Friday, February 28, 2014

Customer-Service Nightmare

All I am trying to do is get a deed for a piece of property I own! It’s a long distance from here so I called to get a copy. Thus began my “customer-service nightmare”!

Now, just in case there are any lovely customer-service agents reading this, let me assure you that I’ve had some wonderful experiences – just not this time.

I started off with the management company who sent me the property tax bills. After going through three menu selections and repeatedly hearing “your call is very important to us,” I finally reached live person. Sorry, he didn’t know a thing about deeds so I should call the broker company – whatever that is – who handled the paperwork. He kindly gave me the phone number and told me to have a nice day.

So…I dialed that number. A couple menus and a disconnect later, someone answered my very important call. No, they didn’t have the deed. They were sure they’d mailed a copy to me. Sorry, they don’t keep copies. Perhaps I should check with the management company…do you see the trend?

By then I was a bit frazzled so I decided to wait until the next day.

With renewed confidence, I gave it another try. I started off with the broker company. It rang and rang. Finally a recording told me it was searching for the party I was calling. Searching? More ringing, listening to some really bad music; I stood my ground. Another recording, only this time I had the privilege of leaving a message and someone would get back to me. I left a message, figuring I’d never hear from them again.

Well, miracle of miracles, my phone rang a couple hours later. A nice young man who sounded about twelve years old assured me that they’d sent me the deed. I explained that I’m a super organized person and, if they’d sent it, I’d have it. He got a bit testy and told me I should check with the management company because they’d received a copy, too. Hmmmm……

Back to the management company. After a song and dance or two, I got through. I asked for the person I’d talked to the day before and, when I was transferred to her, she remembered our conversation and politely reiterated that they didn’t have a copy of the deed. I remarked how that was strange because the broker company had a record of sending them one. A sputter or two later, she agreed to check again and – voila – there it was! Yes, she would happily put a copy in the mail; it would be no trouble at all. I sweetly thanked her and rejoiced when I received it two days later.

Can you relate? Put on hold, passed around between menus, and dealing with people who act like you’re irritating them by calling.

All of this made me think. My husband never treats me like a nuisance when I call – well, not very often. I have close friends who never put me on hold. Messages I leave are always returned.

And what about prayer? We don’t have to wait on hold, suffering through choir music or listen to a voice inform us that all the prayer-answering agents are busy but that our needs are very important to them.

Family, friends, the Lord. Nice to know someone loves to hear from us!

Sherry Carter is a retired engineer, slowly being reformed into a Bible-study author. She draws on over 30 years experience as a Bible teacher to give depth to her writing. Her first Bible study, Storms of Life, won the 2007 Award of Excellence at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. It's available at,, or at local bookstores.

She's the grandmother of two perfect children and a sports fanatic (especially the Oklahoma Sooners). She and her husband of 42 years live in west Texas and are servants to their retired-racing greyhound.

Above all, she wants to grow closer to God and to learn from other believers as they travel down this path of faith. Journey along with her by following her blog, Sherry's Light Blog, her Facebook page, and her quarterly newsletter.


Jenyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry Carter said...

Have a great day, everyone!

Patti Shene said...

Enjoyed your post, Sherry Oh yes, I can so relate!

Ada Brownell said...

Reminds me of the old gospel song in the days when a central telephone operator said, "Number please," and then made the connection. The song goes, "Central's never busy, always on the line; You may hear from heaven, almost anytime... It's titled The Royal Telephone.

Caroline said...

Fantastic, Sherry, and oh, how I can relate (and probably every person in the U.S.!). Frustrating and so annoying. Thanks for reminding us that we can always get in contact w/the most important person!

Sherry Carter said...

Ada, my grandparents were on a party line. Growing up overseas in the military, we didn't have a phone so I was so impressed and loved counting the number of rings.

Claude Nougat said...

You don't have to live in the US to relate to this telephone saga! It's exactly the same over here in Europe.
Nice post, I really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing your experience.

Courtney Pierce said...

Nice post! I have learned to hit "0" as soon as I hear a recorded menu. It's not an option most companies offer up front, but it's there. Thanks for sharing!

Sherry Carter said...

I've used that, too, Courtney, although many companies are getting wise to it. I can't remember if that was the case with these or if I just forgot to do it.

On second thought, If I'd used the shortcut, then I wouldn't have this blog topic :)