It’s time, once again, for a complaint about customer service in Stockholm. Because it just isn’t fun if I don’t kick the already beaten dead horse that is Swedish customer service. Then spit on it.
I had made plans to get things done today. Errands if you will. Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. As I fit into one of the aforementioned categories my plan did just that.
First, because I have the grace of a sumo wrestler on ice skates, I fell into the water a couple of months ago taking my cell phone with me. I have since been using an old cell phone that I had lying around. It has decided no longer to allow me to accept phone calls and send or receive SMS’. Sometimes I’m allowed to call people.
I decided it was then time to get a new phone. Or at least try to repair what damage I had done to my previous phones. I wanted to test a new battery in my old phone and possibly find out what was wrong with my current phone. So into The PhoneHouse I went. And approximately three minutes later I walked out.
The conversation started with me explaining that my phone was water damaged, but when plugged into the wall without the battery, it turned on and seemed to be in some working order. I needed to test a battery. The proud representative of The Phone House began by leaning on the wall behind him, it had probably been a long day what with them having been open for a solid three hours. Maybe my hairiness intimidated him (I later checked my breath and body odor and confirmed that I smelled delicious so it wasn’t that). He told me that they didn’t have any batteries to test. He told me that the phone probably wouldn’t work anyway. Then he told me that my phone was water damaged. Yes, I know. I already told you that. In fact, I was there when it became water damaged. Good thing he could confirm it for me. He is an expert after all. So I pressed him for his expert advice. Go online he told me. He didn’t try to sell me a new phone. He didn’t try to offer any solution as to where to find a battery. Go online. So I left. You know, so I could get online.
Next on the list was getting the heat in my car fixed. Winter is coming and I do not intend on driving around all winter dressed in my ski gear like last winter. This was going to take a phone call to set up an appointment.
I had a phone number. I had a service center near me picked out. I was ready to go. I called (my phone was allowing phone calls to go out between the hours of 14 – 16:30 today, strangely those are about the same opening hours of most businesses in Sweden on a Saturday.). The phone rang and rang and nothing happened. Until finally the automated recording came on. I was expecting a “thanks for calling, we’ll be right with you” message. Instead I was given a “lots of people are calling right now, please call again soon.” And then I was hung up on. By a machine.
I called again. And was hung up on by a machine. So I called again. And was hung up on by a machine. I waited ten minutes and called again. And was hung up on by a machine. I think we can all see the pattern here. For over an hour I called. For over an hour, they were too busy and a machine hung up on me. Then my phone stopped allowing phone calls out.
Now I am sitting here without a working cell phone, a car that has no heat, and a hatred for service in this country that rivals only my hatred for whole tomatoes.
Welcome to Sweden. Where I yearn for customer service.
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