Monday, September 17, 2007

sometimes it pays to be a bitch...

So, as I wrote a while back...I got very angry with Blockbuster recently. Here is the Cliff Notes if you don't want to click on the link and read my angry rant. Basically, Blockbuster raised their prices by 50% and said it was to better serve their customers. Now, I don't know how having people pay more for the same level of service is serving them better, but well...that's why I would never belong in a huge corporation. I know it is about the almightly buck...and be hidden in providing better customer service, etc.

But anyways...I digress. So, my last billing date at the old rate was on 8/20/07. I paid my monthly fee and thought to myself that I would use the service for the last month and decide if I was going to stay with the service or go elsewhere. There are some benefits to Blockbuster, so I was weighing my options.

Well, since my last billing date was 8/20...I should have service until 9/19, right? And Blockbuster sent an email saying that if you did not sign up for a new service plan, they would be terminating your plan at the end of the service month. At first I thought...good...I am glad they are not just signing people up for the more expensive plans without their permission. I'll decide what I am going to do when it gets closer to 9/19. I might stay. I might go.

So...last week when I am on vacation, I return 2 online movies to the Blockbuster store on Tuesday and get 2 new movies. I saw on my account that they had been received and my new movies should ship anytime.

Tuesday came and went. No movies shipped. No biggie...sometimes it takes a day.

Wednesday came and went. No movies. I started to get cranky. It usually never takes this long for the website to say it is sending you new titles.

So, I sent in an email customer service ticket. I explained that I returned movies and none had been sent to me. I got an email back on Thursday saying that my account had been terminated because I did not pick a new service plan, etc...and that I must have missed the email, etc.

Huh? My account was terminated....suspended...whatever word they used??? It was cancelled before my month that I paid for was up. So, to say that I was livid was an understatement. I emailed again and said that I paid on 8/20 and therefore, how can they cancel my account before I get the month I paid for?? I got another email back telling me that since I didn't pick a new plan, I was cancelled.

So, I decided to call them. The only problem is...finding the phone number is almost impossible. David Blane's next trick should be finding the phone number on Blockbuster's website. So, to find the number...I had to send in another email ticket asking for it. I got it...4 hours later....and then I called. I spoke to a nice young man, who sounded so much like a girl...I thought I was in an episode of Pat on SNL. I explained the situation and told him that if I did not receive the month I paid for, I was going to contest the charge on my credit card. I told him I had emails printed out showing the last billing date and when I was told my account was terminated, etc.

He said he was sorry and that he was going to put the 2 weeks I was owed back on my account. My next billing date would be Sept that I would get the 4 weeks I paid for. Okay, I was actually happen...well, as happy as Blockbuster came make me lately. This all happened on Thursday. The guy(?) said that my next 2 movies would ship out on Thursday or by the latest Friday.

So, Thursday came and went. No movies shipped. No biggie...the guy(?) said it might take til Friday.

So, Friday came and almost went. It was 2 pm...and I knew from Blockbuster's website that they have 4 hours to answer an email, so I needed to email now. So, I emailed...gave the person the history and asked why movies aren't being shipped yet again.

I got an email back that was semi-nice and semi-snark. They said that 2 movies were now being sent to me...and they suddenly appeared in my queue. And then the person said that I got 2 free weeks on my account, so I was compensated enough and I shouldn't be complaining.

This is when I lost my shit. I got two free weeks? No the hell I didn't...I got the 2 weeks I paid for. My billing date was moved forward ONE week to compensate me for the week I missed when my account was cancelled.

So, I emailed this person back and said that I did not get 2 free weeks, I got what I paid for. I told them that if they were offering 2 free weeks, please feel free to move my account billing date to indicate that.

I got an email back saying I already got 2 free weeks, booyah!

I got all snarky again...and emailed back. Saying that I appreciated the person making right what Blockbuster did wrong (the person on the phone, not the email person). But, I wanted to make clear that I did not and have not received anything free. I got what I paid for, nothing more.

Then, I informed them that giving this level of service and that the price hike was supposed to increase the level of service, I would be leaving the company after the 2 weeks and returning to Netflix, a company that never cancelled my service and then called giving me what I paid for a free gift.

See...that's my pet peeve. I do appreciate the phone rep making it right, I really do. I was impressed with how quickly he took care of it. But, I hate it when you don't get what you paid for and then people say they will give you something for free. It isn't free, I paid for it. If I order a pizza and you mess it up...don't tell me you will send me out a free pizza. It isn't free...I already paid for that pizza, you just didn't give it to me.

So, anyways...after my last email...telling them that I had enough and after my billing period, I was taking my ball and going home, well...going to Netflix. I got an email saying that I was being given an extension on my free trial. billing date is now October 20, 2007. I am actually now getting an actual free month of service from them. I am now actually getting something for free. And you know, I never wanted something for free. I wanted them to make it right. But once they kept telling me I was getting something for free and I wasn't, I got pissed.

It's sad...that being a bitch and being aggressive is what worked. It's too bad that being calm and nice just doesn't cut it. They say no...and move on. I had to come back at them and get a little nasty. And two, threatening to leave the company is what did it. And trust me, it's not a threat, it's a promise...I will use my account until the end of the free period...and then return to Netflix.

So...if you need something from customer service...ask for a supervisor...get mean...and threaten to leave your company. I should have threatened to walk on email #2.

There ya "I Hate Blockbuster" story of the day. Given how things are going, I will probably have a new one for tomorrow.

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