Saturday, March 02, 2013

Socialism versus Consumerism 1:1

      Since February 15th I am trying to use my groupon voucher with no success. Generally most of the places around here giving different kind of services (waxing, hair...) don't have a receptionist and then you play this game of leaving messages to each other, which can be very frustrating. After couple of voicemails (couple of days) back and forth I finally made my appointment. The first available was ten days later, which I find almost unbelievable for a "village" this size with at least five to six other hair saloons, but ok. The day of my appointment arrived and they sent me a text that they have to cancel it. I simply cannot describe my anger. I said ok, I am just going to call Groupon, request a refund and go to the first hair saloon I see on the way (Btw I am not being spoiled I didn't dye my hair since December 15th, and I am almost not blond anymore). 

      But in my search for the Groupon customer service number I made a discovery that made the angry customer even more angry. The customer service numbers in UK are usually not toll free numbers. The number that should be "in service" of its customers its actually in their disadvantage. I am trying to imagine the group of managers and PR team making this decision: "lets make it hard for our customer to buy our products and to let us know how we are doing. Let them convince us that they need whatever we want to sell them, not the other way around." It just doesn't make sense. Let alone groupon (whose number is a regular London area code number, at an extra cost if you are calling from a different area code)  but why don't internet and cell phone providers have free customer service numbers?!?! We all had at least one of 30 minutes calls with our internet providers to let them know that something is wrong with either connection or modem or who knows what. So this means that not just I'm not getting the service I am paying for it means I am getting ripped off for the fact that I am letting you know you are not doing your job. I miss 1 800 numbers and chance to pick up your phone and scream at an always polite stranger :-). In the land where the customer is always right. 

     But on the other hand I have to admit that my mood about "the things being done here" changed after my doctor's visit. My paranoid Americanized self called the public medical center asking what kind of papers I have to bring in order to see the doctor; and when I was told just the passport I couldn't believe it. I thought they probably want a bunch of papers proving my husband works here, paying contributions and all that kind of fun stuff. I asked one more time after the arrival just to make sure I am not getting some kind of a extremely high bill, and the answer was "no that's all". I walked in the doctor's office, got the prescription, went to the pharmacy and picked up my pills (for the next 6 months) for free (which would certainly cost me in NY) walking out in disbelief. Long time no see Europe.....its been 6.5 years......    


  1. Hehehe hvala na inspiraciji za blog :-). Moje dogodovstine po evropi nisu toliko egzoticne kao tvoje u Saudiskoj Arabiji ali ne zalim se :-). Ljubac velikiiiiiiii!


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