I have never given my wife flowers. Not once, not even when we were dating. It started as something I hadn’t done, then it became something I didn’t do, and now, after this story, it’s going to have to become something I never do.
However, I always send my mom flowers on Mother’s Day.
So imagine my horror when during my annual Mother’s Day flower bouquet purchase for my mom, I realized I had sent the flowers to my own home on accident. “This isn’t a big deal,” I thought, “I’ll just go online and change the address on the order.” So, off the 1800flowers I went, and wouldn’t you know?, you can’t change the recipient’s address online. You have to call.
After ten minutes on the phone with the customer service rep, the address was changed. Or so I thought. A few hours went by with no order confirmation. My online account still showed my own house as the recipient’s address. Sigh. Another phone call.
The second customer service rep sounded exactly the same as the first, using the exact same turns of phrase in his customer management style1 while somehow unable to do the simple task I had set out to do. “We cannot change the order,” the rep said. “It has already gone out for processing. We can send a new order to your intended recipient and give you a 10% discount for your inconvenience.”
“Wait, but I’m still getting the first order?”
“Yes sir,” the rep replied.
“And I’m going to be charged for both orders?”
Okay, so here is where most2 probably just waves the white flag and lets both orders go through. I mean, Kathleen is seven months pregnant–essentially a mother-in-training; getting a bouquet of roses for the first time ever from her husband may have made her feel special. Except for two things:
- I hated the idea that 1800flowers had a terrible customer service and it was a matter of principal. It took 30 minutes to straighten out the order3
- I don’t buy my wife fucking flowers.
I told the “bad customer service” story to Kathleen and she empathized 4 and thought it was funny.
Hours later, as we were going to sleep, she turned to me and said, ” I just want to point out that you spent almost an hour on the phone today just to make sure your pregnant wife didn’t get flowers on Mother’s Day.”
“Yup.” She had me there.
“I’m an asshole.”
“Yeah. I love you, goodnight.”
- Your customer service system needs serious work if you don’t allow your agents to address individual customer concerns. When I hear the same rote phrases over and over, like say, “I understand where you’re coming from. If I were in your shoes, I’d be disappointed,” it makes me think the person on the other side of the phone isn’t listening to a word I’m saying.
- Or more accurately: every husband on the planet.
- This will be the last time I ever use their service. If you can’t figure out how to manage simple customer service requests using 21st century technology, then I’m not interested in patronizing your business.
- Because everyone likes/hates a good/bad customer service story.