Friday, 7 August 2009

Indian Call Centre Farce

I am sure all of you have experienced the joys of the Indian Call Centre at some point. Whether you are calling your broadband, telephone or television viewing provider you will have spent many frustrating hours trying to get something sorted but coming away feeling more confused than when you initially rang.

Earlier this week a BT representative called to inform me my bill hadn’t been paid. I grabbed my bank card and made a payment. The woman told me my card had not been accepted and said she’d call back later.

I rang my bank and was told the card was fine.

The woman didn't call back so I went online to register with BT thinking I’d be able to pay that way. No such luck. After going through the process of registering all my details TWICE, the site decided it was going to go down for maintenance. Brilliant! I’ll try tomorrow, I thought. By the next day any thought of paying that bill had gone completely out of my head.

Now onto today…

I’ve received a lovely letter from BT with the heading YOUR FINAL BILL.

My final bill? Why FINAL bill? And why is there a £21.73 (excluding vat) ‘BT Total Broadband Cease Charge’ added to it? And to add insult to injury an extra £7.83 (excluding Vat) for excess usage? I haven’t cancelled it; I’ve tried to pay the damn thing all week. And what’s this ‘fair usage’ lark. No one told me about that when I signed the dotted line.

So, I grabbed the phone, which by the way is now incoming calls only, and called BT. But, I wasn’t actually calling BT, you know the BRITISH telephone company. I was calling someone in India.

The, oh-so-polite, man I spoke to informed me that because I had cancelled broadband I had to pay a cancellation charge. I told him I hadn’t and that THEY had. I went through all the rigmarole of explaining how many times and HOW I had tried to pay.

He told me that if I paid the full amount (including the cancellation charge) my broadband would be reinstated free of charge (yeah right) and I would receive a refund of said cancellation charge on my next bill.

I told him I am not prepared to do that as it is not my fault and asked him why he couldn’t amend the bill and take off the charge. He said (even though he is supposed to be in the billing department) that he couldn’t do that and it was his way or no way.

I asked him to put me through to the manager and was told that the manager would tell me the same thing. I told him I didn’t care; I still wanted to speak to him. After 10 minutes of being on hold I put the phone down.

Thank God I hadn’t agreed to answer the questionnaire at the end of the call.

I spent the rest of the morning redialling and going through all the options in the hope of finally getting to speak to someone British who I could understand. It didn’t happen.

By this time I was getting rather hot under the collar. My face must have been beetroot red; I was sweating and finding it increasingly difficult not to scream. No way, not a chance in hell will I pay for something that is not my fault. If anything it should be ME that receives a payment for spending all fucking morning trying to talk to people I can understand.

So, I thought stuff BT, I’m going back to Sky.

I rang Sky, arranged for Sky TV, telephone and broadband to take effect as of next week. One problem… I needed a Mac code for the transfer. As soon as Sky customer service told me that I was filled with dread.

On no, not again!

I rang BT and you’ve guessed it, got another foreigner. I asked for the Mac code, he asked for my details and then said he would put me through to the person who could give it me. I was just thinking ‘RESULT’ when someone came on the line from ‘COLLECTIONS’.

The woman on the other end must have thought I was a nutter because I started to laugh hysterically. I’d finally got through to a REAL English speaking person, but only because that crafty little sod had diverted me through to the collections office.

Finally I had got through to someone who could understand me and I could understand her only to be told she doesn’t deal with Mac codes OR billing; just collections. She gave me a number to ring in a few days time so I can get the much needed Mac code.

Please God, PLEASE let that person be British, but somehow I just know they won’t be.

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