Why, in this age of connectivity and instant communication, is it so hard to receive satisfactory service?

For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to receive a refund from MSN. I was a subscriber of their Premium service for a couple of years. I never used the service, but I had it for the PunditWife, who liked the "all-in-one" web/email software MSN provides. When it came time to renew this past month, I looked at the $80 per year charge and thought, "No, this isn’t necessary anymore." The PunditWife has become quite adept at using the computer, and she can now successfully handle two or more software programs running at one time. There just isn’t the need for her to use the fuzzy "romper room/fisher price" like software that MSN provides. So, I call to cancel.  I wade through the normal stuff – long wait time on the phone, multiple explanations as to why I want to cancel, the usual attempt by the customer service rep to try and keep me on as a subscriber (offering free months of services, etc.). Finally, the MSN representative relents and gives me confirmation that my account has been canceled and that I’ll receive a refund.

Two weeks later – no refund.

So, I put on the combat gear and prepare to go to war. I’ve been
through these things before (multiple fights w/AOL over the years) and I
knew what kind of battle I was going up against.

I email them. I receive the explanation – "Yes sir, your account has been refunded." I say, "No sir, it hasn’t." Next attempt – I take advantage of their neat little "chat" feature so I can talk to a rep in real time. "Yes sir, your account has been refunded." I type, "No sir, it hasn’t." I call them. They say, "Yes sir, your account has been refunded." I reply, "No sir, it has not."

Hang up, call again. Different rep, different result right? Nope. Same crap.

I hang up again. I wait a day. I call back – different rep, different result right? Wrong.

Of course, now they start reading the notes that other reps have left and they target me as a "difficult" former customer. They have done their job and all of this is now MY problem. I’m suddenly mister stooooopid.

"Sir, perhaps your bank isn’t processing the refund for some reason."
"Sir, are you sure you haven’t received a refund?"
"Sir, I can assure you that when you cancel your account your money is refunded promptly. Perhaps you need to review your bank account again."

I’ve been a customer of my bank for over a decade. I’ve NEVER had any problems with them. NEVER. According to the superior minds of the folks at MSN though, my bank has become unreliable.

So now, I figure that my chances of getting hit by a two headed purple llama who’s singing "Dixie" as I cross the street are now greater than me receiving my refund from MSN.

Die MSN, Die.

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