I have to clean out my closet. It’s atrocious. It’s full of those clothes that you hold up in front you every now and again, study, and think: hmm. You know, this isn’t so bad. I know I NEVER wear it, haven’t, in fact, worn in SINCE I bought it because I didn’t even really like it when I tried it on, but yeah…it has potential. One day, I might wear this.
But you won’t. You’ll never wear it.
I have so many of these clothes, but, I am happy to admit, that over the past year and a bit, I have become increasingly good at throwing things away. Clothes are no exception. It’s one of the things on my to-do list anyway, the list that’s titled “Things to Accomplish” and is intelligently sectioned into June, July, August, and someday. I have already accomplished a few of the important items I needed to scratch off as soon as humanly possible because they were making my stomach feel like a shriveled walnut. One of these items, was Telus.
Telus has not been good to me. Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I went to Edmonton with my friend Lacey to visit friends and indulge in the haute couture and haute cuisine of Alberta’s dusty north. After a lunch of food court sushi and a third installment of some movie at West Edmonton Mall, I finally made the big decision: I was going to get a cell phone. It was one of the most informed decisions I’ve actually ever made. Although my mother will disagree with me on this, I can actually stall myself out of buying something expensive if the repercussions seem foolhardy and terrifying enough to me. I had refrained from buying one thus far because things like monthly bills scared me to death. But I had saved up something ridiculous like $800 to go on this trip, and one of the things I knew I wanted to get was a phone. So I did. And I went to Telus to get it. I’m sure the universe was moaning in despair, clutching its head with its universe-y hands, but I couldn’t hear their cries of caution over the Albertan drawl of the seedy salesman. So I went with Telus, and ever since, they have gone out of their way to be as unhelpful as possible, whenever possible.
A few of you who don’t know me well might be asking, “Jesus. What a whiner. This broad’s brought up that godforsaken service provider up in her posts TWICE in two days. If they were so bad, why didn’t she switch?”
If you’re asking this question, you don’t live in Northern BC. Actually, you probably don’t live in Canada. Canada is a vast and rich land filled with lakes and rivers and depth area and wildlife and beauty……..and absolutely ZERO options when it comes to service providers. I think we have something like 4 or 5 total, and that’s only in highly populated areas like Toronto or Vancouver. Not the asshole of the universe, which is where I grew up. So wipe that disgusting look off your city-dweller face.
Telus hasn’t done anything intentionally malicious, like overcharge me with fake usage, but they are almost innately apathetic. They really just want to take your money and do as little as possible. They haven’t quite caught onto the concept that customers will only continue to use your product if you treat them well, and make it worth their while. It’s like the giant world of Customer Service extended a free training seminar to food service, hospitality industries, and retail, and completely left Telus out of the session. Probably on purpose. Because they are so awful.
If you go to a restaurant, and you’re given a bad meal, it’s highly unlikely that a manager is going to make you pay for it. Nine times out of ten, they’ll either bring you a new meal, take it off your bill, or give you a gift card for the next time you use them. Even if they are begrudging. The same goes for retail. If the dress you just bought rips, you can bring it back, sometimes without a receipt. More times than not, someone will give you a refund, or let you pick something else out for the same price. Sometimes you have to be pushier than others; you have to give them the stink eye and hiss, “I want to speak to the manager,” but usually it works out. Companies do this because THEY WANT TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS. They want you to mention to your friend during a yoga class (where you’ve both collapsed trying to do downward facing dog), “Oh hey, that really shitty latte I got last week? Yeah, I got a free one today. We should head there for coffee after class. My treat.” Or, “Remember those jeans that ripped two days after I got them? I took them back without a receipt and the manager was so nice! She returned them no problem.”
I don’t know what’s hard to understand about this. It makes sense to me. People like being happy. When they’re happy, they do things that make them happy. Like buy lattes and jeans. They spend money or say things that make other people happy so that they in turn spend money too. So if your service or product has made them less than happy, you have an opportunity to make sure they return to their happy state in order to buy more of whatever it is you’re selling. It’s a timeless recipe for happiness. Neanderthals understood it. How Telus has missed this information is completely beyond me. But they have. I’ll skip the many episodes of brutal customer service I’ve received and focus on the response to an email I recently sent. Because I’m getting ready to leave, I want to cancel my account. This was supposedly already done in February when I bought my new iPhone, but apparently, it was somehow ‘undone,’ and now I have to pay another fee. Please see the fee section in my first post to learn more about fee fairies. Bloody fee fairies.
Anyway, in my email, I felt it was appropriate to mention that I’d had less than satisfactory service with them through the years. I also mentioned this to a live person on the phone this morning. I guess it’s fair to say that my relationship with them is ‘complicated.’ I ended the diplomatic email and voice conversation with a fairly-worded statement about how when I returned to Canada, I wasn’t sure I was going to return to them for service.
Now burger chains and jeans stores would be a little more up in arms with a statement like that. “Will not return” is akin to so many death-sentence phrases in customer service: “I’ll tell my friends NEVER to come here” and “I’m going to send a letter to the editor.” The response I received can best be described as “utterly indifferent.” It was almost like an automated machine or Automated Fairy had typed up a mass-produced response about how ‘my business would be missed.’ Missed? I don’t know how it’s possible, but it’s almost as if the note was transcribed in a condescending tone. Like it was really saying: Oh, so you’re leaving us? You really think you’ll find something better. Okay. Whatever. Look, I’ve gotta go, okay?
The good news is, I’m free! As of the 21st of August, I will be far away from the clutches of this abusive relationship. No more taking advantage of THIS customer! BOOYAH! Scratch that badass off the list!
Back to the closet cleaning. I plan on accomplishing this tomorrow. I have to leave some winter items here, because when I come back for Christmas, I can’t go naked, much as I’d like to. So sweaters, hoodies, and snowboard boots must stay. Things I haven’t worn in awhile, however, or things I’ve never really liked but have kept around due to some indescribable force (see first paragraph, this post, for description), are going to Value Village. Emptying my room of clutter will just feel better, and it will give me room to pack my Roots suitcase full of teaching resources and classroom decorations. Priorities, people.
In other news, I am excited about a near-future trip to Vancouver to see a very dear friend and have some girl time. It reminds me how much visiting I need to get in before the big day arrives.
Until then, readers, keep fit and have fun.