Tuesday, May 14, 2013

That Time I Tweeted Nissan

I bought a brand new car two years ago, and even though my husband and I share the car now, it's technically only mine. I tried to add him to the account after we got married, but I was too incompetent to figure out how to do it, so I gave up. The bills come to only me, and when Nissan inevitably screws something up with my billing, only I have the authority to fix it. And given my history of incompetence with adult things (see two sentences ago), this has proven unfortunate.



When I moved to Milwaukee last July and changed my address, Nissan didn't seem to understand that I wasn't pulling their leg when I filled out the change of address form. I was dead serious, Nissan. No joke, I was changing addresses. As I settled into newlywed bliss, unpacked our Crate & Barrel accoutrements, and started my new job, paying off my car loan was the farthest thing from my mind. Bills in general are usually the farthest thing from my mind. Every time I get a Time Warner bill in the mail I am momentarily shocked as I remember that we actually have to pay for internet. And every time we get a mortgage bill in the mail I cry for a few weeks and wonder where my carefree childhood went.

Anyway, Nissan continued sending my bills to my previous address, and I didn't notice they were missing because I have more important things to think about than paying bills. Things such as sitting, eating, sleeping, and breathing. I made Chris deal with Nissan on the phone, which is when I discovered that he's not allowed to deal with them on my behalf, since he doesn't own the car. They eventually agreed to change my address and not charge me any late fees. And with a roll of the eyes, I went back to not thinking about my car loan.

Fast forward several months, and we'd bought a house and moved again. And the whole process repeated: I filled out the change of address form, Nissan laughed and said "good one, Karisa! I know you didn't really move again, you jokester!", I stopped getting bills from Nissan and didn't notice.

Suddenly, I received a call. Some jerk from Nissan who hates his job and life informed me that I had to pay  that day or face damage to my credit score. No problem, I thought. I have enough to pay off the entire car today if I wanted to. However, the USPS doesn't exactly deliver things the same day you send them, especially since I didn't receive this call until like 4 PM. Nissan's online payment "service" cost $13 to use. My bank wouldn't transfer the money until the following week for no discernible reason. The "pay by phone" feature was literally just authorizing a Nissan representative to help you pay online, which again cost $13.

On top of all that, I had to spend all afternoon on the phone with Nissan representatives pretending to be an adult and trying to sound tough and angry instead of meek and afraid. In my head I was saying "Listen here, you f*ckers. You're gonna do what I say and you're gonna like it." But out loud it was more like, "Um, is there any way that I could...ya know...not pay the $13 fee? It's just that, well, I don't know that it's quite fair...no offense."

I will cut a bitch.

By the end of an exhausting afternoon, I had gotten nowhere. Nissan informed me that it was "a courtesy" that they provide me with a bill each month, and that I should be paying on time whether I receive their very courteous bills or not. While I agree that I'm an incompetent, fake adult for not realizing I hadn't paid in a while, I very much take issue with bills being referred to as "a courtesy." Is it a courtesy when a friend borrows money from me and I nag them to pay me back every time we see each other?

I finally ended up just paying online and eating the $13 fee, because a pristine credit report is worth much more than $13. But I. Was. Livid. All I wanted to do was shout from the rooftops about what sons of bitches Nissan employees were. So naturally, being a 20-something, I logged onto Facebook. My hands were shaking with rage as I typed in my password. My contorted, grimacing face reflected back at me in the computer screen, and I was practically drooling with anger. I started typing.

"I can't wait until I get to buy another new car again so I can make sure it's NOT from Nissan!!!!!" I typed out. No, that sounded stupid. Delete. "If you ever need to buy a new car, I HIGHLY recommend literally ANYONE but Nissan." No, still stupid. Delete again. "I HATE F*CKING NISSAN." Ugh, no. I couldn't do this. Whenever I see angry posts on Facebook I just laugh at the people writing them. I couldn't be one of those people.

So instead, I turned to Twitter. I hadn't been tweeting very much (in fact, I'm still getting the hang of it), but I knew that Twitter was a great way to get through to customer service, so I even went as far as tagging Nissan in my tweet. I was a genius.


Was it well-written? No. Was it seen by my thousands of followers? No. Was it over-dramatic? Yes. Am I embarrassed by it now? Hell yes.

And then they tweeted me back!

Awesome! I was famous! So we took it to private message, and weeks later, Nissan called me up on the phone. At this point, my anger had subsided and I was already regretting that tweet.

"Hi, Karisa," the woman began. She had a pleasant, polite Southern accent. "I'm calling from Nissan. I understand there was, uh, a tweet?"

Oh, God. She was probably reading it as we spoke! "Um, yes, I had sent a tweet to Nissan, that's correct." Please don't read it out loud. Please don't read it out loud. I prayed.

"Okay, would you mind giving me the details, please?" she asked.

"Oh sure, I...well, I just...um.." I tried my best to explain the situation, sounding less and less badass with every sentence. It's a lot easier to be angry at companies online than over the phone. "I just don't think it was very fair to make me pay the $13," I added at the end. "And the representative I spoke to hurt my feelings." Okay I didn't really say that, but that's probably what I sounded like to her.

By the end of the call, she'd agreed to credit me back the fee and assured me that they were working on their process of notifying late payers so they'd have longer than a single day to pay their bills. "And next time you have any trouble, any trouble at all, please don't hesitate to contact me here. Instead of Twitter," she said.

"Will do," I replied. Will friggin' do.

8 comments:

  1. I LOLed at multiple points in this saga. Sorry you had to go through it! The "good" news is that, if you're anything like me (which it sounds like you are), there will be an instance of customer service SO terrible you'll inevitably snap and then be ready to take on all customer service reps who dare make digital eye contact with you.

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  2. Glad it all got squared away and that you got a good story out of it! I try to be a hard-ass on the phone when dealing with customer service people, but I'm always torn because the person on the other end of the line probably hates their job and I just want to give them a hug and buy them a beer at happy hour. So I am always DIRECT AND FIRM AND POLITE.

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  3. What can I say? I'm a BAMF on the phone. I could get a job just calling lame ass companies for other people. I am excellent at being a bitch. First, I am calm. I ask to speak to their supervisor, right off the bat. Don't bother with the customer service reps; they have no power. I don't swear or yell, except at Comcast. I explain the issue and tell them exactly what I want to make it right, over and over again if I have to. I use every means of contact available-email, phone, letter, etc. If it's cable, I always start out disconnecting my service and see what I can get when they beg me to stay. I will not give those blood suckers any more of my money than necessary, ever. Also, they can not threaten you. It's against the law. Your credit will not suffer for something you're trying to pay, either. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I say taking it to twitter was the exact way to solve your problem. It got you want you want, didn't it? Sometimes, you have to meet a bully or a big name, asshole car dealer, down at their level.

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    1. "I don't swear or yell, except at Comcast." hahahahah you're killing me! Can I hire you to call people for me??

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  4. Twitter is so useful for complaining about crappy customer service. I mean, I jokingly complained about a bottle of Diet Pepsi that had an extra-tight lid that took me 10 minutes to unscrew, and Diet Pepsi tweeted at me to apologize.

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    1. haha that's hilarious! I bet whoever is in charge of their account just rolls their eyes as they tweet damage control. #firstworldprobs

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  5. Twitter is the great equalizer for those like myself who can't speak when I get super mad at customer service reps. I'm glad they took care of your stupid charge.

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  6. Hahahaha, oh Twitter, allowing you to voice consumer complaints in 140 characters or less since 2006.

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