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Pitney Bowes: The Pits - Comments

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I had to laugh when reading this: I am currently going through the same situation with Pitney Bowes in the UK, although not quite as long as 3 years in Kit's case!

I decided what the heck when they phoned me about the 30 day trial. The franking machine was delivered to my office, and once I'd opened the box and read everything I actually decided that with the amount of post we send, a franking machine wasn't worth it. This was in May 2006. I immediately phoned the woman I dealt with and told her I was no longer interested and asked her to come collect the machines as I was still within the 30 day trial. She promised someone would be sent out within 5 days to collect the machines. The day after I cancelled, ANOTHER franking machine was delivered. I phoned to tell the woman this, and she again promised that someone would be around to collect them. It is now the 1st August, and once again I have been on the phone fighting with Pitney Bowes to come and collect their 2 huge boxes that are taking up space in my office. Despite numerous faxes, phonecalls and emails and promises from them to 'collect' the machines, I have not yet seen a single delivery man.

I have now told them that if someone doesn't come round tomorrow morning I will be either eBaying the machines or sending them COD to the Pitney Bowes Head office. And despite all this they say to me 'oh we see there are a number of notes on your account' but yet they still carry on sending me invoices! Thank goodness they have never charged me for them. There would be hell to pay if they did. I will never even look at Pitney Bowes again. What a mistake!!!

Yeah, I run a small business and signed up for their tri folder machine + postage meter on a promise from my sales rep that the quarterly fee would only be $200. Sounded like an alright deal for my company since I was sure we where going to use both machines for a while. Anyways, to make a long story short we where billed more then the contract, our rep quit on us without any sort of notification, and we're stuck with two units that didn't work...with no one to get a hold of!

To make matters worse, PB's customer service is the worse we've ever dealt with. Their sales reps are rude/pushy and their technicians don't know their ass from their elbow... overall we recommend everyone STAY AWAY from PB.

Yup, Pitney Bowes is a real piece of work. I work for a company that has a good size office, and 2 smaller offices. We had PB postage machines in all 3, but a year ago we decided to go with Neopost for the large office. They have much newer machines, and your local rep really does take care of everything. We cancelled the one lease, and PB was supposed to come pick up the dinosaur. A year later we still have it! We have now cancelled all of our leases with PB and gotten new machines and real customer service.

Problem is, we are still getting bills from PB for our leases and maintenance, even tho I canceled them 8 weeks ago, at the end of our lease. They know they are canceled, because they called to say they would be picking them up, and sent us a bill for $250.00 for "asset recovery"! I called, and was told asset recovery is so they can refurbish them and resell them. That's a PB business expense, not ours. I called again, got another person (mind you it takes FOREVER to get anyone), and this guy told me the charge is for the courier to come get it! I asked if the courier was the President, and he said I have to talk to the Asset Recovery dept. to complain...I asked for their number, and honest to God he told me they don't have any phones in that dept. I said "WHAT"?, and he said "they are too busy to talk to people on the phone", so they don't have phones, and I would have to write them a letter! I guess opening mail, reading it, and responding to it is faster than a phone call? HELLO!!!

I have to say, we have had a great time making fun of 'Pitney Boobs', but we would lick stamps before ever using them again. I make sure to thank our new Neopost rep for being so wonderful every time I talk to him!

i work for PBGFS and I am sorry you all have had problems but some of us do our jobs and do them well. Do you post about happy customers. We have many of them. I am proud of PB and Proud of the job I do for them. To bad you all could not have talked to me b/c you would have been serviced and taken care of.

--

Kim, the site is called Cranky Customer, so your question about posting the experiences of "happy customers" is kind of silly. That said, it's nice you're loyal to your company, even when it's rather clear that the experience the original essayist had is not an isolated problem -- comment after comment after comment shows it's instead much more systemic. If you truly give good customer service to your customers, good for you! Keep it up. But it looks to me like people at PB who actually care are quite rare anymore. -rc

I have had the leased machine for over 4 years. Over the years I have called in on a couple of problems and I cannot ever get a good clear answer. We are going to cancel within the next couple of weeks and I hope I will find an address where to ship the machine back to. For about a year the machine doesn't show the complete stamp. I have cleaned it and performed the maintenance on it etc. I have called in many times on this issue with the same response, "Until you can't read the postal code, we cannot do anything." Also the cost of the rental has more than doubled over the time I have had this unit and the monthly cost will go up in January again. I would not and will not recommend this service to any of my business friends! The customer service is very bad.

