Shitty Customer Service

Once again, I seem to be a magnet for shitty customer service. This time, it’s with a tech provider.

So… I’ve used this same provider for YEARS. I came to them from a competitor, when I was having issues with that competitor not meeting the basic needs around the service. It thus came to me as a complete shock that tonight I was told that what I was trying to do (which is what I’d been doing since DAY ONE with this provider… WITH THEIR ASSISTANCE TO GET IT GOING IN THE FIRST PLACE) was in violation of their terms of service.

As we all know, this is a bullshit phrase used to condone inaction on the part of a service provider. I challenged it – I told them the history of my account and how we got to where we are: doing the same things that I’d been doing since I created the account (and had no problem doing for the last 3 years until now). They didn’t budge. In fact, they escalated. They told me that I could find reference to this policy on their legal page.

Of course, I looked. They said it’s the “Terms & Conditions”. No such section existed. I asked if I was at the right URL. They now told me that “they weren’t allowed to direct me further.”

What the what?!?

But whatever, it was just more bullshit.

So while they were telling me the BS policy that was supposedly the reason I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, I was, in the background, fixing the issue they said was the root cause of why they could’t help me. Thus, at the point where they now wanted to hang up on me and bid me farewell to go fix the problem and then call back (no thank you), I told them to refresh things on their end.

Et voila.

Took them about 30 seconds to fix my issue after that. Poofters.

Black Friday

Just in time for this holiday season comes the latest tale of retail negotiation success.

I’ve been lusting after a new TV for awhile.  Since our move, my old big-screen just hasn’t been right.  Could be the five flights of stairs it traveled in the move.  Could be the two years of storage about a year into its life.  Could be the massive amount of evening TV I watch.  Whatever.  In any event, the TV repair folks told me that the cost to repair substantially outweighs the value.  Lucky (sorta’) for me, the deterioration causes visible problems that are driving Tina batty.  Hence my ability to actually look for a new TV.

The actual TV I’m interested in is irrelevant, so rather than bore you with the specifics, let’s just call it X.  X has been on sale recently, down about 45% from it’s suggested retail price.  I’ve been watching it on Amazon and at Best Buy and Amazon has beat BB by about $200.  So I was still debating the merits of X with Tina when I looked online this morning and saw it for another $150 off – essentially 50% from its MSRP.  Woo hoo!  Time to buy!

But I had to get final approval so I couldn’t click through quite yet.

A few minutes later and I was ready to go.  I clicked ‘Add to Cart’ and just before I clicked Buy, I noticed that we were back to the pre-Black Friday price.  Woah.

So rather than Buy, I called Amazon’s customer service line.  Invariably, I found “Peggy” (a person of obvious foreign persuasion, pretending to be in the US “for my comfort”).  It only took her 10 minutes to verify my account because she couldn’t spell, couldn’t validate my physical address and for whatever reason, would ask me the same question over and over.  But hey, once we got through that, I was confident that I would be able to explain my complicated issue to her and get resolution.

As Wayne Campbell might say “shah – and monkey’s might fly outta’ my butt!”  But hey, I’m nothing if not patient.  So I tried.

Twenty-five minutes later, we were no closer to resolution and nearly half that time had been spent with me on hold while Peggy tried to work things out on her end.  Her eventual response?  That I needed to talk with the folks in the “large items” area.  But, of course, they were closed (it was only 8am ET, so I was agreeable).  Peggy offered to take my phone number and have them call me back in an hour.

Perfect.  No problem.

Five hours later (after we were back in the car, having spent the day at the Zoo), I still hadn’t received a call, so I called back.  [Now, what I didn’t tell you was that I periodically called and after being on hold for 20-30 minutes at a time, decided to simply try later.]  This time, I almost immediately got through.  This support person was a native English speaker so we quickly got to the large item desk.

