Richard Powski

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To The Inept Customer Service Team I’ve Been Dealing With For The Last Week

Nearly two weeks ago, I paid several hundred dollars to Apollo Assembly (the third-party assembler used by Office Depot) with the understanding that they would assemble my newly bought desk one week from that date of purchase. It seemed a little long, but I decided I would deal with it given that I liked the desk. From then to the date of assembly, I called Apollo twice for the sole purpose of confirming my assembly, something that most customers would not even bother to do. Most customers would’ve automatically assumed that their assembly was still on schedule and if anything were to change, would expect to be contacted.

I am just not as optimistic as the average consumer. In each call, the assembly was confirmed. Just 24 hours prior to the scheduled assembly, I was told that the assemblers were on schedule to arrive the following day from the hours of 1PM to 5PM. The following day at 3PM, I called Apollo to assure that everything was still on schedule. It was only then I was told the assemblers would not be coming and that they would need to reschedule the assembly to 5/20.

I was livid. I deal with subpar customer service on a semi-regular basis, and I am never happy about it, but this time was different; I was furious. Seconds away from completely losing it, I told the agent that this was unacceptable and that this would be more than two weeks since I initially purchased the desk. The customer service agent was so inept that he could not give me any information other than the basic information provided in the work order. This level of ineptitude is unfortunately to be expected in the customer service sector, so I wasted no time with this dunce and escalated the call to management.

I was now dealing with Lynn, the manager of Apollo’s customer service division. She was no less inept than her subordinate, just more articulate; it reminded me of a chimp wearing an Armani suit.

I told her how unacceptable it was that despite contacting them twice to confirm my appointment, that it was canceled less than 24 hours with no notice whatsoever; And that they did not even have the respect and decency to inform me of the cancelation until I called them hours into the scheduled time window.

She communicated to me that she would get to the bottom of things and contact me the following day. Additionally, she said that she was going to do everything in her power to get me on the schedule before the week’s end. In the meantime, I took matters into my own hands and found an assembler that will be able to assemble my desk within 48 hours. If I were more optimistic and placed any amount of faith in Lynn’s words, I would have held off on finding another vendor. But luckily, I was pessimistic and had little to no faith in Lynn’s words, and therefore found a suitable vendor.

Sure enough, I was right to have no faith in this manager’s words. The following day, Lynn did not even have the decency to contact me until I contacted her. I already had my new appointment scheduled with the other assemblers, but at this point I was so angry that this company caused me to go without a desk for more than a week.

What Lynn told me made me twice as angry: She told me that not only would there be no way to get my desk assembled before May 20th, but that the reason my assembly was canceled was due to an ongoing computer glitch that cancels the appointments. In other words, despite me calling to confirm my appointments, something that most customers would not have even gone through the trouble to do, those confirmations meant zilch. Each time I was told that everything was confirmed, and each time those words meant nothing.

It is one thing to encounter a stupid person and be slightly inconvenienced by them; but it is another thing to be directly affected by their idiocy and to get nothing more than a “sorry” . . . Lynn, your apology is not accepted. Give me $400 (my refund plus $200) and then your apology will mean something. A refund does not set things right when a week of my time was wasted due to this company’s inability to maintain basic communication. What happened to the days when a company acknowledged their mistake and in an act of recompense, did something extra for the customer? Something beyond just the refund? These days, when a company issues a refund, they think they just provided excellent service: No, a refund is not excellent service. It is the bare minimum.

I’m sure anyone with a pulse can work at Apollo’s customer service center. The scope of their problem-solving abilities is to look at the screen in front of them and say, “I don’t know, that’s just what the computer says.” If you ask a basic question and the answer is not in front of their faces, then they will not be able to answer the question. They have no critical thinking skills. Their duties are to repeat the same corporate nonsense they have been trained to regurgitate over and over and read directly from the customer’s work orders. This is the devolution of customer service. If customer service reps cannot do anything else beyond repeating recited phrases and reading work orders to customers, why even employ them at all?

I could have received all the information that Frick and Frack gave me by reading my own work order. Beyond this, their customer service department did absolutely nothing for me except waste my time and add insult to injury with fake apologies.

Thanks for nothing, Lynn. It must be great to not solve any problems and get a paycheck.

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