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Ah, BT

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Lightmancer, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    This is a genuine transcript of a chat session I endured earlier today, with BT who provide me with my broadband connection. I have only changed the name of the agent - we shall call him "Fred".

    All I wanted to do was to stop BT nagging me to set Parental Controls. Since the youngest in the house is 50 this year, this is not exactly a big requirement for us, and I am tired of getting nag screens half a dozen times a day at the moment, so...

    Fred : Hello. I'm Fred . Thanks for that information, I'll check it and get back to you in a moment.
    Bill Palmer: I haven't given you any information yet...
    Fred : I understand, let me check
    Bill Palmer: Check WHAT? I have yet to tell you what my problem is!
    Fred : May I have your alternate contact number please
    Bill Palmer: No.
    Bill Palmer: That is irrelevant
    Bill Palmer: Can we focus on my problem please
    Fred : I apologize, please allow me few moments
    Bill Palmer: Please stop reading your script, and focus on your customer...
    Fred : I am running an application
    Bill Palmer: That's nice for you. CAN WE FOCUS ON MY PROBLEM PLEASE?
    Fred : I am working on it, please be patient
    Bill Palmer: YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT MY PROBLEM IS!!!!
    Bill Palmer: WILL YOU **LISTEN**!!
    Fred : yes, please let me know
    Bill Palmer: Right.
    Bill Palmer: Stop "running applications" and stop "checking" and Please. Just. Listen.
    ...and so on...

    AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH... :dash2:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Bill, you did realize that you were speaking to a robot, right?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Christ, I'm selling my shares.

    Last time you came on here complaining about a company they went into liquidation on Xmas Eve.

    It's Palmer's Curse ...
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. alex66

    alex66 SC Rookie

    12
    Jul 29, 2012
    Well we have a tree over the road that cuts out our broadband BT (British Thieves) know about this tree, won't sort it out they say its the housing association who have to deal with it they say the Tennant who has lived there less time than the tree has to sort it out. Other than that some evenings my so called broadband is the same speed as dial up. I detest BT but have no choice to use their service via another party now as Virgin are not up our street.
     
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Young people these days...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dave6376

    dave6376 SC Regular

    30
    Aug 23, 2012
    Perth, Scotland
    If my experience is anything to go by "Fred" probably had English as a poor third language. If I'd had any inkling of how awful BT's customer "service" is I would have gone with Virgin
     
  7. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Thank you! Thank you! It should be a Fry and Laurie routine. Unfortunately, it is all too real all too often.
     
  8. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Sounds about as bad as my experiences with my cable/internet provider.
     
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I am currently on a phone call to my phone company. All I want to do is sign up for automatic billing and they said the wait time is 27 minutes to speak to a representative. The music they are playing while I wait is enough to make me puke. And then every 30 seconds a prerecorded voice interrupts (and I think the wait is over) to tell me how important my call is.

    That is beyond insulting. If you truly "valued my call", you wouldn't force me to wait for 27 minutes to speak to me.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Luke, your post is important to me and I want to thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Unfortunately I'm busy right now and can't respond immediately, so in the meantime, here's some music ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5PvBzDlZGs
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    omg, "we are committed to making sure you are satisfied"!
     
  12. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    Last night I had occasion to call First Direct (aUK online bank for those who aren't familiar). I got through to a real person straight away (in the UK) who was able to sort out everything I needed sorting out without passing me off to anyone else and who had time for a nice chat about the respective weather conditions in the UK and the Philippines.

    First Direct guarantees that when you call you speak to a real person (and not a contract worker in India, or indeed the Philippines where call centres are big business). It's one of the reasons I've never been tempted to change, and if they can do it it's hard to understand why others can't.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    558
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I think speaking to an operator in a distant land is preferable to dealing with a computerised switchboard. I sometimes need to transfer money between my business and personal bank accounts, which means a telephone call to the bank and a frustrating struggle with their computerised call handling system.

    The worst part is when I'm asked to speak certain letters from my password, the most troublesome of which is the letter R. The conversation generally goes something like this:

    Bank: Our records show that you hold a password for that account, would you like to use it now?
    Me: Yes
    Bank: You can answer Yes or No
    Me: YES!
    Bank: Thank you. Please say the third letter of your password now
    Me: R (as normally as I can manage, something like ah or ar)
    Bank: Was that O ?
    Me: No
    Bank; You can answer Yes or No
    Me: No
    Bank. OK. Please say the third letter of your password now.
    Me: Arrrgh (like a pirate)
    Bank: Was that A ?
    Me: No
    Bank: OK. Please say the third letter of your password now
    Me: Arrrrr (like a growling dog)
    Bank: Was that R ?
    Me: Yes !
    Bank: You can answer Yes or No
    Me: YES !
    Bank: Thank you. Please say which service you require
    Me Transfer Money
    Bank: Do you want to transfer some money?
    Me: Yes
    Bank: You can answer Yes or No
    Me: YES !
    Bank: Sorry, that service is unavailable

    I should probably switch to Internet banking, as they are constantly encouraging me to do. It can't be any worse than the current situation. It used to be so easy when the phone was answered by a human being.

    -R
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC Top Veteran

    823
    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I once had to use an automated phone service when I was staying at a hotel somewhere in the States (North Carolina, Tennessee perhaps, can't remember which). I was asked to state a phone number or "operator". I tried "operator" (with, being a northern Englishman, short vowels and hard consonants) but it had no idea what I was saying. Finally I twigged and said "ahpurayduh" and it was quite happy.
    I also recently had to call HMRC (or the Inland Revenue as was). It has introduced an automated response system which takes many times longer than waiting in the queue to speak to a person. One of the questions asked me to say "yes" or "no". I tried "yes" many times and it failed to understand. I said "oh for God's sake" and it took that as "yes"!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC Top Veteran

    823
    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    I've been with FD since they started (late 80s?) and have always found their service first rate, largely because of the excellence of their staff. BT on the other hand...I once had to report to their people in Bangalore that a large tree branch had fallen onto their telephone wires. The poor guy on the other end of the crackly phone line had no conception of the problem or what to do about it. It took several emails to resolve the situation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    Being from Belfast my pronunciation of 'eight' and 'two' seem to cause the greatest difficulties. My wife's technique with automated systems is to keep answering 'representative' to every question until the thing gives up and transfers her to a real person.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. dave6376

    dave6376 SC Regular

    30
    Aug 23, 2012
    Perth, Scotland
    I'm originally from Glasgow and I know exactly what you mean. These wretched things are set up on the basis of some hypothetical "British" manner of speech and can't cope with local accents and dialects. Even within Scotland there are huge variations in speech - I still remember having to interpret between my wife who comes from Greenock and my grandmother who spoke Aberdonian Doric. If human beings can't understand each other it's stupid and pointless to expect a machine to do so as my former employers discovered many years ago after a brief and disastrous experiment with voice-recognition typing software. Thanks to your wife for a very useful tip.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dave6376

    dave6376 SC Regular

    30
    Aug 23, 2012
    Perth, Scotland
    Unfortunately Channel 5 has blocked that video in the UK (why?) but I saw the original programme and thought the lift sketch (we don't have "elevators" in Scotland) was brilliant. Thanks for reminding me.
     
  19. torsteinh

    torsteinh New to SC

    8
    Aug 3, 2014