As you will no doubt know, during the last European Parliament mandate I specialised in telecommunications on the Industry, Energy and Research Committee. I have therefore always thought I should put my money where my mouth is and make sure I have at least a passingly reasonable grasp of new technolgy. However, as I have discovered over the years this involves more than blogging, twittering and understanding the uses on RFI technology. Unfortunately it also means contacting service providers when things go wrong and trying to get them to sort out the problem. Something I’m sure you have all experienced more often than you would like.
Today it was T-Moble causing me major aggravation. I have had a T-Moble web’n’walk device, which, incidentally, I find very useful, for about 18 months, and with the exception of one glitch about six months ago, it has been very good – at least until last week. Sometine between seven and 10 days ago it stopped dead in its tracks and started to tell that there was an error in the connection to the remote computer. Clearly a job for T-Mobile customer care. Accordingly, as soon as I had a suitable time spot in the UK which fitted in with T-Mobile’s opening hours, I telephoned them, expecting the whole operation to take half and hour maximum.
Chance would have been a very fine thing. I got through to T-Mobile at 12.45 this afternoon, though the “got through” is maybe not the best description. Having battled with the the automated “to pay your bill press one……..” I was finally put through to a less than adequate call centre, no doubt staffed by busy, contracted out employees; after all working in a call centre is one of the most stressful jobs there is. Having asked me the usual questions – name – ‘phone number, password, etc – the operator asked me to hold on, eventually coming back to me after a very long time and said I would have to be connected to the technical department. This never happened as I was cut off before the connection was actually made. This frustrating episode took over my allotted half hour.
Despite my anger, I ‘phoned T-Mobile again and went through all the same preliminaries and more as I realised they had the wrong address for me. The outcome, nonetheless, was depressingly familiar as I was eventually connected to the technical department and spoke to a very helpful man. Yippee!! Helpful though he was, he couldn’t sort out my problem and is going to ring me on Friday to hopefully put it right once and for all. This time my contact time with T-Mobile was not far short of an hour. That’s an hour and a half for precisely nothing.
I have put this on the blog as I really feel this kind of “service” is not good enough. While I accept that whatever is wrong with my device may be problematic, it shouldn’t take me an hour and a half to get nowhere. Companies who provide “customer care” should make sure it does what it says on the tin, not waste customers’ valuable time.