They explained that Amazon doesn’t guaranty prices until you actually Buy.  They also checked and told me that what I saw earlier in the day was “Sold by Amazon” and the one that was now in my cart was “Sold by” someone else, so Amazon had no power to make any changes.  If I wanted X, I was going to have to pay the higher price.  Grrrrr.  No deal (at least not yet).

I finished driving home and checked my e-mail.  Waiting for me was a “how’d we do” e-mail from Amazon.  Ahhh… revenge.  Only, I didn’t want revenge, I simply wanted to say how things were for me.  And, in my opinion, it wasn’t great.  So I gave the experience a bad grade.  Amazon’s automated process then asked me if I would be willing to let them take another chance to make it right – enter my phone number and let them call me.  So I did.

A few seconds later, I get a call from Mike at Amazon.  I explain the situation and he reiterates the earlier explanation of why they really can’t do anything.  So while he’s considering what he might be able to do, Cameron is yammering in the background.  This gives Mike the ability to be friendly… and for me to connect with Mike on a personal level.  He’s a dad, a grandfather and has been at Amazon for awhile.  He was able to see that I’ve been an Amazon customer for more than a decade (they keep the entire history).  We commiserated over the advances in technology and retail.

In between, however, I hear an opportunity – that if there’s a TV that *Amazon* sells, Amazon can budge on price.  I quickly locate the model of X that Amazon does sell – one model more advanced (this one has 3D, even though I don’t need/want it), let’s call it X+.  Unfortunately, it’s also a little more expensive.  I give Mike the updated model number and he pulls it up on his end.  I ask him if he can “work with me”.

While he’s checking (as he realizes I’ve asked for a pretty significant discount), we keep chatting.  A few minutes elapses.  He tells me that no one has responded to his inquiry, so he’s going to go ahead and do it.  A few seconds later, I get X+ for the earlier advertised price of X.  Schweet.

Effective savings:  >$300 off retail.  >$1000 off MSRP.
Cost:  3 phone calls and some schmoozing.
Totally worth it.

Customer Service Craziness Magnet

Some people are magnets for bad boy/girlfriends.  Others are magnets for “trouble”.  I’m a magnet for poor customer service.

I don’t know why that is, exactly.  Generally speaking, I’m friendly and I get along well with others who show me some modest level of respect.  So why is it that I tend to find the people who don’t know what they’re doing, don’t know how to help me and don’t ever seem to satisfy what I’ve asked for?

Part of it, I think, is that I DO know what I’m doing, most of the time.  So by the time I call for help, or by the time I look for additional information, I’m not a newbie.  I don’t need to be walked through the basics.  I don’t need to be told to “make sure it’s plugged in” or to “check to verify xyz”.  I’ve done those things long ago.  I’ve also tried about a dozen potential solutions.  I’ve spent an hour or more on the internet looking to see if other people have had the same difficulty and how they resolved the issue.  I’ve done my homework and now I’m calling “the expert” for assistance.

Oh, and need I mention that at one point in my life, I was a first-line tech support guy, too?  So I’ve seen it all from both sides of the fence.  Take it from me, customer service is lacking across the board.  But I hear the complaints about stupid customers, stupid management and god-awful policies.  I understand that you are constrained.  You have limits to your abilities to help.  You can only do so much with what you’re given.

So, customer service experts, here are some suggestions on how to satisfy your next customer without going crazy yourself, but still meeting the needs of the person coming to you for help (because even in sales-related customer service, you’re still providing “help” of some sort):

