TMP22: Why can’t they just say they are sorry if it’s their fault?

Most of the time, when something goes wrong and it’s obviously the fault of the company you are working with, not only is customer service pathetic, but they never do the one, simple thing they could do to make things better.

Why don’t they say, “I’m sorry. Let me fix this.” It’s easy. It’s honest. It calms everyone down. Instead of blaming customers for “misunderstanding” or tell them they have too many prescriptions for them to be bothered — especially when the entire point of the program is to help people just like me keep track of their many prescriptions — they give you endless explanations. All of which are supposed to mean it wasn’t really their fault.

One of the reasons we have so many lawsuits is that companies, hospitals, doctors et al never say they are sorry. They never make you feel like they are taking responsibility and will fix it. Half the time, a quick, honest apology salves many sores.

On Saturday, my pharmacy called and told me my prescriptions would be ready the next day, but when Owen went to get them, they didn’t have anything ready. Even though I’m supposed to be on a program where they renew things automatically (assuming there is a prescription), they forget.

Now. I get that you can forget. I also get that they get dozens of faxes from doctors daily and losing track of one isn’t difficult. I’m surprised they don’t lose more of them. But why call me to tell me prescriptions are ready if they aren’t ready?

“Oh, it’s the computer.”

WHAT? Not again!

Yup. It was the computer making an automatic phone call because the prescriptions were supposed to be ready, but weren’t. Garry’s were ready, but when Owen asked for them, they couldn’t find them. The worst part of this is that the only other pharmacy nearby is CVS. They are so much worse. Not merely do they often not have the prescription ready, but you have to stand in line for half an hour before they tell you they “can’t find it.” I get the feeling they don’t really look for them.

I finally told the lady I was sorry I got old and have a lot of prescriptions, but I count on them to keep track of when each is due because there are so many. Some are for 3-months. Some are per month. Moreover, I don’t keep everything in its original bottle because I don’t have any space to keep all those containers. I have a plastic holder with labels. I keep many of prescriptions in the holder. My medicine cabinet wasn’t roomy enough for all of them and it’s a big cabinet.

I said, “I know you are young, but unless you die early, you will get old. Getting old is what happens when you don’t die young.”

For some reason, that stopped her. Young people get so annoyed by old people who move slowly, never wondering what’s going to happen when they can’t move quickly. Maybe young people don’t think they will ever get old.

Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be nice if they would just say, “I’m sorry. I’ll fix it”?

Categories: Anecdote, Customer Service, Getting old

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. “Tuesday”? Is it Tuesday? Since I retired I don’t know what day it is anymore? And I’m really enjoying not giving a damn. I think I’ll be like Wimpy though (remember him?) and have a hamburger every Tuesday. Please post a reminder for me. I’d hate to miss out on my hamburger.


  2. It would be refreshing if the people we have to deal with would just say “I’m sorry”. once in a while but that of course would mean admitting they were in the wrong.
    I read Choice, our consumer magazine, every month. I still get a hard copy although I have an online account too. There is a letters page and it is heartening that many people write/email with stories of good customer service. Stores or manufacturers who happily repair or replace items sometimes even if they are out of warranty or send spare part free of charge if someone enquires about buying them. Those companies are smart because they are building goodwill not only with their existing customers but also the people they tell. Sadly there are also stories of those who refuse to do the right thing until they are threatened with Consumer Affairs or worse, adverse publicity.
    The lecturer I had at TAFE told us that on average people tell up to 11 others about bad customer service, far more than they talk about the good experiences. I don’t know what you are supposed to do if everyone gives bad service.
    By the way is that photo of a supermarket or a pharmacy? I was confused by seeing signs for food and consultations in the same space.


    • The pharmacy is IN a supermarket. That’s really common these days. I remember when all pharmacies were separate places, but that began to change about 25 years ago and now, almost every supermarket also has a pharmacy. I think the pharmacy is actually not run by the people who run the grocery.

      One of the really huge reasons Amazon is still in business is that they give really good service. They always have. AND all their subsidiaries give good service too. They aren’t quite as generous as they were in the beginning, but they still make it very easy to replace or fix stuff.

      While everyone is bitching about how Amazon has taken over the world, they might think about how that really happened. Sometime before that, department stores in particular pretty much eliminated the people who had been there to help us when we shopped. These were the people who could show us where the right size clothing was located, would bring us clothing they thought might fit better, and generally made shopping easy and fun. They let all of them go and had one clerk trying to run multiple counters — and let go lots of cashiers, so getting OUT of the store was downright harrowing.

      When online shopping came along, not only did we not have to drive and find a parking place, but they delivered. If it took a few days? It probably would have taken at least that much time to actually get it together to go shopping. I had been a catalog shopper before online shopping anyway, so it wasn’t a huge transition.

      The thing is, when things go well there’s not a lot to tell people. When they go badly, there’s something to talk about. I stop working with places that treat me poorly. I give most places a “three strikes, you’re out” latitude, but after that, I find somewhere else to shop. I’m paying THEM, not vice versa.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to do mail order sometimes in pre internet days but now I do buy nearly everything I need online. Online shopping is a must if you live in a small town as you know. The city department stores I used to love have closed or downsized to the point where they don’t have much that I want. At least the internet gives us some choice. I like Amazon, never had to deal with customer service so far though. The only thing I don’t like is that I have read that they don’t treat their employees well.


  3. Agreed. It’s so irritating when they won’t take responsibility and apologize!


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