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Appreciate the local service
Boyum Phil
Phil Boyum

            I was reading the Jan Moore story, this past Monday, about the gentleman who owns the KFCs in the area. It reminded me of a time recently when I patronized one of his establishments.

            First, let me say that my wife and I have a bit of a vagabond past. Both sets of parents moved around a bit, attending different universities for each diploma, job opportunities etc. But deep down, especially when it comes to food, my wife’s a southerner.

            So, every now and again we need some of grandma’s fried chicken. But since grandma’s a couple states over and fried chicken is not one of my culinary specialties, we settle for drive-thru.

            Back again to the owner. I don’t really know how he runs all his operations, but I’ll tell you about one. And while I won’t reveal the specific location, I will say I was actually pleased with the service I received.

            To begin with, I could actually hear and understand the guy taking my order through the speaker. He was pleasant without being forced. He was helpful but not pushy. Polite. Sincere.

            Then, I received the correct food order in an expedient manner. Plus, the crispy was crispy without being either TOO crispy or too soggy.

            All in all, a good bucket of chicken and a pleasant drive-thru experience.

            A quality local experience.

            Allow me to shift gears to the angry part of the column.

            Recently, I have been dealing with a company I’ll refer to as BSS — your friendly, centrally-located telecommunications company. Here’s the skinny.

            When we moved to Statesboro, we turned off all the utilities, phone, etc. to get here — standard moving procedure. We received final bills, sent final checks and closed accounts. We even sent a payment to BSS, using the same online banking service we’d used for all the previous BSS bills.

            As I’m sure many of you have experienced, some of these payees accept direct electronic payments from the bank. BSS was one of these companies.

            Somehow in the transfer, the money was taken from my bank account but misapplied by BSS. So, I’m out the relatively small amount – because it’s no longer in ye olde accounte – but BSS still sends me a bill and threatens to turn me over to collections.

            So, even though this was their mistake, I had to take time and have the bank fax in paperwork to prove I paid (which they did).

            A month goes by and I hear nothing. Time to call “customer service” (can you feel the dread?)

            First, I get the pleasant sounding automated guy, who can’t understand anything you’re saying because you’re ticked and he’s a freakin’ robot.

            Please wait while we transfer your call.

            Off to billing, but oops, they only handle active accounts.

            Please wait while we transfer your call.

            Accounts receivable is next, but they can’t help because my account is on hold and is still in the “final billing” stage.

            Please wait while we transfer your call.

            Final billing isn’t the last stop (War is peace). I believe I had an aneurysm at that point because I can’t remember reason for the next transfer.

            Please wait while we transfer your call.

            “Accounts receivable, hello. May I have your 10-digit number and 3-digit verification code?” I thought when I gave my number to the automated guy it was to speed up this darn process?

            Finally, this lady tells me that the fax I sent (a month ago) couldn’t be read clearly so they were going to need the information resent.

            She could not explain why I wasn’t notified about the illegible fax, so I suggested she give me the number to the “payment claims department” which is only open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in order to facilitate better communication.

            She said, “Payment claims personnel do not communicate with customers.”

            To which I replied, “They have phones in their office, right?” “Yeah.” “Well, then give me the phone number.”

            “Sir, there’s nothing more I can do for you.” Click.

            (Had second aneurysm)

            I can’t believe how full of BSS this lady was.

            Anyway, my point is this: cherish the quality local experiences you get here in Statesboro and support them with you hard-earned dollars. Because a company like BSS will only tell you this — “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.”

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