You call that “Customer Service”?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to experience two very different levels of customer service.  The title of this post applies to the 1st of those two experiences.

  1. I wanted to renew my RCI Points for three years.
  2. Update my credit card information that is on record with Medco for my mail order prescriptions


My first call was to RCI’s special Worldmark owner’s line. The customer service agent either must have been new to the job or just incompetent. I speak very slowly when I am giving someone pertinent information over the phone. In fact there is ample time should the agent need to write it down then enter it into the computer. This agent had to have everything repeated at least three times. My name, my member number, my address to verify it was my account and finally my credit card number. At one point he said he would be right back and put me on hold. I waited for several minutes before he came back. I would have hung up and started over if I knew how agonizingly S L O W this call was going to be. Anyway, he comes back on the line and once again I had to repeat everything for him. No apologies from him. Finally he got into my account and AGAIN I needed to repeat everything. I gave him the required info and my credit card number. He completed the renewal transaction, which only took about 1 minute of the 19 minute call.


My second call was to Medco. The only number I had for them was the prescription refill number. It took me a couple of tries to get out of the automated phone system. The agent answered the call, gave me his name and thanked me for calling. I explained to him that I just needed to update my credit card info with the new expiration date. Ernesto (see I even remembered his name) said that he would need to transfer me to member services. He got a member service agent on the line and now David (I remembered his name too) was able to update my account with the new credit card info. It took David only seconds to complete this task. David mentioned that he noticed that I had an outstanding balance on my refill account and asked if I wanted to pay it with the credit card I just updated. I did and David completed the payment transaction and asked me if there was anything else he could help me with. I told him no and thanked him. David said “I thank you for calling Medco”. This call only took 6 minutes even with getting out of the automated system, telling the first agent what I needed and being transferred to David.


The moral of this story is that a bad customer service experience usually sticks in someone’s mind much longer than a good customer service experience does. However, in this case I couldn’t tell you what the RCI agent’s name was but I remembered the two very polite, friendly and professional Medco agent’s names.


Pretty much my whole working life I worked in jobs that were in some way involved with customer service.  When I trained new sales reps at Qwest I told them it was OK to say they were new and would check on something then get back to their customer if needed. Often I was the person they would come to check on what they needed to provide their customer. I always told them that I would rather have them come to me and ask or verify than to give a customer incorrect information. There was nothing worse than trying to clean up after a rep that left the company and didn’t leave a file or notes of what was done on an account.


Unfortunately in many organizations customer service has become second to the speed of getting the customer off of the line or the task completed. I truly believe that you can give good customer service while improving efficiencies and handling customers in a friendly yet professional manner.


Read more about this topic on Trauma the Drama’s blog titled Another bitch about the lost art of customer service.


4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the link! You KNOW I agree whole-heartedly – if prompted, I could probably give you a detailed description of every single bad customer service experience I’ve ever had. That’s pretty sad, when you consider how much space that takes up in my head. Though there are times when I have no choice, for the most part, my reaction to poor service is never, ever using the company again and telling everyone about it. What companies (and CSRs, really) have to remember is that they don’t know how many people we know and just how vocal we can be. Great post! I think I might have been kind of afraid to keep giving him my card number, though. But if something goes haywire with it at least you’ll remember to start with RCI!

  2. Hi jackieinpdx, we couldn’t agree with you more. We are very focused on customer satisfaction and are disappointed to hear about your experience. Our members’ vacations are important to us and we want to do everything we can to meet your expectations, even if you call a Vacation Guide for a simple transaction.

    If there’s anything else we can help you with, I encourage you to email to us at Please also be assured that your feedback will be shared with others within our organization.

    Kathleen M.
    RCI Customer Care

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