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Rant Mobile/Phone Line Companies and Estate Agencies

Discussion in 'General' started by theevilelephant, 19 Sep 2008.

  1. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant Minimodder

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    Ok I will admit it right now this is a rant, but I damn well feel justified in my rant!

    I moved into my flat at the start of September and I've spent the last 2-3 weeks on the phone to various companies, I've been put on hold for hours and I mean literally hours.

    The first thing to happen was I arrived at my flat and took a look around. To my surprise not only had the flat not been cleaned, but the fridge was in the middle of the kitchen and had leaked everywhere(and didn't work), there was water damage to various walls/ceilings, there was only 1 bed (in a 3 bedroom flat) but two mattresses that were both COVERED in piss(when I say covered I mean they were actually bright yellow) the toilet didn't work and there was mold everywhere. To put it mildly I was furious, so off to the estate agents, who then tried to claim that actually the cleaners had been and tried to show me some photos to prove it. After telling them that either they had made a mistake or their cleaners were rubbish, I made them visit the flat to see for themselves. To be fair once they had seen the flat they fixed most things within a few weeks.

    The next thing to happen was trying to get a BT line for broadband.... Easy you say? Just phone up and ask for one! Not so, say I. The first time I phoned them, they told me the flat didn't have a BT line, when I told them that actually it did, because the previous tenants had told me it was a BT line, and the phone socket was a BT socket they just kept telling me I didn't have a BT line. So after 3-4 days of phoning various BT departments I started getting a new answer, "you do have a line, it's just not a BT one". Aha! I thought, some progress.... so I asked the obvious question "well who's is it then". The answer? We can't tell you for legal reasons..... Riiiiiight ok. So cue 2 days of phoning various companies to try and find out if it was their line, finally Virgin told me "its not ours it is a BT line" ok back to BT. I tell BT this they still refuse to say it is their line and try and charge me £124.99 installation fee, I phone virgin who say it definitely IS a BT line, because they provided broadband for it last year, finally when I told BT that, they admitted it was their line and dropped the £124.99. 3 days later? A phone line! Finally....

    Thankfully Virgin Media were very helpful and getting broadband took 3 days from phoning up the first time to being connected to the Internet. Good, I thought, things are changing for the better!

    WRONG

    Last week I was due the mobile phone upgrade which I so desperately need as my phone has spent the last 2 months going mental. So into an Orange shop I go and ask for my upgrade, I am told sorry but I'm not due one..... The reason? Well in mid august I had phoned up and asked to change the name of the person the contract was for, which apparently was "no problem". So that done I assumed all was well, what actually happened? Well they neglected to mention that by changing the name of the account holder, I effectively started a new account so they canceled my direct debit.... The reason I wasn't allowed an upgrade? Because I hadn't (unknowingly) paid my bill for 2 months! So here I am today my phone has now completely stopped working and I have to wait for them to process my new direct debit....

    I guess the reason for this rant is that I am so sick of companies doing the bare minimum in terms of service in the hope that I won't be bothered to hassle them. The estate agents we perfectly happy to let me move into a flat that was frankly disgusting and unlivable, BT was perfectly happy to charge me a £124.99 connection fee even though I shouldn't have to pay one, and Orange were happy to discontinue my Direct Debit without asking OR telling me anything about it!

    What happened to customer service?! I am now going to make sure that if possible I never use BT again, I will not recommend the estate agents to anyone (in fact i will tell them its rubbish) and I'm going to get a new mobile contract with someone else as soon as possible.

    /rant

    Am I the only person that has experienced stuff like this or feels this way?
     
    Last edited: 19 Sep 2008
  2. fev

    fev Industry Fallout

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    as someone who works in a customer facing role, you're being a whiney little bitch.

    You expect service from BT... that's a bit silly.

    You don't notice you haven't paid your mobile phone bill and then try to blame the company for your ignorance. OK fair enough they should have informed you that the direct debit would be canceled. But then if your 40 quid for the month hadn't come out of your account surely you would notice?
     
  3. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 What's a Dremel?

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  4. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    And that's your question answered theevilelephant - customer service is dead. If it existed, the estate agents would have given you your first month free for letting you move in when it was such a state, BT would have put you on to someone who actually listened to you, and had a person sent out to confirm it was a BT line, and Orange would have bothered to mention that your direct debit would need to be corrected when you changed the name the phone contract was in.

    None of the companies did this. People who work in customer services for companies like Orange and BT (and I know a few) get paid crappy wages, they have a job they generally hate, and they have a very "us vs. them" attitude with the customers. Fev gives us a nice illustration of this. You will not get actual service from the companies, you'll get what's required to fullfill the job requirements and not get fired or shouted at.

    As for the estate agents, they probably just don't care about you, your money, or the flat.
     
  5. will.

    will. A motorbike of jealousy!

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    I've only just got my phone line sorted a month after moving in (first attempt they activated the wrong house. Second attempt they forgot to send a technitian round. Third attempt, there was an order processing error.) I ended up calling the Chairmans Office and spoke to a guy called Darren. He sorted it out in 48 hours. Even managed to fast track open reach doing their bit for BE Unlimited. If only all the chickens in those awful call centres were like that! I swear, if they actually trained those morons they could cut their workforce in half and get things done quicker.
     
