a long "chat"

 

See blog entry for January 12, 2009 for an explanation of this chat.
[14:09:30]
info: queue_cmd:1:0:2
[14:09:32]
info: Hi, my name is Michael M. Welcome to XXXXXX!
[14:09:44]
Michael Goldhaber: Type your response here and press Return to send it…
[14:09:54]
Michael M: Hi, Michael
[14:09:57]
Michael M: I see your message
[14:10:09]
Michael M: It sounds like you’ve got a renewal already scheduled
[14:10:15]
Michael M: but it is still reminding you to renew.
[14:10:35]
Michael Goldhaber: Yes. so why is my credit card about to be billed again?
[14:10:36]
Michael M: I’m sorry to hear this is happening, and I can certainly understand the confusion it could cause.
[14:10:53]
Michael M: Let me take a look at your account, it probably isn’t supposed to be getting billed again.
[14:10:58]
Michael Goldhaber: Can you fix this?
[14:11:38]
Michael M: I see that you’ve got a renewal schedule to happen at the end of your trial period on January 19th.
[14:12:00]
Michael M: I see the [code number I was given for renewal] present. There should be no problems, you must’ve been sent that email in error.
[14:12:20]
Michael M: Just to make certain, I will check for any duplicate accounts that may still be in effect.
[14:13:22]
Michael Goldhaber: then can you please send me another e-mail indicating I will not be charged, and can you make sure that no charge goes through?
[14:13:55]
Michael M: No, I cannot send you an email, but you can get a copy of this chat as confirmation of what I’ve said.
[14:14:10]
Michael M: I do not see any duplicate accounts under your name.
[14:14:11]
Michael Goldhaber: and why doesn’t spelling correction work on this chat box?
[14:14:42]
Michael M: So that email was sent in error and I apologize for any confusion it has caused you.
[14:14:49]
Michael Goldhaber: Can you make sure my credit card is not charged again
[14:14:56]
Michael M: Your account is set to renew automatically using the activation key you provided.
[14:15:12]
Michael M: Here is something you can do to prevent that from happening if my word is not assurance enough.
[14:15:15]
Michael M: Login at:
[14:15:24]
Michael M: http://XXXXXXXX
[14:15:46]
Michael M: No, nevermind
[14:15:56]
Michael M: this is a trial account and you cannot turn off automatic renewal.
[14:16:24]
Michael M: Suffice to say, you’ve used your [code number] and that has been set up on hold to activate on January 19th.
[14:16:25]
Michael Goldhaber: Why is this set up so dumbly?
[14:16:33]
Michael M: Your credit card should not be charged.
[14:16:58]
Michael M: You were sent that email in error, Michael.
[14:17:16]
Michael M: The reason why it is setup the way it is setup
[14:17:18]
Michael Goldhaber: Can I have a confirmation number or your first and last names and location to verify this?
[14:17:25]
Michael M: is because it used to be that people adding their [code number]
[14:17:34]
Michael M: would just lose the rest of their trial period.
[14:17:50]
Michael M: Instead, they’ve now set it up so that when you enter the activation key
[14:17:59]
Michael M: it lets you continue through the remainder of your activation period
[14:18:11]
Michael M: pardon me, it lets you continue through the remainder of your trial period
[14:18:21]
Michael M: and doesn’t use the [code number] until your trial period is over.
[14:18:36]
Michael M: However, the trigger that sends out the email reminding people that their trial period is almost over
[14:18:45]
Michael M: still activates and sends that email.
[14:19:23]
Michael M: I apologize for the inconvenience, but you needn’t worry, your card will not be billed. The activation key you have already used will activate.
[14:20:02]
Michael Goldhaber: It shouldn’t be set up that way. can’t your programmers figure that out? I still would like some confirmation of this
[14:20:07]
Michael M: For confirmation, you can get a copy of this chat emailed to you…
[14:20:14]
Michael M: When you leave this chat you will have an option to email a transcript of this chat to yourself as well as leave us a little feedback about your experience chatting with me today.
[14:20:29]
Michael M: If you are anything but satisfied with how I handled things, please tell me now, I’ll be happy to see what I can do.
