You call that service!?

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With all the talk on here and in IT about service, I thought I would share a few thoughts on what service actually means. I love Ken's post on surrounding the employee with services, and it brought to mind what has been happening to us at home this week.

On Monday just as the cable engineer arrived here to fix our TV - transpired all it needed was a new card in the cable box - our 'phone, which is from the same cable company, died. I asked the engineer to look at it and he, of course, replied that he does TVs, not 'phones.

Fortunately, dear reader, I managed to restrain myself from throttling him on the spot and decided to report the problem. Now, this is normally done by picking up the 'phone and dialling 150, a call which starts with the "this call is absolutely free" message. Using the 'phone is, of course, somewhat tricky if the 'phone is broken. So I climbed on the internet, fortunately still working, and found a number to call. It was, unsurprisingly, an 0845 number, which means that you are going to pay (heavily) for the call. Strangely enough, the call did not start with the message "you are about to be ripped off for calling us to report a problem, which is our fault", but I managed eventually to get a person on the other end of the 'phone.

The person I was talking to was in one of our far-flung former outposts, and we had the usual problems understanding one another as I speak English, and she spoke some strange argot. Still, not as bad as the call I once had, which started with the person the other end saying in a broad Asian accent "Hi, my name is Chuck". No it isn't, so why start a service call with a blatant lie - are you setting me up for the almost inevitable ensuing bitter disappointment?

Anyway, I digress. She couldn't find anything wrong with their system, asked why the engineer I had just had did not fix it (answer unprintable) and agreed to send out a 'phone engineer. The earliest date they could offer? NEXT SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!! You, of course, have no choice, so you agree to this ridiculous offer.

Last night our 'phone rang. It has sprung back into life all by itself, so I called today to cancel the engineer. When I get through, I am told that they had cancelled him already as it was a regional fault and they had fixed it. WHY THE BLOODY HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THEN???

If you can't work out what was wrong with their service and how to improve it, I suggest you send me an email and I will give you a few pointers!!!!

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Oh Peter, I can so relate to your pain. Last week I had a similar experience with the Central Heating engineer. As usual no-one thinks from the customers perspective. Is it really that difficult?

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Armstrong published on October 29, 2009 10:27 AM.

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