Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Customer Service, Pfft

Yesterday I was supremely annoyed. So angry I could spit, really. First it was a simple attempt to order my pill (I say order because I prefer to phone in and request that Dischem get's it all ready for pick up before I attempt heading into their stores to save hours of my life from standing in their long long dispensary queues).

Now last time I'd been, they told me that my prescription had run out and I needed a new one. There are many things I don't understand about this process a) why we even need a scrip for this sort of medication - what, are they worried we'll overdose or sell it on the black market? It's a simple thing and women tend to require it on a monthly basis, which brings me to my second point b) why do docs these days only give you a scrip for 6 months so that you are in a continual cycle of phoning them for an update. Really, who changes their pill scrip this often? I can honestly say I never have and would like a 48 month scrip. It would save me a helluva lot of effort!

So, that's just my general annoyance with the system. Yesterday's annoyance was more with the useless service from Dischem ... so back on the 24th August (I know cause I checked with my gynae's receptionist) I went thru the exhausting process of phoning my gynae's office. This in itself is a tedius process which is why I now hate my gynae, his patient load is far to large. How exactly does one go about finding a new one? My requirements are not excessive ... I don't care if it's a man or a woman, I just don't want to wait 3 month for an appointment or half an hour for them to answer the phone. Anyway, they'd apparently duly faxed it to Dischem as requested ... unfortunately when I called Dischem yesterday to order, they had no scrip for me. Not only do they not load faxed scrips unless you phone and ask them to, but in the meantime they keep them safely in a file ... and apparently misplace them completely. Thankfully the resolution was fairly simple and I had quite and easy time getting thru to the gynae receptionist and she re-faxed it (i guess cause it was already on file and she didn't have to wait 4 hours for the gynae to get thru his 2 ceaserians and 40 000 patients before he could sign it) and the next lady I spoke to at Dischem was very friendly :) Friendly counts for lots.

And onto the thing that really ruined my afternoon ... Standard Bloody Bank. So I have a card with them (and FNB, thankfully - although they both have their fair share of problems!), their cards smartly (?) expire annually, what is that about? Inconvenience for me and money-making for them, I presume. Why do banks make us still visit their awful branches? When will they realise that no one likes going into a branch and they should tailor their service around that. So anyway, here's the long and hugely frustrating story ... On Sunday the ATM swallowed my card wit hvery little explanation, actually it happened so fast, I'm not sure I realised there was an explanation I should've read on the screen. So yesterday I called their general enquiries to find out what was going on. They weren't very helpful but suggested I go into my nearest branch. So, due to the emergency of the situation and because there happens to be a branch a short walk from my office, I decided to venture forth. Stupid, stupid, stupid. So in I go and join a queue practically out the door and proceed to wait a full 40 minutes before arriving at the front. This is while enduring a smarmy smiley Branch Representative (I'm not really sure what he did, because he wasn't very helpful at all) coming round, asking us what we were here to do to check if we were in the right queue (Enquiries) and then apologetically saying "Yes, sorry, you are". But no further help. After waiting for so long, was thinking the polite thing to do was provide us with chairs or at least close one or two of the teller windows (they had no one to serve even!) and let them serve us. But apparently not.

So eventually after that general frustration, I arrive at the teller and state my problem, I need a replacement card. She types in a bunch of stuff, calls over her superior and then eventually the most help I get from her after my 40 minute wait is that "Your card expired, you need to call Card Division". So I told her that the other thing I wanted to do while I was there (I wasn't wasting my 40 minute queueing) was to have my branch updated to this one (being that it's clearly closer!). That she said I'd have to go to Customer Service for ... Aargh, I waited almost an hour and accomplished nothing. Typical.

So back at my desk I phone card division and ask them where my notification of card-expiry has been? Oh, she tells me, you were phoned on the 15th of August. That is impossible, I say, I was in Kenya and unreachable by cell phone and my voice mail was off (I only use my International Roaming for smses, otherwise it's a little too expensive on our piddly Rond). But, that's what the computer says so it's all she can offer me and so they've shipped my card off to "my branch" ... and here I must politely state that I have no idea how this particular branch became "my branch" since it is no where near where I am ... and when I opened the account (at another completely different branch), I had specifically asked for it to be this convenient branch just a walk away from my offices ... So anyhoo, my replacement card is now miles out of my way - not geographically, really, it's more a case of how to get there at an hour when the banks deign to be open to offer their poor customer service to those of us unlucky enough to have to rely on them.

The poor telephone operator (I say that because by this point, my blood was boiling and I was most unimpressed ... and I know you shouldn't shoot the messenger, but at that stage, there really is no one else within reach!) then informed me that if I wanted my card delivered to the convenient branch for collection, they would have to destroy the one currently waiting for pick-up and send a whole new card ... costing me R75 and 7 days!

I ask you, where is the Customer Service? None of this is helpful to me the customer. Not to worry, I've HelloPetered them, and apparently they're a company who responds. At this point I'd like to bill them for the work-hours I'm oging to have to use driving out thru notorious Joburg traffic to the branch with my card during their 4 hours of actual operation! Aaargh.

I should be able to do something about this ... but it's another Telkom example. Where would be better? I already fought tooth & nail and paid extra for FNB to actually courier my Petrol Card to me because I have the same issue going into their branches. We are sentenced to suffer bad service because we have no option and we just accept. They screw us over and offer the barest minimum of what could be called a service, charging us for everything from withdrawals to printing your own statement at an atm. Banks, I fekking hate 'em.

Other than that, last night was quiet. Went back to Yoga and nearly died. Apparently the heaters are now working as they should and I can barely get thru half the class before I'm feeling giddy and ready to pass out. I'll give it a try for a little while longer, but if I don't adjust to this extreme temperature, I'm going to have to find another exercise alternative

Then I watched a few episodes of Scrubs, ate my left over Ghazal's and read some of my book :)


akika said...

The reason we're now only allowed 6 month scripts was explained to me by a pharmacist a year or two ago. It's because the health minister at the time [around the same tiem that pharmacies were being screwed over] decided that it should be that way. I'm sure there's a logical process behind that.
But why suffer with a gynae? I get mine from the gp.
And yes, banks suck. Except for Button's nifty american bank, which apparently has no branches anywhere and does everything online or by phone. Sadly you have to be an american veteran [or their family] to be part of that bank...

phillygirl said...

@akika - well that's no help, some crazy laydee in government is messing up my orderly life with unnecessary admin! My gp is a homeopath and she's hard enough to get hold of for general ailments already :(

Nosjunkie said...

I live in mortal fear of a gynea, no matter what sex or whatever.
I whent once and actually got to the waiting rrom but left in about 5 min.
I have a better solution. there is a verry nice little family planning clinic near where I am I pay R50 amd a sweet as sugar nurs gives me a depo shot that last for three months and is killer effective. they do the pill too but I cant remember to take the thing.
See No Gynea No hassle

phillygirl said...

hmmm, it seems that the no-gynae route is preferred by 2 out of 2 girls ;) (and it seems to be a lot more efficient!)

The Divine Miss M said...

Gynae's scare me too. It's the tools they use, they don't look like they should be going ANYWHERE near me!

I used to get my script through the doctor and he'd just leave it at reception for me when I needed a new one ;) Ah the joys ...

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