You'd think it was a simple request

Posted by DarthDilbert at 12/28/2006 08:19:00 AM

If you thought the customer/tech support from AOL was horrendous, they have nothing on the brain trust at PeoplePC. It began on 7 December just after noon when I received an email from them [PeoplePC Member Services / ] with the subject, "Welcome to the PeoplePC Online Experience!" I found this odd seeing as how I never signed up for an account with them - never have and certainly never will.

I called the number listed in the email 1-866-PPC-MBRS (1-866-772-6277). I was then transferred a dozen times back and forth from customer service, sales, and technical support. During those twelve calls I was able to learn that there was someone with my last name in Pennsylvania who had provided my email address as an alternate method of contact from PeoplePC. I was told that even though they saw that my email address was listed in their database, there was nothing they could do. The next day (8 December) after learning that their tech support folks were unable to resolve the problem, I called their corporate headquarters [(415) 732-4400] and was able to speak to someone who was shockingly able to identify the problem and remove it from their database, or so I thought.

Beginning on the evening of 21 December, I began receiving email messages exactly the same as one I received back on 7 December - every five minutes. I called their toll-free number again, as requested in the email if there were problems. I didn't have to speak with a dozen people this time, but again the two people I did speak with couldn't help but offered to pass on the issue to their manager, Joe, who was supposed to call back the next day by 12:30PM EST. I know it comes as a shock, but I didn't receive a callback on the 22nd. I took the initiative at 2:30PM, and called back requesting an update on the issue. Not only was the call not documented, but there was no record of anyone forwarding anything to "Joe." I first spoke with Gilbert who said he didn't care that I was promised a callback, and hung up on me. I called back and after being transferred eight times with the customer service, sales, and technical support groups reached Eric (employee #3042). I explained the issue in detail, and he assured me that he was documenting the issue, going as far as to provide a ticket number for me (24490201). I asked that he email me the contents of the ticket so I would have some type of assurance that action was being taken to fix this issue. He tried to place me on hold, but ended up disconnecting the call.

I called back and spoke with Evelyn who was not only extremely rude, but unable to find the ticket. The bonus was that she was angry at me why I just didn't ignore the problem. This was amazing to me, and seems to be the response from too many businesses - just ignore spam. I asked to speak with her supervisor and she hung up as well. This made two occasions where they had made the choice to hang up on me. Is this corporate policy? In any event, by this point I was overwhelmed by the warm fuzzies emanating from their superior customer service.

I immediately called back requesting to speak with a supervisor. I reached Ted (employee #598018) who shocked me by being able to locate the ticket. By now it had been around two hours since my initial call that day. In an attempt to resolve the problem myself, I had flagged the sender as spam, and created a filter that deleted any email with the subject "PeoplePC Service Message: Need Help?" and that was from I have asked them the question dozens and dozens of times: why was I forced to remedy the problem with their system? I never have received an answer for that. I guess their corporate policy as described by Evelyn is to ignore the problem. Ted took around an hour to supposedly document the issue and escalate it. He then promised someone would contact me within twenty-four hours.

I know it comes as a shock but I never received a call, not even a voicemail. I called them back Tuesday afternoon around 1:00PM. It was the same story as before. I was bounced around from one department to another as no one wanted to take ownership of the issue, and asked again that I ignore the problem. I called their corporate headquarters once again in San Francisco. I explained the issue and asked that someone from their office look into this and resolve it as soon as possible. I went over how I had spent hours and hours calling their tech support offices in the Philippines and India with no success at all. The receptionist offered to take down my information and have someone there call me back.

Imagine my surprise when I actually received a callback around 5:30PM that afternoon from Erika. After I went over the issue with her, she placed me on hold and after only two minutes was able to not only find the previous help desk tickets, but see exactly what the problem was. I about fell from my chair to see that someone in their company actually had a clue. She promised to purge my email address from their database, and get back with me once it had been completed. PeoplePC had made a volume of promises up until then. I had been promised that "the next person I speak with" would resolve the problem, only to be transferred ad naseum.

Yesterday at 2:30PM, Erika called and left me a voicemail (as well as sending an email) that she had finally resolved the issue in removing my email address from their system. I was understandably skeptical, but sure enough, the spam emails I was getting from them stopped nearly fifteen minutes before she left me the voicemail and left the email.

Finally, no one has yet to explain to me why it took dozens and dozens of phone calls on my part totaling six hours and twenty-three minutes to try and resolve this issue. In addition I received a total of 1662 spam emails, which should have been ignored according to Evelyn. It appears that it has been taken care of once and for all, but I was under the same impression back on 8 December. If it does happen again, I'll first contact Erika who I know can get the job done unlike the dozens of folks I spoke with in the Philippines and India.

I'd love to know if the following people are delighted with the abysmal quality of their workforce overseas:

Bill Heys, President
Dave Rowland, Vice President and General Manager
Hilary Jensen, Vice President of Product Marketing
Kip Morgan, Vice President of Direct Marketing
Mike Farrow, Senior Director of Finance
Rick Topp, Director Channel Growth
Robert Mora, Director Channel Sales and Acquisitions
Matthew Krichbaum, Director of Operations


When you have a simple request for simple people not much gets done!My problem with the overseas site is in trying to understand them.
i have a similar problem, however, they call my cell phone everyday at least three times!!
It took me 1 week, 8 hang ups, 33 transfers and a total of nearly 18 hours for my issue to be resolved. I even received a confirmation letter that my phone number was permanently deleted from their database.
One month later - getting the same damn calls again. Can I sue for harassmen?! lol

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