I recently placed a simple order from Staples for a couple iTunes gift cards because I had a coupon. Four days later I get a tracking number, and six days later the order still has not arrived. Normally I’m on top of things like this but I’ve been trying to give myself space around them to not cause myself
unnecessary frustration.

Finally on a rainy Saturday morning I called them to check the status of my order. Naturally I need to verify an entire slew of information such as my name, order number, address, phone number etc. and once this is done and placed on hold. Lady comes back and then tells me that she’s transfer me to the gift card department when he can assist me further. I was tell people to please let them know all the information necessary said I’m not to repeat myself as I’ve learned that lesson in the past. The new lady gets on the phone and begins by asking me to verify my information. I tell her that I’m the same human being in and not being held hostage by anyone and the call has not dropped and I already verify my information with the previous Staples representative. She said she understands but nonetheless needs to verify. I say nonetheless I’m not going to waste my breath, the call has not disconnected, and I have already verify my information into not going to waste time repeating it again. I then proceed to waste five more minutes of time telling her how ridiculous it is I should have to repeat myself on the exact same call. Asking her if she thinks that her coworker who already verified me, was an imposter and was secretly able to hack into the Staples mainframe to pretend that she’s her coworker did not help.

Even when I asked her if she remembered when her coworker transferred me and said, here’s Tari Mannello on the other line, it did not suffice. She tells me she can’t give me any information about my order and must verify again. I tell her she has no information of mine I could possibly need to elicit from her. I know my name, address, phone number, order number, product ordered et cetera. In fact, I’m the one you giving her olive the information. I’m simply asking the status of my order.

She tells me she cannot give me this information until I verify my identity. After hanging up on her and calling back again, I finally find out the information. Are you ready for the information that required 12 forms of verification to obtain? “The order has shipped- you should receive it in 7-10 days.”
Need I say more?

And I’ve beat my head against the wall wondering what on earth it takes to just have a simple, easy customer experience with corporate companies. We are so up in arms about fraud, identity theft, fear of giving wrong information to the wrong person… So much so that this has caused the customer, the very person who they say they are trying to help and give a good experience to, to have the worst experience possible on the planet. And I’m lucky this time that I got American-based customer service rep. Usually it takes me seven minutes spelling out my first and last name to an overseas representative before I can even proceed to the next of seven forms of verification.

My credit card companies ask me for less information than consumer stores. Usually credit card companies require my name and the last four of my social and maybe one other piece.

Lately whenever I’m making an inquiry into a product, I have to verify on average seven pieces of information which need to be repeated 2 to 3 times depending on who I’m speaking to.

I have to ask, is all this really necessary? Absolutely is not. It’s just the result of a few people being sued a few times and now everyone must
Suffer. I dream of a better world. A world kind of like the way I run my own business.
“Hi, what’s your name and what’s your order number?” “John Smith. 9872.” “Outstanding, here’s everything you need to know.” Simple, easy, effective and no one gets frustrated in the process.

While you are of course welcome to share your thoughts, and stories in the notes below. I’d especially love to hear solutions to not have to endure this again.

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