30 March 2012
What I can't stand is being contacted by or having to contact any call centre.
When they call you it's always a bad time. The poor sap on the other end of the line asks how you are. They don't care. I'd prefer it if they said 'I'm from British Whatever and I'm calling about increasing your monthly direct debit'. They don't do this. They first ask you to confirm who you are. 'BUT YOU RANG MEEEEE!' I cry, trying not to shout. Failing.
The worst calls are from energy suppliers asking why you left them. My answer is 'because you keep ringing me'. I try to be polite, I honestly do. But it's hard. The conversation usually ends with me calming down and kindly asking them to remove me from their list. This never works.
It's even worse when you try to contact these behemoth corporations. We moved house twice last year. That's two lots of moving house type phone calls. This process reduced me to tears. If you don't have your account number you may as well not bother calling, as I found to my annoyance.
Why can't my call be answered by a person, when that person is ready to answer? I'm paying for the call, I just want to talk to a person. I don't want to be told that they are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and I'm being held in a queue. That's not good customer service, that's just pants.
Automated answering service:
"Hello, you're through to British Whatever. Listen carefully to the following options..."
None of the 17 options are any good to me whatsoever.
"Oh for crying out loud. I JUST WANT TO TALK TO SOMEONE. AAARRRRGGGGHHH".
It's not all doom and gloom. I do have a sneaky top tip for getting through to a person. Crying and shouting at the machine does nothing. When you're given the list of options, pretend you're a new customer and you'll get through to a jolly person in no time. I did this once when I wanted to change my Sky package and saved myself 40 minutes.