Our water pump in the villa has been broken for about a year. At one point Husband tried to fix it, but instead he broke the bypass tap. Now that we plan on renting the villa, we realise we have to address the problem, so it fell to me to call Emrill and schedule an appointment.
About a year ago, we had Emrill come to look at the water pump. In fairness, they did indeed look at it; they might even have kicked it a couple of times. Then they charged us US$ 300, which they claimed was for fixing the problem, but was ACTUALLY for standing around feeling their armpits and the inestimable pleasure of their company.
So I called 800-EMRILL:
Me: Hello, I’d like to have someone come and fix our water pump, please.
Customer Service: What is the problem, Madam?
Me: The water pump is broken.
CC: What’s wrong with it?
Me: It’s not working.
CC: Ok. Where are you located?
Me: Springs 2, Street 12, Villa 66-
CC: Villa 9
Me: No, Villa 66-
CC: Yes, Villa 9-
Me: No, Villa 66, S-I-X S-I-X
CC: Someone will come.
Me: Thank you. Er, when?
CC: Maybe today.
Me: Ok, can you give me an idea what time?
CC: I say, today.
Me: Well, I’m not going to be in the house this afternoon-
CC: Please call if you go out.
Me: You have no idea when someone might arrive? Do you really think this is an efficient way to do business?
CC: What is this word: ‘efficient’?
Me: Listen, I have much better words than that.
When I put down the phone, it took me half an hour to unclench my buttocks.
Now, according to Murphy’s Law of Existentialism, the only way to guarantee the maintenance man would show up was to leave the house. This is absolutely sound, failsafe logic with only one flaw, admittedly a large one: I would not be there when they arrived.
I spent ages agonising about whether to call Emrill to inform them I was going out; or to not call Emrill in order to fully convey the extent of my pettiness and ire; or whether I should call them – not to tell them I was leaving – but to communicate just how much I RESENTED calling.
Then I forgot all about it.
When I returned to the house that evening, there was a card on the door informing me that I had not been in the house, and that I should call Emrill to reschedule.
It took me a week to summon the energy. Finally, one morning, I was feeling up to it. The sun was shining, the birds singing, I’d slept well. My coffee was just strong enough to be peppy without burning my eyes.
Me: Hi, I’d like to reschedule a maintenance appointment.
CC: <in thick accent> Job number.
Me: Sorry- did you say job number? Right. <reading off the card> S-
CC: <thicker than three day old custard> S-P-R-B-D-F
Me: What? Sorry, the card only says S-6249.
CC: <big sigh demonstrating superior lung capacity> The full job number is SPRBDF-6249.
Me: Ok, that’s nice.
CC: The man, he went to your house. But there was nobody there-
Me: Yes, and I’m really terribly sorry about that.
CC: Oh dear, oh dear. The job, it is very old.
Me: Well, I logged it last week.
CC: Very old. I will have to be making the new job card.
Me: Yanno, WHATEVER.
CC: I am making new card. What is the problem, Madam?
Me: Same problem I reported last week.
CC: What is this?
Me: Is it not on the old job card?
Me: Ok, the water pump is broken.
CC: What is wrong with it?
Me: It’s BROKEN! If it was <expletive deleted> WORKING, I wouldn’t be CALLING YOU, WOULD I?
CC: Is there someone being in your house?
Me: Indeed, I will sit around all day on the off chance that someone from Emrill might grace me with a visit at any moment hereby unspecified.
CC: I am thanking you for your call, Madam.
This time, my buttocks were so clenched I couldn’t get up off the chair. I banged my head off the table for a while in a futile attempt to relieve frustration. In the end, the only thing to do was call Emrill back.
Me: Hello, I’d like to CANCEL job number SPRBDF-6260.
CC: What is the job number?
Me: S. P. R. B. D. F. Siix. Twooo. Siiiix. Zeeroooo.
CC: So, you logged this yesterday-
Me: This morning.
CC: No, you logged it yesterday.
Me: You know, I remember quite well when I logged it, because it was only five minutes ago-
CC: No, the date on the card is twelve November.
Me: I think you will find, with a bit of research and some relatively untaxing powers of deduction, that today is twelfth November.
CC: Is it?
Me: DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHAT DATE THE CALL WAS LOGGED? I JUST WANT TO CANCEL THE JOB WITHOUT LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!
CC: Ok, the job is cancel.
Me: Do you want to know WHY I’m cancelling a job I logged five minutes ago?
Me: Well, I’m going to tell you anyway! So there! It’s because Emrill is rubbish! I hope the quality of maintenance is better than the level of customer service, because if not, there are a whole bunch of houses that will probably collapse into a whole pile of rubble after your maintenance men visit! So far, I have found Emrill’s customer care to be possibly the most tragically awful, uninformative, apathetic, enraging bunch – which is saying something in a country hardly renowned for its customer relations!
Me: Ok, bye.