Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thank-you, come again!

It's only fitting that I blog about my first Rogers Wireless customer service experience from my new HTC Magic phone. Which I love by the way. I love it so much, I told my mother that we weren't going to bother with kids, since we already have cats and a couple really sweet handsets. She seemed strangely OK with that...

Anyway, as I was saying, I had to call Rogers customer service because they had Sean listed as the owner of my phone. This meant, whenever I called somebody, they'd check their call display and think Sean was calling. It may not sound like a big deal, but try explaining you're not Sean 20 times a day and you get the picture.

Well Rogers has one of those high tech help lines where you have to talk to a fake person for the first few minutes before they let you talk to a real person. The dialogue sounded something like this:

Rogers: Welcome, how can I help you? Me: I need customer service. R: Did you say 'Find nearest location?' Me: No, customer service. R: Did you say 'Buy a new handset?' Me: NO! Give me Customer Service you    F*%$ing moron! R: OK, transfering you now. Have a good day!

Only you're not destined to have a good day. You're not even going to be transfered to Customer Service. It took me 3 calls and a good number of yelled swear words to realise that when the Rogers Droid transfered me, I didn't go anywhere. I would sit and listen to the same 3 ads being played over and over and over, and I would wait. And wait. And wait.

It seemed that the imaginary Rogers droid put me in 'The Angry Tank'. This is similar to a Drunk Tank, but for very angry people.

To test my theory, I resolved to call back one last time. This time, there would be no yelling, swearing or name calling. I also used my sweetest, calmest, most placating telephone voice.

This time, our conversation went a little like this; R: How can I help you? Me: I would like to speak with customer service please. R: Did you say 'customer service'? Me: Why yes I did, thank-you! R: I'll connect you right away. Thank-you for choosing Rogers.

And Lo and behold, I was connected directly to a very friendly chap in Bangalore, India who fixed my little phone problem.

Just goes to show, a little courtesy goes a long way.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Flies By

I've been having a fantastic summer. So much has happened, I think I''ll have to blog a few times to do it all justice, but since I haven't been blogging in awhile, I think I'll do a quick run down to start things off.

Let's see... way back in June, I took a week off by myself. I didn't do a whole lot, but my best friend Meghan & I did make it down to Seattle for a weekend. We ate at Palace Kitchen, a Tom Douglas restaurant (we had a starter of sauteed morel mushrooms in a bacon vinaigrette with house bread, and I had plank roasted salmon with pea sprouts and mashed potatoes. I think Meghan had some flank steak which I remember she enjoyed.) and the meal was excellent. It also had the added bonus of forcing Meghan to dress up a bit, (she looked great) which she doesn't often do (willingly). The rest of the weekend, we bummed around doing the typical touristy things, including a visit to Pike Place Market, where we discovered there are several floors below street level which I'd never seen before! We rounded off the weekend with beers in the hotel hot tub. Bliss...

July was awesome. Not only did I get to see 'Comedy of Errors' and 'All's Well That Ends Well' at Bard on the Beach, (which I look forward to every year), but I got to fulfill one of my teenage fantasies (don't worry- G-rated!). I got to see Green Day in concert. I'll have to devote a whole post to that night alone, but for now, suffice it to say they blew my fricken mind.

Back to Bard on the Beach. It's a Shakespeare festival that happens here in Vancouver every year, and consists of 4 plays staged in tents at Vanier park. When we go, we tend to arrive a couple hours early and have a nice picnic while we wait in line. The seating is general admission, so it pays to arrive early to get the best seats. So far we've seen 'Comedy of Errors', 'All's Well That Ends Well', and 'Richard II' (just tonight, actually). Next weekend we'll see 'Othello'. While All's Well and Richard were both well done, we particularly enjoyed the Comedy. In fact, I think it places in my top 3 of all time (and I've seen a fair few). It was side-splitting hilarious, utilizing amazing Elizabethan era costumes & hairdos as well as a superbly designed stage and even puppets (I love puppets!!!). Sean loved it so much he wants to go back a second time.

For the August long weekend, Sean & I were lucky enough to get away to Saltspring Island; a southern Gulf Island. Thirty years ago, it was a haven for artists and ageing hippies. Today, while you'll still find dozens of artist's studios showcasing everything from glassblowing to pottery to copperwork, there are also a number of organic farms, vineyards and (pardon me) a butt load of over-priced Bed & Breakfasts catering to the well-heeled baby-boomer crowd. We kicked up our not-so-well-heeled feet at Ruckle Provincial Park, in our trusty tent. We visited the renowned Saltspring Market where we ate (among many other things) the most delicious little coconut-apricot balls which I have vowed to replicate if it kills me. Fortunately, I have a large panel of selfless testers ready and willing to help me on my quest. As for the rest of the weekend, we mostly just relaxed and read a few books while enjoying the gorgeous (and thankfully cool) weather. We also went on a few long drives around the island and were surprised at how biologically diverse it is. I guess that explains how they manage to grow such a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, including grapes for wine, beets, lettuces, kale, peppers, plums, apples, pears, apricots and much more. We can't wait to return.

This past weekend, my friends Pam and Laurel & I did something really silly. We went on a Twilight road trip. For those of you who don't know (as I librarian, I can't imagine that anyone hasn't heard, but I digress) Twilight is a ridiculously popular teen book series by Stephenie Meyer about a clumsy 17 year old girl who falls in love with a seemingly 17-year old vegetarian vampire in the (real) town of Forks, Washington. The books are poorly written, the characters whiny, angst ridden and somewhat phony, and each tome checks in at over 500 pages. Then why, do you ask, did we wait in border lines, drive & sail for 10 hours to get to the Twilight-mecca? Because as silly as they are, we love the story SM wove, even if poorly delivered and in some parts, infinitely tedious to read. Besides, road trips rock, especially when it's just the girls. We took pics at all of the landmarks mentioned in the books, including the 'Welcome to Forks' sign shown here where we ran into 4 other cars full of people and a couple bikers also on Twilight tours. I'll have to do a separate post of our adventures (or as I should probably say; misadventures). We had a blast.

Well, there are still a few weeks left of summer, and we have plans including one more Bard production and a camping trip. The fall promises to be busy, as we have several Family birthdays in September & October, including someone (who shall of course remain nameless) who is turning THE BIG 3-0. Of course, it's not like I have any top-secret plans in the works, so I'm sure there won't be much to blog about...