I hadn’t ever intended this blog to be a moan about things but I do feel the need to share my frustration about customer services in this country at the moment. Or, the lack of them.
It’s been a year of things going wrong for me. Earlier in the year, my broadband started playing up. I’m with BT, and it took them a good while to sort it all out. They sent an engineer and then wanted to charge me for the privilege. Except that they hadn’t told me that they intended to charge me, and it didn’t solve the problem, so they backed down on that one.
Then, a month or so ago, they e-mailed me (and subsequently wrote to me) to tell me that they were closing Digital Vault (I’ve been with BT for about a million years, so that was part of my deal). Without wishing to bore you all, I couldn’t access it. BT told me that it was a fault with my [new] filters, and that I would have to pay for an engineer to come to fix it (oh really?), then they told me that Digital Vault had already closed (I’m actually beginning to think that is the case). They keep telling me that they will ring me, so I rush home and then, when they ring, they tell me nothing. I have now written an extremely stroppy letter to Warren Buckley, so we will see, but honestly, I shouldn’t need to go to these lengths. I may be changing my ISP very soon.
I had Sky TV for a few years. When they fitted my second Sky box, their engineer very kindly tacked the cable to my wall, rather than my skirting board. Despite my complaints, not only did they do nothing about it, but they clearly didn’t even make a record of my complaint. The second box kept going wrong, and they didn’t record that either, and were then somewhat surprised when I decided to take my custom elsewhere.
Then there is my mobile ‘phone. I have two numbers, on different networks. One is my personal ‘phone, the other is my business ‘phone. I have them on different networks because, my thinking is, if I have a problem with coverage on one network, hopefully, I will get coverage on the other. Not for the first time, I am having a problem with coverage from Orange. There are rooms in my house where I cannot get a signal at all. I can’t send any e-mails from that ‘phone at the moment, but, apparently, e-mail is nothing to do with Orange… The fact that I received 8 text messages on Thursday morning, all in one go, that had been sent on Wednesday evening, is presumably nothing to do with them either… They are going to have to go some when my contract is up to keep my custom.
To counter this, there are some companies that are very easy to do business with – First Direct, Vodafone (most of the time, and certainly, recently), British Gas (I know they don’t have a great reputation, but I must speak as I find).
So come on UK businesses – we don’t need to have brand loyalty anymore, you need to compete for our custom. I work very hard for my money and I am only prepared to spend it where I get good value.