Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey, Angie's List, Are You Listening?

It only takes one bad customer experience to lose my business.

I signed up this morning for Angie's List, the highly touted referral network. My wife has been after me for over a year to have a skin condition on my ankle looked at by a doctor. I detest doctors so I have avoided scheduling an appointment. Today, I decided it was time since I now have another minor skin issue on my face that has been around for a few months and doesn't seem to want to go away. After searching the Internet rating services I found that there are few dermatologists in the area and they pop up on all the free rating services. Unfortunately, in reading the reviews, I learned that the docs that are most conveniently located to me don't get particularly good reviews, have inconsistent reviews or too few reviewers for me to form an opinion. Enter Angie's List. Sign up was quick and easy. They even let me pay by PayPal.

After reviewing the top 10 or so doctors listed (they matched what I found on other lists) I called the most highly rated (all A's) on Angie's List, a Dr. Rochik Desai who is within a twenty mile radius of where I live. The call didn't go as hoped.

The phone rang a few times and sounded like it transferred to an answering service. The woman answering the phone asked me immediately if I could hold. Four minutes and forty-eight seconds later I was transferred to an extension where it rang about a half dozen times and I got a curt message that I had reached the voice mail box for extension 110.

In my message, I explained that I had called with the intention of making an appointment but since the process didn't go so well, I decided to find another doctor. I did not leave my name or number.

My next step was to log on to Angie's List customer service where I clicked the button to cancel my membership. I was immediately connected by live chat to Charles D. and he asked how he could help me. After explaining the situation to him and giving him a couple of attempts to respond, where he tried to convince me I should leave the doctor a review and consider a second try with another doctor, he courteously and promptly agreed to cancel my membership and refund my $25.

So, Dr. Desai, we won't be doing business with one another. And Angie's List, I'm sorry but the first time I tried to rely on you, the experience was less than satisfying. The good news is, Charles assures me if I ever reconsider, I can log on and renew my membership. Won't be happening this week. The lesson for all involved, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

As an aside, I couldn't end this rant without expounding on my view of the medical profession, which I think rivals the airline business for all it cares about customer service and satisfaction. Unlike others who fear going to the doctor because they're afraid something painful will happen to them or they prefer not to know what might be wrong with them, I have nothing but contempt for doctors because their profession is filed with pirates and truly insincere hacks. If there's a good doctor out there, I haven't met them. I'll live with my minor skin conditions which is better than going to a doctor that makes my skin crawl.