[14:20:36]
Michael M: The overall feedback given in that survey will only affect how my managers view my performance and are not for XXXXXX in general.
[14:21:09]
Michael M: If you’d like to leave feedback for XXXXX in general:
[14:21:19]
Michael M: http:XXXXXXX
[14:21:28]
Michael M: I can certainly appreciate your concerns.
[14:22:29]
Michael M: There is another option, if you like I can cancel your renewal and your account for you. This would allow you to reactivate this account today if you like.
[14:22:49]
Michael Goldhaber: I would like either a confirmation number for this, or your full name and location. When someone promises something, that promise is not much good without such detiais.
[14:22:52]
Michael M: Do you still have the activation key?
[14:24:05]
Michael Goldhaber: NO!! Why should i be penalized because of XXXXXXXs inefficincy?
[14:24:45]
Michael M: If you do not have it that is okay, I can get it for you if you like. I would just have to verify some information.
[14:25:17]
Michael Goldhaber: I have my [code number] somewhere, but I’d have to hunt for it. Please do not cancel my account. that would mess up all my files, etc. YOu do ont seem to understand what I am asking for.
[14:26:00]
Michael M: My understanding is that you are concerned that your account will renew and charge your credit card on January 19th, is that correct?
[14:26:56]
Michael M: If you want assurance in an email, I can ask my supervisor to send you one, Michael, would that be alright?
[14:28:12]
Michael M: Where would you like that email sent, Michael?
[14:28:40]
Michael M: Michael, it has been sometime since I have heard from you. Are you still there?
[14:28:50]
Michael Goldhaber: Yes, and I want confirmation that that will not happen, without my having to redo anything. I do not want my account cancelled. That is an idiotic way to deal withthis. I wnat someeone’s personal assurance.. YOur supervisor would do, If I have first and last name and location.That is how business is conducted.Send e-mail to YYYYY
[14:29:17]
Michael M: Sure, one moment, please. I will ask them to send it to that address.
[14:29:55]
Michael M: I was trying to provide you with alternatives, Michael, so that you wouldn’t have to wait until January 19th.
[14:30:25]
Michael M: Stand by for that email.
[14:30:43]
Michael Goldhaber: they were not suitable alternatives to a simple confirmation of what you said
[14:31:06]
Michael M: That email has been sent.
[14:31:27]
Michael M: If you are anything but satisfied with how I handled things, please tell me now, I’ll be happy to see what I can do.
[14:32:42]
Michael Goldhaber: I sitll do n ot ahve a first and last name of a real person. YOu have my name. why cannot I have a name so that we are operating on an equal footing? /alternatively a confirmation number of this exchange would suffice.
[14:33:20]
Michael M: There should be a number on the email, Michael. Have you received the email yet?
[14:34:13]
Michael Goldhaber: yes, but I don’t see a specific number on the e-amil. Where is it supposed to be?
[14:35:19]
Michael M: That email was sent by my supervisor, Jamal. If you have trouble with your renewal you can respond to that email and he will be able to help you.
[14:36:27]
Michael M: You now have been given the ability to respond directly to the person making the assurance. You will be able to reach them directly should you need to.
[14:36:36]
Michael Goldhaber: Jamal???? there might be a hundred Jamals. This is not a reasonable way to do business involving payments. It may not be your fault that this is so frsutrating, but you are not helping.
[14:37:19]
Michael M: You have the ability to reach him directly via email, Michael. I am doing my best to help you.
[14:37:58]
Michael M: Since you would only be able to get to us via chat, my first an last name would be of no use as when you attempted to reach me I would either not be here, or on chat with a customer.
[14:37:58]
Michael Goldhaber: That is no help. I want something that cna stand up if I ahve to deal with my credit card compnay. an e-amil address does nt do it.
[14:39:03]
Michael M: The sender of that email also went into your account and disabled the auto-renewal that would charge your credit card.
[14:39:16]
Michael M: You will not need to talk to your credit card company about this
[14:39:27]
Michael M: as you will not be charged. Your activation key will be used.
