As a social networking manager, part of my job is customer support. Most people only resort to reaching out to me when they’re frustrated with something … though I do love hearing about when y’all are happy too. I know that and am as understanding and friendly as possible when assisting a frustrated user with their issue(s). The problem is, being friendly isn’t enough. My (virtual) smile is worth nothing to a user if I’m not able to provide them with correct information and/or resolve their issue. This is where my story begins…

Last Friday I realized I had lost my debit card. I came to this realization with food on the conveyor belt in line at the cashier at the grocery store. I went to pull out my card and it was not there. I panicked, stashed away my groceries hidden behind some cream cheese (I’d just gotten some bacon from the butcher section and didn’t want it to spoil) and headed to the nearby Chase location. I figured I’d return for my groceries as soon as I got a new card or at least picked up some cash.

I sat down with a very friendly banker who sought to get me a new card as soon as possible. He realized immediately that he could not instantly issue me a new card, as the account had originated out of state. He offered to expedite the card, so it would be there early the following week. I thanked him, withdrew some cash and returned for my groceries.

I got home from work on Wednesday to see a notice from UPS claiming it was already their second attempt at delivering a package (never did see a notice for the first attempt). I called immediately, to see if I could just pick up my package from the service center that night. The woman on the phone informed me that the package was from Chase and that they’d blocked them from changing the mode of delivery. She told me I could sign the back of my delivery notice and that they would leave the package the next day.

Thursday, I got home from work to find a new delivery notice and no package. I called UPS again, to see if my package was being returned to sender, or if I could try and get it from their dispatch center in Los Angeles. This time the man on the phone informed me that I always would have had to sign in person, thanks to the restrictions Chase put on the package. The woman on the phone the day before had given me wrong information. Had I been told that the day before, I would have been able to call Chase to have them lift the block on mode of delivery. Then I could have either picked it up, or at least signed the delivery notice. Instead, my card was headed back to Chase, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Each and every person I talked to along the way was very friendly, both at Chase and UPS. Friendly didn’t get my debit card to me in time to order something for my mom for Mother’s Day. Simple, seemingly minute details completely derailed this process for me. Had the banker at Chase informed me a signature would be required, I would have had them send the card to my office. Had the woman at UPS told me that I had to sign in person, rather than sign the delivery notice as she suggested, I could have called Chase and done something about it. Instead, today I had to worry that I had enough gas left in the tank to make it to Chase to withdraw money the old-fashioned way and then get back to a gas station. I love Seinfeld, but I never wanted to live vicariously through Kramer to see how far I could go on empty.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I love you. Sorry I couldn’t send you flowers this year. Instead I offer you this blog post and the knowledge that I totally stormed out of a Chase branch screaming, “you ruined Mother’s Day!” I did it for you … and future frustrated customers everywhere that just need the right information.