I’m finding it quite difficult to breathe right now. My hands are shaking, my vision’s blurred and I feel like wanting to end it all. I’ve just got off the phone with my broadband supplier’s customer service department.
I don’t want to turn this into a specific bitch about them, although I’m more than happy for you to know that it’s Tiscali who took up 50 minutes of my afternoon, transferred me six times, had me call back three and then told me my account had been inexplicably cancelled several weeks ago. But it’s a bigger problem than Tiscali – having done a quick straw poll in the office, I found only one person who had their broadband moved between addresses successfully first time (BT, since you ask).
Do these companies not have processes? If I was a broadband supplier, I’d assume that eventually one of my customers would move house, and I’d work out a plan for what to do in that eventuality.
And I’ve got a broken iPod. I sent it to be fixed, and it returned decidedly non-fixed. So I called their customer services and spent another 45 minutes for them to establish it was probably a problem with one of the files on my computer. After using the online diagnostic tools, I hit help, which took me to a dark corner of the internet, reserved for support stuff. And that page told me that clicking help would take me to a help page. Except it didn’t. It took me to a page telling me that clicking help would take me to a help page. Can we say ‘FAIL’?
This isn’t just a bitch at Apple and Tiscali, I promise. It’s more to do with the fact that customer support is SO woeful in the tech industry. You talk to people who don’t understand the product they’re troubleshooting. There’s no clear remit for different departments, so you get caught in the endless circle of transferring between them. Online support isn’t sufficient, and when your problem is inevitably not fixed online, there’s no indication as to how you go about talking to a real person.
I don’t know if it’s a UK-based problem. Maybe in North America you call someone, explain the problem to them and then they let you get off the phone whilst they sort it out for you. Maybe then they drop you a quick email saying ‘hey, thanks for the call – sorry we screwed up. But we’ve fixed it now, and since it was our fault in the first place, we’ve credited your account. And sent some brownies’.
So, I’m sorry, readers. I’m sorry that you’ve borne the brunt of my frustration. But let something good come out of this, yes? Say no to crappy customer service. Stop buying the products. Unsubscribe. Find someone better to relieve you of your hard earned money.
Because you’re worth it.
Susi Weaser is the editor of Shiny Shiny, and is sick of moronic customer service