View Full Version : Call centre diaries
26th Sep 2004, 12:33 pm
I moved house on Friday and have had to go back to dial-up while I wait for BT to get its act together and switch on broadband. I'm going for a 1MB link as it's only a couple of quid more than 512.
At times like this you have to deal with multiple call centres and websites to change your address and give meter reading blah blah.
I hate call centres. They're always understaffed by inept people. You have to press many buttons on your phone before actually speaking to someone and if you get a human in the UK you are very lucky. I don't mind "offshoring" (hideous buzzword for using Indian call centres) but I do expect to be able to understand the person - on a couple of occasions not only was their accent so strong I couldn't understand them (and yes I'm talking about India not Newcastle) but the quality of the phone line was terrible.
Woes so far are:
BT: I eventually got through to them ("your call is important to us" - crap! if it were, you would answer it quickly") They agreed to move my phone number to my new house on the day of the move, 24th September. A few days later I get a message on my answering maching saying it would be done "as agreed" on the 27th!
BT: Their phone and broadband departments apparently do not talk to each other. So I have to go through call centre hell twice, once for the phone line and once for broadband.
Royal Mail: Post office told me to give 5 working days' notice for post redirection, which I did. I then get a letter saying I had not given enough notice for this to be done and now have post going to my old house which is standing empty until next Wednesday.
I have sent about 30 change of address letters - I wonder how many will be actioned accordingly?
I was going to set up a website detailing my contact with all the companies' call centres and rating them accordingly, but I don't have the time.
Thank you for listening.
Grumpy old man.
26th Sep 2004, 01:16 pm
Weird. When I saw the title of your post, I assumed you were referring to Call Centre Confidential (http://callcentrediary.blogspot.com/), an amusing blog written by a manager in a call centre (the URL contains callcentrediary). You might be interested in the latest few posts entitled "a master class in how to deal with call centres".
26th Sep 2004, 05:48 pm
In days of yore, people used to have a Shrieking Tree in a far off field for an outburst like James's - so they must have missed out on some good laughs.
26th Sep 2004, 07:28 pm
Well, there's still Speaker's (http://www.offtolondon.com/hyde_speak.html) Corner (http://www.travellondon.com/templates/attractions/gallery_Speakerscorner.html) in Hyde Park...
27th Sep 2004, 10:16 pm
BT are going from bad to worse. Having filled in a form on line to transfer my broadband to my new house, I have had no confirmation at all, not even an email.
I have spent ages in a phone queue today to try and speak to someone:
. I never get to the front of the phone queue
. I often get disconnected
. Once an automated voice invited me to leave my name and number for a call back within an hour - they didn't
. Once I actually got through but obviously the operator had gone for a fag and left their phone on - all I got was office noise
If I don't get through to anyone by Wednesday I am going to change ISP. Any recommendations? Bulldog offer a 2MB service, but £40 is a bit much and I don't really need that speed - do I? http://www.bulldogbroadband.com/residentia...t2000/index.asp (http://www.bulldogbroadband.com/residential/alltime/at2000/index.asp)
Looks like I'm not the only one with BT woe:
At least they're not as bad as NTL:
27th Sep 2004, 10:50 pm
I would recommend PlusNet (http://www.plus.net/info2/residential/res_broadband.html). I've been with them since June and I am very pleased :)
Great prices (1MB starting from £14.99), loads of options and excellent included features - web hosting with PHP and MySQL etc.
28th Sep 2004, 09:09 am
I was with PlusNet a few years ago on an "unlimited" dial up connection. They suddenly capped my usage without warning and you couldn't get through to their call centre.
I will never give them my business again. :devil:
28th Sep 2004, 09:27 am
Fair enough. I can well see why shuch an experience would put you off an ISP. The various forums are littered with moans about PlusNet but they are almost entirely old. My feeling it that they have changed dramatically. All I can tell you is that my experience of signing up was completely pain-free. The service has been reliable. The one time I phoned for support I got through straight away (the problem turned out to be at my local exchange) and they were very helpful. The web hosting and email services are easy to use and great value.
Ah, did I sound like a salesman? No, the point I'm making is that ISPs, hosts and other internet services can change dramatically. I think that somewhere along the way, PlusNet got a "kick in the pants" and have sharpened up their act. I think a similar thing happened at Fasthosts.
28th Sep 2004, 10:10 am
Just had a look at PlusNet's site - they are very good value - 2MB for £19.99! I'm tempted now!
I have just had a massive bust up with BT and have told them to take a hike. I am putting a complaint in writing and will post it here for your enjoyment.
They were not going to activate my new address until 7th October, despite me telling them about my move on 19th September. The way they handled my enquiry and complaint stinks.
28th Sep 2004, 01:51 pm
My letter to BT:
I am writing to express my extreme frustration and disappointment with your customer service over the last few days. Please can you take careful note of my comments and confirm you will cancel my account.