  6. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    It's got absolutely nothing to do with training the people in the call centres, and absolutely everything to do with targets. The first level agents will be paid a pittance (basic wage or slightly above it), and they will be targeted out of their arses. At the very least, they will be targeted on answer time, talk time and hold time (or an aggregation thereof). Call resolution rate might not even be mentioned at that level. It's not until you get to second or third tier support will resolution rates get more precedence over time spent on the phone.

    Trust me, I used to work as an analyst in a call centre company for a long time (read: over a decade), and I was the UK standards coordinator (ISO & other international call-centre specific standards) for one of the largest call centre companies in the world.
     
  7. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant Minimodder

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    OK then If we are trading insults "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries".

    But seriously man, theres no need for insults....

    As for BT, at the end of the day they are a company and they take my money, I'd like to not be treated like an anonymous money source.

    As for not noticing the money going out of my account, I happen to have 4 different accounts, all of which have money going in/out every month. Yes maybe I should have checked, but I had been paying the direct debit for 16months already, I assumed I didn't need to check it everymonth.

    Don't take my rant the wrong way, I'm not getting at the people who work in customer services, on the whole they have been friendly and helpfull. All I want is to be treated with a little respect/curtesy.
     
  8. fev

    fev Industry Fallout

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    i'm always one for treat with me respect i'll give you some service. Come in and throw your phone at me and say it's broken. I'm doing the bare minimum... and then some less.

    Call me at 9pm ranting your service isn't working without any consideration for my evening... fob you till the morning. Some respect I'll check service levels and go some way to help you out from where I am.
    I give all my customers my personal number and update my voicemail according to what I'm doing in the day. I don't have to according to my contract. I wanted to offer my guys the best, that's part of why I left Orange and joined O2.
     
  9. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant Minimodder

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    I think you misunderstand me (or maybe I misunderstand you), I've said it before I don't have a problem with customer service people, I'm always polite and calm because thats the way to sort things out, no point shouting or being rude.

    I meant I want some respect from the companies and if that means creating a new policy that means that I get phoned when changes are happening to my account so be it. If it means clearly laying out possible installation charges so I'm not presured into paying money I shouldn't be paying so be it.
     
  10. ozstrike

    ozstrike yip yip yip yip

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    I've always found that being nice to the tech support people gets you much further. However, sometimes, they're clearly wrong, and it's difficult to stay calm.
     
  11. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    You changed who the contract was for and expected someone elses direct debit to continue functioning? By changing the name on a contract it's upto the next person to pay, that's pretty bloody obvious. You change the person who owns a contract and the payment details will go with it, that's utterly common sense. And not watching your accounts is barely an excuse!

    Suck it up mate, there are people with bigger problems that manage to keep their mouth shut. BT is no surprise at all, you're lucky they didn't charge you the 125 quid anyway given my experience of them. As for the estate agents? These things happen, be grateful they sorted it out, no end of situations like that would end up with you worse off.
     
  12. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

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    Thats not strictly right though, changing the name shouldnt affect the direct debit already in place. My car insurance was switched from me to my mum with me as a named driver, and my direct debit wasnt changed or cancelled. The policy wasnt/isnt in my name yet the direct debit is, and the payment comes out of my bank account.

    Unless it was specified at the time why should the existing direct debit be cancelled? especially if another wasnt set up to cover the payment?
     
  13. Ryu_ookami

    Ryu_ookami I write therefore I suffer.

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    To be honest, most customer services aren't allowed to give a decent service.

    I used to work for call centre providing 1st, 2nd and 3rd line technical support the company decided to relocate to Nottingham and we were all given the choice of moving departments or moving to the new location, so I changed departments along with about 30 other people. Then we were told by the way your only allowed to delete the callers internet connection and recreate it, anything else they have to ring the premium rate number. When we replied but its a 2 minute job just to talk them through re-installing drivers etc their reply was yes but not all the other advisers know how to do that and its cheaper to stop you giving the correct advice then it is to train them up to give the correct advice.
     
  14. ozstrike

    ozstrike yip yip yip yip

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    This is the sad thing. Companies are getting so bad at service now, that it is expected of them to give bad service, and if people complain, they are told to stop whining.
     
  15. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant Minimodder

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    No I didn't thats why I said "So all the payment details will stay the same, I won't have to set up the Direct Debit again?" and they said "Yes it will stay the same, don't worry". It's the only time they blatantly lied to me, but hey I believed them.
     
  16. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    Sorry mate you didn't mention that! Well that's pretty messed up then. If you covered your tracks you should at least expect the truth, well anyone should for that matter!
     
  17. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    looking at the topic of this thread i was like: "wow, that's ambitious!" :lol:

    Sounds like you had a lot of bad luck. The bigger a company, the harder it sucks at CC usually. Then again, so do some small ones. :wallbash:
     
  18. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    You want tough try being an agent for Virgin Trains after Hatfield. Working for railways was bad enough with its (deserved) reputation but after that we had no knowledge wtf was going on and people simply didn't belive that we wouldn't know what trains were cancelled how long journeys would take etc...
     
  19. theevilelephant

    theevilelephant Minimodder

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    Well after much talking in a loud and firm voice to orange's "customer retention team" I got my upgrade, but not before being left on hold for 40minutes then transfered between 4 departments, then on hold another 3 times for 10, 5 and 8 minutes. HTC Diamond is on the way yay! To be honest any phone that works is good, but the diamond is shiiiiinyyyy!
     
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