Thursday, 22 October 2009

What's happened to customer service?

We have now been in the UK for four months with one month in a rented house. What frustrates us is that we don't seem to be able to get any service from any organisation. The banking and insurance systems keep throwing up obstacles and now we don't seem to be able to get a phone line or broadband access in any sort of reasonable time. Everything seems to be credit checked, security checked, or any other inane check before they will do anything useful. We ring and ask for service and spend minutes just getting through the stupid front end voice systems and when we get somebody, they want information about things that don't yet exist in their own system.

In trying to find out what phone number we would have for our new installation, we were asked first what our phone number is and then told that they couldn't tell us and we would find out by ringing some code once the line was installed. Who designed this procedure? They knew the call was about a new installation. That is what the voice system asked in its long winded multi-level, time consuming introduction. This is poor design.

This isn't the only instance with this company. Their online system for ordering the service gave us possible dates that weren't available in their booking system. So we were sent a letter saying the install would be two weeks after the date we selected online. The operator when we asked whether we could have an earlier date went into a long excuse blaming the computers for why the systems are not linked. So operator, you are talking to someone who develops systems and teaches others how to develop systems for a living. Stop making excuses for bad business practice and get the systems sorted. Remember you have customers who want service not excuses.

Yes, New Zealand had delays in getting some connections but nothing like the delays and frustrations that we are having here. We feel like we are bleeding money into the UK system for nothing in return.

Come on UK, learn something about service and meeting the needs of people. Pull your heads out of the bureaucratic sands and see that people matter and their needs need to be satisfied. This is more than a government regulation or a leadership issue. This seems to be ingrained in your culture.

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