them to complain about how screwy this is to have the exact same toll-free number for all their locations.

Turns out they have a geo-routing system that is supposed to automatically direct your call to the nearest location when you call their universal toll-free number.

Only problem is that we moved and kept our same cell phone numbers since we weren't changing service providers. So, their system routed my call to the Kansas City location because my cell phone still has a Kansas area code.

Apparently, no one's considered that many people don't even have a landline anymore and may have done what we did, moved and kept the same cell phone number.

Thus, it's impossible to pull up the phone number online for a specific location when the only one given on each one's webpage is this universal toll-free number. DUH! Why the toll-free number and each location's local number wouldn't both be listed on the webpage is beyond me. Too much confidence in their fancy geo-routing system being foolproof, I'm betting.
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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:13 pm

I think you are right Dot. We (generic human beings) have given to much faith in technology. The machines will eventually take over, I fear.

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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:26 pm

Btw, here's a useful tip when you call someplace and get one of those annoying menus.

Hubby works for AT&T and told me that most of those are set up so that punching "0" at any point directs your call immediately to a live person. If it's a voice-responsive system, say "real person" instead of replying with one of the choices the system offers you.

This won't always work, but it does on most of the menus I've encountered. Probably not long, however, until some geek figures out that too many people have learned this and programs such systems not to respond to either.
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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:15 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:I think you are right Dot. We (generic human beings) have given to much faith in technology. The machines will eventually take over, I fear.

We are the BORG. You will be assimilated.

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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:47 pm


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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by tmarie64 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:07 am

Toll free numbers are generally answered in the main offices of the business.
Did their website give you the location of their main offices?

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Re: Stupid businesses!

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:11 am

tmarie64 wrote:Toll free numbers are generally answered in the main offices of the business.
Did their website give you the location of their main offices?

No, and that was part of the problem. Their website simply lists links to the various locations' individual webpages. Only one or two provided a local number, neither of which was anywhere near us. The other half dozen listed that frickin' geo-routed toll-free number.

Since I was on my computer and haven't a regular phone near it, I simply grabbed my iPhone from its charger and called the toll-free number with it (which I discovered I'd done after I wrote the OP in case anyone notices the inconsistency.) If I'd written down that number and gone to our landline phone, no problem. It would have geo-routed me appropriately. As MC said, this is what happens when people start thinking their technology is foolproof.

Probably not a big deal for them except for the fact that people have been able to move and keep the same cell number for several years now. So, let's say someone who still has a California cell number moves to St. Louis. Their screwy system would route this person's call to the Kansas City location, four hours' drive from here!

If it weren't for the fact that they're the only local company that will service wheelchair lifts not bought from them, we'd say "Screw you guys!" Trust me, you don't want to end up in a wheelchair trying to live independently. You get the runaround more times than not.
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