>Customer Service Contrast, Part I

>Disclaimer: I’m not saying that customer service is always bad here in Chile and that it’s always good in the U.S. I’ve had bad experiences in the U.S. and good experiences here in Chile. It just happens to be that today it was Chile=horrible and U.S.=excellent.

Normally I like talking about the good first, but in order to understand the context of the good, I think it’s necessary to understand how AWFUL the bad was.

Rewind to approximately one year ago. I decided to rent an apartment. I had an awful experience with the real estate agent. She acted very unprofessionally and I hate to admit, she made me cry. You can read this post here, but I think I must have written this awhile after it happened because it doesn’t really reflect how frustrated and horrible this woman made me feel at the time.

So now fast forward to today, approximately two hours ago. I never received the contract to my apartment. I know, this is bad. I emailed this lady a bunch of times asking for it. One time, she responded and said she’d send it in the mail. I never got it. I should have followed up more, but life got in the way.

Now, the owner of my apartment wants to meet to review some things in the contract. She never received a copy of the contract either. So I called her today and offered to pick up her copy, because now I work two blocks from the real estate office, so I was going to go and talk to them directly to get the contract. I went around 2:30, because that’s when I was finished working and when I had the free time to do so. The same woman who I had problems with, her name is Veronica Soto*, answered the door.

“We’re on our lunch break now, but what do you need?” she said brusquely.

I explained about the contract. Then she said that I needed to have told her that I was coming before because the contracts are “in the warehouse” and she has to go look for them. So I said no problem, can I come get it tomorrow? She said no, that’s impossible, because she has to take down my datos (information) and it takes a while to get it. So I asked if I could leave my datos now. She said no, because she was on her lunch break. She told me to email her. I told her I had emailed her many times (I think four, over the past year) and she had only responded once, so therefore I didn’t trust email. She said she had never received an email from me and that she always responds to her emails. She shoved her business card in my face, and told me to email the address on the card. I looked at the address, and said “This is the email I’ve always used and I don’t get a response.” She again said she had never gotten an email from me. I again asked her if I could leave my datos right now, and even started to take out a pen to do so. She said no, and pointed to her business card and slowly said (as if I were stupid):

“You. Have. To. Write. Me. An. E-mail. I’m. On. My. LUNCH. BREAK. Right. Now.”

I didn’t want to give up, because I know I can be a push-over and I don’t want people like her to take advantage of me. So I asked her how long it would take to get the contract. She said she didn’t know, that it depended. I asked her what it depended on. She said that I really just needed to send her an email. I asked her for an estimate of time. She said a week. Then she took my arm and led me to the door, explaining again that she was on her lunch break. Then as soon as I was out the door, she closed it pretty roughly, almost slamming it.

It was very clear that she just wanted to get rid of me. She used her precious lunch break as an excuse, but I highly doubt she would have been any nicer or more accommodating if I had come at a non-lunch break time. Honestly, if you’re on lunch break and don’t want to be bothered, DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR.

So anyway, she made me pretty upset. My problem is that when I get angry, I cry, so it makes me look like a total weakling. Luckily I made it out the door before the tears began to fall. I think this is maybe because I hate confrontation, and it just completely overloads my emotional capacity.

When I got home, I wrote her an email and copied one of the emails that I hadn’t gotten a response to. I considered forwarding her all four of the emails, but then I figured I didn’t want to make her super mad so she wouldn’t get me my contract.

What I do want to do is find her boss’ email so that I can write to him and complain about her, but I can’t find it. I think when I go to pick up the contract (this is assuming that she’s not trying to swindle me and there actually is a contract to be had), I’ll ask to either speak to her boss or for his email.

I also looked at www.reclamos.cl to see if there were any complaints against ProCasa Jamie Moris (the name of the real estate agent) and lo and behold there was one against Veronica Soto in particular, and I am going to keep looking to see if there are more.

I’m emotionally exhausted after writing all this, but it helps me let it go. I’ll write about the positive experiences I had (with my bank and loan agency) tomorrow.

*Usually I don’t use names on my blog, but in this case, I think it’s valid to call her out. She has absolutely ZERO customer service/interpersonal skills.

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