Friday, December 10, 2010

Whatchew smokin' Weed Man?

BBB Reliability Report for The Weed Man. It ain't pretty: it's an F.

"Customer service" in Canada is an urban myth.

Canadian commerce is Consumers Distributing -- the most frightful shopping experience this side of Bulgaria.

Canadian commerce is Bell Canada -- soulless, hydra-headed monopolies that twist consumers into the ground like horse shoe stakes.

And Canadian commerce is the execrable Weed Man.

The only thing Weed Man makes disappear is your money. The weeds in your lawn will be safe from harm so long as Weed Man is on the job. But the green in your pocket is always in peril.

This past summer, I prepaid for one season of Weed Man lawn care maintenance.

After proving itself to be singularly unimpressive, I told the Weed Man rep who called me about renewing that I wouldn't be renewing.

There was shock and befuddlement on the other end of the phone. "Not renewing?" the rep said, suddenly all customer service and customer-is-always-right and eager to please.

"Yeah, I've still got weeds," I said. "For what I paid, I'm not impressed. That's all."

I wasn't asking for a refund. I demanded no extra service. I just wasn't impressed and wished the Weed Man would go sew his weeds elsewhere.

Soon after, there was another telephone call from Weed Man inquiring about my opinion of their service. I explained in no uncertain terms -- calmly, politely -- that I wasn't impressed and wanted nothing more to do with Weed Man.

Then a bill arrived.

Yeah, a bill -- for a service I prepaid.

Nothing says, "Please come back! We want your business!" better than sending a bogus bill, for an arbitrary amount of money to a customer who has prepaid and actually owes the company nothing.

Then came the calls from Weed Man reps asking when I was going to pay the bill. To which I explained, "I prepaid. What's this bill for? I didn't ask for any extra services."

Befuddlement on the other end of the line. Then a promise to look into the reason for the charge and a promise to call me back with an answer.

No answers were forthcoming, though the telephone calls continued unabated.

Each time a Weed Man rep called, I went through the same song and dance. Maybe I'm horribly difficult to deal with, but I wanted to know what the charge on my account was for.

No one could answer that.

Better than that, Weed Man doesn't appear to have invested in computers, so Weed Man reps call customers with virtually no information about their accounts. The reps have no idea some other rep called days before and promised an answer to the ever-deepening mystery as to "Why am I being charged extra for a service I prepaid?"

So, you see where this is headed -- into a Beckettian loop of endless phone calls, empty promises of resolutions, no action and more phone calls.

After writing to the company and filling out my complaint with the BBB, I don't have much hope for a reasonable reply.

Weed Man in my area has 10 complaints against it with the BBB and an "F" rating. Clearly, I'm dealing with the kid in the class who ate glue in first grade; the kid who wouldn't top playing with himself in class in 7th grade; the kid who took a real shine to weeds in lawns when he was in 10th grade -- seemingly his final year of formal education.

These guys are low-rent gangsters. They're the type of shysters who'd build a nest in your ear and then charge you rent.

But I am a blogger. I will never give up.

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