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Parapunter
3rd Oct 2006, 11:19
Dear reader, let me unload on you (makes one feel better) In the last three days, theis has been my experience of dealing with U.K. companies.

#1) Good old NTL. One buys a package from NTL, the conversation touches on... 'Will it definitely work with Windows Media Centre, because if it won't, no dice..' 'Oh yes, no problems there.'

Well it doesn't & never will because of techy Infra red remote control codeset stuff. However, a change of equipment will sort that. Armed with this knowledge, one enters the strange world of NTL customer services. 40 minutes on hold, three different advisors (advisors?? my hairy old squinter) & then back to the very back of the queue, so I give up on that one.


Next, B&Q. I bought a bathroom suite, they sent the wrong bath. They came & took it away & sent the wrong bath...again. They replace the bath this afternoon, meaning a third half day off to wait for the driver in two weeks. No aoplogy, no discount no nothing. Meanwhile, there's a gaping hole where there should be a bath & a fizzing (in more ways than one) Mrs Punter, stomping off to her sisters, fed up with 'irish' washing lol.

Third, we signed up for the council grant on loft insulation, obliging us to use the council's nominated contractor for this service in return for a 100 grant on the thing. This was in May. The chaps never turned up & I have now been calling, leaving messages, threatening grave bodily injury since July. It's now October, my missus is having a baby next month & we have no insulation in our loft.

Is it 1906? 1856? 1946? Why do we collectively accept that this is how things should be? NTL is so frustrating to deal with because It's beyond me how a business in a competitve market fails to understand that a reasonable (not a good but a reasonable) aftersales service will keep someone like me sucking at the teat all warm & fuzzy like, whereas right now, I'm eyeing up Sky with a dewy eyed shyness & a false nostalgia where I reckon Mr. Murdoch will bring a dish to my door & stay for tea & cake.

B&Q were always a lost cause so fnuck them & as for the roofing blokes well, it's builders innit? Put them all together though & you have to marvel at the sheer ball acheing indifference which must take years to perfect.


No one post the NTL complaint letter neither.:=

tiggerific_69
3rd Oct 2006, 11:37
you know,i wouldnt blame the builders.id blame useless UK local councils.i hope you get a bit more luck with the bath,id definitely complain.i dont know how companies manage cock ups like it!good luck when the nipper comes along too ;)

slim_slag
3rd Oct 2006, 11:47
Ah, that reminds me to send a letter to my car insurance company. Called up their customer dis-service dept last Saturday and spent 1.5 hours on phone speaking to somebody who didn't really understand what I was saying and was unable to assist. Called back on Monday and got it sorted in 5 minutes. Suspect hourly rates of pay too high on Saturday for UK employees.

On the plus side we bought some expensive dining room furniture from a local shop recently and it wasn't quite right. The shop has bent over backwards to sort it out and offered a solution that we wouldn't have asked for as we never thought it would have been entertained. If we can send them more business we will.

woolyalan
3rd Oct 2006, 11:49
Well... I used to work at B&Q :{ and I will tell you that I was really good at customer service (in store stuff) but the showroom department always has complaints, and are generally terrible at customer service, but then seeing both sides of the fence, the crap that the advisors have to put up with is equally horrible.

Also, it depends on who your talking to, I was always nice :) used to give away stuff if people were insisting on complaining about something when there was no need.

The Hustler
3rd Oct 2006, 13:41
Six weeks ago the neutral wire on the power distribution in our communal stair shorted leading to us getting a massive power surge (reported by Scottish Power as approx 1500v). This was powerful enough that it blew electrical goods that were 'protected' by surge protectors.

Damage : Electronics on gas cooker, controls on fridge freezer, laptop PSU, stereo, DVD player (system board exploded into 5 pieces :ooh: ), cordless phones, ansaphone, surge protector, 2 4-way extensions burnt through, and my 2 cable boxes (one with 45 hours of unwatched stuff on it's HDD) and our brand new boiler.

Scottish Power say "no that hasn't been checked since it was installed because nothing ever goes wrong with it". :hmm:

Our insurance company pass on the case to a loss adjuster who manage to screw absolutely everything up FOR 5 WEEKS!!!!