[14:41:04]
Michael Goldhaber: There is a law of contracts. contracts do not work on a first name basis. this is a financial transaction, in this case a warranty. It is of no use without specific personal data. Doesn’t anyone there know anything about law?
[14:42:20]
Michael M: I do. I studied it once or twice. This chat serves as a legal document. A transcript of this chat serves as record of this conversation taking place and the assurances made therein.
[14:42:33]
Michael M: The assurances are made by XXXXXXX.
[14:43:37]
Michael M: And is the entity I represent in this conversation.
[14:44:46]
Michael M: I am going to transfer you to a specialist here at XXXXXX, her name is Kathy. Take care, Michael.
[14:45:14]
info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to Kathy J..
[14:45:15]
info: Hi, my name is Kathy J.. Welcome to XXXXXXXX!
[14:45:26]
Kathy J.: Hello Michael,
[14:45:33]
Michael Goldhaber: Everyone else I deal with over the Internet or by phone provides either a confirmation number or a disinguishing name and location at the very least.
[14:45:44]
Kathy J.: Kathy here from the XXXXXXXXX Specialist team.
[14:46:24]
Michael Goldhaber: Helllo. Are you goigon to provide me witha confirmation number or a name and location for this conversation? it has gone onl too log already. stonewllaling is not a solutin
[14:46:47]
Kathy J.: Have you received an email from Jamal?
[14:47:14]
Kathy J.: You will be able to request a copy of this chat at the end.
[14:47:19]
Michael Goldhaber: Yes. Jamal who where? what confrimation nunmber?
[14:48:03]
Kathy J.: I will locate the number of the request that Jamal has already sent.
[14:48:04]
Michael Goldhaber: Let’s not go that route again. Why can you not supply some identifying nubmer , etc/ Everyone else does.
[14:48:18]
Kathy J.: One moment please.
[14:48:42]
Kathy J.: My agent id is [OMITTTED by me]
[14:49:32]
Michael Goldhaber: Thanks. do you verify the prior assurances? that is all I need.
[14:49:33]
Kathy J.: From [place name]
[14:50:07]
Kathy J.: Yes Michael, I have examined the account and verify that your account will renew with a [code number].
[14:51:16]
Michael Goldhaber: That is not quite it. It will renew with the [code number] I have already supplied, and my credit card will not be billed again on January 19, nor for a year. that’s the gist.
[14:53:19]
Kathy J.: There is an activation key on the account, “YYYYYYY”.  [Number]. It will renew on January 20, 2009 for one year.  I do verify that.
[14:54:24]
Michael Goldhaber: …And my credit card will not be charged until 2010… that was the whole point of this “chat”
[14:54:36]
Kathy J.: Your credit card shouldn’t be charged for that transaction.
[14:55:23]
Michael Goldhaber: How about “won’t” instead of “shouldn’t”?
[14:56:37]
Kathy J.: Your credit card won’t be charged for that transaction.
[14:56:50]
Michael Goldhaber: Fine. Enough
[14:57:07]
Kathy J.: Have I answered all of your questions today?
[14:58:15]
Michael Goldhaber: Eventually, yes, except not why this was so excruciating. What I wanted is just what anyone would want in such a situation.
[14:59:48]
Kathy J.: I do apologize for the frustration of this conversation.  I agree that you have a right to know who you are speaking with.  Our agents also have to be protected as well, but your request is reasonable.
[15:00:15]
Kathy J.: Thank you for chatting with us.  We value your feedback.  Please click the blue “Close” button at top left to answer a few questions about your experience with us today.
[15:02:24]
Michael Goldhaber: An agent number, which I didn’t happen to think of asking is perfectly suitable. but as a customer of many years standing (17)I don’t see why agents need to be protected from me. When you go into a store, the clerks wear id’s. you could even take their picture.

[When the dialogue was finally over, I answered some survey questions, but never saw how to request this promised chat e-mail. I had to request it by e-mail, which I could  do only because I had been obstreperous enough to demand an earlier e-mail be sent to me, which, as you can see, took quite a bit of prodding.  Fortunately that worked. Many people would lose the dialogue before realizing it and would not have the recourse I had because I was pushing the envelope.]

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