In An Email Dominated Society

| UK | Working | December 4, 2013

(As a result of a technical problem with my internet installation and astonishingly poor customer service following that, I have been trying to get an answer out of this company for three weeks. On twelve separate occasions they have promised me a call back and then ‘forgotten.’ I have called them four hours earlier. I was promised a callback within three hours, which I have not yet received. I have phoned them again.)

Company Rep: “[Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Me: “Hi. I rang four hours ago and was promised a call back within three hours from a manager and I haven’t heard anything. Please, could you find out what is happening?”

(I provide the account info.)

Company Rep: “I’m sorry you didn’t get a call back. I can see the request on our system but nothing since, and we close in an hour.”

Me: “Yes, I know. That’s why I rang up four hours ago for a three hour call back. This is the thirteenth time this has happened, and I’m getting annoyed. Please get a manager on the phone.”

Company Rep: “I’ll just see if he’s free. Please hold.”

(Five minutes on hold ensues.)

Company Rep: “I’m sorry. The manager is busy for the rest of the shift and won’t be able to call you tonight.”

Me: “Okay. Could someone ring me in the morning then, please?”

Company Rep: “I’m sorry. We can’t do that.”

Me: “Er… what?”

Company Rep: “You have to call up yourself on the day.”

Me: “But I’m calling now because I haven’t had the callback I was promised. I shouldn’t have to keep using my time to chase up requests I’ve already made. Can you please just leave a message for the duty manager to ring me tomorrow?”

Company Rep: “I can’t do a callback request for tomorrow. We’re not allowed to leave customer information on desks overnight.”

Me: “I understand data security. I work with customer data. Send them a secure email.”

Company Rep: “We don’t have email.”

Me: *incredulous* “Really? So when I spoke to [Name] before and he read out what he was writing in the EMAIL and then told me when he hit the SEND button, he was lying, was he?”

Company Rep: “Well, er…, what he meant was that he was typing it up and then printed it to leave on the manager’s desk.”

Me: “And when I spoke to [Name] before that and he actually emailed me from his work account with an update, that was my imagination, was it?”

Company Rep: “Well, err… I mean…”

Me: “And do you actually expect me to believe that an international provider of telecommunications, including internet and email hosting services, doesn’t have its own email system and resorts to leaving notes on desks?”

Company Rep: “I’ll… pass your message on now. Thanks for calling. Bye!”

(The Company Rep hangs up. Unsurprisingly I continued not getting the callbacks I was promised. I ended up writing to the chief executive of the company. He was very interested to hear they supposedly didn’t have email.)

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