  1. Assume that I know what I’m talking about.  You can use a few base questions to figure out if I really do or if I’ve only got a surface-level knowledge about the topic at issue.  But don’t start from the “you don’t know anything” position.  This shows respect and you might find out that I actually DO know what I’m talking about.  Heck, you might even learn something about your area of expertise as a result.
  2. Listen.  I know, I know.  Trite.  But yet so true.  You have to listen to me.  Which means that you can’t be talking at the same time or trying to tell me something about anything other than what I am asking you to address.  It’s kinda’ funny that I’m saying this, for with legal-related issues, I know that I tend to ask questions about what appear to be unrelated topics.  But if you have to ask a question that makes it sound like you’ve not been listening and are just going through a checklist, explain the reason for the question.
  3. Respond to what I’m asking.  If I ask “What’s your lowest APR available today?” – don’t tell me the benefits of your company.  Tell me the lowest APR.  If I say “I want to buy THIS computer.” please don’t try to sell me something different.  And if I ask “Can I use any receptacle for my outdoor plugs or do I need a GFCI plug?” don’t provide me with the history of the discovery of electricity.  Answer the friggin’ question.
  4. I don’t need to know how smart you are.  I’m already coming to you for your knowledge.  You don’t need to prove that you know more about the topic than I do.  You simply need to apply that knowledge to solve my problem.  I admit that I stumble on this one as a consultant all the time.  I forget that they already know I’m an expert and I sometimes feel the need to prove it.  Don’t.
  5. Answering “I don’t know” to my question is fine – so long as you follow it with “but I’ll go find out for you.”  Nuff said.
Anything I’ve left out?


A few years ago, I blogged, asking for the secret password to get past Tier 0-level customer service “technicians”.  In fact, I’d even really forgotten about posting this request until I was revamping the site for my current return after a year+ hiatus.

Randall Munroe over at xkcd, as usual, read my mind:

Oh, and if you don’t understand the shibboleth reference, watch this clip from my favorite TV show, The West Wing (sorry, couldn’t embed).

My kingdom for a seat

I’m flying a lot these days for work. I actually love to travel – and even love the “airport experience”. So it’s not the huge inconvenience that others find it to be. When I started traveling more, I purposefully chose Delta to be my air carrier of choice. I wanted to rack up frequent flyer miles and eventually achieve “status” – that little thing that helps get you upgrades and other perks for being seen as a truly “frequent” flyer.

