Becky says things about … customer service

So, Listener. You’ve popped along to my blog expecting to hear me say things. Is that right? Well do you know what? Why don’t you just get the hell out of my face and never darken my door again. I just cannot be bothered to say anything, and what’s more, you mean nothing to me. NOTHING I TELL YOU. In fact, I would go so far as to say I DESPISE YOU AND EVERYTHING THAT YOU STAND FOR. Now GET OUT.

That, Listener, was an example of extremely poor customer service. It wasn’t very nice, was it? No. Do I feel bad for saying those terrible things? Of course I do. I hate myself. I shall go without peanut butter for a month to punish myself. Please accept these flowers by way of apology.

customer2

But, as we all know, modern life can vomit up the most abominable examples of poor customer service, and I have a magnificent example for you. Observe.

You may have noticed that I have not said a lot of things recently (if you hadn’t noticed, that’s fine. We’ll overlook it just this once. Next time there will be hellish consequences). This is because my phoneline died a very sudden and inconvenient death, and thus my Internet connection vanished.

I was peeved, Listener. However, I was confident that together, O2 and BT, the multi-multi-multi million pound companies that provide my phone line and Internet connection, would sort it out in no time.

I rang O2.

I spoke to someone. They immediately asked me for my home phone  number. I did not know my home phone number because I do not use my home phone, I only use the Internet connection. I was assured they could go no further with my query without a home phone number.

I hung up. I spent an hour looking for my home phone number. I found my home phone number.

I rang O2.

customer3

I spoke to a 2nd person. I offered my home phone number. ‘Oh, we don’t need that, don’t worry.’ I was a little nettled, Listener, I don’t mind admitting – but it was no big deal.

The 2nd person went on to tell me to unscrew the front of my phone socket.

‘Seriously?’

‘Yes. I need you to see who provides your phoneline.’

‘I know who provides my phoneline. BT provides my phoneline.’

‘I still need you unscrew the front of the phone socket.’

‘I’ll need a screwdriver for that. I don’t have a screwdriver to hand. I have to find a screwdriver.’

I hung up. I found a screwdriver. I unscrewed the front of my phone socket.

By this time, I was muttering rather irately to myself.

customer4

I rang O2.

I spoke to a 3rd person. I offered them my home phone number. ‘Oh, we don’t need that, don’t worry.’ I told them I had unscrewed the front of my phone socket. ‘Oh, really? What does it say underneath?’ I told them it said BT. ‘In that case, BT provides your phoneline.’

‘I know BT provides my phoneline. I have known this all along. It says BT on the front of the phone socket. Are you telling me I have removed the front of my phone socket unnecessarily?’

‘Can you attach a phone to the socket?’

‘There is a phone attached to the socket.’

‘And there’s no dial tone?’

‘That is correct.’

‘Your line seems to be dead.’

customer5

‘I know my line is dead. That is literally the point of my call. My phoneline is dead.’

‘Looks like you have a fault, then. We’ll get on to BT. It should be fixed within three working days. Would you rather they contact you on your home phone or mobile phone?’

‘…My home phone is dead. We have ascertained this. Again, that is the point of my call.’

‘Right, yes. Your mobile then?’

‘That would be best, yes.’

So I got on with my life. My Internetless life. Every day I received a text from O2 assuring me they were diligently working on my home phone fault. My confidence in an army of people frantically working on my home phone fault at the telephone exchange remained steadfast. I imagined it to be like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Mr Salt has a factory full of hundreds of workers furiously searching for a golden ticket in thousands of chocolate bars.

customer6

It got to day four. My phoneline was still dead.

I rang O2.

I spoke to a 4th person.

‘You have a fault with your BT phoneline.’

‘Yes. I know.’

I was put on hold.

‘There are no notes on the system. I’m sure they’re working on it at the exchange. Give it another 24 hours and if you don’t hear from us, ring us back.’

I gave it another 24 hours. I didn’t hear from them.

I rang O2.

I spoke to a 5th person.

‘You have a fault with your BT phoneline.’

‘Yes. I know.’

I was put on hold.

‘A BT engineer needs to come to the property to fix the fault. The next appointment in your area is 3,405,064 light years from now and they will turn up between the hours of 9am on a Wednesday and 11pm the following Monday.’

customer7

So the Thursday six days later, after six days of receiving texts reminding me of the impending appointment and the fact that I would be charged £50 if I wasn’t at home when the BT engineer turned up between the hours of 8am and 1pm, I booked the hours of 8am to 1pm off work and waited to be connected to the world again.

I waited. I was alert and sniffing the air, like a coked-up meerkat. I couldn’t concentrate, Listener. Every sound, every car engine, every footstep from outside made me bolt to the window like an excitable terrier.

By 12.45pm I was becoming sweaty, violent, and desperate.

customer1

At 1pm on the dot, I rang O2.

