Customer service?

 

The saga widens.

If you’re a business, staying in contact and helping your current customers is important for continuing to be a business. This shouldn’t even be a question. It’s a given!

If you’re a business and want to stay in business, you should respond to potential customer inquiries so they can decide if they want to buy your product. Again, this should be a given.

Customer service these days (well maybe always, but definitely more noticeable these days) is severely lacking in all kinds of different places. With most business being shifted online because of the current lockdown, customers are trying to reach out to companies as they deal with product issues or consider purchases. I am no different.

The Ryobi issue is still ongoing…no call back from the Warranty Department. Do I call every day now? Do I wait it out? Should I create a Twitter account just so I can go on there and shame them into helping me?

I emailed a company to ask about a product I currently have to see if they had a connection cable needed to connect to another product I have of theirs so they would work together. As yet, no response to that email from Goal Zero.

On top of that, I took the battery out of one of the vehicles and took it to a local company to have them check it out. It died in the vehicle for no reason and there isn’t anything that was drawing power from it, so I was wondering if it was bad. I dropped it off on Saturday with the understanding they would call on Tuesday or Wednesday with the test results (seemed like a long time to me, but OK). Yesterday afternoon came and no call. I called them. “Oh, yeah, seems to be working fine but we would like to test it one more time.” So, I’ll be picking that up this afternoon, hopefully.

Is this normal? Is customer service normally this bad?

Anyone else having a hard time getting online customer service? This stuff shouldn’t be that hard as it can mostly be done remotely. Are companies really not that nimble to make adjustments for customer service? Is it that hard to pick up a phone and just call?

I would be interested to know if you are experiencing more frustration than normal when contacting customer service.

Warranty Department

fashion hand hurry outfit

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Continuing the saga from yesterday

With a phone number and instructions to have tools, batteries, and chargers on had when I call the number, I called this morning to make sure that I was calling during East coast hours.

The call was answered by a machine and the instructions were the same as I received in my call yesterday. Then it proceeded to read back my phone number and ask if I would like a call back when someone to handle my call was available, if so, press 1.

1

And now I wait? Until when? It’s been two hours so far. Am I just supposed to wait all day by the phone, in the garage, staring at the tool that doesn’t work?

So, the saga continues…

 

A tool story

Technology in today’s day and age allows companies and customers to better interact.

That could mean that customers have better access to product information and new offerings from a company. It could mean that companies provide better support and customer care when issues arise with it’s products. It could mean that customers are able to communicate with the company their needs for tools and features they need.

Regardless of what could happen, customers should have a good experience with the product and the company. It’s what keeps them coming back to the company and it’s what also has them recommend the company’s products to people they know.

A little over a year ago, I decided it was time to update my power tools so I decided that having something with lots of tools and one battery system would be the best since they are all interchangeable. The answer was…

Ryobi.

In general, I like the tools. They 18v One+ system is a great idea because of the variety of tools that will work off one battery system. No need to have a bunch of different battery sizes and no need to have to buy new and newer tools since other companies keep changing their batteries all the time.

So, I invested. I bought a multiple tool set and over the last year I have added several more tools and a new set of extra batteries with a quick charger (30 minutes to be exact). It’s been a little less than a year since I did this and everything has worked as expected until now.

That 30 minute charger just up and died…used it two weeks ago and it work and then went to use it last week and it didn’t. Nothing. No power.

So, I wanted to find out what now. It is less than a year old and is probably under warranty. I logged into their website, ryobitools.com, and navigation is PAINFULLY SLOW! It takes minutes just to get their page to load, let alone navigate from one place to another once you actually get there.

All I could think as I wait and wait and wait is, “Really?” With a company this large with that kind of budget, they can’t get a website that is zippity-do-dah fast? Kind of not really great customer service, ya know?

When I finally get to the “Contact” page I called the Power Tools phone number for support, 800-525-2579, and their navigation system is garbled and hard to understand…and the number they say to push for help sounds like “8” but when you push that number is says it is invalid. I called several times and finally pushed “2” (sounds nothing like “8”) and got through. WTH? Seriously. I am not joking. Call it yourself.

