What is true customer service?

I hate dealing with customer service – for ANYTHING! Especially since most of it is done via the internet ‘chat’ service rather than an actual person which, in my humble opinion, is a shame. I have very rarely had a positive customer service experience so whenever I have to go through the ordeal of getting help via ‘Chat Help’ I feel my anger spiking before I’ve even started typing! It makes me ask the question: What is true customer service?

My worst experience so far was through the Disney Store – our daughter was bought a gift by another family member for her birthday through the site and when it arrived I was charged $20 by UPS for their brokerage fee. Considering the gift wasn’t even worth that much I was a little taken back and asked why I had to pay. The very nice UPS guy said it was because the sender hadn’t marked ‘gift’ on their declaration form but if I contacted the Disney store and asked them to send a form stating that the parcel was indeed a gift, I could get my $20 refunded. With that info I set about emailing customer service and an infuriating saga began.

I will cut this story short but over the course of TWO WEEKS I went back and forth arguing my case. Every reply that came back was a pre-written answer which meant no-one was actually reading the question. Having started out calm and polite I ended up getting so angry I wrote an email blasting the company for their lack of service and customer care and swore never to shop with them ever and, furthermore, I would contact as many friends and family as possible to make them aware of how crappy the online Disney store really was and tell them never to use the site.

It was after that that I finally received a human response; A site director wrote a grovelling apology stating he was upset to learn how my case had been treated and offered a $50 gift card as a consolation prize. I deleted the email and the card – the damage had been done and I was not going to let them use a gift card as a win!

The same thing has happened today only this time it’s a technical issue with my mobile phone and in true crappy chat help fashion the ‘person’ on the end of the line is not reading my question and I am repeating myself several times over. IT’S INFURIATING!!! You know you are in trouble when answers come back in under three seconds. Then, if you type something not matching their automatic responses you wait 5 minutes for an answer; they actually have to think and try to find an answer themselves! That’s far too complicated, right?

If you work in customer service, which I have done, one of the first rules is to listen to what you are being told and try to actually care about the issue at hand in order to find the best solution but unfortunately it seems as though that train of thought long since left the station.

Thus ends today’s rant! If you have experienced a similar situation I would love to hear about it. Am I in a minority who feel this way or is this really how customer service is these days?



Why crap on anyone’s parade?

I’m not a huge follower of many things but I have a few select YouTube videos I like and a select few bloggers I find fun to read, I have Instagram and Twitter and the book of face. While reading a blog the other day I noticed there are quite a few people voicing concerns about publicly posted negative comments and the effect it has on them.

Social media, as we all know, is a double edged samurai sword. It can be brilliant, it can be positive, it can be productive but it can also be deadly, vicious and extremely negative. Prime examples of late have been the heart-breaking stories of teenagers committing suicide due to ‘cyber-bullying’. The scary part is the the Trolls who take the time and effort to be down right vile can be anyone in the world; one teenager in the US who committed suicide was hounded by classmates along with someone in Europe, a total stranger. It’s disgusting. What makes a random stranger feel the need to act out like that?

I follow quite a few tattoo artists on Instagram and I really enjoy looking at posted pictures of various forms of tattoo artistry. Some I look at and think ,’Eeeew!’ and others I will stare at for ages, marveling at the detail/color/image depicted on a persons body. My opinions are mine and I recognize that one persons’ likes won’t mirror mine but I wouldn’t dream of slamming a person publicly through social media, which is exactly what I saw happen to a very talented artist who goes by the name Paul Acker. He did a stunning Harry Potter leg piece which would have taken a lot of time and patience to complete. Looking at it, anyone worth their salt would say, ‘Wow! That’s quite something.’ Apparently some people did not think so and posted on his Facebook page their negative thoughts – some individuals didn’t like it, slammed his talent and said he had done a bad job all because the characters didn’t look exactly like the actors portrayed in the movies.


As a free thinking world we are entitled to opinions but to slam someone because they didn’t draw Harry Potter ‘properly’? Did J.K. Rowling feel the same when Daniel Radcliff was cast as her protagonist? He was probably as close as you could get to the character but it he would never be the Harry Potter we each, individually dreamed up as we read the books. To declare an individual persons’ expertise incompetent because it doesn’t match your personal opinion is so wrong! Do the haters take into account the actual level of capability artists possess when it come to tattoos? Sure, there are definitely people who should never be allowed near a tattoo needle, but in this case Paul Acker has serious talent. Just look at his work – it’ gruesome and not my kinda style but even so, I was amazed by some of the pieces he’s done.


Flip the coin; if you are going to put yourself out onto the world wide web then you have to expect an audience to have many views. You won’t please every singe person. I learnt that when I took a children’s book writing class through the University of Toronto. We all had to learn to accept that people will read/see/hear/think things totally different to what we originally wrote and sometimes it was really frustrating. With Social media there are a lot of voices, each with their own opinions and thoughts, but why get nasty? What’s the point? If you don’t like something, move on, don’t take time and effort to crap on someones parade!

One more person I am going to highlight, it’s to do with make up. This girls talent is MIND-BLOWING! Her name is Alexys Fleming, her YouTube Channel is here¬†and she has, in my humble opinion, a stunningly good talent as an make-up artist and body painter. I will freely admit her accompanying music can be a bit harsh and personally I find her thick Chicago accent funny to listen to, but all that aside she can do brilliant work! With that said, she also receives hateful messages through her Instagram/youtube account and it gets nasty. Individuals will leave comments saying her voice is horrible, her music choices are terrible, her art is worthless…why the hell did the hater watch the video in the first place?! Positive feedback far outnumber the negative and her loyal followers will tell the haters where to go but still, why go to the trouble of writing it in the first place?

Anyhoo, that’s my two-cents on the matter. I know one day I will probably get someone voicing their disapproval of my thoughts but hey, their entitlement and if it gets nasty I will tell them to bugger off! I wonder though how many people, normal, regular individuals, deal with this sort of behavior on a regular basis? What’s the worst thing someone has written about your blog and how did it get handled?