I spoke to a 6th person. I told them I had lost half a day’s work and the BT engineer had NOT turned up, and did he propose to give me the £50 that I would’ve had to pay him if the BT engineer had turned up and I hadn’t been there?

I was put on hold.

‘Right, I’m looking at your notes and the engineer’s at the exchange now, fixing your problem from there. He’ll give you a call in half an hour.’

He promised me a goodwill gesture, money off my next bill, a dinner and dance, the stars, the moon, a holiday in Vegas, and Llama.

I hung up. I waited a further two hours. No one came to fix my phone line.

By this time, I was nearing a point that could be considered dangerous.

customer8

I rang O2.

I spoke to a 7th person. I told her what the 6th person had said. She went to find him to confirm. I was put on hold. I pulled my thumb off with some pliers.

The 7th person came back and said ‘Yeah, my colleague didn’t say categorically that the BT engineer was fixing your fault from the exchange and would call you within half an hour – my colleague was just conjecturing.’

I injected some heroin into my eyeball.

‘Okay, your colleague definitely said it categorically. He said ‘The BT engineer is at the exchange and will call me within half an hour.’ He was quite categorical about it. A conjecture should have been prefixed with ‘I think‘ or ‘I conjecture that the BT engineer is at the exchange’. He did not say that. He said he looked at my notes.’

‘Well there are no notes here. I’m sorry if you misinterpreted what my colleague said. I can’t tell you why the BT engineer didn’t turn up, I don’t know where he is and there’s no way of contacting him. You’ll receive a call from us tomorrow to sort it out.’

customer9

I was so inhumanely furious I ate an entire sharing bag of Malteasers and had a bath.

The next day, the Friday, I received a call from O2. I spoke to an 8th person. She rebooked the BT engineer appointment for the following Monday. I was assured he would definitely turn up.

The following day, I received a call from O2. I spoke to a 9th person. I was informed that when the 8th person had booked my appointment the day before, there had been a fault in their system, and there was in fact no appointment booked for Monday, and the earliest appointment was Thursday.

I shut my head in the oven door.

customer10

For the next couple of days I received texts from O2 telling me not to forget that a BT engineer was coming to my property on Thursday to fix my home phone fault, and I checked into an asylum.

On Tuesday morning – that’s Tuesday morning, Listener, Tuesday, I cannot emphasise this enough – I received a call whilst I was at work.

‘Hi, I’m a BT engineer, I’m outside your property and I need access to fix your home phone fault.’

customer11

I took a sedative, pictured turquoise waves rippling over my toes, and asked my colleague to remove all sharp objects from within an arm’s reach.

‘What are you doing outside my property? I was not expecting you until Thursday. I expected you last Thursday, then I was expecting you this Thursday, and now it’s the Tuesday in between and you are at my property and I am not there because you are not supposed to be there.

‘Oh, right. Well, yeah, this fault’s been sitting on our fault list for a while, so we thought we’d get on and do it.’

‘That’s extraordinarily nice of you.’ You know, to do your job.

‘You can wait until Thursday when we can come back, or…’

‘NO. No. Stay exactly where you are.’

Fortunately, fathers always manage to save the day. My father was at hand. He let them in. The fault was sorted in ten minutes. I ate two doughnuts and begged my boss to be allowed to go for a gin. He said no. So I lay under my desk for a few hours and tenderly cuddled a stapler.

customer12

I have the Internet again, Listener. It’s not so bad, is it? It only took nearly three weeks to fix. That’s not so bad, is it?

Well, actually, yes. It ruddy well is. This is customer service at its most abysmal. Imagine if every business operated with this level of disorganisation, miscommunication and whimsy, and treated their customers like funny little toys they can muck around with.

customer13

customer14

customer15

customer16

customer17

customer18

customer19

customer21

customer22

customer23

Sadly, more often than not we have no choice but to just suck it up and get on with it.

customer24

I am yet to contact O2 to ask what they will give me to compensate for this ludicrous situation. I don’t quite feel emotionally ready for that.

I am still getting texts from O2 reminding me that a BT engineer is coming to fix my home phone fault on Thursday.

Becky says things about … rage

Most treasured Listener, I have been reduced to a violent, ire-spewing volcano of fury. I have been filled with such mania that I fear for those around me. I have been consumed by a raving anger that I cannot be sure hasn’t ruptured my spleen.

What has caused this surge of rage inside me, you may ask.

A sandwich.

A sandwich, Listener.

angry2

Allow me to explain.

I bought a shop-made sandwich. I bought it because my greedy eyes liked the look of the bulge of sumptuous egg filling that ballooned from the bread and smattered against the plastic wrapping. I went all Samuel L. Jackson on myself, and muttered ‘That looks like a taaaasty sandwich’.

