September 3, 2013 by phicks2012
It has occurred to me lately that perhaps human beings — or at least human beings with rudimentary intelligence — are being phased out of the marketplace. In recent months I have had reason to communicate with a number of companies via on-line chat, email, and phone trying to achieve certain ends, only to find myself wondering if 1)my command of language is somehow insufficient to get my point across, or if 2)the person on the other end is not bothering to listen/read my complaint before responding, or if 3)I am actually in communication with a badly programmed automaton.
In several cases, wanting to assure clarity, I wrote very detailed emails only to receive a response having nothing whatsoever to do with my question or complaint. In other cases I repeated my concerns several times verbally only to have the other person repeatedly respond with the same unrelated responses. As for on-line chat — see the reference above for email, and you will not be misled.
Exactly how does “I want to know if there are any options to lower my monthly phone bill” translate to “I want to upgrade to a more expensive phone”? How does “You sent me the wrong part” translate to “send me that same part again, please”?
Example: I called AARP asking for help finding affordable health insurance — I don’t for an instant believe that Obamacare will benefit me in any way, shape, or form, though I hope I’m wrong and it will do more than fine me for not having the health insurance I cannot afford. The folks at AARP are supposed to help and to advocate for their members, but they sent me to a “partner company” that told me I didn’t qualify for their coverage simply because of a partial cataract that eventually would have to be removed (outpatient surgery). I have NO OTHER health issues. In any case, they totally blew me off, and were not even conciliatory about it. I called and complained to AARP that they should not, in my opinion, be recommending a health insurance carrier to people over 50 that would disqualify a person solely on the basis of a minor condition like a cataract. I mean, at least 90% of people my age and older have far more serious health issues than THAT, right? Well, they also blew me off and said they weren’t responsible for what their “partner companies” did. Great! When I complained formally in an email, I got a response saying “Oops. We got your complaint and we’re so sorry we accidentally cancelled your membership. This has been resolved!” Huh? I somehow do NOT think I’ll be renewing my membership with AARP.
Has anyone else out there had complaints hopelessly lost in translation? Have you resolved any issues like that? If so, PLEASE, let me know HOW!