Every few months, I get a call from my broadband provider offering me a new deal. And every few months I have to tell them as politely as I can to take their new deal and … (you can complete that sentence yourself!).
I get a very good package from them, one which most other telecommunications providers would be extremely hard pressed to match – so I am not complaining about that. However the customer service they provide leaves a lot to be desired. I have had many battles with them which have lasted months – battles which have been initiated because of their incompetence. Mainly over billing errors.
My package from them is for broadband, evening & weekend calls, anytime calls and line rental. Immediately from that list you may see an oddity – why does a global company like this have a component called ‘anytime calls’ which is not for anytime of the day but only Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm? To get ‘anytime’, you need the extra component called ‘evenings and weekends’.
Here is the transcript of the calls (we’ll call the telephonic operative TT for short – that may give you a clue as to who the company is):
TT: Good afternoon, may I speak to Mr Better Offer?
TT: Good afternoon sir, this is Ms X. I’m calling from (insert broadband provider here). Are you the account holder?
Me: (resisting the response ‘who does it say is the account holder on the account details in front of you?’) Yes.
TT: I have an offer for you sir. For just £21 you can get your calls in the evening between the hours of 7pm and 7am and your calls at the weekend all day plus your line rental. I can give that to you for half price for the next six months.
Me: (knowingly, as I have received this call so many times) So six months I get it for £10.50 – that’s good.
TT: No sir, the line rental is not half price, that is £14.50. It is just the evening and weekend package which is half price.
Me: Oh! Well, I currently have anytime calls. Will I still get that?
TT: Yes sir, I can give that to you as well – it will be included.
Me: Oh great, not bad for £21 – that is certainly less than I pay now.
TT: Yes, sir, so would you like me to put this through for you.
Me: (again knowingly) Let me just confirm, line rental, broadband, anytime and evenings & weekends for £21.
TT: One moment sir I need to check. I’ll just put you on hold…(dreadful music)…sir I can give you the anytime for £5 a month which will be £2.50 for the first six months.
Me: Well, that will work out more than I’m paying now.
TT: Yes sir but this is an upgrade so it will be better.
Me: An upgrade? What improvements will I see.
TT: You will be getting your calls for evenings and weekends, sir, which you can call up to a maximum of 60 minutes before incurring any charges and weekdays.
Me: That is what I currently get and yet I am paying less!
TT: Yes sir, but this is an upgrade.
Me: Yes, you said that but what IS the upgrade – what makes this better.
TT: Because it is an upgrade sir. You will be paying less for the first six months.
Me: Yes, but I will be paying more after six months.
TT: But you will be getting the anytime call package.
Me: I get that now for less.
TT: Would you like me to put this through for you sir?
Me: No thank you.
TT: I understand sir. Would you like to renew your contract?
TT: Then you can get this new offer sir.
Me: I am quite happy with my current agreement – I don’t need to renew any contract.
TT: We can put you on a 12 or 18 month contract sir.
Me: (still being very polite but maybe a little more terse) I don’t want to alter my contract to 12 or 18 months. I don’t want an upgrade which gives me exactly what I have now but costs me more. I am quite happy with my current deal.
TT: I understand sir, thank you for your time.
Me: You’re welcome – goodbye!
British Telecoms once said “it’s good to talk”, but let me tell you, it’s not good to talk talk! (Whoops, did I am just name and shame them? Well quite frankly I’m tired of these calls so I don’t care!)