On or around the 19th September I filled in the “Moving House” form on your website (http://help.btinternet.com/yahoo/help/contactus/0,,Moving,.html) in advance of my house move on 24th September (previous address 8 Cornford Close TN6 1EZ). I noted that the process could take up to ten days so was expecting my broadband service to be enabled at my new address (41 West Beeches Road) by 29th September.
Having heard nothing from you (not even an email confirmation), I tried to phone you on 27th September. I must have spent two hours during the day trying to get through:
. I was always in a queue
. On occasions I was invited to leave my details for a call back within an hour – I was not called back
. On one occasion I was answered, only to hear your office background noise – I assume the operator had walked off and left their phone on
. Often, the line would go dead whilst in the queue and I would have to redial
So I tried again today, 28th September. At 9am, after queuing for 30 minutes the call was answered by “Kerry”. Kerry was very nice but could not trace my order or details. She then declared that I was a BT Yahoo customer not a BT customer and had rung the wrong number! Incidentally the number I called was given to me the BT department that handled my landline transfer.
Kerry transferred me to “Claire” at BT Yahoo. Claire was very nice too, but she could only confirm that the transfer would not take place until 7th October! This, combined with the dreadful wait in the phone queue made me decide to cancel the account. Claire was not able to do this, and transferred me to the “Cancellation team”.
The cancellation team were in India and the quality of the line was dreadful. It appeared the gentleman I was speaking to was trying to bribe me to stay with BT by offering me a discount on this month’s subscription – FOR A SERVICE I CAN’T USE!
In the confusion of this call, he transferred me yet again to another BT department, “Order management” I think. The very poor quality line remained and I couldn’t hear much your operator was saying, although I did hear him reaffirm that the service would not start until 7th October. I ended the call in despair.
I hope you will appreciate I no longer want to be a BT Yahoo broadband customer. Please cancel my account with effect from 24th September (your records will confirm I have not used it since then) and refund me any money you might have taken for this service since. I do not authorise you to take any more money from my credit card or by direct debit.
Please confirm in writing that you have cancelled my account.
28th Sep 2004, 03:09 pm
Whew! Hope you feel better after that James. I must admit that I didn't even consider BT or BT Yahoo when I was looking for a broadband ISP in June. I took the line (no pun intended) that the quality/infrastructure of the broadband service would be pretty much the same no matter who the ISP was - same phone wires, same exchange etc. So I based my decision on the best value for money and value added services. PlusNet came out top but I did consider a few others.
Have a look at ADSLGuide.org.uk (http://www.adslguide.org.uk/) for a list of likely candidates and then see what they have to offer.
28th Sep 2004, 04:04 pm
They have a Dutchman in charge of BT now and I think he is a whole lot more sensible that his predecessors. But why use they for anything? I get broadband from Pipex and phone calls from OneTel. I pay a fixed charge for all my calls to OneTel and I see that they now do this + broadband for £29.99/month. SeeOneTel (http://www.onetel.co.uk/index.php).
The Dutchman says all calls will be VOIP soon and it is well worth looking at Skype (http://ui.skype.com/download.html) already.
After VOIP we can look forward to TVoIP (http://www.broadcastpapers.com/data/TandbergTVoIPGuide03.htm).
But paying money to BT .... just don't do it.
28th Sep 2004, 05:47 pm
I, too, have been with Plusnet for a few years now. Never had any problems. I did think about changing my unlimited account to a capped one but I don't think I could reign in my usage that much. Especially now that my girlfriend has discoverd Skype for VoIP phonecalls (works great - and from a Mac, but that data transfer is bound to zoom up).
My only quibble about the hosting they throw in is that they have two separate servers; one for static stuff and the other for PHP/MySql dynamic - and they request you don't just pile the whole lot on the dynamic one. Can be a bit fiddly spreading your sites over two servers.
If anyone does sign up with them, put me (oh, alright then, David) down as their referral. Each referral gets the refering party between 25p and 3 quid off every monthly bill for as long as that referred user stays signed up.
Just think, get enough people to sign up and you actually start making money.
28th Sep 2004, 05:55 pm
Yes, I was wondering if I could make it a condition of the Website Architecture programme that all students must sign up to PlusNet and cite me as referral :D
29th Sep 2004, 08:09 am
I just signed up with PlusNet - sorry chaps, had no idea you could make some money out of a referral! :">
I have gone for a whopping 2MB speed! I have bought 4GB bandwidth per month - should be ample but it's easy to buy more if that's exceeded.
I will probably get a wireless router too so I can use it on any computer (we have three in the house now my girlfriend's moved in!).
I decided to put the problems I had with PlusNet's dial up service behind me - their business model clearly wasn't working and if they hadn't capped "unlimited" usage they may have gone out of business. It's the way they handled it that outraged me at the time.
29th Sep 2004, 10:07 am
Impressive - 2MB speed with a 4GB cap for £23.99 is great value.
I've been monitoring my usage over the last few months and it is only around the 1GB per month mark. I'm beginning to think that a capped deal will be better for me. I'm not making great use of Internet Radio and I tend not to download music or films so perhaps I'm just not taking advantage of what's on offer.
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