Sho’ nuff, it only took a few months before I’d reached Gold Medallion status. This is the second of four tiers in the Delta Medallion program. I’ve got nothing on the folks who have Platinum or Diamond status, but getting a first-class upgrade every now and again is pretty nice. But it doesn’t always happen, and it surely doesn’t happen on planes where there is no first class, such as my flight the other day returning from St. Louis.
The plane was a CRJ-50. If you’ve ever been on one, you’d know. People over 6′ tall have to stoop to walk the aisle. People more than 2′ wide have to virtually walk sideways. The seats are all leather, which I suppose is alright… but they’re not exactly made for large individuals, either. It was with extreme fear that I saw a large gentleman moving towards my row and a confirmation of that fear as he pointed to the window seat next to me.
These days, that’s the indicator that you (the person in the aisle seat) has to move to make way. No “hey, I’m sitting there, can you please move?” or “Hi – looks like I have the seat next to you.” Rather – it’s just a point and a grunt. But ok. Whatever. I can understand traveler sign language (TSL).
As I stood up, I dropped the armrest between the seats. This is also TSL – it means: you stay on your side of the row and I’ll stay on mine. Or, in other words: DON’T TOUCH ME. I knew we were going to have a problem as he lifted it out of the way as he moved into his seat.
Actually, he didn’t have a choice. He was now using 100% of his seat… and 25% of mine. Ugh. This was going to suck. 2.25 hours from St. Louis to Raleigh. I wanted to move – and I thought about going up to the flight attendant and suggesting that I should get 100% of my seat for the price I paid for it. But remember those small aisles? Well, between the other passengers boarding and my desire to get home quickly, I simply didn’t want to make a stink. God knows that the person who complains is more likely to find themselves a guest of the TSA for a little while.
So I kept my seat – leaning into the aisle the whole trip home. I was getting more and more pissed off at each passing moment. Upon arrival at RDU, I found the gate agent and asked for the Station Manager. This is the person who has ultimate control of all things airline-related at your particular terminal. The gate agent informed me that the Station Manager wasn’t present (it was, after all, 9:30pm), but that they were a red-vest and could handle whatever issue I threw at them.
I said “ok” fine – I wanted compensation for the trip as a result of not getting the full seat that I’d paid for. I was forceful, but calm. Direct but not demanding. I simply indicated that I didn’t believe that I should have to pay for a full seat when I didn’t get one.
RedVest’s first response was that I should’ve let someone know before leaving STL.
“Wait. It’s MY responsibility to tell you when I clearly don’t have my seat to myself?”, I asked.
Well, he said… sorta’. He explained that I should’ve asked the flight attendant to reseat me and that had they been unable to do so, that they would’ve asked the other passenger to get off the plane or buy a second seat.
I was nonplussed. I again suggested compensation. RedVest offered a $50 travel voucher. I demurred and suggested that there was a) more that he could do for me; and, b) that I wasn’t going to leave until he was able to do something more – as I knew that while he suggested I call Delta Customer Service when I got home, that leaving the airport was giving up leverage. So I stayed put and started talking with him in a more collegial tone. Commiserating about the crowds, stupid travelers, “real” problems, etcetera.
Finally, he asked to look up my account to see what he could offer. I was a little shocked (though I shouldn’t have been) at the amount of data he had access to about me. He asked if I was going to be taking any more flights in the near future and I said I was, but I hadn’t booked them yet. So he pondered his navel for a little while and then suggested that he could offer me some frequent flyer miles.
In the Delta system, there are two types of miles. Miles you can use to redeem for future stuff… and miles that count towards your Medallion status level. I, as you can imagine, am not really interested in redeeming miles for more time on airplanes. So I asked him in a good natured way whether they were Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM’s) – their official term for the “good” miles. He gently laughed in commiseration with my assessment of the situation as he indicated that they weren’t. Bummer.
Again, he went back to contemplating the nature of the universe and suggested that well, perhaps he could do miles plus something else. “Like what?”, I asked. He then told me that he could do a one-way class upgrade that I could redeem for any future flight – guarantying a first-class seat when my normal status didn’t/can’t get it for me (such as on virtually any flight from Atlanta). OK, now we’re getting somewhere.
So I said, ok… let’s do a package. Make it work for me. And he proceeded to print out the materials granting me the one-way upgrade.
Then we turned back to the miles. He offered 5,000. I said come on… how many miles does it take, at minimum, to get somewhere? 25,000. Right… so 5,000 gets me what? Nothing. He responded, ok… how about 7,500. I paused and said, point blank “We need to hit 5 digits. You can do 10,000.”
It was his turn to pause. “OK… 10,000. But I can’t do anymore.” He printed out the card granting me the 10,000 miles (which I think we’re going to use to go to London… but that’s a story for another day).
Right as he handed it to me, I said, “OK… now we can do that $50 travel voucher.”
He was taken aback. “What? I can’t do that.”
“Sure you can… we were talking about a package. I just spent 2.25 hours leaning into the aisle, getting hit by the flight attendant EVERY SINGLE TIME SHE WALKED BY. You can do the voucher. Give me the package.”, I said, almost invoking the Jerry Maguire “Show me the money.” tone.
And as it was printing, RedVest lamented that he was going to get a call about it in the morning. As I walked away, thanking him for his help, I just told him to tell his boss that he was dealing with a professional negotiator.
What I think I really need is a tagline I can say after I’ve gotten my way. “You’ve been negotiated…” just sounds too cheesy.

More on Apple and customer service

About 2 years ago, I wrote a story about getting my PowerBook G4 fixed as a result of a hinge problem. At the time, I was indignant that Apple had a known defect in their product and wouldn’t repair it for me. I spent some time in the AppleStore in Durham, NC (this was before the one in Raleigh opened) trying to see if they would assist under warranty… and they didn’t. So my post was a result of my frustration at trying to get help for something I thought Apple should’ve taken care of, yet didn’t.

However, I didn’t lose my cool at the AppleStore, on the phone with Apple or anywhere else. If anything, I was mostly upset with myself and sad that I was going to have to pay a few hundred dollars for something I knew I was going to replace relatively soon.

