Wednesday, June 06, 2007

HBC rant update

You might recall the hassle and the trip through Customer Service Hell that I experienced last month, regarding delivery of my new washer and dryer.

After I cooled off a bit, I decided not to pursue the matter, and resolved not to make any more major purchases at Zellers.

Then, on May 22, I went lamp shopping for my new living room. I found the exact floor lamps I wanted for my living room at Home Outfitters, which is another HBC outlet. I wanted to put them on my HBC card, mostly to qualify for double HBC points. For some reason, my card was rejected.

The cashier -- a very pleasant, patient lady named Sophie -- called customer service to inquire. On her way to acquiring a living, breathing human to speak to, the automatic answering machine told her that the full payment on the washer and dryer had been made May 15. After several minutes with that living, breathing human, Sophie was asked to hand the phone to me. I was told that although the payment had been made a week earlier, it wouldn't be processed until the next day, so I was over the $1,000 limit on the card. I wondered how that could happen when the washer and dryer totalled more than $1,000, and was told that the salesperson who processed the transaction must have overridden the limit, but that couldn't be done now for $136 worth of lamps. Just because the payment for which they had record wouldn't be processed for another day!

After about 20 more minutes on the phone with Sophie -- get this -- the other woman HUNG UP! Sophie was determined to get it done for me, so called back. That started another 20 minutes or so with another person, who tried to walk Sophie through an override, but gave up when it wouldn't work, and told Sophie there was nothing else that could be done, and ended that conversation.

Un-freakin'-believable. I really wanted the lamps, otherwise would have walked about 30 minutes earlier, and eventually paid for them on my Visa, minus the bonus HBC points, of course. I thanked Sophie profusely, and left with my lamps.

Before I could cool off that time, I emailed Customer (Dis)Service, and recounted all the stupidity I had been through. The next day, I got a reply that began with an apology, and asked me to call "Tina" at a toll-free number, to discuss the matter further. I left a message for Tina, and am still waiting for a call. Today is June 6, that was May 24.

I know that my personal boycott of HBC will have no effect. I won't even ask you to join my boycott. However, I do implore you to remember what I've been through when you contemplate a major purchase at any HBC store. That includes the Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters. God forbid you have any problem, because Customer Service is a complete misnomer to that company.

I could understand if I was a deadbeat with a bad credit rating, but nothing is further from the truth. Remember: I had paid in full for the washer/dryer purchase. The company even had record of that, but it hadn't been processed, whatever the hell that means. I'm the guy who gets antsy if his Visa card is showing a balance. With the exception of a couple of summers when I was on vacation for a month, so cable, phone and Visa payments might have been a few days late, I have never fallen behind in any payments.

Customer Service indeed!


John Mielke Photography said...

Next time you leave a message for something like this, say "Hi, it's Bob, news producer at A Channel news in Ottawa..."

Betcha get a call back AND results.

Sad that it has to come to that in this world, but whatever.


Newsguy Bob said...

Actually, this time, I actually left the message with a person who I don't think is fluent in either official language.
Playing the media card usually only works when you're blowing sunshine up the other person's ass. In this case, Tina would have known who I was. Otherwise, had she returned the call and found out what it was really about, she would have stonewalled me. Trust me, it happens. Ask me sometime about the Rideau Centre, for example.

Ma Horton said...

You can blow sunshine up a person's ass ? I never knew that .Wind I knew.

Maria said...

Poor You and to think that The Bay is my favorite place to shop...
However, I will join in your boycott NO more shopping at the Bay for me... No Sir E Bob. Thats it they ain't getting my business anymore.

Maybe after I get my ass off the sofa and the ankle is all heeled (hehe), then I will start shopping again. Until then NO more HBC for moi!

As for the Senators they did good and ALL of Canada should be proud. Just kind of depressing to loose to a team with such a ferocious name *DUCKS* ooooooooooooooooooo I am scared.

JB said...

Last week, I was buying some stuff for the babies at Zeller's, pulled out the card, NOWHERE NEAR ITS LIMIT, and got refused. Cashier made 'the call', and it turned out that my last bill had been returned to them, due to THEM (non-English/non-French person) taking down my new address incorrectly. So, because THEY screw up, I'm a fugitive with a stolen card or something. Not likin' the HBC people, and won't be usin' the card for quite a while - maybe never again.

Newsguy Bob said...

Good on ya, JB. It's not likely that we're going to put the company out of business after 337 years (yeah, it's been going since May 2, 1670), butwe don't have to drop any coin there, either. Screw 'em! Power to the people!