i often have challenges with customer service.

No, i’m not one of those who goes in to a conversation with a customer service agent like i am heading in to a war. You know the kind – the ones who wear their righteous indignation like armor, waving their receipt like a flag, reveling in the presupposition that they are going to be met with some fair amount of push-back but knowing that resistance is futile and the battle will be won or they will go down kicking and screaming because:

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

No, that’s not me.

Most of the time.

At least, not THIS time.

But, for some reason, i do often have issues getting my point across, and i never understand why that is the case. i mean, i am always SO clear, and my point is always SO obvious. Why can’t they understand me??

So, if i were being completely honest here, i DID have a bit of a snarkiness flying off my fingers as i logged on to ThredUp.com to see what could be done about the totally messed up order they had just sent me.

You’ve got to understand something here – i have never, in all my days of online shopping (and that’s a LOT of days) received such a screwed up order. ThredUp has it’s issues, let’s be clear. They are an online clothing thrift store that supposedly buys your unwanteds and sells them to thrifty folks who are into cheap clothes and re-purposing/eco-friendliness and don’t mind a little wear and tear.

i say “supposedly” because, not long ago, i filled one of their friendly, free-shipping, “Clean out your closet!” bags with about 15 items and sent it back to be resold. They credited me $3.00. Really? i gave them an entire bag stuffed with nice, somewhat-trendy, hardly worn, business casual clothes that i’ve been meaning to take to Goodwill anyway in my effort to downsize and minimize, and all i got was enough money for half a latte which i can’t spend on a latte anyway because it was given to me as credit. TO BUY MORE CLOTHES.

So much for downsizing and minimizing.

But, to be honest, “somewhat-trendy” may have been pushing it a bit because the last time i was on-trend was when i was sporting drop-crotch, Hammer-time pants and an asymmetrical haircut complete with mall bangs in 1985. My hair was ridiculous. But those pants were totally rad.

i imagine Jazmin looks like this sassy babe

i miss those pants.

my love/hate relationship with ThredUp aside, i had just received my recent late-night, online shopping consequence of gently-used, wallet-friendly clothing, and it was totally wrong. Granted, it had been an “i can’t sleep so i might as well shop” kind of shopping spree which almost never results in anything good – but i had used some discretion by deleting half of my shopping cart before purchasing and had reduced it to just three things.

And i received three things.

But they were the three things i had deleted from the shopping cart! How could that be? i pulled out an itchy wool black cardigan, two sizes too small, a badly pilling, heavily worn cotton black cami and a crazy green, white and black patterned button up shirt that probably glowed in the dark. WTF?

Annoyed, i checked my bank statement online and sure enough – i was overcharged! Now i’ve had it. i’m fed up with ThredUp. They pay me in half-latte’s i can’t even drink and send me purchases i can’t even wear and never bought. i log on to their site and quickly bring up the online chat/customer support.

“Jazmin” answers. Oh, brother. She’s named after a Disney princess.

Jazmin: Hi! My name is Jazmin! Thank you for shopping at Thredup! How may I be of service?

(her auto-typed perkiness hurts my eyeballs) 

Me: Hi. i recently received my order and it was the three items i had deleted before checkout. NOT the three items i bought.

Jazmin: Thank you! I can certainly take a look into your issue. What is your name?

(am i even talking to a real person? i imagine a perky robot, sitting at a switchboard with a lipstick smile painted on her robot face.)

Me: candice. And i checked my bank account.  i was certainly overcharged.

Jazmin: Thank you, Candice! I will gladly take a look into this. If I understand correctly, you did not receive your order?

(for pete’s sake, how am i going to make a Disney-princess BOT understand this monumental eff up?)

Me: No, i received AN order. Just not THE order i placed. i had six items in my cart, i deleted three, then purchased the other three.

Jazmin: …

Jazmin: …

Jazmin: So you DID receive your items?

Me: No. Yes. i mean, i DID receive three items, they just weren’t the three items i BOUGHT. i deleted these before i checked out. i did NOT, however, receive the three items i actually wanted and purchased.

Jazmin:…

Jazmin:…

Jazmin: That seems strange.

(i’ve stumped the bot. Yay, me.)

Me: Yeah. Tell me about it.

