Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 28 2004

Adventures in Customer Service So Manny and I w…

Adventures in Customer Service

So Manny and I went to see Troy last night at the Breeze Center theater. After the movie, which was pretty good (if a bit long), several theaters emptied into the 7th-floor lobby at the same time. Usually you get a chance to take either the escalators or the elevators down, but they had closed down the escalators and blocked them off. The crowd had overwhelmed the elevators, so we tried to take the stairs, only to be blocked by a Breeze employee named Vera. She told us the elevators were the only way down, that they had locked the stairways. “Uh, fire code?” I said, but it didn’t register. Other people were trying to get to the stairs as well, but Vera was blocking them like a hockey goalie.

“What happens if there’s a fire or any other problem where people need to leave?” I asked.

“Then we will turn on the escalators,” she said. I think she was even serious, which is problematic, as I was tempted to pull out one of my media-related namecards (Apple Daily or Next Magazine would be best) and say to her “You know, this blatantly illegal action which could potentially result in a disaster that would mean the downfall of your entire corporation interests me; are you or your boss available for an interview?” It would have been nice to see her squirm, if not for the fact that the utter ignorance of employees like her, added to their inability to take a foreign face seriously, would have jeopardized any chances for the success of such an effort.

Then, just this morning, as I was trying to find out just how deeply in credit card debt I am, I ran into more trouble. I called Citibank and got very good service, as well as from American Express. When I called the service number on the back of my ABN-AMRO card, supposedly a large, well-known corporation, nobody answered. I dialled information, who gave me the same number plus a fax number. Still nothing. I called the bank, who gave me another number for the credit card division. Nothing. I called the bank headquarters and told them their credit card division had all gone off somewhere, but the receptionist said that was impossible. To show me, she called them herself while I listened. Same result. So what did the receptionist do? She hung up on me. Lovely.

Now is it just me, or is there actually little point in applying for a credit card where you have absolutely no service options at all from anywhere in the entire bank? If anything happens, you’re screwed. I doubt I’ll be using that particular card again. I also doubt that ABN-AMRO cares.

Dean and I are once again headed into the wild this weekend to film Bunun people for his project. This time we’re jetting to Taidong for a few days, with the aim of getting some footage of their deer ear-shooting festival. Unfortunately, Katie is off on a European vacation with her husband, so she can’t join us this time. Still, I’m hopeful that we’ll get some good stuff down there.

posted by Poagao at 3:34 am  

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