Imagine 9 weeks without Wifi in your home. No WiFi internet access on your PC, iPad, iPhone or other essential device.
Imagine no surfing the web, streaming TV and Films, listening to podcasts, downloading books and articles.
I don’t have to imagine because it happened to me when I moved house recently. I was initially shocked when British Telecom (BT) told me that it would take 4 weeks to fit a phone line and activate my broadband network. That month dragged as they denied me access to the internet (my iPhone was no use either because we were out of range of any mobile internet signal).
Then on the day that BT were supposed to install everything they moved the date forward another month. The irony is that they emailed me with this news and of course I had no access to email and so waited in vain for the BT OpenReach van to arrive.
Furious, I phoned the customer help line. After pressing 1 for this and 2 for that 4 for something else and 6 for whatever, I spoke to a useless person reading a script from a cubicle in India. He couldn’t help me because the answer to my problem was not in his script. So I asked to speak to a supervisor.
Of course the supervisor was as hopeless as the first person because he too was reading from a script and had no way of actually helping me.
Finally I Googled the name of the managing director of BT and took a guess at his email address (hint: firstname.lastname@example.org). He replied only 8 minutes after I pressed send on my complaint email. Within minutes he had put me in touch with the Executive Complaints Team. Now I had a personal manager dealing with my problem.
Although it still took a few weeks of messing around they did manage to get me connected a little earlier than the ridiculous date they had originally given me. Finally they reconnected me to the world of surfing the web, streaming TV and Films, listening to podcasts, downloading books and articles.
Why should I have had to complain to the managing director to get a good service from BT?
And it’s not just BT is it? Most of the bigger companies expect their customers to phone call centres in remote corners of the globe and speak to people who can’t help them. Complaining to the managing director usually means you can bypass this awful process.
But most people won’t. They’ll put up with unacceptable service and spend hours of wasted time on the phone. It means companies can get away with it.
The fact that companies have “Executive Complaints Teams” for those who do choose to seek out the top person proves that they can give good service if they have to.
Your turn: Have you ever had to resort to complaining to the managing director? It’s not on is it? Please share your stories and experiences. Click below where it says, “Leave a reply” and feel free to RANT!