Monday, 27 September 2010

Is it really so hard??

I've done the who customer facing job thing a few times. A few years behind a bar, can't avoid the customer there. A few years delivering pizzas, can't avoid the customer there. A move to a call centre and then a call centre complaint handler, can't see them but can hear them, so can't avoid them there.

Luckily (depending if you enjoy that kind of role I suppose) those days, for now at least, are behind me, but I'm still close by. Right, pointless opening? Maybe, but it does set a scene that I have some experience in service.

My point is, why do I seem to encounter incompetence or downright laziness wherever I turn? I'm not going to comment on the service the company I work for gives, too many people have hung themselves like that, I'm neutral on it, as it should probably be in my kind of job (still complaints but backroom complaints), but I can at least say I always tried my best when I was customer facing.

But of late, everyone seems to conspire against being as helpful as they can. My first rant is against Plusnet, a perfectly adequate company if you never have to communicate with them. I recently moved home (or am in the process of, see earlier blog) and out Internet provider, having never caused us hassle before was going to accompany us. Went to the website to change the address and... nope can't do it online... annoying but oh well to the phone I go, and I wait, and I wait... Now Plusnet's opening hours quite closely match my working ones and they don't do weekends, so my big chance to ring them is my breaks and a chunk out of my lunch, none of these are long enough time periods to get through.

So after trying for a couple of days I go "Screw you Plusnet I'm cancelling, Sky can do my broadband!" I go to their website and... phone or post cancellations only. Now they do have a online help thing and I post on there, want to cancel can't get through on the phone can you please call me, to which they reply, you have to phone. Yes I know this but I can't. There's no email option.. to an ISP...

Their response to this query was OFCOM make us give you two options, and phone and post are the two, the slowest and the one they can charge for. It may be compliant to their regulatory body, but it's doing enough to get by and still being as obstructive as they can, obviously cancellation isn't ideal for them. Stuff them I've logged a complaint with their ombudsman (CI something or another) and notified OFCOM of my thoughts. That'll make them sit up and take note... or not.

Next on the list, and the last one I'll mention today (ooooooh it's a long long list) is KFC. Specifically KFC Merthyr sodding Tydfil. Now I love Merthyr, it's my homeland, but we have a habit of doing things half arsed, the number of times McDonalds staff haven't quite comprehended 'No cheese', shop staff not quite sure of what's going on, that kind of thing. But tonights KFC incident did my swede right in.

I arrive late, I've been painting, I'm hungry, the OH is hungry, we want 2 fillet meals. But they have no bread... oh (partial) burger place has no bread, not a good sign. OK the OH has crispy strips and I decide on a toasted twister meal. But because of the time (As you can see the bread fairy had already been) they couldn't toast it, so it was really just a twister, for the same price. But I was hungry and it was 35 yards to McDonalds and I didn't have the patience for the cheese argument tonight, so I took it. Then it took 10 minutes to arrive (it's late.. blah blah) I mean I understand they want to go home closing time, but if you're not willing to offer the service til closing time, change the closing time. Rather than my boring soggy wrap I'd rather they would have said, sorry we're closed.

On the up side, I picked up Lonely Avenue by Ben Folds/Nick Hornby today. Give or take one stinker it's damn good, in particular From Above, delightful song. I would recommend it to anyone. Oh and for the record the HMV staff who served me was a dream, not that much can go wrong scanning a CD...

I might get perfect service somewhere tomorrow, but as Ben sings and Nick wrote, "You know what hope is? Hope is a bastard"


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