Quitting smoking and the Tassimo Fiasco update

10 Sep

I quit smoking yesterday, courtesy of my lovely cold.  It had been on my mind here lately, and the timing seemed right.  I hated the stench of the smoke on my clothes, inside, and everywhere.  I hated not wanting my daughter to come inside because of it.  I hated taking a shower and getting dressed…and smelling it already on my clothes.  I knew it was a contributing factor in how severe my cold was.  So, I just quit.

Unfortunately, I had an unattended detail in my saga with Tassimo.  I had to deal with it today, I’d received the email from a company representative, but had been unable to respond while I was at my sickest.  (Its really hard to have a telephone conversation while coughing and gagging and blowing your nose continuously!) 

I spoke with a Brian MacDonald today, and he was far more articulate than his customer service staff were.  I’m uncertain of what his position with Tassimo is, and its really not relevent.  My original problem should have been handled by someone at the very lowest level of the company anyhow.  It wasn’t like I had a major issue that couldn’t have been handled by Connie Customerservice, right?  It was just a glitch in the website resulting in multiple instances of the order being billed to my card, a situation that should have been rectified with a few swift clicks of a keyboard.

Apparently Tassimo’s system doesn’t work that way.  It bills customers days before customer service even has access to the order.  Apparently, at that point, they cannot cancel an order, add to an order, or modify method of payment.  Since in my case, the order was placed on Wednesday, then attempted to “fix” on Saturday, it is more than 4 days before any issues can be addressed with an order.  This isn’t acceptable.  I don’t like to do business with companies online that can’t address things at least as fast as they bill me. 

In addition, according to what I was told today, there is no sign of any order ever having been placed by me, that it was automatically kicked out because of a payment problem rather than being cancelled because of my fury with their inability to address my complaint.  That really raises questions for me, since my credit card was definitely being charged, at least “pre-authorized” for over $167 for less than $30 of merchandise I wanted to order.  I suggested to Mr. MacDonald that perhaps they should switch to using PayPal.  I know I’d be much more likely to order from them if I never have to give Tassimo my credit card information again–they obviously aren’t competent in handling this information. 

I’ve written some very positive reviews for the Tassimo machine.  I really REALLY loved it.  This has really taken all of my enjoyment out of it, and maybe its worse because I had ordered a cleaning disk so that my machine returned to functional use again.  These automated machines refuse to work without regular maintainance, as determined by their little internal “brains”, whatever and whereever they are.  Mine won’t work and demands a cleaning.  Amazon is where I’d always previously purchased supplies and coffee for the machine, along with a few local purchases of coffee now and again.  Unfortunately, they haven’t had some of the flavors of coffee I’d wanted to try, which was part of the reason for the order from Tassimo.  I’d also considered their subscription service, especially since winter is coming…and as a reward for quitting smoking.  I was really looking forward to trying Maxwell House’s Caramel Latte Macchiato…something that Amazon seems to never have, as well as the “Skinny” lattes & cappuccinos.  I had never anticipated having an experience as horrible as I ended up having with TassimoDirect, which was only outranked by Microsoft–another story in aggravation that endured for months as we finally resorted to challenging the charges on the card, cancelling out the card being victimized, and never DID get an answer (but did get the money back eventually.)  So, on the scale of financial fiascos with online shopping…Tassimo raised a lot of red flags, but didn’t result in anything more than a minor inconvenience and a few doses of real aggravation.

(Opens cigarette package and lights one.)

Yeah, I fell off the boat.  The wagon.  Something.

Tassimo is being very generous.  Mr. MacDonald has informed me that they are sending me a $4.95 cleaning disk, free of charge, for my trouble with their customer service. 

Tassimo has a superior product on the front of single serve coffee machine systems.  It’s WAY beyond what the Keurig or pod systems deliver.  I’m serious–it really is that good.  But..

Yeah that three letter little word.

BUT they lack variety compared to Keurig and even the pods.  There is no do-it-yourself option either.  They have incredibly crappy customer service, which even after talking to Mr. MacDonald, my feelings about that have not changed, nor do I anticipate much effort on their part to improve customer service.  Remember my previous blog entry about Tassimo?  I found a list of complaints from others…in Google’s typical .00037 seconds.  Tassimo needs a good PR person.  They need to revamp their ordering system and fire a few techs who are responsible for their ordering glitches while they are at it.  They need to start recruiting more flavors & varieties to their t-disks, and make sure that their machines are all working when they are sold.  Most of all, they need to hire some good customer service reps.  I’m finding it very hard to believe that they can’t do better.  I know a lot of people here on the Gulf Coast that would LOVE to work as customer service reps for Tassimo or anyone else…and would do their best each and every day (and if they didn’t, they’d know there was a dozen people waiting in line to have their job!) In this economy, it’s not hard to find good people to hire, and with reasonable treatment and perks for employees, it’s also not hard to KEEP the good ones!  That leads me to think that Tassimo must treat their employees like crap, because I didn’t find customer service reps that particularly cared about their employer.  Then again, when I drew two with such heavily accented English, I’m not even sure that they use American employees, but may outsource their customer service off shore.  (Another potential negative point)  I hate buying a product only to be faced with non-American customer service–I paid for the product with American money!  Its not that I resent foriegn companies…I just prefer to deal with reps that understand my version of English and don’t have foriegn accents that make it difficult for me to understand them.  Maybe companies should offer a choice…press 1 for American customer service agent, press 2 for cheap offshore customer service agents.

But how do I feel about Tassimo right now?

I’m not happy.  I look across the room to the Tassimo machine in its place of honor, and I wonder…should I go ahead and donate it for the charity yard sale?  They didn’t want it without the cleaning disk, since without it, it obviously doesn’t work.  None of my friends wanted it–they said it was too expensive for them, and too hard to get disks & stuff for it. (they had heard me bitch.)

The cleaning disk from Tassimo is rather anti-climatic.  What’s the point?  I get the disk for a machine I’m really not interested in using.  Will my feelings change when its functional again?  Will a cup of coffee from it inspire some forgiveness?

Maybe I should send the Tassimo company some information about some locations on the Gulf Coast that are actively searching for companies interested in establishing things such as call centers, which they sorely need.  At least the Gulf Coast accent is gentle and already associated with things such as hospitality.  With the infrastructure already in place, a workforce pool looking for jobs, and potential tax benefits for relocating to the Gulf…maybe some good would come of THAT.  They’d get decent customer service reps and the Mississippi Gulf Coast would get more jobs.

And maybe I’ll manage to quit smoking yet.

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