Poor customer service in Germany

522 posts in this topic

Cut me a little slack

 

My wife and I rent allot of DVDs from a local business, enough to say that we are the best customers, and recently they changed the rules to require you to return them by 8pm on 9pm (closing). The reason is and it makes sense is so other people can watch them. We've reserved vids several times and had to forgo because some one was late in returning them so the rule makes sense.

 

But in our situation rented 6 DVDs for the Christmas weekend and returned 5 of them early (due back Monday 20uhr) but I was a bit late in returning the last one (8:30 rather than 8) and they had the gaul to charge me a full extra day.

 

Don't you think they should have cut us a little slack!

 

But on the other hand they are the only business in town and what do they care if they piss off their customers!

 

Or does the fact that the customer is king not matter in Germany?

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I'm afraid "customer service" as we know it is sadly a bit of a rarity in Germany :wacko:

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Cut me a little slack

:doh: ouch, don't mind me will ya?

 

But you are right, they should not have charged you as part of customer care. Next time you are in there talk to the boss and tell him you are thinking of opening a DVD rental in the same town because of his crap customer care :P

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Every video store in Canada has a night drop box, but for some reason they don't do that here. That would go a long ways in solving my aggravation.

 

We're moving shortly anyways so it will be a moot point.

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There is a cafe where we live and my wife goes there probably 3 times a week with other mothers and kids. always leaves a nice tip because the kids sometimes make a mess. When I was there before christmas, i knocked a candle off the table and smashed the holder. Apologised, thought nothing of it. Yesterday they asked my wife for €20 to replace. What an effin cheek. Do they not realise that if they ask us to pay, I'll either refuse and then not come anymore, or I'll pay it and not come anymore, or I'll pay it and not tip anymore when I come? It's this short-sightedness that drives me nuts.

 

I think I'll wait for a letter from their solicitor.

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Well I have a story of some unusually good customer service. We are in the process of moving (bought a small flat in Lagen near Frankfurt) and is currently unoccupied so the electricity was turned off. I asked one of the neighbours if we could plug into their place so we could start the renovations and they suggested calling the city.

 

Well the long and short of it is someone drop by within a half hour of our call and turn on the power, needed only a new fuse.

 

Very impressed I expected to wait till at least the first of the new year.

 

good thing we didn't borrow the neighbours electricity as I've been yelled at a few times for violating the rules. I sure we'll get along great once I know all the rules. :D

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Here's a story more than post. I wrote home.

 

----

 

Sometimes I just want the comforts of home. You can't believe the German health system. I pay €800 a year for health insurance which I rarely ever require. THEN, when you do require medical help, they make you pay a quarterly "Medical Practice Fee" of €10. You pay this once per quarter if you visit the doctor.

 

However, unlike Canada where you go to a house doctor or general clinic, and then you get a referral to a specialist, in Germany you can go directly to a specialist if you feel you have something a specialist needs to look at. (This same €10 applies). Now, if you already paid your €10 because you've been to the doctor in this quarter but want to go to another doctor, you have to go to the first doctor to get a form stating you've paid the fee (no, just hanging on to your initial receipt will not do), then go to the 2nd doctor. HOWEVER, each medical practice keeps its own office hours, and they are for example:

 

Mo 9am-12pm, 4pm-6pm

Tues 9am-12pm

Weds none

Thursday 9am-12pm, 4pm-6pm

Friday 9am-12pm, 4pm-6pm

 

This is to demonstrate that doctors aren't all that available, and not all doctors keep these kinds of hours. At that, this also doesn't imply general "walk-in" as I found out today. So, to go to the first doctor to get the paper in order to visit the second could actually require you to plan an entire week around this, and this also assumes it will all go off without a hitch.

 

Now, if you try to go to another GP and have already paid your €10 AND got the piece of paper, you still have to pay another €10 because they want to protect against people changing their house doctor too often. Don't forget I have already paid €800 for health insurance this year which I barely use.

 

So this above was the preamble to my day. For the last three days, my lips and the tip of my tongue have been numb. Numb like after the dentist numb, or when the anaesthetic is in the process of wearing off. I have no idea why this is. I've read everything from calcium deficiency in the blood, to Multiple Sclerosis, to a possible sign of stroke. It's been stressing me out exponentially with the passage of time.

 

I decide it's time I do something about it, but of course, I tend to try to avoid anything involving the words "German" and "Administration", because if you lived here you would understand (I will tell you shortly about customer service from our internet provider later).

