Menuâ€™s for call centres are apparently a modern convenience to help handle our calls better. But better for who? It certainly doesnâ€™t feel like itâ€™s better for me as I find myself randomly stabbing a series of numbers like a lab rat hoping for a biscuit. Today my biscuitâ€™s name is Mandy and although receptive to my problem, I canâ€™t but help to feel Iâ€™ve just wasted my time.
To be honest, I know itâ€™s not Mandyâ€™s fault my phone no longer works and I suspect that if she could flick a switch to make it work she would do. Unfortunately I have arrived at this point after a series of phone calls to a number of different call centres.
Speaking to people that have worked on call centres and hearing reports in the media, I can see that a dislike of call centres often results in an irate customer getting abusive with the operator. Who is to blame? At the risk of making a sweeping generalisation I can only conclude that the fault lies squarely at the feet of the call centres and the companies that operate them. Convenience for the call centres requires us to answer a series of questions via our keypad before we even speak to the operator. Now if I thought that it would indeed help me get through to the correct subsection of a company and have the operator ready to help Iâ€™d not feel so fed up with them, but it rarely does and I am often still required to answer those same questions all over again.
The irony of the situation is that it is with communications companies that I have recently found myself dealing with. Companies that seem unable to communicate with their customers or themselves. Initially the communication was with Tiscali. A company I would never recommend to anyone else. They are a prime example of a modern service company and their lack of customer service. They have a menu system to get you to the correct department; they also ask you for the number your broadband service is on before you actually get to speak to someone. Practice makes perfect. This rat knows exactly which buttons to press. Biscuit ahoy! Weâ€™ve found the technical department, but my biscuit tastes of curryâ€¦.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I like curry. A great fan of it. But if my biscuit tastes of it Iâ€™m not so impressed. Why? Well when it comes to technical help, I might find it more useful if I could understand them and they could understand me. All credit to them, their English is much better than my Indian but it just isnâ€™t cutting it Iâ€™m afraid. Especially when after I struggle I find out that theyâ€™re also incompetent. To cut a very long story short I spent the best part of 3 months ringing them every few nights and during that time I was cut off 4 times, put on hold for almost 2 hours, repeatedly told that someone was dealing with the problem and I would be called back within 2 days.
So not only did my biscuit taste of curry, it had gone all soft by the time I got it.
I eventually met Greg. Greg works for Tiscali. Greg keeps his promises. If he says heâ€™ll ring back he will and at roughly the right time too. Greg doesnâ€™t taste of curry and Greg appears to know what heâ€™s doing. Unfortunately the only way you can speak to Greg is by speaking to Ann-Marie in the cancellations department and telling them you want to leave. Greg is not only a none curry flavoured biscuit thatâ€™s still crunchy, this mofoâ€™s fucking Taste the Difference top shelf 3rd level.
Unfortunately Greg is surrounded by extra value, basics biscuits. He has trouble getting people within his company to do stuff for him. Heâ€™s stuck with people not calling him back, failing to do their job properly and leaving him hanging there. If Mr Taste the Difference canâ€™t get help from his own company how the fuck I am I meant to? Hanging his head in shame he got us our MAC code sorted and then organised a refund for the last 4 months.
Beyond belief we got the refund. Our broadband is now with ADSL24, whose technical support department have in addition to a phone number they have an MSN contact. And it works!
So why am I munching on a biscuit called Mandy? Why is AurÃ©lie on the phone to Tiscali again? Because it would appear there has been a problem in the hand over between Tiscali and BT for our phone calls. Tiscali still think weâ€™re with them, even though they have notes telling them we left over a month ago! Two communications expects apparently canâ€™t. One canâ€™t even talk to itself!
My suggestion is to get all the biscuits into one big tin and shake them up. I reckon the crumbs weâ€™d pour out the other end couldnâ€™t do any worse. If nothing else theyâ€™d probably taste nicer on a some kind of apple crumble or similar.