Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My (Current) Beefs with Corporate America
The subtitle of The LG Report is "Injecting a bit of humor into your day." This post would be more accurately subtitled "Injecting a bit of vitriol and grievance into your day."
Sorry, but sometimes we have to go off script.
Corporate America is really getting under my skin these days. Here's why:
1. Bank of America: I have a BofA Visa card, which I only use when an establishment won't accept my American Express card (no, it's not a Black Card, although I've been tempted to spray paint it...) The other day, totally out of the blue, I received a new Bank of America credit card to replace my existing BofA Visa card. However, it was a BofA American Express card (a new invention, I believe.) I already have, and don't want another, American Express card.
Where does BofA get off unilaterally deciding that I need/want an American Express card? When I called to voice my displeasure, the customer service rep told me that I was being "upgraded" to the new card. This is not by any means, to me, an "upgrade." An equivalent of this, in my view, would be having your cable company telling you that you're being upgraded from The Playboy Channel to The Lifetime Network. An "upgrade" is in the eye of the beholder, but this was clearly a screw job. I've requested that my Visa card be restored. I would've stayed with Jennifer Anniston too.
2. Verizon Wireless: Last week I "upgraded" (note: "upgrade" is Corporate America's codeword for "administering a screwjob") my Blackberry's software to a newer version. This was at Blackberry's insistence. Immediately thereafter, my Blackberry's battery started dying halfway through the day, whereas previously it lasted more than 24 hours on one charge.
I called Verizon Wireless's technical support line. They told me to go to a Verizon Wireless store to "have the battery tested." The technical rep on the phone told me that if it was defective, I'd be given a new battery free because it was under warranty. He said the software "upgrade" had nothing to do with the battery's sudden inadequacy.
I went to a Verizon Wireless Store today and took my deli-counter-like number and waited approximately 15 minutes (it was a slow time) to see the "tech support" genius. I gave him my story. He replied "We have no way to test batteries. We never have. There is no such thing for Blackberry batteries."
Me: "Well, your Verizon Wireless technical support on the phone told me to come here and have the battery checked. Don't you think that's a bit F-ed up (I used the full word)?"
Mr. Verizon Clueless said "Sir, please don't curse."
This guy appeared as if he had done some hard jail time. He had a tear-drop tattooed on his upper cheek (look that up on Google if you don't know what it means), and HE was telling ME not to curse?
"Ok," I said, "Just give me a new battery, this one must be defective."
I'm surprised he didn't make me pay for it with my Bank of America Visa card.
I have two more stories, one involving the first time in my 25+ years of using an ATM card during which the machine shorted me ($20), but I'll skip them for now.
I will tell you, however, what happened to me at Shop Rite tonight. Shop Rite is a grocery store chain based in New Jersey.
I waited for over 15 minutes while the women at the head of the line, who was two people in front of me, wrestled with the cashier over what she claimed to be a free turkey that she was entitled to based on a certain number of dollars spent. This turkey was about a quarter of the size of a regular Thanksgiving turkey, hardly worth the trouble. But this woman persisted, and a manager was called and bar codes in a three-ring binder were scanned and another manager was called and this whole circus took over 15 minutes to play out before the resolution was reached: the woman had, indeed, earned a free turkey.
The customer immediately ahead of me in line was now at the front. She, too, had a mini-turkey that she claimed should be free based on doallars spent or points earned or something like that. By now, however, the cashier had this routine down, and it only took about 3 minutes to arrive at the conclusion that this turkey, too, was free. Free-range turkey? I don't know...but it was definitely free.
Finally, after 15+ minutes in line, I got to the front. The cashier scanned all of my items (I SWEAR this is true) and added everything up. As I' was forking over the dough -- in cash, not with my BofA American Express card -- she ripped off the register receipt and studied it carefully. "Sir," she said, "You've earned a free turkey!"
I took a pass and high-tailed it out of the store before she would've been forced to ask me not to curse.....