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Monday, 20 September 2010

Contact me to contact you?

FORGET feeding the stupid fish on your right, I'm going to rant! and I want you, Someone, anyone, to listen... well! You're not going to stop me (are you?) Good!


Then let this rant begin...


The era we are in is an age of instant and convenient communication, with all its various electronic forms that are now available, (I'm not going to bore you with what they are because you know what they are don't you?)


Nowadays to communicate a problem, report an error, seen an easily correctable omission, have a complaint, etc, etc, all companies, organisations, charity's, accountable public services, now have their own form of electronic communication to enable to one to quickly communicate a problem. Right? Well, dear reader you are wrong...


The call centre


I am suitably chastised enough to phone them, I'm put on hold, I listen to music numbing my temporal lobes, I answer ten security questions, confirmed my identity and now they are happy to speak to me, (they didn't ask if I am happy to speak to them though) the computer is down or slow, (probably an excuse on the front page of the customer service laminated card they are holding or doodling on,) anyway it's irrelevant because my compliant is irrelevant because what I'm complaining about is how the system is and cannot be overruled.


I'm insistent, my tone of voice is suitably in command mode and I do that by standing up and breathing from my diaphragm, maybe he is doing the same, I demand to speak to another automaton a little bit more salaried than him. I get my wish...nearly, they take my number, will ring me back. I've been 47 minutes on the phone and grateful for a break, I run to loo with phone in hand for when they ring me back...


They ring me back (2 hours later) I'm worried that the fact someone has even bothered to ring me back has far too easily impressed me.


I answer 10 security questions again, this time hopeful of a satisfactory ending to my call and looking forward to popping downstairs for a deserved coffee and a guilty sweet from the cupboard.


I spend the next ten minutes abbreviating what I spent 40 minutes doing in the previous call, he tells me this call came thru to him (although he is the right man, and "they" rang me!) in an unsolicited way (what??) and hangs up. Thank you The Nationwide Building a problem Society, thanks a lot. Nothing achieved.


The email


I love my local newspaper no! I really mean it! Its a great local read and they have some great people working there! I like them so much so in fact, on being invited to do so, I now write a weekly column for them, which I enjoy doing, but they have the same non urgency as almost all organisations have. But I have questions, things I'm unsure of, I send an email, in fact, I usually send two! and cc another, (y'now, just in case) I get no reply, you think, well, maybe it was a silly question, after all these guys are expert busy writers right? unfortunately my questions remain for the moment unanswered.


Well! not to thwarted and ignored in a seemingly now common and trendy fashion, I'll try their twitter page! whilst there, I see errors in a link, which happens to be about a taxi driver, the daft muppet gets robbed with a stupid amount of money on him. (Nobody has questioned WHY he had a lot of money on him?) and the link to that story goes unbelievably instead to the Canadian veterinary society website!! but I'm moving away from my rant, and in any case, The reply I got was...Tada! Nothing.


Recently a well written letter was published in my wonderful local paper that I champion AND promote, the letter included an email address inviting suitable responses, I felt compelled to respond and reply a carefully crafted concise and may I say informative email to her. Again...nothing.


I have a problem with litter and some mild vandalism I write to the appropriate department in my local council a month has gone by and...nothing.


The Twitter "thing"


I reply or comment to people on twitter and await a response, nothing.


WHY would anybody want to follow ANYBODY on twitter that doesn't respond to a question or reply to a comment that is obviously DEMANDING a response is beyond me!
pose a question on twitter get replies and never respond! kick these egos into electronic heaven.


The whole point of rant


My whole point about this "rant" soap boxed and rambling though it is, is that nobody cares, no eye contact with humans, our social skills are now honed and determined by a committee of whatever organisation you happen to contact, the worst of it is, that any semblance of courtesy or manners you may or may not have been brought up with, is being slowly eroded and replaced by consensus of committee.


If you have been brought up with the afore mentioned great human qualities of courtesy and good manners, be warned these are slowly being replaced by committee led customer service dogma, OR, if you haven't been brought up with courtesy and manners, for you, fortunately You have been taught by your good old customer service handbook and may it serve you well.


Keith


Now feed the fish. Rant over.