A few new customer service annoyances

It seems like every day I either have great customer service or horrible. Here are the last few that I’ve encountered.

  • #1 Delta Airlines. To say that our flight from San Diego to Atlanta on Monday was a disaster is an understatement. We’re a family of four traveling together. Do you think you’d seat children with their parents? It would seem logical that a parent would be seated next to a 4 year old, wouldn’t it? But not on Delta. They seated Megan and Paul together and Kristen in the same row, just other side. Then they stuck me way in the back. Long story short, I had an empty seat next to me. I asked if the flight attendant could go to Megan’s seat and get her for me so that I could sit by her and then Kristen could move to sit by Paul. He said… “No problem. Actually, there is a way to all sit together if you move up to their row.” So I got up… and as soon as I got up he moved a lady/child into my seat and then told me he couldn’t really get us together. He tricked me out my seat to solve his problem. Thus putting me in a worse situation! I went from a window seat with an extra next to me to a middle seat surrounded by other adults. I said to the flight attendant, “You know you just totally screwed me right? I trusted that you were telling me the truth.” He went on to try to say that the other lady wouldn’t sit apart from her child and that it was the only way the flight could take off. When I, rather bluntly, told him that what he did was lie to me to prioritize that family over my own and that he was wrong… he tried to be empathetic with me and offered us “free videos” on the flight. Of course, being Delta even that didn’t work. So Kristen and I were roughly near the kids but not next to them. It gets worse… so we were scrunched next to people and the kids were alone. Of course, our seat mates promptly fell asleep so that no one could easily go to the bathroom. Then to make matters worse, the flight attendants spent 4 hours peddling food and credit cards to us! I can’t believe that in order to fly I have to listen to a credit card offer and buy $6 snacks. Give me a break Delta. Kristen got off the plane and aptly described the flight as “the worse flight of my life.” So if you fly Delta, look out for flight attendants who lie and peddle stuff to you the whole time. Totally annoying.
  • #2 Semco Energy. This is our local natural gas vendor. Their billing system is totally jacked up. I never get bills from them anymore. I don’t even get late notices. Their phone system calls my cell phone all the time but doesn’t say anything… literally just blank air. The only time I hear from them is when they drop off a disconnect notice! The crazy thing is that I typically pay via their online payment system. Well, starting in May they started rejecting my online payments. I have no idea why. They keep telling me that my routing numbers are off… but they aren’t. (Pay almost all my bills online!) Then about 3 days after I try to pay I get this really ugly letter from them. Then I get a hand delivered disconnect notice. Calling their customer service line is nearly as much fun as calling AT&T. After 40 prompts and entering my account number 2-3 times, giving them my SSN a few times, and verifying my billing address at least twice. I get told the same thing over and over again. “Our system is fine.” The best part about our latest disconnect notice is that it’s for so little money AND our bill isn’t even late! So my bill is due 7/28 but they are going to disconnect our gas today. Brilliant customer service. Morons.
What about you? What companies are treating you like dirt?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

8 comments

  1. I have had the same problems with Semco and I finally don’t get the disconnect notices anymore. I also have a problem with Vonage! The Sheriff’s dept keeps showing up at my door saying 911 calls are being made from my vonage phone! It has happened at least 8 times! I have called Vonage a bunch of times and the last few times the agent was clueless and hardly spoke english! I am now with Comcast again, they speak english by the way!

  2. I only fly Southwest now. Fake an injury and “pre-board”. Its also cheaper (well I have a brother-in-laws that gets me standby tickets).

    But I know, being a youth pastor, with all that youth pastor money, its all first-class right? 😉

  3. @Danny. Actually for this flight it was cheapest to fly Delta. I really like Southwest.

    @April. Good to know I’m not alone in my annoyance with Semco. We actually had that same 911 issue at the church recently. There is was caused by line weakness. The elevator was calling 911 every 2-3 minutes!

  4. Our biggest frustration is Comcast (cable/internet).

    Almost a year ago we moved and followed their “transfer service to new address” procedure to the letter. They failed to turn off service at the old address and double billed us for 2 months–and started disconnecting our service once a month because we refused to pay for the double billing.

    8 months ago they finally admitted to the mistake. Their solution: go ahead and pay for the double billing and THEN they’ll refund the money back to us. Needless to say, we didn’t do that.

    So still, once a month we get our service cut off and my wife has to call in and fight with them again–starting all over, because the same people are never there.

    Good times.

  5. Didn’t Delta give you the option to choose your seats when 1. You booked the tickets? 2. You checked in? I’ve never had a problem with checking and changing my seats with either of those options. Sure saves having to fight with a flight attendant. As for $6 in snacks…airlines did away with the free stuff years ago.

    Companies that are treating me like dirt. I won’t go there.

  6. We did try to choose our seats ahead of time. (Online) But if there aren’t seats available you’re just supposed to move them around at the gate or when you board. On the flight out, the gate agent was able to rearrange us all together.

    The lines at the airport were so bad that we barely made it to the flight on time. (We were joined by about 50 people in the same situation… 90 minutes wasn’t enough time for some reason. Though Delta told us 60 minutes was plenty.) So we ran up to the gate and boarded immediately. I didn’t mention, but the TSA agents really scared Paul and he had a major meltdown as we were running to catch the flight.

    As for food. I’d rather pay $5 more than have to endure a flying bake sale. Not all airlines have dropped food, just the big ones. It’s like paying $25 for a second bag… bad idea.

    Yeah, if I can avoid Delta on my next flight out I will.

  7. @katie It’s all good. I have no idea why they pushed (literally) Paul through screening. It was a horrible experience. For some reason Kristen couldn’t carry him.

    They must know he’s taking karate or something.

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