Thursday, December 27, 2007

Guitar Center: A Horror Story

At last, I have my Christmas horror story to relate.

Being an efficient Mom, I asked Laurel what Tom would like for Christmas. She said he really wanted a new guitar. I knew buying him a guitar was a bit beyond what we could afford, and Laurel had suggested that getting a gift certificate from a place like Guitar Center, which had a location near Santa Barbara.

Perfect. I wouldn't have to brave the crowds in Sacramento because I could just order on line, which I did.

I received confirmation from Guitar center that my order had been shipped on December 14. On December 23, I still didn't have it, so I called. I was told that it hadn't been a full 7 working days and they couldn't help me until the 24th. It didn't come on the 24th, but what with all I was doing that day, I didn't have time to call--and Tom wouldn't be getting it until after Christmas anyway.

Well, it didn't come on the 26th either so this morning, the 27th, I called. I was told by the first operator that since it was sent thru the post office, they could not do anything to help me and I would have to call the post office and check myself.

(Jeri, who did shipping for a theatrical equipment company for several years, tells me that this is entirely wrong and that only the shipper can check on tracking for this.)

I called the post office and found that they have no record of the tracking number.

I called Guitar Center back again and the second operator told me that the tracking number doesn't mean anything because it's just sent in an envelope (they don't insure?). The first guy had told me that they couldn't issue a replacement for a month. The second guy told me that wasn't right, that it had to be 18 days. Why 18 days I don't know. He said he'd check with his supervisor.

He was gone forever, during which time I had to listen to ABOMINABLE music (just what you want during the holidays -- heavy metal music telling you that you have to die!). When he finally came back, he said the supervisor was adamant that I had to wait the full 18 days before filing a claim, which means that I can do nothing but wait until next Thursday to see if magically this thing that was mailed half a month ago will show up.

Jeri has been appalled listening to the tales, because things were never like that with customer service when she was working it. But I suspect that this is the way of things.

It's nearly impossible to find any contact numbers any more, and when you do, finding a human being at the other end of the telephone is a rarity. When you get a human beging, you hope they are in this country and, if they are located in another country, that you can at least speak the same type of English, or that the person you are speaking to knows that Sacramento is in California and not somewhere in Texas (because they have never visited this country).

Guitar Center at least had posted a contact number on its confirmation e-mail and I only had to wade through six different voice mail directories before getting a recording that told me my call was important to them and would be answered as soon as possible.

When the operator begins an explanation with "Like..I'm not sure..." I'm already suspicious about what level of help I'm going to receive.

The second operator seemed much more knowledgeable than the first one (who started sentences with "like") but he still was unable to do anything for me until I had waited the requisite number of days.

I can just imagine what they're saying about me after our conversation when I told him what a rotten mood I was in from having to listen to their "wait music" for 10 minutes.

It's not like I'm a regular customer of Guitar Center and, in fact, had not heard of them until a month ago, but it's a sure thing that I want to let anyone who reads this journal know about the "customer support" you are likely to encounter when/if you have any problem with an order.

1 comment:

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