My email to a Popular Scrapbooking Magazine:
I'm very, very frustrated with your online subscription service. I moved six months ago and changed my shipping address at that time. For the past six months I've been receiving Scrapbooking Etc at my current address, no problem. This past month I didn't receive my magazine so I checked your online subscription service using my account #. Turns out it expired (this surprised me) but the address on the page was my old address.
I renewed my subscription using MY CURRENT ADDRESS. When I received notification of renewal, it was for MY OLD ADDRESS!! I tried to change the address- yet again- and the site wouldn't let me because I just renewed today. SO, my magazine will go to my OLD ADDRESS when I'm not there. I called the help number and they were USELESS. I found this email address by going through an old magazine.
I've wasted a good part of my morning trying to solve this problem. In this day and age, I think it shouldn't be so difficult. I'm very disappointed with your website.
Please respond with an answer to this problem.
Okay, it's not life or death but I was so frustrated. I'd changed my addresses for all my subscriptions when I moved so I don't understand how my old address was still on my account. Do they have gremlins?
I sent this email after I called their toll free number. Right up front I want to say, I know many people who work at call centers. They put up with verbal abuse on a daily basis: my brother worked for Microsoft. Sweet Mother of Vista, he has stories! I could never understand how people could be so angry about something as unimportant as, say, a magazine subscription. By the time you get to that point, you've already exhausted all your own options in a endless line of frustration. Really, if I could have solved this myself I would have.
When I called the number, I got their automated answering service. The automated lady didn't recognize my swear words as an account number. The actual person who answered sounded like she wanted to answer this call as much as I wanted to make it. She told me what I already knew and to call back next week. I did not swear. I did not yell. I did grumble "...supposed to be easy...grumble...took all morning...grumble...Goodbye."
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right? That's what they keep telling us. But is life easier if you can take a cell phone on vacation? Your job can follow you to Timbuktu and back. I love technology (hello, I'm blogging here!)but this got me thinking this morning. I tried to think of some recent technology that hasn't complicated our lives. I came up with the washing machine. But wait... Before washing machines, we had less clothing and we took better care of it because Mom was not going to beat your undies against the rocks in the river everyday, darn it, so you better keep them clean! We didn't have an endless sea of laundry detergent full of chemicals. We didn't use near as much water. I won't blame the Maytag repairman for all the woes of the planet but he's got his hand in it somewhere.
And life is so fast! Even where I am, where if life was anymore laid back we'd be in comas, there's a change. People drive faster and have less patience. I'm bad for that myself. Long lines at the grocery store make me nuts!
So Chris, what is your point other than to rant endlessly. I'm getting to it. Michelle (Scribbit) is hosting her Write Away contest, "The Next 20 Years." I'm sure there will be lovely, well-written contributions on people's great expectations for the future. I'm entering this diatribe. I will not end on a Margaret-Atwood-technology-run-amuck-
where-Paris-Hilton-is-Supreme-Overlord note though. No! I'm hoping that in 20 years my kid & her family will look back on this era, shake their heads, and say, "No wonder they were all so stressed out, look at the world they created. Thank goodness we knew better and slowed down."
Tomorrow, I'm going to start a movement...Tomorrow. Sure, as soon as the internet closes.