Today I saw a post on Gizmodo about another guy who “Lost his S#?!” at the AppleStore in DC. It linked to a comic he wrote about the experience. (The comic is safe, but the comments afterwards are a little NSFW, so view this at home and away from young eyes).

Essentially, the guy had a very similar machine that I used to have… and he wanted to install a wireless card in it after purchase. He was upset that the screws on the machine weren’t “standard” (they’re TORX, which are, as you’ll see from reading the comments, standard) and that he says he had trouble finding them at various stores (which people in the comments refute). He was upset that Apple wouldn’t give him a screwdriver in the AppleStore to fix his own machine (for the same reasons that your auto mechanic won’t let you use their tools to fix your car).

He ultimately lost his cool at the AppleStore and wrote the comic as a way to vent.

Now, per my other missives above, I do understand venting. I also understand being frustrated by a situation that I believe is somehow unfair.

But I do NOT take it out on others (Tina may disagree, since she hears me at home). So let me clarify… I don’t take it out on the customer service person who really doesn’t have much control over the situation.

[Update – about 3 seconds after hitting Publish]: OK… so I realize that by posting this little story, I’m probably perpetuating something that should just die. And, as Tina reminds me (man, I really love this girl) arguing with everyone I ever disagreed with isn’t productive. Which, in turn, reminded me of one of my favorite comic artists of all time. So I’m converting this post from a semi-rant to a positive suggestion for you all to read on a regular basis. Here’s one of Randall’s drawings, completely on point.

Stolen Credit Card

I hate opening the credit card bill. Yeah, I know what’s in there – we’re pretty good about keeping track of that stuff. But I don’t like the REMINDER of what we’ve spent our money on each month. So I, in true guy fashion, let Tina open it. I rationalize that since she pays the bills, she can review it – besides, if I charged something I didn’t tell her about, she’ll come to me, never worry about that.

But I knew this month was going to be unusually bad – vacations and work trips, etc. So I hesitantly opened it when I got home tonight. I saw all the suspects. But then a few I wasn’t expecting.

Hmmm. Ok, so the first thing I do is try to think if there was something I ordered online that I just wasn’t remembering. But I happened to also glance another line down and fail to recognize FIVE OTHER charges.

Crap. Someone’s using our card.

I’m on the phone with our credit card company in a matter of seconds. By “on the phone” I really mean “on hold”… where I sat for 20 minutes – long enough for Tina to arrive home and find me fuming on the couch.

When a customer “service” rep finally answered, it was like talking to someone who was on their first night on the phones. Now, I’m sorry, but you should know better than to put that new of a person (or that untrained of a person) on the fraud line. Not to mention the 20 minutes where I was sitting there wondering if this was the quickest response they could possibly muster for calls coming in to tell them about stolen credit cards.

So my short fuse bottomed out and I asked for a supervisor. Another 10 minutes on hold and I got a pleasant woman – who now wanted to REVERIFY my personal information. [I’ve written before about the problem I have with call processing systems and the fact that they should EASILY pass along my “personal information” to the rep… and even if they have to verify it once, they shouldn’t have to do it again.]

But I gave them the info and then explained that I had six charges that weren’t ours. I said I knew approximately where and when the card numbers were swiped based on the locations of the charges. So we systematically went through them all. Then we canceled the current card and had a new set express shipped.

Next up? Calling the police in the location where the cards were used. Long story short, I have a feeling that the thief is getting a visit from the local PD tonight. Serves them right – for being so stupid as to use the credit cards to pay their bills – charges that have their name associated with each charge. Phone, electricity, cable, insurance, and the obligatory Rent-A-Center charge. What a dumbass.

But hey, at least the credit card company has already credited our account. And yes, for those of you paying attention, Apple now knows to bill another account so that I still get my MBP on time. 😉

However, all of this is a real pain. I still have at least 2 other recurring charges I have to manage to track down and change. I still have to follow up with the po-po in the next few days… and I have to research the civil laws of the state where the fraud actually happened to see if I have any recourse other than to assist their prosecutor in a criminal case.