Jazmin: Are you sure you did not purchase these items? Maybe you thought you deleted them but didn’t?

(i am defiant now. Righteously justified.)

Me: Nope. You guys goofed. Somehow you sent me the things I didn’t want. I know that for a fact.

Jazmin:…

Jazmin:…

Jazmin: Well, certainly, this is a new one for me. Have you double-checked your order?

Me: Look, i got the confirmation email showing me exactly what i ordered and it doesn’t match…wait…i’ll pull it up.

Me:…

Me:…

Me: OMG.

Me:…

Me: Crap! i DID order all six things!!  This proves i have GOT TO STOP SLEEP SHOPPING!!! Look, i’m sorry, i’m obviously drunk or something because i can see right here i ordered them. Sigh…

(THIS? This is why i can’t have nice things!)

Jazmin: Umm, no problem, but, did you receive both shipments? They were shipped separately.

Me: No! Aha! i didn’t! i only got the one shipment i didn’t want and i really was looking forward to the OTHER one! So, it’s still screwed up!

(i am redeemed!!!)

Jazmin: No problem, let me look up the tracking. … It says here it was delivered to your “parcel box” yesterday. Did you check your parcel box?

Me: My “parcel box”? (i have a parcel box?) Yes, i got the mail and didn’t see anything…..wait! Yesterday?

(Redemption lost.)

Jazmin: Yes, it says here that it was “delivered to parcel box Nov 16”.

Me: SQUEEEEE!

(Because hey! i love deliveries! And my attention span is short.)

Me: i’ll go check now! Thank you! And i’m sorry for being such a dork.

Jazmin: Actually, i really enjoyed helping you this morning.

And it was then i realized that Jazmin was a real person and in my supreme idiocy and tendency to sleep-shop, i have made some bored, underpaid and over-abused customer service agent’s day. The fact that my conversation was probably now break room entertainment didn’t alleviate my embarrassment.  i quickly signed off, vowing to never again let the allure of cheap clothes click-bait me into some late night retail therapy.

Until next time…..

 

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  1. I work in customer service and once you work there you do know there is such a thing as a stupid question and even stupid people. Your call would have had me in stitches though–sleep shopping. I try to be really nice to customer service people because I know how it is.

    After a guy read me the riot act over some grievance I told him how to fix it instead of fixing it for him. He told me the last time this happened the lady on the phone fixed it for him. I was honest and told him that he was probably nice to her and didn’t yell so she went out of her way to do it. We’re not supposed to do it for you but if you are nice we often will, but he weren’t very nice so I wasn’t going to. He signed and hung up, maybe he learned, maybe he didn’t.

    I work at a college in the student service department but we get mistaken for general info for everything about the college. Like when is this play in the art’s department happening? I dunno, call them. I get weird calls too… the guy wanting me to tell him the phone number to casino in a neighboring town. “can’t you google it for me? I know you have a computer right in front of you!” He was right so I did. Someone else wanted directions to the airport from where they were… I dunno, let’s start with where the hell is the airport? I don’t fly so I’m not real sure.

    My counterpart got yelled at because she couldn’t tell the caller why her city bus was late. Maybe you should call the city bus people….? She got asked how to cook fish last year around this time. Person explained a whole life story before confessing they hated turkey so were serving fish this year. Betty convinced her that experimental fish might not be good and she should make something tried and true, like a roast. We’re so helpful here on the customer service line.

    They recently re-recorded all the voice mail and menu tree greetings so it is no longer me. People would get me on the phone and be all, “You’re the voice from the menu!” I think they were surprised that it was real person on the other end of the voice. I’m glad to not hear myself all over.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    • They asked how to cook fish???? OMG what’s WRONG with people?? You are the student service dept at a college!! It sounds like some amazing advice they received though. You and your counterpart rock!

  2. I used to be a 911 dispatcher. You know, the people you are supposed to call only if there is a gun in your face or your baby is on fire.

    People would call for non-emergencies all the time like barking dogs in the next yard or report traffic jams, but sometimes they weren’t even emergency related.

    During bad weather, people would call 911 to ask about road conditions around the county. An old man called once because he had made it to our city but couldn’t find his doctor’s office. He apologized and said, “I know I shouldn’t call for this, but I knew you guys would have the answer.” And people would call for legal advice all time.

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