Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Future's Bright - a rant


I woke up with an unusual amount of energy this sunny morning after the best night's sleep I have had in ages, but there's always some bastard who tries to spoil your day before it has even properly begun.

Yesterday, noticing that my Nokia phone had developed a very slight but irritating fault (keypad tones were silent) I decided that - for the first time since I had taken out a contract with Orange (now called EE - EEK! - but now called something else since the last 3 weeks) - I would take advantage of their offer to replace my handset after 18 months of a 3 year contract had expired, especially since my contract expires in February of next year.

So I dialled the appropriate number, and spent the customary 5 minutes jumping through hoops held up by a robotic voice before speaking to a real person, somewhere in India.

I then jumped through all the hoops that she held up for me, often asking her to repeat the instructions, as her accent was quite strong and the line was quite bad.

Had I tried turning the phone on and off?  Yes. Had I... YES.

After another ten minutes on hold while she consulted her records, she was able to say that I was entitled to a replacement handset, and would be charged £25 as the insurance excess. I told her that this was not what I had signed up for, and would not be paying anything, so she put me on hold again to consult her records and speak to a supervisor.

4 more minutes of some pop song which was old enough not to have incurred any performing rights fees to Orange, and she was back with the great news that - since I had been such a loyal customer to Orange (about 18 or more years) - I would not be charged the £25, and a new handset - with new SIM card and charger - would arrive anytime between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm. Was there anything else she could help me with, and - if not - I should have a wonderful day.

Two minutes later, a message came through from Orange/EE/Tmobile/etc.etc. asking me if I was satisfied with the service I had received from Orange, and would I mind completing a short survey via text message, all of the texts being COMPLETELY FREE!

I thought that I would, since the woman in India was very polite and helpful, so I answered the next text, 'How satisfied was I with the service I received during my enquiry?', 10/10.

As soon as I sent this, along came another question along the lines of 'How good was the operative's communication skills?' I felt generous, and gave her a 9.

There were about three others immediately afterwards, and I felt that I could only give a 5 for 'How likely would I be to recommend Orange to someone else?' I wish I had given it 0.

At 9.02 this morning, there was a ring on the bell, and my new phone was downstairs waiting for me. Great.

The delivery man said that all he needed was my old phone, then he would hand over the new one.

How - I asked - was I supposed to transfer all the personal information, numbers and photos from the old phone without having the new one by it's side?

He thought for a moment and suggested that I could transfer it all onto a computer.

I wondered if he had a spare hour or three to wait whilst I learned how to do this before wiping the old phone clean and handing it over to him, having only had about 2 seconds warning that I had to give it up without being sure that I had not lost all the information in the process.

He went away with the new phone and I am left with the old one. At least I didn't have to wait in until 1.00 pm.

25 comments:

  1. So, nothing new then! Service with a scowl.

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  2. As with all modern equipment it pays to keep a paper log of all important information. I have a small book with passwords in etc which is very handy in times of crisis and of course it cannot be hacked.

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    1. What has that got to do with this post, aside from being designed to make me even more pissed off than I am already, already?

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    2. It was not my intention to annoy you merely a small piece of (un-asked for) advice.
      Now just cool off with a glass of port and a bit of stilton

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    3. Yes, I am sorry, Heron. I don't know why it is usually you who presses the wrong buttons for me. Maybe it's all those curses you have heaped upon me from afar.

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  3. How many hours do you consider a good night's sleep?

    It's 6 am here, and that orange square is a bit jolting. It would look as a poster in my 1970s ranch.

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    1. 5 good quality ones would do me. You have a ranch? I'm impressed.

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  4. Ludicrous. As if we back up our phones EVER. All those special cords are in a drawer at the phone store, which is impossible to find even with Google navigation. It could be easier now, with that bright, stomach churning orange beacon.

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    1. I have all mine to hand, but I don't think the courier had the time to wait for me.

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  5. I imagine they have found out you are the internationally famous Tom Stephenson, and are intent on getting your old contacts and photos somehow.

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    1. Yes - especially since I don't use Facebook.

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  6. I knew them when they were France Telecom....I see nothing has changed in their approach to customer satisfaction.

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    1. France Telecom?! So I signed up to a load of cheese eating surrender monkeys (who have suddenly turned warlike)?

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  7. I'm grinding my teeth on your behalf here. Am currently in the last 40 minutes of a ten hour window in which my Dyson hoover is supposed to be being picked up and am beginning to despair at the inevitability of its not happening....AGAIN. Couriers often tell their bosses that they couldn't find us which translated means they couldn't be bothered to come all the way out here and know someone else will have to do it tomorrow.

    Are your contacts saved to the SIM or the phone? I had this problem, and transferred them all to the SIM, whipped it out when the new phone arrived and popped the old SIM in the new phone to transfer them onto the phone, swapped the SIMs and then copied them back to the SIM so as to avoid the same problem next time. Too much popping and whipping there - sorry. I'll stop there.

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    1. I do not - as yet - know how many contacts are on the SIM and how many on the phone. As for Dyson, I will not hear a word against them.

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  8. Seems to me - (excuse me, but I like the movie, whatever you may say) - like the entrance scene when Judy Dench in 'The Best Exotivc Marigold Hotel" tried to sort oout the computer thing. (What I post is slightly the scene I was thinking of, but as you likely haven't seen the film: the trailor gives you - another reason for a rant -- maybe---?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDY89LYxK0w

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  9. Excuse me a moment while I stop laughing and wipe my eyes Tom. At least you got that far - being slightly deaf I never get past the Asian accent I am afraid - the ladies are always charming but they do find it difficult to get their tongues round Thistlethwaite.

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    1. I bet they can pronounce that word better than your average Japanese, though.

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    2. I always get Gay instead of Gray from people from the Far East

      Having said this..... We don't see many in trelanwyd

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  10. Now I know why I always go to a phone shop and talk to a Human Bean....and get them to do all the fiddling/transferring etc etc!!

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    1. Yes - that is the only viable solution to this problem. I tried it before, but the phone shop Beans told me that they were a separate company which didn't deal with replacement phones, so I guess I will have to get the phone sent there and make the courier wait while they do all the transferring on a magic machine.

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