Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Universally Terrible Service

Let's talk about how bad the customer service (or lack there of) is in the Netherlands.  I have been dealing with it relatively well, but tonight just really pissed me off.  I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for Internet and still no Internet.
There have been many many example of this since I came here.  Here is the list from what I can think of off the top of my head:

  • The IND "lost" my application for a work permit and made me resubmit it.  I resubmitted about 2 weeks ago and have heard nothing since.  I still have no work permit.
  • My health insurance company, CZ, waited until I was living here for over a month to send me a letter to say that I was not insured because I needed to submit another form.  I got this letter from them a couple weeks ago and applied for the insurance in March.
  • I have an English language bank account at ABN-AMRO and they consistently send me letters in Dutch while others come in English.
  • Ever single phone number that I have scene so far for people who need help with something is an 0900 number that you have to pay to use and to top it off, they still out you on hold so you are paying to be on hold.
  • I have been at work for a month and a half now and still do not have access to systems that I should have had weeks ago.
  • I tried to return something that I bought at a store the day after I bought it, it was not open and I had the receipt.  The store would not return it and did not want to hear about why I didn't want it nor would they make an exception.  That is the last time I shop at that store.
  • Waiters and waitresses in almost every restaurant I have been to totally ignore you.  They come to take your order then they bring you food.  You have to flag them down and almost beg to get your bill when you want to leave.
  • The moving company here told me to send them a form that they needed.  I sent them the form in the mail and emailed them that day to tell them I sent the form.  Almost 2 weeks later I emailed again just to confirm that they had everything they needed from me.  The guy answers back that I needed to mail the form to him.  Why would he not tell me that he never received the form after I specifically told him that I mailed it to him.  I had a long delay on receiving my shipment because of this.
  • If a store is out of something, they simply wrap up the floor model and give it to you with no discount.  They don't even ask if it's okay to give you the floor model.
  • Everything closes at 6 here and it is just expected that you have a stay at home wife that can do your shopping for you during the day.
  • I got a package and of course I was at work when it was delivered.  I walked to the post office and asked what I needed to do.  The woman actually told me that I would need to wait at home all day for the package because they could not guarantee what time it would arrive.
  • And finally, I ordered DSL almost 4 weeks ago.  They promised it would here by 12 May, which was already three weeks from when I ordered it.  Then I get a letter telling me that it won't come until 18 May.  I get home today and nothing has changed, there is still not Internet, and what does Online.nl do?  Nothing, they can't even tell me when they can send someone to fix it.  That is just garbage and total bullshit.  I understand that they need to send someone from KPN to turn the service on, but it was there mistake and it should be fixed at least by the next day if not immediately.  I was planning on calling a bunch of people tonight since I was finally going to be able to use my Vonage phone service (which works over the Internet.)  I'm sorry to all of those who I promised to call.  I really hope that it will be sometime soon.
This Internet thing just pushed me over the top and put me in a really bad mood tonight.  I better have Internet soon, and I hope that I don't have to deal with anymore of this shit any time soon.  It just wears you down when you have experiences like this one right after the other right after the other, etc.

With all that said, I still am glad that I am here.  There are many reasons why The Netherlands is a great country and I know you have to give and take a little, and that's fine, life is full of trade-offs.  I really like being here and am glad for both the friends that I already made and some of the really good people that I work with.  But, I just needed to let this all out tonight and be a little negative!  I actually feel much better now that I've said all of that.  Thanks for listening and sorry for all of the negativity.

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