- They managed to charge me the upgrade cost to get a better DVD recorder (instead of the £40 player) - and then send me the crappy player instead.
- Takes 3 days too long to arrive because the courier said the building was shut by the time he got there (it's a 24/7 building with security guards who take deliveries when the loading bay is closed)
- They can't now send the DVD Recorder 'cos it's now out of stock.
- When they do send it, they are supposed to let me know so I can make sure the wrong part is available for the courier to collect. They don't, I don't, he leaves without delivering.
- Eventually get the delivery arranged to come to my house with me taking a day off (friday) to wait for it - it doesn't arrive.
- "They'll deliver tomorrow (saturday) morning". Cancel plans - wait in - nothing.
- "We'll get them to deliver it Monday night after you get back from work" - cancel plans - nothing
- Eventually arrives at 7pm Tuesday night (with other plans having to be postponed).

That was their only bit that went even remotely smoothly. The only other bits that went well were parts done by another company. Prompt, efficient, polite, helpful, everything you could want - they had the ironic name of 'Budget TV' :E

They were also going to send us a cooker (after waiting 7 weeks) that the fitter would not be allowed to fit as regulations have changed since we got our original one - they didn't even check with us what the space for the cooker was like. We cancelled it and bought our own.

We end up buying half the stuff ourselves and sending the receipts to the insurance company. Our neighbours got everything sorted my the Tuesday afternoon (the incident was on the saturday morning) - we're changing company.

My wife wasted 4 days holiday she bought off her work, and I wasted 2.5 days where I'm not earning as I'm self employed. All this is the time we waited for people we were told were coming and didn't. We can't get the money for that back :(

Sorry - rant over . . .

angels
3rd Oct 2006, 13:53
NTL - GGRRRRRR - got the tee-shirt. Am still in dispute with them over a 640 quid direct debit they stole from my account. I signed up to 24-hour fixed rate broadband.

After I told the wife we were fixed rate she never bothered to sign off the home computer. They (NTL) took some weeks to put their form through so we ended up wearing the fixed rate bill, even though I had a piece of paper saying I was on unlimited time.

From 15.99 quid to over 600 quid. Bar Steweards, I aint giving this one up.

When I lived in Hong Kong and, latterly, Singapore we had same day home delivery from supermarkets, we had chip and pin, we had furniture stores that delivered the same day, we had service.

Not here.

gingernut
3rd Oct 2006, 14:12
If you feel strongly enough about it, and want a result, then find out who leads the organisation, and let them know how they treat their customers. Mark the letter "Private and Confidential."

Parapunter
3rd Oct 2006, 14:17
The problem with NTL is that mt Set top box has a unique set of infra red codes that are non standard, so mt Microsoft remote that runs everything won't work with it.

To be honest, it is such an arse ache getting anyone at NTL to take charge, that I've just shelled out 35 notes for an infra red translator - in the long run, it's easier. What a joke though. Does anyone work for them? They must know how bad they are, which begs the question do they care? And if not, why should I? Perhaps I'll sell their box on fleabay & say the dog ate it or something.

Mr Lexx
3rd Oct 2006, 14:23
Hustler. If your insurance company are claiming off the building owners insurance, you will be able to claim for loss of earnings. Give your insurance company a bell, they will just claim it back of the other party

G-CPTN
3rd Oct 2006, 14:50
If you feel strongly enough about it, and want a result, then find out who leads the organisation, and let them know how they treat their customers. Mark the letter "Private and Confidential."
Doesn't work with the Police Force.
MY correspondence to the Chief Constable (in connection with comments that he made on a Radio Interview that were at best uninformed but blatently wrong) was returned unanswered by a minion (and YES, I'm using the work correctly).
Seems that because I'm a convicted criminal my voice cannot be heard.

gingernut
3rd Oct 2006, 14:56
Doesn't work with the Police Force.

Yes, I must say I had an issue with our local force- actually, to be fair, it was an issue with the enfocement of a policy, rather than an individuals actions.

It was resolved (finally) by writing to the (then) Home Secretary.

I don't kid myself for one minute that the top of organisations actually care how their customers are treated, but if you make yourself a big enough pain in the rse, then someone in the organisation will take enough ownership of your problem, to sort out a resolution.

