thinkgeek.com – the ultimate customer service organisation

On Monday evening, I cannot resist the urge to purchase a few things online from thinkgeek.com. Slogan teeshirts, Star Trek lapel pins, you get the idea. Tragic, I know.

After three days of correspondence, this is the email I’ve just sent to their customer services people. Be warned: it’s like trying to buy illegal firearms or something.

Just so you know, the other option I received was to fax my bill to them. I was also instructed that any email attachment must be less than 500kb or it would be rejected by their email system.

Not sure these dudes qualify as bona fide geeks.

Dear Christina –

1. On 15 November you ask for “A copy of a statement from a service provider or financial institution, that shows the billing address submitted during checkout.”

I send you a statement from our internet service provider with my home address on it.

2. On 17 November you say this is not acceptable. You ask for “a phone bill or other utility bill showing the same billing address as your credit card.”

I send you a statement from my mobile phone provider showing the same billing address as my credit card.

3.  On 18 November you now say this is not acceptable. You now tell me “You need to physically scan in a hardcopy of your bill or take a photo of it.”

Like many people, I do all of my banking and utility bill-paying online. I only receive bills of this nature by email. In order to purchase some sci-fi trinkets from you, are you seriously asking me to:

  • Go online to my electricity/gas/phone provider’s website;
  • Save a recent bill to my hard drive;
  • Print it out (perhaps I should do it in colour to make it look more “genuine”?);
  • Scan or photograph it back into electronic format just so it looks even more genuine;
  • Attach it to an email and send it to you so that you can verify my identity?

Is this what I really need to do to obtain approval for my transaction? This is a genuine question to which I expect a reply.

On a related note, why didn’t your original email back three days ago specify the explicit instructions you only found the need to share with me after two attempts on my part?

Please be kind enough to send me a non-automated response to this email. I have now spent more time trying to respond correctly to your increasingly demanding verification emails than I did shopping on your website. The stuff you sell is really not that important to me.

Yours sincerely

Mairead Doyle

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