I will admit that I’m not always a patient person, but I try. I tend to try to see the other side’s perspective in any situation. When I see someone acting like an asshat on the road, for example, I try to rationalize their behavior. “Perhaps they’re stressed out because someone they love was just rushed to the hospital,” I sometimes (but not always) tell myself. Realistically, given the amount of really crappy drivers in my locale, it’s a fantasy, but sometimes it prevents a day turning sour needlessly.
Customer service is an area where I definitely try to exercise patience. I have waited tables, worked in retail and spent four years in circulation at the library. Sometimes, the public are jackasses. I try to cut the employees some slack.
I just had a scare with my health insurance company and a bill for an MRI that should have been covered. The last time I had this type of issue arise, I was stuck in the middle between the provider and the insurance company. The latter said they paid it (and they did–I obtained all the paperwork), but the provider screwed up their books. The provider wouldn’t acknowledge the mistake and the insurance company didn’t seem inclined to intervene on my behalf. It was an ugly experience, and it lasted for two years, before the provider finally wrote it off. They still didn’t acknowledge they were wrong, though.
Different parties were involved in this situation, but I still dreaded calling the insurance company. When the rep told me that I didn’t owe the full balance, I was relieved. When she told me, “Take yourself out of the middle; we’ll call the provider directly and you should be receiving an amended bill,” I was downright ecstatic. I told her she was amazing. She told me to have a happy holiday. (I will, especially now!) In a situation where I had to reach out, it was a great outcome.
Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. I belong to a couple of yarn subscription clubs. One of them offered a subscription that would enable me to learn how to knit. For eight months, I’d receive a package with a different lesson. For the first few months, it was great. But then it came time for the next lesson and I could see that while they had charged me for that monthly order, it showed up as “unfulfilled” on my account. I waited. And waited. And waited some more, until the following month, and then I sent an email. I received a polite response that their shipment of yarn had been delayed by the supplier and that they would process the order as soon as they could. Shortly after the email, my order status changed and it arrived at my doorstep.
Here’s the issue: delays happen. This is a small operation. I get that. But there was no announcement anywhere that I saw, nothing on their Facebook page or website, no email announcement. Nothing.
After the eight lessons have been sent, the company automatically enrolls you in their basic subscription club, unless you say otherwise. I wanted to keep getting the yarn, so I let it roll. Well, my payment for October came out on the first, and I have yet to see any package. Nothing in October and so far, nothing in November–and yes, that payment came out on the November 1st as well.
There was mention that one of the founders had surgery recently, and so was out of commission for a bit. And in my more patient moods, I completely understand. But I’ve been seeing all kinds of advertisements for other things they’re selling and I’m starting to get pissed off. If they have the time to push that product, they should have the time to either ship what they owe me or give me an explanation as to why they haven’t. I shouldn’t have to reach out to them every time there’s a delay.
My patience is wearing thin.