 

I initially thought, no, I'll just wait until thursday when my GP has open office hours (After reading above, it means that I'm not allowed to be sick on wednesday without paying a premium), but you know, I've been flipping out and flipping out some more so I thought - shit, I'll skip my lecture and go to a neurologist. (My doctor's secretary said I should do this, and I could get my €10 back later, because if my lips are numb, that's "really bad" ["wirklich schlimm" hat sie gesagt])

 

So, off to the first neurologist. I walk in, and the lady is immediately unfriendly, and looks put out that I even walked through the door. This is not atypical in Germany. She says, "no, the doctor won't see you, we're not taking any new patients." I said "I don't want to come back here either, but please, I really don't know what's wrong with..." NEIN! she said. So I asked if she could recommend some other people in the area. Sigh. "Here's a phonebook".

 

At the end of this, I said "look, you know it could help all of us SICK PEOPLE out there if you would state on your answering machine message that you're not taking any new patients because I just traveled 45minutes to..."

 

-Yeah, we'll do that.

"Yeah, sounds like you will too" (you fucking evil cow, under my breath in english)

 

2nd doctor. I arrive and the receptionist says "wow, you've had bad luck. The doctor just left 20 minutes ago and won't be back for 2 weeks." Now she was nice, probably because she wasn't german. I swear, I get the feeling sometimes that in Germany, if something is wrong, it's automatically your fault until you can somehow prove it's not. God forbid something accidental or UNPLANNED happen in Germany. Feck, the whole system falls apart if every little cog isn't doing its exact job in the bigger machine called "german efficiency", which is acutally one big farce. Germany is actually one big Rube Goldberg machine.

 

3rd Doctor. I get to within a stone's throw of the office and reach the receptionist on the phone. She says, yes, we have office hours at the moment, but not for something acute/urgent. I ask, why do you even have these office hours if you have to make an appointment anyway? If you can't just walk in, then why tell people the times you are open? they have to call to make an appointment, so you tell them when they come in.

 

Now I understand what it's like for immigrants in Canada, when they are frustrated, and just sound like the agitated Albanian guy with broken english - nobody wants to help that guy?! do they?? they think "oh, this guy's becoming a bit of a disturbance, isn't he? Let's try to just pass him along to someone else". This is how I felt today.

 

4th Doctor. "Office Hours were canceled" though they never spoke clearly enough into their machine, so I couldn't make out the message (as I was 2 blocks away).

 

Fuck it. I'll just go to a normal GP (the above were neurologists) and see what they have to say about it. This is when the girl at the 5th practice tells me I can't go to another house doctor without paying this €10 fee. If I went to the hospital I would also have to pay a €10 fee.

 

So it would seem, for €800 a year, plus another €40 in "practice fees", I can't see a doctor when I want and need to, without paying even more. I decided to just come home and hope I don't die before Thursday morning, and just deal with this strange numbness that everyone tells me "isn't at all good".

 

And feck, according to Germans apparently, it's naturally my fault. It's my fault I don't know the system too well, it's my fault I don't plan my accidents in advance, it's my fault I can't get the treatment I require and pay for.

 

But it's not my fault the allies never nuked this needlessly complicated country into a ball of glass and started over. And for that, ironically, I'm sorry.

 

Should I even get into my experience on the weekend with my internet provider??

 

Don't want to, but I still have more steam to let off. Long story short - if your speciality is customer service, come over to Germany and mop the floor with these douche bags. I called the ISP because after moving into my new place, I found that the internet wasn't working as one comes to expect. I called for service, which by the way costs 14 cents/minute for customers, but free for non-customers. (Please kick me while I'm down, Germans, it's what you do best!) After a certain amount of time of trying to explain the situation (no wait, we waited on hold for 3 minutes, explained the problem to the first person who then patched us through to tech support, only to be hung up on 2 minutes later). After a certain amount of time of trying to explain the problem and asking for a technician to be sent, I noticed myself getting more and more agitated on the phone and couldn't figure it out. Then it hit me. This was unlike any other customer service call I'd ever experienced. I then said "why are you arguing with me? why are you actually raising your voice to me? I'm just a customer with a concern and need help, and I can't even finish a sentence before you start to..."

 

- It's because I feel like I'm speaking to a brick wall.

 

"I'm sorry, miss, did you just say that?! I'm a customer and need help, and all you've told me so far is that if the internet doesn't work it's my fault. If I can't get the proper help I AM PAYING FOR, then I should probably just cancel my service, then order the same service from you in 2 days, so that I can get a technician out here to do the installation. Moreover, you're not even a technician, you're the person who patches me in to the technician. Frankly, I don't think you're qualified for these types of iss..."

