How to irritate a customer in just 3 easy steps!

Last year I made the silly decision to spend a month’s paycheck on purchasing a three month bus pass.  My reasoning was that I’d need about two months of it, it was cheaper than buying two month passes separately, and if I needed more I’d have it there and if not I would request a refund. I forgot that dealing with the customer service of the bus company is just the worst thing ever. Why? Because they’re clear as mud.

You know, they don’t have to give refunds, I accept that and I’m grateful they do. However, if you are going to offer refunds then you do it right. At this point, I’m not mad about the money because I’ll get it eventually, I’m annoyed that the whole thing has become this giant hassle. If I could switch to a different bus company I would, but that would involve adding another few hours to my already long commute so I’m stuck with a company that I know provides subpar service in all areas.

Here are all the ways that this process has irritated me.

1. Trying to find out how much money I’d get back was impossible.
There is seriously no reason that they couldn’t tell me how much I would get back. None, zero. I mean, I could (and did) work it out on my own as they were pretty open about the charges I’d receive for requesting a refund. It wasn’t like I was returning an item that needed to be in the best condition, it was card with credits on it.

2. Unclear information.
Their system is the most convoluted system of refunds, yet no-one thought to explain to me how it actually worked. If you say 14 working days, I assume that’s how long the whole process will take. Not, 14 days between steps. I can’t just infer from your words! What sounds really obvious to you who have been doing this for eight hours a day six days a week is not obvious to me. So you have to spell it out! At no point in the process did they mention that my bus pass and my refund cheque would be returned to me separately. At no point did they mention that the cheques had to be processed from head office in another city. So I was understandable confused and irritated when I received my empty bus pass with a slip of paper saying, “With Compliments” and no cheque.

3. Poor communication.
I was the one chasing up with them trying to figure out what was happening with my card. First they had no record of me, then they weren’t sure my bus pass had arrived, and then they did remember and it would be out to me shortly. The value of a confirmation email is vastly undervalued in this company. It costs nothing but a few minutes of time to send an email stating they had received my request for refund letter along with my bus pass.

I’ve worked in various environments where I’ve had to deal with angry customers so I know how I should have been treated. Managers walk the fine line between selling out their employees to appease the customer and calling the customer an idiot in defence of their employee’s actions, I get it. However, in my dealings with this bus company, I’d say they were wavering on the side of the latter. There are ways to empathise that doesn’t make your employees look stupid and for goodness sake admit when a mistake was made! I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m not asking for my money to be expedited to me as like I said I know I’ll get it eventually. I get that’s their process and I just wish they had told me how long it would really take and what the steps actually included. I wasn’t, so I’m one unhappy customer.

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