What a waste of a Friday night.

Tired of Bad Service

In the last 48 hours, I’ve had two more instances of really bad customer service. I don’t know what’s going on, but service people must be trained to treat their customers like idiots, or push back just to make the bulk of them go away. I’m not going to tolerate either.

[A quick note: I was a Network Admin in a former life and I’m still very comfortable with technology and poking around to try to make things work.]

First was Vonage. I’ve had the VoIP service now for almost two years. Generally speaking, I’ve enjoyed it and it’s worked pretty flawlessly. But lately, I’ve had problems with dropped calls and “missing” dialtone. I’ve rebooted the Vonage “phone adapter”, reconfigured my network, even tried new phones. I’m also not using any interior home phone wiring (which can mess things up if not done correctly). Everything on the network is fairly new, too. At this point, I decided it was time to contact Vonage for assistance.

Their customer service site doesn’t include a phone number. You have to fill out a website form and click submit to wait for someone to respond. It’s pretty thorough, asking all sorts of questions about configurations, setup, model number, etc. So I was hopeful of a good response.

This wasn’t was I was hoping for:

Subject: [ #9236055] Other

Dear Jeffrey I. Gordon,

Thank you for contacting Customer Care.

We understand from your email that you are experiencing issue with call drop.

We apologize for any inconvenience may have been caused.

We recommend you to perform the steps given below to resolve your issue:

1. Simplify the configuration (Remove any routers, hubs, switches, or home wiring).

2. Please ensure that your devices are well ventilated and clear of any other devices that could cause interference.

3. If you use a Surge Protector, swap it out. If you aren’t using one, we suggest you to purchase one.

4. Make sure that you are using a DOCSIS 1.1 or later modem.

5. We request you to reboot all your devices by following the steps in the web link given below:

6. Check whether all wires and connections are solid and free of damages.

We hope these troubleshooting steps would assist you in resolving the issue. If you still experience the same issue then please revert to us with the following information so that we will try our extreme effort to resolve the issue soon.

We need you to run following tests on your side and send results to us via attachments.

1) THE BANDWIDTH TEST: Please run these test when the computer is connected directly to the modem and also when it is connected to the Vonage router. Please give both the results.

The bandwidth tests help us to ensure you are getting enough Upstream and Downstream bandwidth to use the Vonage service. Please click on UPLOAD SPEED TEST, then click on SMART TEST.

2) TRACE ROUTE (TRACERT): Trace Route is a utility that records the route through the Internet between your computer and a specified destination computer. It also calculates and displays the amount of time each hop took. Trace route is a handy tool both for understanding where problems are in the Internet network and for getting a detailed sense of the Internet itself. To run a trace route,

Click on START –> RUN
Type in CMD (For older windows versions, type in COMMAND)
Type the command tracert

3) Please let us know whether the phones are connected directly to the router or to the home wiring.

4) Please give us the vendor name and model number of all the devices that is connected in your network.

5) Please let us know how have you connected all the devices.

If you have any questions now or in the future Vonage Customer Care is eager to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit our help center at or send us an email from our Contact Us page at You can also call us Toll Free at: 1-VONAGE-HELP 1-866-243-4357.


Vonage Customer Care

> [ – Wed Jan 03 15:54:49 2007]:
> Phone Adapter:
> Linksys RT31P2
> ISP:
> Time Warner
> Router Make and Model:
> Motorola S85101
> Telephone Make and Model:
> Motorola MD7081
> Description of Network:
> Wall -> Router -> Phone Adapter -> Computers & Phone
> Description of Problem:
> I’m having random issues with the phone adaptor dropping calls.

So, you can first see that while they appeared to have read the subject line of my message, they never read any of the information that they actually already requested I send them.