So, besides having a painfully slow website, they also have a call system that is garbled and hard to understand. Makes total sense for a company trying to get and keep customers, right?

Oh, and after I talked with someone I have to call another department (East coast times, mind you) to get warranty help. I’ll let you know how that goes…

197

brown and black wooden wall decor

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Today marks the return back to work, from vacation.

Coming off the “worst” vacation ever (see previous Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 posts), getting back to work is still tough.

Last night as I enjoyed some down time I began to think of the things that would need to get done on my first day back to work…several things that didn’t get done before I left and, knowing there would be a crap ton of emails while I was gone, newly assigned things for my return. As you might imagine, the dread for the coming work day started.

Not to disappoint, 197 emails filled my inbox. Fortunately, that is likely a number that is down from the usual vacation absence since schools are not operating as normal so support needs have dwindled slightly. So, I have been wading through those this morning. After an hour and 15 minutes, I still have 87 more emails to get through. Yes, there are some that just need deleted as they are quick communications between team members for innocuous things. I am glad for those. It makes that number go down faster!

Anyway, I better get back to those emails. Oh, and I have a meeting right off the bat too.

Where’s my coffee?

Day 5

man sitting and closing eyes on teal bench

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Vacation, Day 5:

The last day of official vacation.

It has been one for the record books. Not so much that it was epic but more like it was about as uneventful and boring as if I was sitting at home on the couch. Oh wait! I was doing that…mostly.

Today’s plans? More of the same. The sun is out but should I be optimistic about sticking around? Come on, do you know me by now or what? LOL Maybe I’ll go for a drive and reacquaint myself with some countryside I have seen in a while. Maybe not.

The only thing that isn’t the same today is that it is my youngest’s birthday. She is 17 today. There was already a Zoom birthday party for her in the middle of last week (queue the cancelled vacation plans this week), so I am not even sure I’ll get to see her today other than virtually. That sucks, but as she is getting older with more responsibilities so I know it will become more common regardless of a lockdown or not. Still, not sure what today holds for that and her.

I am pretty sure I’ll end today with a fire and a beer. Can’t decide if the fire should be in the fire pit or just set the house on fire and enjoy the fireworks from the front lawn.

This was the most uneventful and worst vacation ever.

Day 4

Vacation, Day 4:

Irritation. Irritability. That’s what’s on the agenda today.

No plans and it sucks.

Mother Nature decided to give us the gift of sunny weather this week for spring break (it wasn’t supposed to be, plus this is the PNW where it rains all the time). The downside of this gift is that everyone is stuck at home: vacation plans cancelled, with money but don’t want to spend it on big projects because no one is sure how long the lockdown will last, and no place to go but the yard.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

I guess I’ll wander aimlessly in the garage again today and see if I can find something else to put away or organize. I guess there is always more to do in there…

Vacation, Day 3 Update:

The murder plans went well. All the spray has been used. The results should be evident starting as soon as today, but for sure in a couple more days . No humans or pets were harmed.

Oh, and I started working on a project yesterday that didn’t go as planned (actually just finishing up something started long ago). So I am still stewing over that too. Don’t you hate it when things don’t go as you envisioned them in your head?

This is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Day 3

Vacation, Day 3:

Plans for today? Murder.

Not of people, but of plants. Not to say the former hasn’t been considered (jk internet police!), but the later is definitely taking place. Well, actually, it already has.

I got up early this morning and mixed the weed killer into my backpack sprayer three different times and wandered the yard in the cool morning sun and took care of (crossed fingers) the offending plants. Dang, there are a lot of the little jerks! Why do I need to do this every year? Why can’t this death sentence be permanent?

Just that thought of the weeds kind of pisses me off. When I think about it, weeds are kind of a metaphor for people in society. There are a lot of people who seem to thrive in the worst of circumstances with barely any resources and still they seem to spread their jerkiness to the rest of us…do you feel where I am going here? Yeah, maybe not the best analogy, but that’s what you think about when you are by yourself in the early mornings with a little coffee in the system. But still, how do irritating people continue thrive in bad times and good people get overwhelmed by the bad people in their lives?

