By Mike Wilcox
Let me climb my soapbox again. I’ve avoided trashing businesses or government agencies that put you on hold for long periods of times, but I’ve had it. I gotta start bashing, because their customer service skills suck.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, Friend of the Court. My case is in the dreaded Wayne County, but I’ve heard horror stories pertaining to these Friends everywhere.
I really don’t have a problem with this agency once I can speak to a representative. It’s getting to that representative that is maddening. I called a couple months ago because my son was turning 18 and I no longer was obligated to pay child support. I wanted to make sure they were aware.
It took me four days to get in touch. You call, follow phone prompts, get to the final one and to hear elevator music. Not for five or 15 minutes but for hours. I just put my phone on speaker and let it go.
After three hours I would give up. Finally on the fourth day and 11 hours with my phone on hold, I was treated to talking to a human. Whew, case settled … or so I thought.
My child support payments were being deducted from my monthly social security check. When I saw last week that a payment had been deducted, I went ballistic.
I was ready to rant like a banshee to Friend of the Court, if only I could get through. I followed the prompts correctly. Instead of elevator music I was greeted with a disconnection. I tried again, the same.
Since I couldn’t reach Friend of the Court, I had to call Social Security to see why they were sending money that belonged to me to the Friend of the Court instead. I emailed them and waited three days without a response. Then I called them. This time I was greeted by a human voice after waiting just 45 minutes.
Of course they couldn’t help me because they hadn’t received an order from the Friend of the Court. As I was about to hang up I told the Social Security agent I hadn’t received a response from the Friend’s website. He laughed, said it might take a week and, by the way, they respond with only general information. They won’t answer your inquiry directly. He was right. I just got a response nine days later.
So now I had to call Friend of the Court again. I went through the now-memorized prompts only to get hung up on the last one. I get their gig now. If they are too busy, instead of answering the phone they have an imbecile sitting nearby, hanging up on all callers. What a world we live in.
After another three days and countless hangups, I got through. Of course they had forgotten to send the order to Social Security. It’s Wayne County, they do very little right. I can’t wait until October. How much you wanna bet I’ll be making another phone call?
I used to think telephone companies and utilities were the worst. They got better, so I turned my rage on fast food places and bank drive-throughs, but for the most part they’ve figured out customer service too. Now the slackers are government agencies we support with our tax dollars. What a shame.