Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Adventures in customer service

We submitted a death notice to the Miami Herald. It appeared online, but was not in the print paper the day of the funeral. Turns out it mistakenly ran in "El Herald," the Spanish language edition. Oops. They ran it the next day and gave us a refund.

On Friday, we went to Temple Beth Am where my mother's name was read. We didn't realize we should stand up and belatedly did so when we saw others standing up when their loved ones' names were called. Her name wasn't in the program, though, and we joked that it appeared in "El Beth Am."

After shul, we wanted to go out to dinner and called a place to see if they had a table away from the noisy bar. They said there would be about a 20-minute wait, which was fine since we were that far away. My nephew said at least twice we were a party of 5. The woman then asked, "How many was that?" and thought we were 2 and then 10. "FIVE!" said my nephew, putting the reservation under my b-in-law's first name. "OK, 8" said the clueless person (and no, we don't think she meant 8pm). We had our hands over our mouths to keep from cracking up and he again said we were 5.

So of course we got there, parked, and found they had no record of us. She probably got the name wrong. We asked if they remembered the call from a few minutes ago and she claimed no knowledge and that they were full. At this point, my b-in-law asked to speak to a manager, and he found us a booth. It turns out the head manager knows my sister well from his previous job, so we were well-treated from then on (they even comped dessert). But OY!

Then on Saturday, both Joel and I were flying back, but his flight was in the afternoon and I wasn't going until 8pm. So I agreed to take a cab to spare my sister a double trip. When she took Joel, I considered going and trying to get on an earlier flight, but that was not guaranteed (traffic was heavy due to spring breaks) and I didn't really want to spend 6 hours in the airport. So I relaxed at their home.

I called a cab company to book a car, and they said to call back about 20 minutes before I needed to go. I still wanted to be assured in advance (there are also airport vans, but they always leave way too early), so tried another company. They said they would not be able to accommodate me. Strange, since my sister had used them before... but OK. I then tried a different number, which led to the first company who again told me to book 20 minutes ahead.

So at 5:30 (which allowed about an hour leeway for a half-hour ride to make an 8pm flight), I called and said I needed the cab. Gave them all the info, and they said they'd be there as soon as possible. We waited by the window, and nothing came by 6:15. I called, and they said they couldn't give an ETA. Not only that, but there would be NO cab coming. HUH?? What kind of incompetent company is this? And why didn't they tell me up front?

I called another number, and it led to the same cab company. Oy. By now, it was much too late to book a van and all the cab numbers seemed to lead to this one company. So my b-in-law drove me. If he hadn't been there, I would have missed my flight and then what? I looked at Yelp and sure enough, this outfit had done this before. How do they stay in business?

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