Wednesday, December 08, 2004


A few years ago, my officemate and I realized that we were having the same coversations over and over again. So, to optimize our conversations a bit, we created a numbering system. After we had the system in place, we could simply say "[number]" instead of repeating the same longwinded conversation for the millionth time. Great timesaver, this system. Anyway, #28 was "Customer Service". Let's say we had a horrible customer service experience at WalMart. We could sum up the entire conversation with "-28 WalMart". Sorry for the long intro. Here's the point of today's entry: A few days ago, I placed an order with for some cycling gear. I called today to see if I could get a tracking number for the order, and had the following conversation: Me: Hi there, I placed an order over the website, can I get the status for it? Operator: Sure, what was the order number? Me: [number] Operator:And you're Mark? Me: Yep! Operator: And you're in zipcode 27615? Me: Yep! Operator: Okay, that order shipped yesterday. Me: Cool! Got a tracking number? Operator: Well, it says you signed for the package 5 minutes ago. Me: Oh, must have been the rental office at my apartment complex. I'll go get it from them. I went to the office, but they didn't have a package for me. So I called Supergo again, went through the basics of giving order number, name, and zipcode, and explained that neither I nor my apartment complex office signed for a package... so where is it? The conversation picked up with: Operator: Well, Mr. Jones (*), that is strange. Me: Mr. Who? Operator: Are you Mark Jones? Me: No. Mark Rebuck. Operator: Do you live at [Other address], Raleigh NC 27615? Me: No. 609-K Van Thomas Dr, Raleigh NC 27615. Operator: Oh, how odd. Me: Indeed. What the hell did Supergo do? Did they match my FIRST name and my ZIPCODE to come up with a shipping address already in the system? I want to find the programmer who designed the system, and give them a well-deserved bitchslapping. I understand that Supergo was bought out by Performance Bike a few years ago, and consolidating computer systems isn't an easy task... but this is insane. For what it is worth, everything worked out well. Supergo gave me Mr. Jones' phone number. I called him and explained the mixup. I drove the 1.5 miles to his house, picked up my gear, and chatted with him for a few minutes about bike stuff. It turns out he was working on his fixed-gear bike when I showed up, and I had just purchased a fixed-gear bike a few weeks ago. Also, he had ordered a bike saddle from another company (not Supergo) a few days ago. My package was a bike saddle. Small world. Supergo, to their credit, refunded my shipping costs. So for the price of a phone call, a 3 mile drive, and a 10 minute delay, I got the package I wanted, a $13.00 discount, and a meeting with a fellow bike gear addict. All is well (albeit stranger than ever) in MarkWorld. (*) - Jones is not his real last name. But his first name was Mark, and he does live in the 27615 Zipcode. -P.S. If you ever have a burning desire to see the numbering system, you can find it here.