Category Archives: Ugly customer service

I’m back online – thanks to TSO Host!

My web hosting with Bluehost (a US-based web hosting provider) came to an end mid-February. The renewal price was exorbitant, so I decided to switch provider.

First, I spent about 3 weeks trying to get hold of my blog files. Every time, I’d be told by Bluehost’s Technical Support team to follow a series of steps but the instructions provided did not work. I tried from different machines. I cleared the cookies. Their control panel remained unresponsive and I couldn’t download my files. Continue reading

The spirit of Christmas not to be found at Waitrose Cambridge

Christmas Eve at Waitrose Cambridge

It’s a long-standing tradition for supermarkets across the country to play their part in spreading a bit of Christmas cheer by clearing their food stocks just before they close on Christmas Eve, slicing turkey prices and other Christmas dinner essentials. Continue reading

How BT does business with its customers – part 3

Fancy catching up on the full story? Start with part 1 and part 2.

Alan gets back to me the following week: “I checked this with our suppliers and the external work for your order is due to be completed on 16/06 with the internal work booked for 26/06. Once the external work is done I’ll expedite the appointment for the internal work with the aim of getting an appointment for 20/06. I’ll check this again on Monday 16/06 and will be in touch again then with an update.”

Alan gets back in touch on the 16/06 as promised: “External work completed and I’ve booked appointment for Friday 20/06 between 8am-1pm for the internal work to be done at your premises.”

At this stage, I’m thinking: this chap sounds efficient. I wonder whether the engineer will actually turn up on Friday… Continue reading

How BT does business with its customers – part 2

Remember the order I placed for BT Infinity back on March 12th? If you don’t, then read this blog post first.

So with the activation date finally agreed to May 6th, BT calls a few days earlier stating that ‘the appointment confirmed for 6th May has unfortunately not been confirmed with the engineers’ diary, so we need to reschedule’.

So a fourth appointment is now booked, this time for May 22nd. Wanting to take the utmost precaution, I email BT the day before the engineer’s visit requesting categorical confirmation that the appointment is still going ahead. BT rings me at 8:30am the next day: ‘an engineer is definitely coming today between 8am and 1pm’. Continue reading

How BT does business with its customers – part 1

Wind back to March 12th and find me placing an order for BT Infinity. I arrange an appointment for the service to be activated on March 26th between 8am and 1pm. All is well in the best of possible worlds.

Come March 26th, and my other half is eagerly waiting at home for the BT engineer to turn up and get the service going. At 2:30pm, he phones me perplexed ‘But where is he? I’ve been waiting here all day!’. Continue reading

Big News: Energy companies are ripping you off

To justify its existence, Ofgem has decided that it is going to start a two-year investigation of the “big six” energy suppliers in the United Kingdom.  Yes, fellow readers, it is going to take Ofgem a whole TWO years to research the state of the energy market and report on its findings. If I told my company I needed two years to investigate one industry in one country, I’d have the senior management point a crooked finger at me and say ‘you’re fired’.

Meanwhile, as average energy prices rise sharply well above the inflation year on year, and hefty profits are made, government ministers quietly sit in the balcony area watching the comedy-drama unfold. Occasionally, we hear a few words from Westminster on the subject, but never a concrete action worth talking about. Continue reading

British Gas – How not to run a call centre

This is how the story goes

Like a lot of British households, I have a boiler in my house. I know little about its intricacies, but I’m told it is customary to give the apparatus a health check once a year.

So, I called the UK Energy Giant, otherwise known as British Gas, to book a one-off boiler service. Little did I know that to book a one-off boiler service, one needed to set aside 40 minutes and be prepared to engage in dodgy dealings.

It took a good 5 minutes for the British Gas Voice at the end of the line to enter my full name, address, and telephone number. Then I was told the price and was asked to pay…with little knowledge as to when the boiler service could be arranged for. Most peculiar way of doing business I thought but I was reassured that it is British Gas’ policy to take your money first before the full package (service, price, and delivery date) is agreed on. Continue reading