Friday, June 29, 2012

Now THAT was customer service!

I just had, what I think, is a phone call that will never be duplicated in my lifetime.  Maybe that's going overboard but it's a first for me, and I'm well into my 40's (shhhh!).  So chances are if these calls happen every 43 years or so I'll be at the end of my life or dead the next time one comes around.

Let me tell you the background, not to go on a tangent about the mistake in one company and possibly incompetent employees of another but to just help you understand the end of the story (which is why I'm blogging about this).  Wednesday, my husband and children left town to our family reunion.  I was unable to go.  The morning they left my husband was concerned because during the night a charge hit our checking account from TiVo.  A company we haven't done any business with for a year.  I told him I'd take care of it after work and sent him on his way.  Later that day I went to our Wells Fargo branch and they said I'd need to work it out between their 800# and TiVo.  I went home and called TiVo who realized the mistake, apologized and issued credit.  I called the bank to see if they would reverse the fees, a $35 charge for overdrawing the account with the TiVo charge and an overdraft fee of $35 for a Redbox. (I refuse to spend $36.20 on an overnight movie rental that was so unimpressive I can't even remember the name- Call me cheap.)

Wells Fargo said they'd be unable to reverse those charges until the credit showed up from TiVo and that is typically 10-14 business days!  Unacceptable!  I need access to my funds.  The WF associate then said if I had them call the merchant line so they could hear from TiVo first-hand that the fees were being reversed they could issue the $70 credit and a temporary credit of the TiVo charge of $129 so I'd have access to all my money.  Good deal- that's what I wanted/needed.  I asked for the number to the merchant line and he replied they can't give it out but to have TiVo call the 800# and ask to be transferred.  TiVo agreed to call.  That was Wednesday evening.  Yesterday I was gone most of the day and evening.  There was no time to make sure the credits were showing.  I knew I needed to give it a couple days anyway.

Today after work I checked and noticed no credits still.  I called Wells Fargo to ask why and they let me know that Tivo hadn't called in.  The WF associate looked over the account while on the phone and didn't seem to have any problems with what we were trying to do. It was when I called TiVo that I found out they'd tried to no avail.   TiVo needed my pin # to my card and my checking account # and the last 4 of my SSN to get through the auto dialer.  I wasn't willing to give them that info (I've already dealt with identity theft- not going there again!) so we did a 3 way call so I could push the buttons and get the info through the system without giving private info to an associate at TiVo.  

Longer story shorter, a very nice TiVo associate named Chelsea helped me.  We talked to 3 associates in 2 departments who kept passing the issue to each other.  One department wasn't allowed to speak with me, the other wasn't allowed to speak with her.  One even went so far as to make me repeat everything Chelsea said on the 3 way call since she couldn't communicate with Chelsea even with my permission- forget the fact she could hear her.  WF let me know this could have been  resolved if  "I" had handled things properly and called WF before TiVo issued the credit....I should have known.  How silly of me.  The final word, Wells Fargo said I could wait until Wed. then if the credit hadn't shown up (which it probably wouldn't) I could file a complaint against TiVo, which would get me my temporary credit 2 days after that!  They got a little hard to deal with for both me and Chelsea.  At one point on our call they made her disconnect from me and call them again alone.  They caused her a lot of time wasted- I've worked for call centers before.  I know in most companies your call length and volume can directly impact your pay and reviews.  She didn't seem to be bothered at all, even after we'd been on the phone for almost an hour.  She made such an impact on me that I said a quick repentance prayer for my unkind feelings and shortness with a couple WF associates.  

By the time we were done I was almost in tears.  Chelsea was absolutely sweet.  When I wanted to be short with the WF associates Chelsea was Christ-like and kind and reminded me through her example that she's above that, certainly I could be as well.  When we hung up Chelsea was very apologetic for her company's mistake that caused this problem for me.  It's not over here though....And here's the part I wanted to blog about:

Two hours later I got a call from Chelsea.  She told me that she couldn't get the call out of her mind and asked if we could call WF and talk to someone different.  (Was she really up to another hour on the phone?  TiVo was closing in only 30 minutes.)  She didn't like knowing that I was in a bind.  I couldn't believe it.  Surely, she could have just moved on, taken more calls upped her stats, know that she'd tried.  And hard.  It wasn't enough for her though.  She cared more about me than she did any ill affects these calls may have on her job, let alone her sanity.  I was impressed with Chelsea.  I think her manager will get a very nice letter about her.  I thanked her, let her know I'll be alright and that we don't need to do that.  I also let her know I've never been called back by an employee of any company, wanting to go the extra mile.  I want to be more like Chelsea.

May we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way. May we “[cheer] up the sad and [make] someone feel glad.”   President Thomas S. Monson May We So Live.  


  1. Great post, you have pointed out some superb details, I will tell my friends that this is a very informative blog thanks.
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  2. This was a powerful post and I am so glad I dropped by today. I am afraid these kinds of things happen all the time. I imagine we have all had some negative experience with a bank and or company. I do think Chelsea needs to be recognized for her loving kindness. My husband's work is involved with a call center and I can tell you he has many problems with calls. This story is a great one and I hope it all comes out good for you. Blessings on this one!

  3. Call centers are so hard! My son works at a bank call center and he always tries to be nice, but it's not easy.

  4. its hard to talk to people at call centers when they keep passing you onto someone new to re explain the whole ordeal. HOW FRUSTRATING! BUT how great the result at the end. What a great example she was... I wonder what faith she is :) I use to say that all the time when I met a christ like person. You know their parents did right by them :) good post :) Thanks for sharing it :)

  5. I want to be like Chelsea, too!
    In the course of my day, as part of my job, I read dozens of blog posts. One post was not only distasteful, but completely contrary to my personal beliefs. As I was sitting there, struggling to imagine how I could respond and do it positively, the comment from another person caught my eye. I should point out, here, that she, like me, is Christian. Her response was, at once, respectful of that person's beliefs, and positive in a way I hadn't considered. Then she closed with her personal testimony of the Saviour and His love for each and all of us. It was beautiful. And an amazing lesson to me that, even in the stickiest of situations, a light still can shine! That ESPECIALLY in the stickiest situations, a light can shine!


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