Friday, September 21, 2007

Rant Time

A few years back I joined Columbia House DVD so I could receive a free gift (The first season of Nip Tuck), plus I got X amount of DVD's for little of nothing and had to buy 4 full priced DVD's over 2 years. I did so within the time slot.

Occasionally I would forget to decline the Director's choice and it would arrive at my home. If it was a good movie, I would keep it. And if it wasn't I would send it back but it took forever to refund my credit card. Knowing how bad I can be with remembering little things like declining the Director's choice, I tried to remove my credit card from their online site. Wouldn't do. They wanted a new card number. I noticed that the card would expire in another couple of months, I kept it and never did change the expiration date.

So now when I forget, they send a note saying they need a valid card. Or ask if I want to send a money order or personal check. I usually ignore the email.

I went the paperless route and asked for email but they're still sending packages of DVd's to order from to my PO box. I usually rip them in two and trash the packets.

Well, today I got an email from them about my expired credit card. So I went to their site to cancel my membership. They have a help section and a form style letter for you to write in your request but the kicker is that you have to select a topic for the email. And if you've ever tried to cancel something before from a website where you buy things, you know that score...they make it very difficult to do so. When I clicked on the "Cancel Membership" title, and then hit returned to the form letter saying I didn't select a title. I did this 5 times and got the same result, so I decided to go a different route. I clicked on "Order Status" and it went through immediately. (In the message box I had writte: Cancel my membership ASAP.)

I knew it would take a zillion emails to get them to understand that I wanted my membership canceled, so I kept perusing the site until I found a help section that gave details on cancelation. It was a very small section and in the end you have to call an 800 #...

Oh joys! The endless automatic service or the foreign customer service rep...what a choice. But this time I got a ROBOT!!! It said, "Hi talk to me as if I were a person. Such as, 'I want to select the Director's choice for this month.'"

So I said, "Cancel my membership."

It said, "Hold for just one moment" And then there was a series of tappity taps on a key board. The voice then said, "You want to cancel the Director's choice."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo.... it went on for ever...and ever... finally it asked for my acct I typed in and when the voice came on I kept saying over and over and over (trying to cause a glitch in his voice recognition software) "Cancelmymembershipcancelmymembership) the robot said, "I can't help you with this. I'll connect you to a customer service rep."

And I promptly got a foreign voice that said, "How can I help? You not want the director choice?"

"Cancel my membersihp."


"You understand me or you wouldn't be working here. Cancel my membership NOW."


"Listen lady, I just spent 15 minutes talking to a robot. I'm not going to spend another 15 minutes telling you why. Either you cancel my membership NOW or transfer me to your supervisor."

"I will cancel but keep membership so you can receive double points and fun cash for purchases..."

I lost control... she was back talking and I hate that so I said, "Cancel my membership or I will begin to use profanity."

"It is cancel. Give 48 hours to remove."

I said, "Cool.... don't make me call back."

I guess most people would have hung up and said, "Oh well, getting emails and promotional packages don't hurt. They can't charge me if the credit card has expired. I'll let it go."

That's the point... what if they start sending DVD's and demanding payment... and what if the DVD's are intercepted by another party... you would be obligated to pay.

I don't want the hassle anymore. I don't want the junk mail nor the junk emails. I just want it to be easy to cancel, easy to use automative services, easy to talk to a customer service tech who will say ''s done...problem solved.'

Am I asking too much?

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