WWill it change things for others? probably not, but invariably, it does get results for you.

Parapunter
3rd Oct 2006, 15:05
But that's that's the fundamental problem isn't it? The argument runs that companies at least are run for profit, so balls to customers, it's money we could do without spending, hence Indian call centres, but if putting call centres in India, or passing customers from one 'advisor' to another for forty minutes just gets on their collective wicks, then eventually, they'll vote with their wallets.

The Cops are a different matter: 'Right Officer, Dibble, I shall take my business elsewhere'!!:)

As for me, I've just complained to the council about their contractor, the dear at the other end was helpful, but you just know she doesn't give a tit about it, still, at least the bath's turned up.:rolleyes:

Farrell
3rd Oct 2006, 15:08
They will never change.

What you can do is make individual attacks on the company.
Write letters looking for quotes and have meetings at their headquarters for a multi million pound project.

Call them up and ask them thousands of questions about their products and services and then tell them that you're ready to sign up to the full supremo package and the when they ask you for your credit card details just tell them that you've changed your mind.

The reaction from some of the sales team members is priceless. Especially if you have the nerve to actually do it in a store and not over the phone.

I particularly love the "booths" in shopping centres where you get the scroats that say "excuse me sir! (as if!) could i ask you just one question?!
I tie these guys up for an hour.

Barclaycard and AXA Insurance are my favourite ones to do this to at the moment.

A short visit to the UK recently was a blast. This guy gets out the form and starts asking details having sold me a bunch of lies for a half hour and then gets to the part where he asks for an address and I say "France" hahah!

Oh you should've seen his face! I had told him I wanted the £100 per month "payment protection" insurance and all!

gingernut
3rd Oct 2006, 15:20
Well I think complaing can sometimes make a bit of a difference. Although the old dear at the end of the phone didn't really give a monkeys duff, someone , somewhere will be responsible for commissioning the contractor. Complain loud enough, and it may have the desired effect.

I have seen it from both sides, having commissioned services for a state run organisation. Sometimes the powerful personal tale of a let down patient, works far more effectively than the boll*&cks sprouted out by the so called strategists.

I'm not sure about the Chief Constable, but surely he must have some accountability to someone ?

Parapunter
3rd Oct 2006, 15:24
Jesus wept, you're evil Farrell. Mebbes I should buy shares in NTL, go to the agm & then put them on hold for thirty minutes when it's my turn to ask a question before offering them five options to answer, but only after they've typed out their phone number after the tone & then ask them to repeat it four times to my shareholder mates, then three weeks later, send out a bill for asking a question that's three times what was agreed.

Ozzy
3rd Oct 2006, 15:59
Oh you should've seen his face! I had told him I wanted the 100 per month "payment protection" insurance and all!Fecking brilliant, they make so much commission on those useless plans, that really hit him in the pocket. I bet it felt good...:E

Ozzy

GrumpyOldFart
3rd Oct 2006, 16:18
"Customer Service in the UK."

Hmmmm.

Isn't that one of those thingies like "Military Intelligence" or "Jumbo Shrimp"?

Parapunter
3rd Oct 2006, 16:31
I refer the Honourable Mr Farrell to the last line of post #1:=

Wyler
3rd Oct 2006, 17:04
Bought a 3 Piece suite from DFS in Norwich. Came with spare set of covers that stated, quite clearly, machine washable. Got posted to NE Scotland. Mrs Wyler washes covers. Come to put them on, don't fit. They have shrunk.

She phones the company. 'Not our problem anymore, we don't cover Scotland'.

Phones again. 'Yes the tag that says machine washable is wrong, should have been removed'.

I phone.

'The little woman should have known better sir' !!!!!!!!

I took his name, found out the name and address of the CEO and wrote him a stinking letter, highlighting the quote.

3 days later, man knocks on door with two brand new sets of suite covers. Bloke looking tired. he had been made to drive overnight from the main warehouse somewhere in the Midlands (I think) to hand deliver. He was then expected to drive straight back. I made him a bacon buttie and filled him with coffee.

2 days letter, hand written reply from CEO with genuine apology and good news that our saleman was now looking for employment elsewhere.