Funny about the above, I am a courier not in the USA and I have had to retrieve two postage machines from a small business, both from one business. When I arrived, I found two dinosaur pb machines which I had to pick up. I started to talk to the business owner, and he told me the same thing as above, that he had asked them ages ago to return them to no avail. He was so glad to finally get rid of them when I turned up. I think he said he had to babysit them for over a year.

I noticed that one person mentioned not using Pitney Bowes and switching to the deal where you print your own postage. If that involves Stamps.com, I would say be very careful. They are a difficult company to deal with.

First, I accidentally double clicked when shopping for the required labels (unknown to me, hubby had set the mouse to DOUBLE Click when you hit a single glick) and BAM without meaning to I ordered $85 worth of labels (I could've gotten by for 6 months on $3 worth!). I immediately called the company (which was difficult as they don't list their number on their materials and it took a lot of investigation to find the number) and learned that they WOULD NOT cancel the shipment. They told me I had to receive it and THEN send it back. So my $85 was tied up for a total of FIVE WEEKS. And I didn't get back the shipping charges which would've been saved if they'd agreed not to ship the package when I called them, DAYS before they shipped it!

And the process to get it refunded was very involved, if the package were opened, damaged, etc. they wouldn't take it back, there were forms in triplicate that had to be enclosed and filled out correctly, all to keep me from being able to get my money back. Cancelling the subscription to their service not long after was nearly as difficult and the account rep that I finally reached said the reason for the difficulty was "just what you think it is, they don't want to let you cancel."

All you customers have to understand that very often, the reps are in no position to deliver the service you seek because the corporate policy is "Get it signed and f... them". I witnessed countless occasions, when the managers tried to mislead (lie) to the customer, trying to sell something he doesn't need. I was very much ashamed but raising your voice about the subject would mean trouble and possibly lay off. Luckily for me, I found a new job and was extremely happy to leave. Pitney Bowes is the last place to work and the last company to do business with.

I wish I had read the above comments before we got locked into a 3 year contract with Pitney-Bowes. I have had so much trouble with them in the past year that I am honestly thinking it would be better to pay out the contract than have to put up with them anymore.

The last instance was when the meter wouldn't connect to their postage by phone service. This was just before christmas when we had to do a big marketing mailout. They continually told us the problem was the fault of our fax line. After an hour or so of starting the machine and then waiting for it to time out we were then instructed to ring diagnostics. We did that and after a long wait to get through we had more or the same: We were told to turn the machine on and off for another hour or so. They finally acknowledged that there was a problem with the machine and it would have to be replaced. Now this all took about 5 hours in total. They then said we would have to wait 3-4 business days for a new machine. There would be no compensation. They figured out the loss to our business was $1.17 a day. Needless to say our marketing mailout was time sensitive and we needed to get it out that day.

They did deliver the new machine 3 business days later but left the old machine behind with $60.00 credit on it. We are still trying to get them to pick the machine up and we are ready for them to not give us the credit on some spurious reason or other. Once the contract runs out there is no way I will do business with them again. I would rather wait in the Post Office. And the machine is not user friendly in the least. We just tried to change the standard letter rate and it is not working again.

I think there needs to be a way of warning businesses to be very wary of getting involved with Pitney Bowes.

I am a Pitney Bowes rep and first, I apologize for the difficulties that you all have had. I note a couple of things going on with many of you, though, that are very typical.

First, most of the complaints seem to be coming from people that have signed up for our lower end machines that come with a 60 day trial period, though many of the posts refer to a 90 day trial period and other such misunderstandings of the offer. Folks that accept this offer frequently do so as an impulse buy and then come here to complain about it and bring their convenient memory with them; i.e., 90 day free trial when it is really a 60 day trial. I find that customers at this level are usually only interested in paying the least possible for a meter, not in getting a system that will actually do what they need to have done.

If you pay $19.95 for something that doesn't do the job, then that is an expensive purchase. If, however, you pay $200 for something that does exactly what you want and makes you more efficient, that's a good deal. Just try convincing somebody of that, though. Don't focus on the price, focus on the total cost, and your business will run better.

Two of the posts above were from people that were new to their companies and they had no idea what the systems they had were intended for, though they wouldn't admit it. One poster referred to a Documatch as a meter. It's not. Another poster felt that the system their employer had was too much because it had a computer attached to it. Our systems that are linked to PCs are usually shipping management systems and properly used can significantly reduce shipping costs for the user. What happens though, is that we train the original user in how to use the system, they leave the company and the next person in doesn't ask for training and lacks the basic human curiosity to find out exactly what he has. When and if the person does ask for training, they balk at paying for it. Unbelievably, frequently the reason for this is that "it's your system and you should retrain us as necessary for free" as if we never 1) delivered training in the first place and 2) should bear some of the cost for your company's turnover problems.

When these systems are installed, we ask you to sign off on them saying that everything has been delivered as promised, you've been trained and everything is satisfactory. If it's not, don't sign it until it is. Be reasonable folks; it's a business transaction, not a gift. As a company, we expect to pay for our needs and so should you.

Believe it or not, the PB rep wants you to know how to use these systems. He wants you happy and gaining benefit from the use of the system so that he can use you as a referral. We're not trying to take advantage of you, but we do ask that you meet us halfway and actually learn what you have and how to use it properly.

Finally, we have nearly 2 million customers world wide, but only 29 complaints here, apparently among our least knowledgeable users. That is hardly "systemic". If that's all the complaints about us you have, that's pretty good. And you can't cop out by saying you're one small website, because the web site is also available world wide.

RC, we didn't "fall down" on our responsibility to inspect the machines as you accuse in your April 17 post. It's done remotely via modem now. Another instance of not really understanding how things work.

Hey, read this from the April 20, 2006 post by "Shirley": "We called to have someone come and fix it to find out that even though we were paying big bucks for the machine, we did not have a maintenance agreement on it so therefore we were screwed out of help unless we paid for it." So, Shirley got screwed because she didn't want to pay for a maintenance contract? That's like expecting the car dealer to fix your car for free even though you are "paying big bucks for the machine."

I could go through each one of these posts and find something like this, but I have to go find somebody else to not pay attention to what I am telling them.

---

I appreciate that you posted a response, even if it's not official, and agree that there surely are cases of ignorant customers whining when it really is their fault. But it's also ignorant to say that this "world-wide" connected web site gives all of your customers an opportunity to complain, and thus the 29 complaints here show how great PB is. Bullshit! This IS one tiny web site, and I doubt even 1% of your dissatisfied customers would even THINK of searching Google for a place to complain. And I doubt even 1% of those who do would bother. The Alexa rank of this site is 1.3 million -- compared to our sister site, JumboJoke, which is just a tiny joke site, which has an Alexa rank of 68,000. And that is hardly a big site. And where are the testimonials of satisfied customers who are so pleased they would bother to say, "Oh, you guys have it all wrong!"?

You call dissatisfied customer after dissatisfied customer wrong for being dissatisfied. Me, for instance: I'm "wrong" that PB has "fallen down" on its responsibility to inspect meters because it's now done remotely by modem. Uh huh: and exactly HOW is that done when the meter DOESN'T HAVE a modem? That's right: PB refused to pick up a meter that was old enough not to have one, AND they were not doing what's required by USPS by inspecting it. EVER! So you're wrong about it being inspected remotely AND you conveniently ignore the main point of the essay, which is that PB refused to pick up the equipment for over THREE YEARS!

Clearly, by looking at the posts here, PB does have a "systemic" customer service problem. Deny it if you wish, but I think that's part of the problem. -rc

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(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)