Why is everything so difficult these days? I don’t mean any of the things that should be difficult. I mean the simplest things that are made difficult by a combination of over complicating the process and human incompetency.
It seems lately everywhere is the same. Standards are slipping daily across so many different customer based industries.
How many times do you phone for a taxi and it’s late? In normal weather conditions, when you book in advance, it really shouldn’t be that hard to get your car to you on time.
One particular incident was so ridiculous I couldn’t help but laugh.
I had booked a taxi one night for 11.40. It turned up at 12.25 after about 6 phone calls chasing it up.
When I went out, the taxi cost £3.80. Upon arrival on the return journey, the driver said the fare was £7. Naturally, I asked why it was so much dearer.
I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but here, the fares go to time and a half after midnight. This is fair enough if the taxi is booked after midnight, but for it to be 45 minutes late and try to charge me extra was just beyond cheek.
It should have been free after waiting that long!
I’ll let you use your imagination as to what I said, but needless to say the driver got £4 and I think they should count themselves lucky they got that.
It’s not only taxi companies, that one just sticks in my mind for bare faced cheek.
I can’t remember the last time I contacted a company and anything was simple. The processes always seem to break down at some point and no one seems to have any idea what to do about it.
I don’t know if it’s because the companies in question pay that small a wage that the staff don’t care one way or the other, or whether it’s some sort of mass training issue. I’m starting to see the benefit in the automated services I hate so much.
I used to think I was just unlucky and these things just happened to me, but after talking to quite a lot of people, most of them have at least one story about something that should be simple that ending up being a long, drawn out process.
Another ridiculous one that comes to mind:
A credit card I had a couple of years ago. The company it was with decided to stop offering a credit card. They passed the debts outstanding to another company. I contacted the new company who have no record of me and no idea why the original company think it’s gone to them.
I contacted the original company who insist this company who I have never done business with and have no idea who I am should know where I have to pay it to.
After an hour or so of being passed back and forth and getting more and more frustrated, I gave up. No one seems to want the money so I’m not going to argue. I decided eventually someone will realise it’s with them and contact me. That was 3 months ago and I’m still waiting. It’s only £80, but you would think it would be easy to pay someone but no one seems to want it.
On another credit card I had a few years back (I know, they’re the work of the devil), they made the payment process that complicated I used to just wait until they noticed the payment was late and called me.
They gave three payment options.:
1 was direct debit, but you could only make the minimum payment, and no way was I falling for that one.
2 was to pay via a payment slip into a bank, but because I didn’t bank with them, they charged a fee and there’s no way I was paying a fee to pay a bill.
The third option, which should have been simple, was to pay over the phone.
Every time I called, the automated system told me my card number was wrong the first twice and accepted it the third. It would accept the start and expiry dates then tell me the CVV code was wrong. This continued until it gave up and connected me to a real person.
They went through every security question imaginable (I mean come on, I was paying. If someone who isn’t me wants to pay money off my account, let them) and then told me I had to use the automated service to make a payment.
I would explain what had happened and they would tell me I was inputting the number wrong. I wasn’t. No one could input a number wrong that many times. You could train a monkey to do it.
They would argue for a while until I gave up and started over. And it would happen again. Can you see why I just waited for them to call me now?
Do you have any stories of ridiculously simple things being made complicated? Let me know in the comments 🙂