I think it depends, to some extent, on who you complain to. Most of the chimps on the end of the phone are there because school was too hard.

gingernut
3rd Oct 2006, 17:07
On the other hand......I'm sure a lot of these organisations have to deal with some right whinging old g*tts.

My old fella once wrote to Polo mints, complaining that the last two packets he bought had at least one broken Polo in the packet.

The Hustler
3rd Oct 2006, 17:15
Hustler. If your insurance company are claiming off the building owners insurance, you will be able to claim for loss of earnings. Give your insurance company a bell, they will just claim it back of the other partyUnfortunately, it's a communal stair and we own our flat, so if we went after the owners it would be one-sixth-us :suspect:.

We cheated with the boiler - got it fixed under warranty (after hiding everything that looked like it had blown up) because it counts as buildings - not contents - so we'd have had to pay a second excess :* - wife now thinks she's due some bad karma due to lying to the enginner who was stressed but still helpful and friendly.

The insurance company are confirming with Scottish Power the claim so SP can pay us our excess, but they reckon we got no chance with the reimbursement of lost pay (esp. after they asked how much - weekends pay double time :E). Trying to get them to pay for an extended warranty on everything we bought though (it's buried in the receipts :ok: )

Farrell
3rd Oct 2006, 17:19
Duuuuuh! Sorry!

ShyTorque
3rd Oct 2006, 18:32
Bought a 3 Piece suite from DFS in Norwich. Came with spare set of covers that stated, quite clearly, machine washable. Got posted to NE Scotland. Mrs Wyler washes covers. Come to put them on, don't fit. They have shrunk.
She phones the company. 'Not our problem anymore, we don't cover Scotland'.
Phones again. 'Yes the tag that says machine washable is wrong, should have been removed'.
I phone.
'The little woman should have known better sir' !!!!!!!!
I took his name, found out the name and address of the CEO and wrote him a stinking letter, highlighting the quote.
3 days later, man knocks on door with two brand new sets of suite covers. Bloke looking tired. he had been made to drive overnight from the main warehouse somewhere in the Midlands (I think) to hand deliver. He was then expected to drive straight back. I made him a bacon buttie and filled him with coffee.
2 days letter, hand written reply from CEO with genuine apology and good news that our saleman was now looking for employment elsewhere.
I think it depends, to some extent, on who you complain to. Most of the chimps on the end of the phone are there because school was too hard.

Yes, now that's what we like to hear. I do need a new three piece suite. They have already got my vote!

UniFoxOs
4th Oct 2006, 09:00
No one post the NTL complaint letter neither.:=


How can anybody who has read that letter sign up for the service???


UFO

Parapunter
4th Oct 2006, 09:13
Duuuuuh! Sorry!:}

GANNET FAN
4th Oct 2006, 09:35
right now, I'm eyeing up Sky with a dewy eyed shyness & a false nostalgia where I reckon Mr. Murdoch will bring a dish to my door & stay for tea & cake.

Parapunter, I do hope you are being sarcastic!! My digibox newish hiccuped and died. Have you or anyone ever tried to get through to Sky to sort out a problem like this! Hells teeth its enough to make you throw the phone through the window. When finally you get somebody and its usually a charming Indian gent quite some way from UK, and after pressing heaven knows how many numbers on the phone, he gives you another number and the process starts again.

Exasperated I tries the number that asked if I wanted to buy a new system. Surprise x2 thats brings them in like a homing pigeon. Then when the missus saw the blood rising in the cheeks, and staving off a real serious rant, she took the phone, asked for the name of the CEO and lo & behold, action taken, new digibox installed next day!

Actually during one of my rants to said Indian gent, and getting majorly pssd off by the second, he gave me a number to call. Dialled and was prompted to speak the name "reception" or the name of the guy I wanted. After the third prompt, I expleted big time and the recorded reply came back "and the same to you". It was one of those funnies you get when you want to play a trick on someone. One up to the Indian gent. Had to laugh!

lexxity
4th Oct 2006, 14:57
Gannet getting through to sky is a nightmare, I agree, but once you do the service is generally good. We got sky+ last year and the box was a nightmare and blipped and skipped and froze, etc. Called sky and we had an engineer out on Christmas eve and had a new functioning system by 10am. :ok: