More to come on my Samantha portrait very soon. I've been having such a traumatic time back and forth on the phone with that wonderful (not) company British Telecom that I just have to write it down somewhere - so if you don't like my rantings please click off now!
BT (British Telecom), in my humble opinion, is the most incompetent, inefficient, inept, unwieldy and thoroughly useless company I have ever dealt with as a humble customer of internet service provision. Yes, I am now looking into other options, such as cable/ satellite, which do not have to rely on our ancient landline system for good, reliable broadband speeds. I realise that our landline system is now groaning under the strain of the ever increasing demand for high speed broadband and that fibre optics (like I know what they are!) are the way to go for the future. However there is absolutely NO excuse for BT's shambolic customer service system. Anybody who has had the misfortune to have contacted this will know what I mean.
About a month ago, a workman, working on road repairs, accidentally cut through a cable which effectively disabled the internet service to 46,000 homes and businesses around my home town area for 48 hours or so. Ok, accidents happen, and I appreciate this was going to take a while to sort out and we have to be patient. We eventually got our internet connection back but Broadband speeds have been very erratic, too low for downloads, video streaming and so on, ever since.
For the past three weeks I have been 'liaising' with BT customer advisers. Each time I phone, or they phone me, we have to run through a gamut of routine questions, always with a different 'adviser', always without reference to any calls I've made previously. If I have to tell one more BT person that I have a wireless router and that its green lights ARE all flashing I will most definitely throw the d**n thing out of the window!! I have had around 25 robotic conversations with BT personnel in the past week or so and I'm now slowly, but surely, heading for the van with the men in white coats.
During some of our conversations, I've chilled out a bit, realising that they are only doing their job, working from a script and it's no use trying to cut to the chase - just go with the flow, we'll get there in the end. Even if it does take about an hour and a half to do so. Other times, I demand to speak to the Manager, whose name I am careful to write down, but he turns out to be equally robotic, unhelpful and ineffective - just with a slightly better command of English!
The last Manager I spoke to told me, and I quote : "Mrs Pantry, I'm sorry but my tool isn't working properly so I cannot check your connection..." I commiserated with him, saying I hoped he could get his tool up and running again soon and laughed. Bad move. There was a long silence. I've made several attempts at some humour during these conversations, vainly trying to retain some of my sanity, but they have all wooshed over the automaton on the other end of the line like water off a duck's back. These people are not human. Seriously, they are not - they read their instructions from a script and if you, the customer, dare to deviate from this and venture a few suggestions of your own, you will be ignored and the script gets repeated again.
One thing that does make me laugh is the message you get, when you call the service line, which says "please be aware that some calls may be recorded for training purposes". Who is BT kidding here? If that were true then how come the company hasn't learnt anything from these calls? The conversations I, and many others, have had with BT customer service lines recently are as innane, unproductive, frustrating and pointless as they always were. So BT, you are being, at best, disingenuous in trying to suggest that you care a jot about the effectiveness of your customer service lines. In a word, they are c**p. Oh, and by the way, BT Yahoo, a pathetic offshoot of the BT brand, is also complete rubbish as well, but that's a whole other story!
End of rant.