I skipped home, joyful at the prospect of mouthful after mouthful of lavish eggy delight.

angry3

The first couple of bites were as I had hoped: bloated with generous, chunky egg. The third and fourth mouthfuls were strangely disappointing. There was a distinct lack of filling. The fifth and sixth mouthfuls were annoying. The seventh and eighth were a downright insult. The ninth was an outrage. Twas nothing but bread.

You see, Listener, sandwich manufacturers are deceitful toads. They will construct a triangular sandwich so that it appears to be consistently spread with a generous, nay, munificent amount of filling. It is only when the innocent, trusting customer has purchased and nibbled the initial hypotenuse of the triangular sandwich, that they discover there is no more filling. 

I shall demonstrate using this helpful diagram:

angry1

This seemingly trivial incident made me shockingly and bafflingly angry. I ranted about it for a full 20 minutes. I was livid. Why? It was only a sandwich. It obviously touched a weak spot in me, that spot that makes my normally calm demeanour bubble over into a venomous frenzy.

I can only deduce that I experienced the phenomenon that occurs occasionally in life that I shall call ‘Moments of Inexplicable and Disproportionate Rage at Minor Incidents’. Those inconsequential things that send a normally laid-back human being into a torrent of wrath. Everyone has stimuli that send them into unadulterated, uncontrolled, unjustifiable rage, and, if you will allow me, dearest Listener, I shall exhibit the most potent of mine.

anger1

People Unnecessarily Reading Out Words

I can already feel my blood pressure rising.

People who feel the need to vocalise every single word they see around them makes me inexplicably livid. I had a boyfriend many years ago whose lovely mother cultivated this rage in me. On car journeys she would sit in the front passenger seat gazing serenely out of the window. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. But what would you do if someone in your car, from which you cannot escape, reads out loud every single road sign and every single billboard and every single shop name you pass?

angry4

Exactly. You would set fire to your own foot.

Just imagine it. An entire journey filled with a relentless oral commentary of geographical wordage. With every turn into a new road she would say dreamily ‘Albert Crescent… Rose Drive… Edridge Road… Samson Street…’ And just when I thought we were safe on long roads with no turnings, there would be ‘McDonalds… Marks and Spencers… Vision Express… Starbucks…’

And with every harmless vocalisation from the front seat, I would sit in the back seething quietly to myself and wishing this lovely, blameless woman would have a sudden heart attack.

angry5

Complicated Clothing

Oh, cherished female listeners, how many times have you seen a dress or a top on a shop window model and thought ‘Oh my goodness me, that is a gorgeous dress. I would love nothing more than to add that charming garment to my wardrobe,’ and you have taken it to the fitting rooms to discover that this dress has been made by people with a streak of such sickness inside them, such malice, that you wonder at the very continuation of humanity. For this dress is literally impossible to get into.

angry6

It is made of gratuitous straps and erroneous gaps and with such heinous anatomical disregard, that you cannot help but exclaim ‘THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THIS DRESS IS FUTILE AND OFFENSIVE, FOR NO HUMAN BEING WILL EVER SUCCEED IN WEARING IT, AND WHY THE FLYING F*** WAS IT EVER INVENTED IN THE FIRST PLACE???’

This makes me want to line up a row of baby meerkats and machine-gun them.

anger2

People Who Dawdle at Ticket Barriers

We all know that terrifying moment of panic upon approaching a station ticket barrier, when we are fumbling for our tickets, and that terrible fear sears through our mind: What if I don’t find my ticket before I reach the barrier???

We all know that feeling. But we step to one side where our physical presence will not be an obstacle to others, and we rummage in our bags and pockets, cursing wildly under our breath, until we find our ticket and rejoin the stream of people through the barriers. All is well.

Except not everyone does that, do they? No. Some people choose to search for their missing ticket in the entrance to the ticket barrier thereby preventing any other poor sod from passing through. 

This makes me want to discharge my own kidneys.

angry7

I tell you what, Person Searching for Your Ticket at the Ticket Barrier, why don’t you just sit down and have a rest while your there? Maybe get a book out and have a read for half an hour? Got a vase that needs mending? No problem, I’ll fetch you some superglue and you can do it right there.

You monster.

Irrelevant Detail in Stories

Being told a story by a friend is a lovely thing. Whether it’s humorous, sad, or nail-bitingly exciting, it should be a joy. However, so many verbal tales are ruined by narrative detours of such abominable irrelevancy that they make me want to run head-first into exposed brickwork.

anger8

Observe the following scenario:

Chum: Did I tell you the story about when I found a dead body in my airing cupboard?

Me: No? Gosh, that sounds exciting. Pray tell.

