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Chronic Symptoms of Outsourced Call and Chat Centers

I'm a huge fan of "chat with a live person right now" buttons on websites.  I just love the ability to solve problems when I'm encountering them.  I'm far more likely to buy from a firm that offers this option (Qwest just got my business after a 45 minute plus chat session building my bundled services package with a very capable person with a real personality.)

Enter my chat session today with OfficeDepot.com.  I just received a $20 coupon of a purchase of $100 or more.  I tried to use it buying a $99.99 item.  Oops.  Invalid.  Since they probably don't have items priced at $99.98, I'd like to see them bend the rules and put in a $.01 web rule that bumps the deal so I can use the coupon...but that's another topic.

I added another item, a $40 MP3 player.  Still no coupon acceptance.  The error message kept telling me that I was at $99.99 and thus couldn't use it.  I started a live chat session, during which time I figured out my own error.  The fine print says NO ELECTRONICS so the website was correct...it was just rejecting me in an unclear way.

The person on the other end of the chat just didn't grasp that I had discovered the issue and rectified it on my own...never utilizing a drip of human interaction...rather attempting to stay on the scripted path.  Oh well.

Remember firms...LIVE CHAT doesn't give you the excuse to skimp on the experience.

Here's the transcript.


Agent21 has entered the session.
doug: no matter what i do, my coupon code will not work. my order is $139.98 but it keeps erroring and telling me that my order is $99.99 (because the first time i tried, it was under $100) but I added an item..now somehow this thing is cookied or whatever and i cannot complete my purchase using the coupon.
Agent21: Thank you for contacting the Office Depot online assistance team, my name is Janice and I have been assigned to your query.
Agent21: May I have the coupon code?
doug: 31543480
doug: u know what...i can't believe it...but i think it's not good on MP3 players...and thus the denial.
doug: hard to believe but true.
Agent21: This coupon excludes technology item, .
doug: i'll buy a $.02 cent pencil to make it work i guess.
doug: :)
Agent21: May I know whether you have added any technology item in your cart?
doug: yes an mp3 player.
doug: sansa
doug: that's why it' not working correct.
doug: i read the fine
doug: print
doug: it would be helpful to note that on the website if a customer makes a mistake like that...but so it goes.
Agent21: I am sorry, then you cannot use this coupon this coupon to this item.
Agent21: Is there anything else I can assist you with?
doug: no thanks.

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