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Poor customer service is the norm

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Due to technology, customer service is appalling. It is almost nonexistent, quickly becoming an oxymoron.

I got rid of my car over ten years ago. When I need a car, I use Zipcar. I had plans for Father’s Day. I reserved a car days ahead for Sunday. I went to pick up the car at a parking garage across from Wrigley Field. There was no car. I waited a few minutes, thinking whoever had it was stuck in traffic. No car.

I called customer service. I was on hold for over one-half hour. Worse, they told me the previous driver could not get in the garage, so they directed them to another parking garage, about a mile away. I inquired how I was supposed to get there. My choice was to go pick up the car or cancel. Then I got the usual meaningless scripted apologies and a free hour added to my trip.

I hailed a cab. Due to the pending game, the taxi had to go north, then further east than the garage because of the Pride Festival. Time was not on my side. I had to pick up my daughter, and we had plans.

It only got worse. When I arrived at the other parking garage, it was locked. You needed a card or a parking ticket stub to scan. I tried calling customer service again and was put on hold. Several minutes later, a group of people arrived to retrieve their car and let me in. Now, I had to spend more time searching for my rental.

I found it. To add to my frustration and misery, I could not leave the garage without paying. After several minutes I found the parking stub the previous driver ever so courteously left behind. It cost me $38.00. The cab ride was $12.00. I am out fifty bucks due to a schmuck who could not figure out how to navigate Wrigleyville on a game day and lousy customer service. Plus, I was an hour late picking up my daughter.

We spent the rest of the afternoon together. When I had a chance in the evening, I called customer service again. After another half hour on hold, I expressed my grievance. Once again, I got the meaningless scripted apology and a $50.00 credit off my next rental. I told the person there might never be the next rental as I may unsubscribe from their service.

The next day I spent some time searching the company website to file a written grievance. They do not make it easy. After about 45 minutes, I found the link. I wrote out in detail what occurred and my dissatisfaction.

Yesterday I received not one but two surveys about my rental. They were all negative. I still have not received a reply to my written grievance.

I was not going to write about this, but after no response, I figure Zipcar deserves my public derision. If I do not hear from them by tomorrow, I will file a complaint with the city. If they can frustrate me and almost ruin Father’s Day, I can cause them some grief. They will have to spend time, which is money, to reply to the city promptly.

This is not the first time I had issues with tech companies’ customer service. It was the worst.

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