Random Rant: I HATE Calling Customer Service

Have you ever been greeted by a company's virtual operator who "promises" to take care of your issue?  All you have to do is say what you need help with.  Go on.  Tell her.

Only she doesn't recognize your voice...ever.  My calls usually go a little something like this.

Virtual Susie: "Thank you for calling.  Tell me what you're calling about today.  For example, if you need 'refrigerator help' say 'refrigerator'."
Me: "Refrigerator."
Virtual Susie: "I'm sorry.  I didn't catch that."
Me [louder]: "Refrigerator."
Virtual Susie: "I'm sorry.  Please say that..."
Me: "REFRIGERATOR DAMMIT."
Virtual Susie: "I'm having trouble understanding you.  Let me get you to someone who can help."
Me: "That's what you should have done to begin with."
Virtual Susie: "Ha!"

Okay.  Maybe she didn't actually laugh at me.  But I felt like she did.  Once Susie's done jerking me around, she gets me to a live operator.  Ashley.  Yeah...Ashley.  Except her real name is Madhavi.  I have no problem with the name Madhavi.  Just tell me the truth.  All of this deception over a friggin' refrigerator.  Americans are smart enough to pronounce your name correctly.  Then again...Ashley's fine.

Madhavi Ashley: "Hello.  Thank you for calling today.  How can I help you?"
Me: "My refrigerator's not working."
Madhavi Ashley: "I'm so sorry to hear that.  I will do everything in my power to help you today.  What seems to be going on?"
Me: "The alarm keeps going off, the temperature keeps rising...[long drawn out explanation of the problem ensues]"
Madhavi Ashley: "I see.  Well, I am unable to assist with this problem in my department, but I will get you to someone who can help you."

...and the saga continues. 

Got any crazy customer service war stories?  Tell us about it below.

Christian Mingle

A little over a year ago, a friend of mine met someone special online.  She was absolutely giddy over her new romance.  They were engaged two months later.  As it turned out, she met him on Christian Mingle.

I had seen the commercials with couples blissfully recanting how they met online.  Even better, they knew ahead of time that they were equally yoked.  Because, well, they were Christian.  I had already sworn off online dating.  But online dating in the name of the lord was different, right?

Immediately I took a liking to Christian Mingle.  They closely monitored profile essays and photo submissions for appropriateness.  Some find that level of scrutiny stifling and overbearing. I liked it.  Being a Catholic schoolgirl, I could appreciate over-the-top structure (not while I was there, of course). 

A few weeks in, I noticed a category that I had not seen on other dating sites.  Users could display their preferences for the ethnicity of their ideal mate.  How DARE THEY call themselves a Christian website while promoting division amongst people who SHOULD be unified in their love for Christ.  My bible thumping finger might have been a little rusty, but that didn't seem right.  With race relations escalating all over the country, I am seeing many of my peers denouncing Christianity because of claims that it was used as an aid to oppress us for many years.  Could it be???

On the other hand, I saw the silver lining in their ignorance.  These guys were putting their prejudice on front street.  Seeing it out in the open like that prevented me from wasting my time.  Even so, it still disturbed me.

I needed to do some deep soul searching.  And searching of the soul I did.  Pain and confusion consumed me as I considered the possibility that the religion I grew up believing in wasn't meant for me at all.  It didn't help that I came across a forum where a "christian" woman was concerned that her daughter wanted to marry an "ethnic".  REALLY LADY??? What the hell is an ethnic?  Anyway, the commenters were just as stupid as she was.  One even suggesting that she forbid it because he knew of ethnics who preyed on young white women for the purpose of impregnating them and making light babies and if the babies' features weren't caucasian enough, they would beat the woman.  I couldn't. I can't. I won't.

As discouraging as the experience was, I came to a solid conclusion about my faith.  For all intents and purposes, the bible does not state any one race is above others.  In fact, Jesus teaches people to exercise love and kindness to all. Period.  I also recognized that with any religion, you have folks who will twist the teachings to fit their own selfish beliefs (jihad ring a bell).

I stopped using Christian Mingle after about a month, but had purchased a six month subscription (I was going to find my husband...okay).  When the subscription period ended, I contacted them via phone to cancel, and provide some feedback hoping they would take heed to what I had to say.  Unfortunately the woman who answered the phone had the personality of an overworked DMV clerk, and couldn't have cared less about my opinion. 

In the end, it all worked out the way it was supposed to.  Those weren't the kind of Christians I wanted to mingle with anyway.