A serious question to consider.

I am not sure what other plans I have for the day. I am liking the sun today though. That was a little unexpected because the people who do whether forecasts are wrong more than they are right. Anyway, if the weather holds, maybe there will be a fire in the fire pit tonight.

But still, this is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Day 2

white blank notebook

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Vacation, Day 2:

Plans are rather sparse today.

The weather doesn’t appear, at least at the moment, that it will cooperate like it did yesterday for more outdoor activity in the yard.

So, what to do, what to do today?

Well, at least for part of the day I am going to put on my mask and venture out to get some propane and weed killer. I don’t think we have any other needs in the supply area at this point so it should be a fairly quick trip outside the confines of these four walls.

After that, who knows? Perhaps I’ll set up some scaffolding and begin painting on the ceiling…or get out a toothbrush and clean the grout between the tiles in the kitchen floor…or maybe I’ll even read a book…

With no plans on this vacation it is hard to decide what to do with so much time.

Time. We always say we need more of it so we can get things done. Now I have it, but can’t get things done because we are supposed to limit our travel to “essentials” needs, which means the stores I need to go to for supplies to get things done are “open” but mostly off limits. Plus, we don’t know how long this whole lockdown thing is going to last so is it really wise to spend money on big projects I want to get done when that money might be needed for something else more important in the near future? Yeah, it’s a question that is sorta like “Why did the chicken cross the road?” There is no right or wrong answer, just an unending philosophical, circular thought.

This is going to be the worst vacation ever.

Vacation, Day 1 Update:

So, the chores and nice weather won out. this was the progress made in the front flower bed. Not much to look at because over the years many of the plants that were there to fill the space have now died due to insects and cold. So, lots of empty ground. But, at least there are no weeds in there now. At some point it will get replanted…but should it happen before landscape improvement or after?

Day 1

white flower photography

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Vacation, Day 1:

It’s sunny outside. Finally.

After weeks of rain off and on, and short periods of dry but not dry enough to do yard work it is finally sunny today. the high is supposed to get to 60 (of course, that is only a prediction).

It’s sunny outside. BUT, I have done activities outside the last two days despite it not being sunny and warm. It was dry however and so I took care of things like gutters, the lawn, splitting kindling for firepit/campfires, and little chores here and there.

Now that it is sunny, I don’t have any motivation to do any other yard work. I know I should, but I don’t. The flower beds need cleaned up, weeded, and bushes trimmed. All things I know I should do, but don’t really want to. Well, I want to but I don’t want to, know what I mean?

Maybe my attitude will change as the day goes along. Perhaps this afternoon it will be better.

Day 1 of vacation is nothing to write about, yet I am. Nothing exciting will take place today. There is nothing on the agenda that is exciting. There is nothing exciting to even put on the agenda. Lockdown has killed even things though could have been possible plans.

This is going to be the worst vacation ever. LOL

 

Dug out

agriculture backyard blur close up

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For those of you paying attention, here is an update from yesterday’s assigned task from work…

It is nearly complete! I have about four or so hours of work left on it and then it will be ready to submit for review and approval (those are relatively quick because I am good at what I do!). Not to brag or anything.

So, after I complete this project, I need to get dug out from all the email and other little projects I was working on. It’s still gonna be a long day. Unlike many people in the U.S. right now, my co-workers and I have plenty to do. I am thankful for that.

Now, if I could just find the motivation to get dug out from all those projects and things I mentally make note of, “Oh, yeah, that needs to be done,” around the house and yard.

Maybe life is just one big project. Like, you just wander around for X number of years identifying things that need to be done and then do them. Well, I guess that is the case after the age of 18. Prior to 18, you don’t have to identify the projects – they are all given to you! LOL

Happy FRI-YAY, ya’ll! Try something different today. Sit in a different chair than yesterday. Shake things up while you’re in “house arrest.” Drink coffee out of a different mug. Put your pants on starting with the opposite leg than normal. Go crazy.