Brief medical update: I feel a bit worse – still have a nightly fever, joint/muscle pain, and all the rest of the recurrent symptoms. Haven’t gotten a call for more tests (to follow up on the 2 that were abnormal), so I guess I will have to wait until my November appointment with the rheumatologist to find out anything more.
Ok, today’s rant is about the frustration involved when trying to communicate with people who either do not have a good understanding of English (and I am not necessarily referring to non-native speakers), or are too cognitively lazy to understand English. In other words, I don’t have an issue with people who live in the US but do not know very much English – I happen to believe that citizens here should be able to speak any language they want, as we are (mostly) a nation full of immigrants.
No, the issue I am having is with people I have been communicating with who require several attempts on my part before they can respond in a way that makes sense. I can tell that they actually DO know English, as their grammar and so on are correct. But I do not understand why even the simplest of (in my case) emails is replied to with irrelevent and sometimes even angry responses that indicate to me that the person had no idea what I just wrote to them.
I will give you an example of an ongoing communication that I just recently gave up on because I was so frustrated that it wasn’t worth the aggravation.
Sometimes I participate in online surveys. More times than I would like, something goes wrong with the survey, usually a technical problem. I will usually note the survey number if I can find it, and then email customer service to tell them their survey isn’t working right. Usually I am just trying to be helpful – rarely is it ever a case of, “Hey I finished this survey and then got an error page, and now I didn’t get my reward points.”
If I did this a lot, I could see why they might get all snippy with me. But it’s usually, “Hey this survey said ‘press this button’ but there was no button, and I got stuck in a loop and had to task-manager out of it. Thought you might want to know about this.”
Sometimes the response I get is a thank you, and a note that they have taken the survey offline to fix it. Most times, however, the exchange goes like this:
Me: I was asked to register for a (name of) community forum through your site, but when I hit “ok” I got redirected to the Google search homepage. So I wasn’t able to even register for the forum. I think there may be a technical problem with this particular survey.
Them: We received your email and are sorry for the inconvenience this issue may have caused, but we are unable to award you any points because we cannot verify that you finished the survey. Please allow until the survey has closed before you contact us again.
Me: But I am not writing you about award points. I am trying to tell you about a problem I had with the survey in case anyone else is having the same problem.
Them: We have looked into this particular survey and do not see that you have participated in it. Please try the link again.
Me: That’s the point – I can’t participate because it kicks me to the Google search homepage before I can even register for it.
Them: What’s the survey number?
Me: I didn’t see one but you just got through telling me you looked it up and couldn’t see my participation in the survey, so surely you must know the survey number?
Them: We will need either a survey number or a screen shot that indicates you completed the survey before points can be awarded.
Usually at this point I would write a long, detailed email explaining things in a numbered list. But I don’t feel well today and I sure don’t feel up to doing this just so I can help some company out. A company who cannot even understand what it is I am writing about, so they just go with the default “customer is bitching about her points” responses.