Chum: Well I’d just got home from work one Wednesday – or had I been to yoga? It could’ve been ballet conditioning, come to think of it… perhaps it was a Thursday, in which case it would’ve been cookery class. Anyway, I got home and – no, it was definitely Tuesday because I had my swimming kit with me and my hair was wet – unless it had been raining… We’d had a lot of rain, I know that much, because I remember saying to Gary how the marigolds were going to suffer…

angry8

Chum: Anyway, I got in and made myself a tuna sandwich – or was it salmon? No, definitely tuna, because we hadn’t had any salmon in the house for ages because Sainsbury’s had been out of them for at least two weeks – could’ve been a month, come to think of it, I know they were very short for a good long while… So I ate my sandwich, had a glass of squash and an apple, maybe even a banana, although I don’t tend to have bananas in the evening because they give me gas, and I took some washing out of the washing machine… or was it the tumble dryer? I think I put another load in, you know, of jeans, shirts, socks…

angry9

Chum: … and I took some ironing upstairs – we’d just had Ian and Bev over to stay, so I’d had some extra linen to iron, and the steam iron had packed in so we’d had to go to B&Q to get a new one – sixty quid, can you believe it? Gary was furious. Yeah, so I’d gone upstairs with this pile of ironing, which had taken me all Saturday morning to do … or did I do it on Sunday? It could’ve been Sunday because I think we’d gone to Gary’s mother’s on Saturday and she’d made this awful marmalade tea loaf – or was it a lemon drizzle?

anger10

Listener, I do not have it in me to endure such flagrant contempt for narrative pertinence.

And recounting all those things has sent me into such a bluster I shall be forced to smash myself in the face with the picture frame I bought from Debenhams. Or was it Bentalls? It could have been John Lewis. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Ebay…

anger3

Becky says things about … bad moods

I am in a very bad mood.

I was in a very bad mood yesterday, too.

I’m not sure why. I just hate everything and everyone and I wish everything would just disappear and leave me in a world of blackness so that I can fully contemplate my dark terrible mood.

(I wanted to write ‘dark terrible mood’ in different sized fonts, but apparently WordPress won’t let you change the size of individual words in a sentence. No. You have to change the entire paragraph. THAT has just taken the ruddy biscuit. I HATE WordPress.)

Yesterday, everything made me angry. The ticket gates at Surbiton and Wimbledon stations were open and unmanned. SO WHY DID I SPEND MONEY ON A TICKET THEN???? Look, National Rail, if you can’t be bothered to man your stations, then I can’t be bothered to buy a ticket. That’s how it works. But you can guarantee the one time I DON’T buy a ticket, your stations will be manned up to the max. You probably wouldn’t be able to MOVE for mans.

I got annoyed in Nero’s, as well. The man in front of me changed his mind SIX TIMES about what muffin he should get.

‘Blueberry. No – spiced apple. Actually, wait – chocolate. Oooh, no, that’s a bit heavy for this time in the morning…. I’ll go for blueberry. Hang on, no, definitely rasperry and white chocolate. OH NO WAIT I meant apple.’

I WILL BUY YOU ALL THE MUFFINS IN THE F***ING WORLD, JUST GET THE F*** OUT OF MY WAY AND NEVER DARKEN MY DOOR AGAIN WITH YOUR INDECISIVE F***ING QUIBBLING

Then later, on the train back to Surbiton, my carriage was filled with happy smiling schoolgirls, obviously on their way back from a BRILLIANT school trip to London, probably involving the London Eye, or packed lunches in Hyde Park in the sun, or basking on top of London tour buses, or a graceful boat trip down the Thames, and their happy sun-blushed faces made me want to ASSASSINATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM. 

Then, Sainsbury’s didn’t have the salad dressing I like.

OH YOU ARE KIDDING ME

I shouted to myself, not even caring that I’d made a toddler look up at me in alarm. Stupid toddler.

I arrived home to a small pile of window cleaning and pizza pamphlets by the front door.

WHY CAN’T PEOPLE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE?????????????????

I cried at the very small pile of paper.

Today has not fared much better. I popped into University, and was faced by a boy walking around in shoes with very loud yellow soles. Man, it annoyed me.

(That photo just took three minutes to load. Can you believe that? THREE MINUTES????)

And, the icing on the shitty horrible cake – I get home and am faced with THIS (here go another three minutes I’ll never get back):

It’s Blue-Tack. A ball of Blue-Tack on the carpet. Why is it there? Where has it come from?

‘OH, WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED???!!!!’

I yelled at the Blue-Tack. It said nothing. Just sat there, blue and tacky. What a bastard.

I threw it away. I didn’t even place it on a more suitable surface, such as my desk, or the bookshelf, or in my pencil pot. No. Fuck the Blue-Tack. Just get out of my sight.

Hopefully my bad mood will wear off. Maybe the sun and the cloudless sky through the window will cheer me. Maybe not. I think I’ll just have to sit it out. And I’ll tell you one thing for nothing: if that shitting pigeon doesn’t stop cooing on the roof, I will go

UTTERLY MENTAL.