Thursday, July 31, 2008

Calling Dr Bombay

No, nothing to do with Bewitched but I wish I could zap someone with a twitch of my nose!

I have spent most of yesterday on the phone to British Telecom's 'customer service' department. Yes, you get thru to a person in Mumbai(Bombay) or somewhere in India. Very polite. They constantly thank you for calling BT and have no idea you are sitting at the other end considering suicide or committing mass murder or of various uses for the telephone in one's hand.

I got a bill. I noticed call charges. 361 phone calls to be exact for my second phone line. Not only have I not made those 361 calls, I do not have a second phone line.

Yes, you made these calls, Mr Andersson. You made them using your wireless hub and BT Talk.

No I didn't. I don't have a wireless hub. What is that?

It's the hub phone that you sed to make these calls through your broadband connection

No, I didn't use it. I don't have one.

yes, sir, you have a hub phone. It is plugged into your PC.

No I do not have one.

Yes you do. You have an account.

When was this account opened?

July 07.

How does one open this account?

Well, we send you a password and you call us and give us the password and we start your service.

Well, I didn't do that. I don't have a Talk account and nor do I have this Wireless Hub thing.

Yes, sir, you do. You have made 361 calls with it.

Then I remembered a box that BT sent me. I went and got it. It's a Wireless Hub thing. Unopened. I told them.

You have made these calls, Mr Andersson, using your Wireless Hub.

I am worried now about my blood pressure. Should I take my angina spray?

No I said, it's in it's box. I don't know what you are talking about. I have not made these calls. I don't have a Talk account and the Wireless Hub thing is not even plugged in.

I am so sorry sir, but you do have an account and you did make these calls. No sire no one has hacked into your account. No sire we do not make mistakes. I can assure you you have not been billed for someone else's line.

(I am now thinking of campaigning for a law change to sanction murder of BT Customer Service personnel on the grounds of extreme provocation and mental cruelty.)

Late last night after many hours on the phone to BT, I thought to call the second number that is supposedly mine. I hung up when a man answered! I didn't know what to say and was so shocked I would have sounded mad. So this morning I call again and leave a message on their Call Minder.

I also called OfCom and they were very helpful and I got thru to BT English As A First Language, No Heavy Accents complaints department. They must by law settle this within 48 working hours. (Read about 2 weeks I assume.)

They now accept that my bill is for someone else's phone. Or at least I think they do.

Whoever thought of outsourcing Customer services to India needs to be shot, after a lengthy amount of time talking with BT Customer Services.

They obviously never thought to wonder what these heavy accents would sound like on the telephone. Instead, we are driven to distraction by people who are not at fault. Of course they are not. They don't have an accent to themselves and also they are poorly trained and cannot answer anything much. They are clearly taught to deny everything. On top of this, we the customers, are made to feel guilty and racist because of the problems encountered. The people who dreamed this up have no respect for their customers nor for their staff. Those poor staff must be very stressed because whilst I did not at any time say what I really wanted to, I did raise my voice considerably and I enunciated loudly and clearly to no avail. Others though I am sure let rip on the poor Customer Service rep.

(Other companies also do this and they use French or Spanish people who are just as impossible to understand on a phoneline.)

Assuming I am not committed, had up on murder charges, taken to my bed, flipped my lid, or become otherwise indisposed, I ought to have an update to this saga by Tuesday.

If sometime on Monday or Tuesday there is a high magnitude earthquake centred on the east coast of Britain and causing a massive tidal surge heading in the general direction of BT Customer Services and all that lay in the way, you will know that it was not sorted out




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