Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bad product & company rant

I've had bad experiences recently with the service from a Northwest company and a product from an international company, so I'm going to rant against both.

Rant No. 1: MS Glass, which does automobile glass replacement in the Portland and Seattle markets. I have a crack in my windshield, so I called my insurance company to get it fixed. As insurance companies don't give referrals, I found MS Glass in the phone book.

My insurance company informed me they weren't a "preferred provider," but that usually tells me they're not willing to play the insurance company's games, which is a good thing. They were willing to take my insurance company's money, so I made an appointment for them to come to me.

The appointment was during a block of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which is annoying but unavoidable, it seems. As my time block wore on, however, it became apparent that their technician would show up at the last possible minute, thus forcing me to waste even more of my day.

As it turns out, that was wrong. The end of the time block came and went, and no one showed or called. So, I called at 1:01 and told them they'd missed their window and I couldn't wait, but I would call them later.

To their credit, they called the next day to ask if I still needed their services. Instead of answering, I asked what happened, and the girl I spoke to said, "We were slammed yesterday, but there was someone on their way to you when you called. After all, we said we'd be there between 10 and 1, so they could have shown up at 1."

Except for the fact that you weren't here at 1, I told her, so I won't be using your services. (And, I thought to myself, I'm sure there was someone just around the corner.)

Her response? She sounded like she couldn't have cared less. Like she was in the middle of painting her nails, and needed to get off the phone so she could lay down a second coat.

I followed up with an email asking for the name of the manager, but haven't received a response.

So, dear folks at MS Glass: if you can't make an appointment, you call and let the person know. If you blow it, you don't act like it's irrelevant. And when that customer emails to ask for the name of the manager, you don't ignore the email.

Maybe there's a reason you're not a "preferred provider."

Rant No. 2: Timex. Many months ago, I went to Costco and bought my wife an alarm clock/CD player made by Timex. Fairly quickly, we discovered several flaws in the clock -- the radio reception was virtually non-existent, and to label the means of setting the time as "a hassle" would be generous -- and should have returned it. But, it was one of those things that never rose high enough on the priority list.

Jump forward to this Spring, and the US Congress makes a change to the start of Daylight Savings Time. This is a problem in the alarm clock, which is preset to change the time on the old DST date. Remember, changing the time is a hassle. Well, add to that the fact that changing the time early still doesn't solve the preset change (which, admittedly, is an issue not of Timex's making), and the fact that suddenly the clock spontaneously changes in and out of DST, and we have a problem. The missus might be getting up on time, an hour early or an hour late, the explanation of which doesn't go over well with her employer.

I went to Timex's website, hoping for some idea of what to do, and quickly discovered that Timex's focus is overwhelming on watches. This page represents the entirety of the company's information on clocks, and this page doesn't seem to have any downloadable information on clocks.

So, maybe Timex makes good watches, but I would not recommend buying their clocks.

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  • At 4/09/2007 8:11 PM, Blogger Doc M, phd said…

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I too have had some crap experiences with local companies and blog about some of them.

    As for auto glass referals....my insurance company took care of EVERYTHING for me. I called a 1-800 number and they arrainged to have someone come to my work and take care of it.

    Maybe you should be shopping for another car insurance company....


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