Customer Service

I went to a supermarket today and it’s one I use quite regularly (Morrison’s in Barnard Castle). The woman scanned the items so damn quickly that I couldn’t bag them quick enough. As if that wasn’t bad customer service enough, she then got angry and asked me 3 times to put my card in the payment machine (which stopped me from attempting to bag). That finally done, I still wasn’t given any time to pack the items before more items came down the shoot for the next person.

It got me thinking back to when I was working for Orange in the Handset faults department, and a quite angry guy came on the phone. Swearing and abusive.

The back story on the guy’s problem:

Back in 2005, this gentleman had bought an Orange contract for his entire household (2 children, wife and himself). The average contract spend per phone was £30 a month. He also had Orange broadband and home phone.

So there was an accident and a light aircraft ploughed into the mobile mast and damaged it. The location was such that only one person was effectively using that mast.

That’s when the problem started, the mast was dropping signal every now and then, loosing calls and internet to his household. The gentleman, wife and children had all rang up over the course of a year to complain about the signal, report faults etc.

I come in later, (so it still hadn’t been resolved) and pick up the irate call from the gentleman who pays the bills. I do a little digging and find the mast report and planned maintenance (or common sense would assume maintenance.) What I actually found was the mast was being removed and not replaced.

So I have to tell the gentleman whose spend is let’s say £1000 a month for 4 mobile phones and broadband, that we are removing the mast which provides his signal and we wont be replacing it. (That’s bad enough) but then to explain that said contract cannot be terminated because of some nice wording in the mobile contracts.

‘Orange PLC cannot guarantee mobile signal in all geographical locations, and you should check the coverage prior to taking out any contracts’ or words to that effect. Basically the royal shaft, because Orange don’t guarantee coverage.

Good Customer Service

It was that kind of broad brush stroke crap that made me want to get into Customer Service in the first place. What should have happened, is the minute someone knew his signal and mast were going to be removed, cancel the contracts and apologize.

Good customer service should be everyone’s basic right. It shouldn’t be how loud you complain, or how many times something has to happen before it’s fixed.

I have worked in Customer Service for over what 14 years in total, and some of the down right shit I have heard or been there to witness.

Bad Customer Service

For instance in one role which I left shortly after this. A cold calling team leader, stood on a woman’s front porch after she’d said ‘No’ 4 times. We had very strict rules or so I thought about elderly people. If someone was over 65 you asked about donating, showed the material and if they said no walked away.

He stood there and smoked a cigarette and drank a bottle of pop, talked on his phone for 5-10 minutes finally the woman called the police and the whole team was escorted off site. (Out of that town!). I was in that team, some few streets away from the incident when we were told to leave.

I was expecting him to get a slap on the wrist or a telling off by the main boss. But he was commended and we were all told to be just like that. That was it I gave notice and left the job.

I signed up to get donations for charity, not bully the crap out of people.


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