 

- I'd like to wish you a very nice day, sir. Auf wiederhören. (i.e. goodbye)

 

The Customer service Rep HUNG UP ON ME!!! What the feck is that!? Now, my girlfriend was in the room and told me there was nothing particularly hostile in my tone, and that over time I was getting increasingly frustrated because I of course wasn't being allowed to finish my sentences. At one point I had to "shoosh" her. I went "Ah! Ahh! Ah Ah" as in "Piggy's got the conch, now shut the fuck up!"

 

I guess if there is barely a point to take away from this, it would be: "If germans allow this, then they're more or less ok with it. which to me makes me think - how do these people really think?"

 

Discuss?

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... This is to demonstrate that doctors aren't all that available, and not all doctors keep these kinds of hours ...

because they are busy treating sick/immobile patients in their homes ... Hausbesuch

 

 

... Ein Hausbesuch ist ein Besuch eines Arztes, Physio-, Ergotherapeuten oder Logopäden bei dem Patienten zuhause. Jeder niedergelassene Arzt ist berufsrechtlich dazu verpflichtet, notwendige Hausbesuche bei seinen Patienten zu leisten. Dies gilt auch außerhalb der Sprechstundenzeiten und nicht nur für hausärztlich tätige Allgemeinmediziner, Internisten und Kinderärzte, sondern auch für Fachärzte anderer Richtungen ...
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I´m afraid this sounds like typical customer service "German style" to me - especially the episode per telephone - it´s anonymous y´see? - being on the ´phone means "they" can put theirs down on you and you can´t do a single thing about it!

Get well soon!

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I wish I only paid €800 a year! I'd be more than willing to pay every Doctor I visited €10 if that's all it cost.

I'm a student. It's all relative.

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I'm a student. It's all relative.

And here is one of your old quotes...

 

 

I just think privatized health care as a title, indicates already how it's not in the best interest of people. Let's derive profit models from dealing with the treatment of sick people? That to me is morbidly sick. My company "succeeds" when I can avoid treating a client. That's what sounds f*cked up about healthcare. I guess you guys are used to it, so it doesn't sound so completely insane like it does to many canadians, brits, french, maybe even germans.

So you still think prviatized health care is the evel? Why let profit and capitalism help deal with treatment!

 

"No new patients, sorry"

 

"No extra hours, sorry"

 

"Welcome to socialized healthcare, sorry"

 

At least you got what you wanted.

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I gave up reading after the third paragraph because it's much too long and you also keep missing the point. Just a few issues that sprang to mind within the first few lines:

 

  • It's insurance; 'value for money' has nothing to do with it. Most people will go through life paying more into their health insurance than they get back. That's how insurance works and it's the same with all insurances in all countries. €800 is CHEAP. If you want value for money, throw yourself in front of a bus or take up smoking.
  • You ALWAYS go to your normal doctor first. They transfer you to any necessary specialists. This way, all your medical records are in one place: at your doctor's. You only pay the €10 once. It's not a lot of money.
  • Doctors need to eat lunch as well.

 

I gave up after that, but I'm sure it was very interesting.

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hey gatzke, go f*ck yourself, or pawn your ultra-republican capitalist crap off on someone else. Better still go home to America where everything is perfect. (for all you listeners just tuning in, you missed 300+ pages of the presidential election thread...)

 

Canada has the evil "socialized medicine" and at that, moreso than germany because we pay NOTHING. And I would gladly have that at the moment, because somehow we "hammer and sickle Canadian socialists" (be careful, we might even be COMMUNISTS, you brainwashed twat) still understand something about convenience and simplicity, especially when one is suffering from some ailment.

 

The issue is about the organisation and Durchführung of the idea, not the idea itself.

 

Healthcare reforms that would be fantastic in Germany:

 

- USE COMPUTERS. This means, I shouldn't have to go around town fetching Überweisungen because some computer knows if I've paid, by scanning my Krankenkassekarte. I don't see why I need to go to the first doctor for them to print out a form without asking for medical advice as to whether my visit to Doctor X is actually required.

 

- Open walk-in clinics with extended hours. You know, not an emergency, but not a niggling problem either. Clinics for acute problems that don't cost extra Praxisgebühren, because it would be like a Praxis, but without the requirement for all doctors to do housecalls, and patients only go for acute problems. (i.e. but not serious/life-threatening/time-critical enough for the hospital.)

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are you any better now?

thanks for asking, but no. not better, but not worse. It goes in and out of being asleep, then waking up and feeling sort of fat and itchy, then going back to sleep again.

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Canada has the evil "socialized medicine" and at that, moreso than germany because we pay NOTHING.

Even in Canada someone is paying for it. If not you, then someone else is covering the cost of the big NOTHING for you. Because NOTHING is free.

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