Good Service / Bad Service

I was delighted to get some unexpectedly good customer service from Chronic Logic this weekend. I am bored of the video games I've been playing this pregnancy, and am ready for something new. I think at this point in the pregnancy with W is when I broke down and got the Playstation 3. However, my lifestyle with a toddler is different than before, so now I play most games on my laptop rather than on the Wii or PS3.

I remembered that we had a copy of Pontifex, the bridge-building game from way back in the day, so I pulled that out and tried to install it on my laptop. Installation went fine, but I didn't have any of the registration information necessary to unlock it. I sent an email to the company requesting help, figuring I'd be out of luck until Monday.

But to my surprise, they responded to my email late on a Saturday night! And even when the information I gave them upfront was inadequate to solve the problem, they kept emailing back to get more information until they were able to get me the proper registration code. There was a lot of back-and-forth emails to figure out that the game was really registered with my mother's name and email address she used from way back in 2002 when she got it for us as a gift. Fortunately, I just had to come up with a phone number she might have used to register rather than the email address, since I had totally forgotten what that was. I don't really remember what email I was using myself back then.

We got all that straightened out this morning, and not only did the company unlock my game for me, they sent me a link to download the newer version. Kudos to them!

Unfortunately, my bank and credit card company have totally failed on customer service today. Somewhere along the line my e-bills got messed up and I haven't seen a bill from the credit card company since December. The credit card company denies that a single thing in their system has changed since then, but I think that's wrong. They instituted new security features (which I didn't enact) which messed up the interaction with the bank. But the bank is simultaneously in the wrong since its options don't let me update the security features correctly to match the credit card.

Having worked as a corporate accountant for so many years I know better than to expect a bank to be competent (scary that they are the organizations to whom most people entrust their money), so I can't say that I'm surprised by this. The best one can do is call and rant until they waive the charges brought down on your account by their own ineptness at implementing technology "upgrades" and hope that you get a supervisor who has a clue (NONE of the initial call reps ever have a clue, always just go to the supervisor). I don't expect to hear from the credit union until tomorrow at the earliest. And frankly, I'm not sure that I even expect that they'll be able to fix the problem on their side, it looks like they outsource their bill-pay service.

It pains me that the institutions which should be most reliable for consumers are the ones that have the most screw-ups. But at least I can kick back and have some fun building bridges to take my mind off this sad state of affairs.