Sunday, August 31, 2008

$0.01? Seriously?

So, D and I are off on another random road trip (yesterday's excitement really started when we saw a black bear run across the road right in front of us). Having reached destination #1 last night around dinner time, we thought we'd treat ourselves to a little slot-machine action and then grab some dinner. Yay! Slots! Gotta luv 'em... you get the thrill of gambling without risking large sums of money (which is good, because we don't HAVE large sums of money ;) ).

So, we played the machines for a while and won ourselves a tidy little bonus.

Now, for those of you who haven't played the slots in a while, around here, they've moved away from tokens (thank gawd, those things were hideously filthy) and now have machines that print out vouchers for your winnings. This means that you don't have to go see the cashier to collect your money from the machines any more, either... they have machines scattered through the hall which you feed your vouchers into and it spits out real money.

So... we're on a high from having more than doubled our money for the evening and we head to the nearest cashier-machine. There's a woman ahead of us, but we're still thrilled about our haul, so we just did a little happy dance in line. Until we heard the coin drop. Literally. One coin. A copper one.

Yes, boys and girls, this woman had a voucher for $0.01. Ok, so maybe she just didn't want to see ALL her money go down the drain into the casino's pocket... I get that. BUT, the only way to end up with that kind of voucher is if you're playing the penny slots... so why not just give the darn thing that one last spin?

It gets better. She had several vouchers that she was cashing in. The highest denomination, though, was $0.30. I think in total she walked away from that machine with about $0.60 from about a half-dozen vouchers. But man did it feel good to go up after her and walk away with paper!

Our seafood dinner was lovely... and effectively paid for by the house, since we dug into our winnings to cover it. :)

And now... off on another adventure in the Wilds of Ontario.

(still waiting for the go-ahead to discuss the other topic on here)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So I have a topic I want to share... but right now I'm waiting for permission from the other person it directly involves. *sigh*

Don't ya just hate when that happens?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What ever happened to "Customer Service"?

Yup... you guessed it... another rant coming.

What ever happened to the notion of Customer Service? Did it fall victim to the same killer as "company pride", "pride of work", and the notion of employees being more than mere numbers? Or do people just not care any more?

My most recent dealings surrounding my car are what prompt this wondering.

Those of you who've known me for a while, or read past blog posts (not sure if I wrote any of them here, but I'm pretty sure I did at least once on the old blog), will know that I lovingly refer to my car as my "citrus fruit on wheels". This is not really fair to my car... there's remarkably little fundamentally wrong with my car, other than it being a Ford ;) I just had a series of very bad experiences with the dealership where I purchased it and who were responsible for its maintenance until we moved.

Our move pretty much coincided with the expiry of the extended warranty, so after that I just got into the habit of having the bare minimum maintenance done on it until I could find a decent mechanic.

Well, things reached a 'crisis point' when I realized that there was a distinct possibility the car wouldn't pass the emissions test required to renew my plate due to an exhaust issue that I was pretty sure existed, but which hadn't been diagnosed. So, I bit the bullet and took it to the dealership my parents deal with.

That was yesterday. And yesterday went well... they seemed to accept that I might have a brain and know what's going on with the car of which I am the sole driver. They were kind enough to give me a ride all the way home (they're not the closest dealership to me... there are 3 that are closer, 2 of them between me and them), and when they diagnosed my exhaust problem, the actually used the words "you were right" (I had suspected a small hole forwards in the exhaust system... the actual problem was a flex hose from engine to exhaust). BUT... they had to fix it before it could go for an emissions test and they had to order a part and wouldn't be able to fix it yesterday. I explained that it had to get done, because the plate expires on Thursday (yup.. .that's tomorrow).

Not a huge inconvenience for me yesterday, as D was going to be home in the evening. I did, however, want the car back in time to get the sticker today, so that I could treat myself to some birthday pampering tomorrow before heading downtown to meet up with D for a Cirque du Soleil performance.

Yeah... not going to happen.

I called the dealership at about 10:15 this morning to get an update. I'm told my Service Advisor was with a customer and would call me back right away. So I got involved in some other things and at 1:15 called again. Told the receptionist that I had called 3 hours earlier for an update and Dino (the SA) hadn't gotten back to me. She said he was on lunch, but she'd talk to the service guys to see what was happening.... came back and said she couldn't get in touch with "the tower operator", but she'd call me back "in a couple of minutes". 90 minutes later I FINALLY got in touch with Dino (having explained to the third receptionist of the day that I had called 90 minutes and 4.5 hours earlier for an update on my car and still had no info)... upon me identifying myself, he immediately said "they're working on your car now, so that should be done soon and then we'll send it for the emissions test". Hrmm. Yeah... Excuse me for not quite believing that, 'cuz I know you can't see the bays from your desk. So I asked if he'd gotten either of the previous messages requesting an update. Or at least, I tried to ask... but was interrupted with "I've been really busy and haven't checked my voicemail". Nice one... if you were that busy, then you would have been checking your voicemail on your lunch break if you had any sense of customer service. So I told him they weren't voicemails, they were messages left with reception.

Yeah... 30 minutes later he calls and tells me they're just working on it and it'll be done "in a bit" and then they'll send it for the test.

Well, since D isn't home tonight, they'll have to come pick me up to get my car... it'll take them 30 minutes to get here, and 30 minutes to get back (assuming traffic doesn't become an issue) then another 30 minutes (i have no faith in speed) to process the paperwork and my payment. It's 3:30 now... the sticker isn't getting done today, methinks. Which means I now have to make another trip tomorrow morning to get the damn sticker.

So what? So now I don't get to do the majority of my birthday pampering because of where it would have to happen, not having been able to make an appointment because of this fiasco, and when I'd have to leave to meet up with D. It was also something I wanted to do before an event I'm going to on Saturday... well, D and I have had longstanding plans for Friday, so that puts a crimp in THAT plan, too... all because these fucknuts couldn't grasp the notion of customer service enough to return my first call of the day and get my car in BEFORE the ones that came in today (since it was there since yesterday morning, I figure a little "priority service" isn't an unreasonable expectation).

CUSTOMER SERVICE, people... it means providing SERVICE (fixing my damn car) to the CUSTOMER (the person paying the not small bill... that'd be ME!). Gah!

3:45... still no word on it being done.... *sigh*