This weekend I made my annual trip to the local Truck festival. Always a good time, a nice two days of hanging out with friends, avoiding idiots from school, getting drunk, coping with hangovers, watching bands, missing others, enjoying the sun, dodging the rain and carrying more stuff between the car and tent than my small body can cope with. First festival ever with an air bed, I guess I'm officially a festival snob now then. Although my aching body doesn't feel all that snobbish right now.
Tip of the day: Listen to Native. Incredible band from Indiana, bits of everyone from Meet Me In St Louis to Foals to Blakfish to Off Minor in there. www.myspace.com/nativein
I spent over an hour on the phone to BT today. Absolutely furious! Here's a timeline: (NB: If you don't like boring rants, don't read on!)
Friday 18th July. 2pm. Home Moving Department
Me: Hi BT, we're moving house on 2nd August, could you cut our line off that day please?
BT: Of course, will you be taking our service to your new house?
Me: Not sure yet, I'll get back to you on that one
BT: Thanks. Where shall we send the final bill?
Me: To my parents address please. Will there be any cancellation charges?
BT: No not at all. Thanks for using our service
Me: Thank you, BT.
BT: Peace out
Monday 21st July. 1pm. Faults department
Me: Hi BT, my phone line doesn't seem to be working
BT: Ah, it seems that we've accidently cut your service off prematurely. Sorry about that
Me: No biggie, can you fix it?
BT: Of course, let me put you through to the sales department
Monday 21st July. 1.05pm. Sales department
BT: Hi there, my colleague has explained the problem, sorry about the mix-up
Me: That's ok, just hook me back up
BT: Will do. There'll be no charges, you'll just need to call again next week to cancel, ok?
Me: No problem. When will my phone be working again?
BT: 2 days maximum. Let me just put you on hold
BT: (a minute of classical music later) I need to transfer for you to Customer Service
Monday 21st July. 1.15pm. Customer Service
BT: What's the customers name?
Me: It's Kevin Douch, I am the customer
BT: (Laughter) Oops, thought you were someone else
Me: Obviously. So did the last guy explain the problem?
BT: Yes, you've moved house and want to setup an account
Me: No BT, that's completely wrong. Let me explain...
BT: (After 2 minutes of me explaining everything) Oh I see... Nothing we can do
BT: Well we can re-connect you
Me: Do it then
BT: But it'll take 4 days to go live and you'll need to keep the service at your new house
Me: 4 days? The last guy said 2
BT: I think you're confused
Me: I think you're a prick. Put me through to your manager
Monday 21st July. 1.30pm. Customer Service "manager"
Me: (After explaining, again) So can you help?
BT: Not really. I can re-connect you but it'll take 10 days
Me: 10 days now?! I move out in 12 days, doesn't seem worth it does it? Did I mention that this is your fault?
BT: Yes sir
Me: But I'm the one being punnished for it?
BT: I wouldn't say that
Me: Are your phone lines working ok?
BT: Yes sir
Me: Sounds to me like you flicked the wrong switch then, just put mine back on
BT: I can't do that, but if you sign a new one year contract I can
Me: Do you realise that blackmail is illegal?
BT: I tell you what, I'll waive the cancellation fees as well
Me: What fees?!
BT: Your cancellation fees for leaving our sevice
Me: But you pushed me off the service! The date I gave you falls outside of the year contract, there's no breach there! How much is the charge?
BT: I couldn't say
Me: What do you mean you can't say?! Why am I being charged?
BT: Because you're moving away from us, that costs £70
Me: So you're going to charge me £70?
BT: Yes sir
Me: But 10 seconds ago you didn't know how much it would cost
Me: Are you sure you're a manager?
BT: Er... Yes?
Me: You sound like a dick
That's pretty much where the conversation ended. One long, miserable descent into anger and disappointment. It's good to know that at least some of the billions of pounds of profit those pirates are making from us every year is being spent on training and complaint handling and not just being pumped into big cars and annoying phone systems. Note the way that as the call progressed I was passed to someone slightly more incompetant than the last person. That's good management, that is.
I put my mobile down, went to make a sandwich and am now ready for part two of the battle. Wish me luck.