I responded with a rather curt e-mail to each of their questions, mostly pointing them to where I’d already answered their questions and then repeating my request for more substantial assistance. Their subsequent response was to change the port on the adapter. Still doesn’t work. I guess I’m going to use that phone number they provided. Hopefully it’ll yield better results, but I’m not full of a lot of hope.

Generally speaking, I have found that technical support assumes that the customer is a complete moron. I mentioned earlier that I was formerly a Network Admin not to sound cool, but to indicate that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to technology. So going down a flowchart of “possible” problems doesn’t amuse me when I’ve already tried them all and I’m looking for some serious help.

My experience in the last day with eBay is a prime example. I’ve been an eBay user, according to my profile page, since March 3, 1999 and I have a feedback rating of 195. So I’m not exactly a newbie with respects to the ins and outs of eBay. I noticed the other day, however, that I wasn’t seeing all of my auctions won on the “My eBay” page. Regardless of the setting (whether I looked for those completed last week, last month, etc, I would always be missing at least two of the auctions. So, being the geek that I am, I tried different configurations (as stated before), different browsers (Safari and Firefox), even different computers and underlying operating systems (Macs and PCs). Heck, I even tried once from the Apple Store to see if somehow some old setting was blocking things. Alas, I finally sucumbed to sending a request for help to eBay.

Again, like Vonage, there’s not an immediate way to call… you have to use their form.

Subject: My eBay isn’t working correctly
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2007 19:23:55 PST

My Account, Registration, and Password > My eBay for bidding, billing, or selling > My eBay isn’t working correctly

Message: Hi! In the last few days, I’ve noticed that My eBay seems to not be working correctly. It’s not listing all of the items I’ve won (for example, items 190066036927 and 300066082398 are missing from the list, as well as several others).

Additionally, I received an e-mail notice today about a relisted item that I had neither bid on nor watched. I get the feeling that somehow “My eBay” isn’t quite tracking things properly.

Please help. (Oh, FYI, I’m on a Mac, using both Safari and Firefox and I’ve had this problem with both… and it shows up while using a PC and Internet Explorer, too).

Thank you!


I have to admit, eBay was quick to respond:

Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2007 20:48:34 -0800
Subject: Re: GS=C00315 My eBay isn’t working correctly [#US ?01 ] (KMM66898596V45289L0KM)
From: eBay Customer Support

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the items you won not appearing
in your My eBay.

In this case, please make sure that you are viewing the correct time
period for items sold in the “Won” section. I see that the viewing time
period for items is currently set to “Last week (Dec 24)”. This means
that the “Won” section will only display your transactions for the last
week. This can be easily corrected.

1. Click the “My eBay” tab located at the top of most eBay pages. You
may be asked to sign in.
2. Click the “Won” link on the left side of the page.
3. In the “Period” drop-down list to the right, click the down arrow and
select the period of time that covers the items that you’re looking for.

Make sure you’re viewing the correct time period for the item in
question. For example, if you sold an item 35 days ago, it won’t appear
if you are only viewing items that you sold in the last 31 days.
Currently, the longest period of time you can search is 60 days.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay.

Vincent K.

eBay Customer Support

But again, the response was essentially “you’re an idiot… change the settings and all will be hunky-dory”.

I’m tired of this kind of crappy, Tier 0 response. I wish there was a way to indicate to the customer support agent that you’ve got some level of technical training. A password or secret handshake that would let them know that you’ve got things setup correctly, tried all of the standard technical support procedures, and that you’re only calling because you’ve really hit a dead end. This password would bump you automatically to a second or third tier of support… heck, even Disney does this in a way that’s not offensive to everyone else [their call processing system simply asks whether you’ve visited recently, and if so, more than x number of times in the last specific time period – based on that, they route you to an agent ready to treat you with a commensurate level of care. People who are newbies get a LOT of suggestions and help in terms of planning and explanation. People who are experienced get great service, but it’s not tempered at all, and they make suggestions with the understanding that you’ve probably already “been there and done that”.]

Anyone wanna’ let me know the password?