Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Customer Service Nightmares Galore

It's only Tuesday, and I'm already having customer service nightmares. I've been working non-stop on a work project (yes, even on the weekend), and now I have to deal with all this stupid stuff -- What I'd really like to do is run away and hide for a couple of days so no one can bother me. Here's the scoop.

GMAC Mortgage

My mom was doing my taxes on Sunday night, and since I now get to include the $5k my husband and I are paying in property taxes as a deduction, we looked up my property taxes online and added it up. That was when I noticed we owe almost 100 bucks in penalty fees because apparently, we haven't paid our first installment of property tax.

Now, if it was up to me, it would have been paid. I've paid my first installment of supplemental property tax. This proves I'm responsible. But since my property tax money is being held in a GMAC escrow account, I have to wait for them to do something. Or so I was told by a customer service rep last fall, and so I've read over and over on their web site.

I have to have my money in an escrow account because otherwise my interest rate will go up. After consulting with my sister who has a calculator brain, I decided it wasn't worth me getting the tiny bit of extra interest added to my loan in order to control my own money.

So, needless to say, I was a bit miffed.

I called GMAC yesterday and spoke with Sonya (not pronounced Sewnya, but Saunya, mind you), who informed me that I have to fax my property tax bill to them in order for them to pay it.

Hold on, I said, and then I proceeded to read directly from their web site which states if I receive a bill, I can ignore it because GMAC will automatically pay my property tax. No where does it say that I have to fax anything into them. No where does it say if this is the first time you're paying your property tax because you just bought real property for the first time, you shouldn't trust us and call to make sure we're doing our jobs and using the money we're taking from you monthly to pay your property tax.

No where does it say anything like this.

So she listened to me ramble on and said again that I need to fax the property tax bill in. I questioned why GMAC doesn't make people aware of this. She says they have a tax inspector (or something) that figures this all out for them, and they must not have included our property. Again I asked why I wasn't contacted then, since I own real property, have an escrow account, and assumed they would actually pay my property tax. Doesn't anyone do checks and balances there? What do they think the escrow money is for??? The fun of it?

Then I broached the subject regarding the 100 buck penalty fee we now owed. I said that I'm not responsible for paying it, and that it better not get paid through my escrow money since they have control over it and I don't. She told me that GMAC would pay for it.

I'll believe that when I see that my property tax has been paid for, my escrow account has been depleted but without an extra 100 bucks taken out.


I guess Kinkos likes to hire idiots. Idiots who don't even know they're being laughed at right in front of them, and even go so far as to laugh with you while you're laughing at them.

Anyway, this is a short one. I had to take in stuff yesterday to get bound, and I was helped by the most lost guy in the world. The other guy working was the epitome of what a Kinkos employee should look like -- crazy hair, big glasses and a Napoleon complex. It was obvious that the guy in the back (aka Napoleon) who actually handles the copying and binding (thank goodness) had some silent hatred for counter guy. And yes, counter guy wasn't catching on, even though I was.

We'll see today if my documents were bound correctly and nothing was ruined. I had to sign a waiver stating that I was perfectly okay if they totally destroyed all my documents, even though the girl that came with me to Kinkos used her mind warping powers to get him to take back everything the waiver said and that Kinkos would "probably" pay for replacement. Of course in her world that means they will pay for it. In my world, the guy is an idiot and I signed the waiver -- nothing's getting replaced for free.

Oh, and since this guy doesn't know how to ring things up, we have to pay over the phone. He at first answered "yes" when we asked if the person dropping off the documents can accept credit card payments (I think at this point he was just scared and intimidated and wanted us out of there), then he said "no." So now I'm waiting for a phone call from them so I can pay over the phone.

And yes, we're paying them before seeing the finished product. Merely because it stinks walking a few blocks away with a box full of documents. My arms so really sore today. I blame this on Kinkos as well for not having a Kinkos on every corner like Starbucks does.

And the counter guy has been deemed a "stoner" by the girl I was with. He's more like an spacey indie guy in my book, but if you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably get the gist of what stoner is.


To congratulate my husband on his new job, I decided I would have flowers sent to my parents house on Sunday since we were going there to do taxes. I was a bit irked that 1-800-Flowers doesn't allow you to pick a round about time for the deliver, but I figured they would come during the afternoon.


We left at 5 or 5:30, and since the flowers hadn't shown up, I just told my husband what I did. He said we could wait, but I was tired, so we left.

At approximately 6:45 pm, my mom calls us to tell us the flowers arrived. 1-800-Flowers gives a delivery window of 9 am to 7 pm. So this florist waited until the cut-off time to deliver the flowers. Nice. I told my mom I'd come the next day to get them.

Yesterday I arrived at my parent's house. I got out of my car and was walking towards the driveway. My mom was walking down the driveway. With the flowers in hand.

I know I was smiling as I was walking towards her, but my smile soon faded when I saw the pathetic flower arrangement in her hands. I can try to explain the differences between the picture online and what was delivered, but I figured I'd let photos do the talking.

This is from the web site. I picked this because it was all purples and sorta manly. I didn't want to insult my husband with some girly arrangement. I was also keen on the lovely purple, clear glass vase. Adds a nice touch without looking too cheesey.

Also note the fullness of this arrangement and that there are only purple-colored flowers plus the stems.

It's a nice arrangement.

Don't you agree?

This is what was sent. First, notice the ugly purple metallic-like vase. Very 80's and very ugly. And it was a bit dirty upon receipt.

Second, the arrangement itself looks like the florist went to the grocery store, bought a $8.99 bouquet of flowers with some purple in it, and put it in said ugly purple vase.

I bought a medium arrangement thinking small is too small and large would be too much. If this is a medium, then I think a small would be 2 scraggly flowers in a mason jar. At least coming from this florist. Oh, by the way, that's Sunshine Flowers on Fremont Boulevard in Fremont, CA.

Now, in the picture above, I don't see yellow flowers with purple tints on the edges. Nope, none. In the picture above, I don't see extra green filler foliage. In the picture above, immediately I see all purple. In the picture above, I see fullness and healthy flowers.

My first reaction was, "OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO," when I saw this arrangement. I was not going to let 1-800-Flowers or this pathetic florist take my 50 bucks to give me something I could have done myself for tops 10 bucks. Heck no. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

So I went home and called up 1-800-Flowers and told them I wanted my money back and that the arrangement was sub par. The guy ask me what was "sub par" about the arrangement. Okay, if you want details.... So I explained to him how it didn't look anything like the picture on the site, that it wasn't all purple, that it wasn't full, that the flowers look sickly, that there was way more green than purple, and that I could have easily done this myself if I was so inclined, and I didn't spend as much money as I did to get this result. I also mentioned that the florist's late arrival ruined the whole day, and that overall I was very unhappy.

I think he just gave up at that point cause he quickly said my money would be refunded. I said thank you. That was that.

So it was supposed to end there, right? I already called my husband and told him his arrangement was pathetic and I was sorry, so he wasn't expecting some fancy thing waiting for him when he got home.

When he got home, he opened the card. I had wrote something like, congratulations, and I was really happy for him, love your wifey -- something like that.

This is what the card said: Edgar

That's it.


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