Flip Flop Flying

A one day hermit

with 21 comments

Tomorrow I will be in my flat between the hours of 8.00am and 4.00pm. Sorry, Billy, no walks or urinating for you. Cos a man from Deutsche Telekom is due to come to install something-or-other that’ll allow me to have a new Internet service provider. He, who is being paid by me to do this, can’t be any more specific than that. Between 8.00pm and 4.00pm.

Right: this has GOT TO STOP!

We, the people, need to do something about this. I don’t know what, but we need to have a cup of tea and a think. It’s only really an inconvenience for me, cos I work at home all day, but for those of you who have to take a whole day off work – a day that you could be using for, oooh, an extra day in Bali or something – it’s gotta be a bitch.

Why can they not be more specific? There is no reason for this. Deutsche Telekom probably have printed sheets which they give to your employees with all their duties of the day printed on them. I don’t imagine they just randomly drive around Berlin in your truck until the boss phones and say, “Yeh, dude, can you go to Craig’s house at some point today… no, it’s not important, finish your lunch… if you can get there before 4pm that’d be great.”

And I also imagine they know how much work these chaps can do in a day. I don’t want to be totally inflexible, cos I realise that some jobs may take a bit longer, there might be bad traffic etc., but is it not possible for them to give us an estimate within, say, a two hour period? If it’s not, then their whole business operation is a shambles.

(An aside. I used to work for British Telecom doing directory enquiries as a summer job. We were told to only spend a specific amount of time dealing with each enquiry. When I asked if helping, say, a confused pensioner find the correct number wasn’t more important than getting that call over with within a specific amount of time, I was told that, no, your average call time is important if you wanna keep your job. My point here is that these companies do have issues with being productive annd punctual with their time. Any chance they could afford that privilege to their customers too?)

The truly mystifying thing is this: within hours of signing up for this new Internet service, I got an SMS text message on my mobile phone welcoming me and blah-de-blah-blah. If this can be done, isn’t it possible that Deutsche Telekom could do the same sort of thing with their installation dudes? A quick push of a button on an electronic something like DHL or UPS fellas have when you sign for a package, and it could send an update automatically to the customer. Something like, “Hey, we estimate we’ll be there around 12.30. Might be 20 minutes or so either side, but y’know, we’ll be there soon.”

Nah, that’s way too much like treating the people who keep their company going with some respect. Why treat customers with respect when they can treat them like shit?

I give up. I’m off to live in a hut and grow my own potatoes…

Oh, the advent photo above is some packets of candy floss at a Christmas market. If only they were packets of marshmallow. That’d be a yummy conical bag of pastel-coloured joy.

Written by Craig

December 6th, 2005 at 10:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

21 Responses to 'A one day hermit'

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  1. You are right that is truly awful customer service. The other day I had to stay at home because the electricity guy was coming (between 8am and 6 pm!) to read the meter and guess what? I did not even see him because the meter is in the cellar. All I found was a slip of paper in my letterbox with the numbers he read from the meter. Can someone explain why I had to be at home for that?

    Merete

    6 Dec 05 at 11:23 am

  2. Trouble is that they have got us all over a barrel – its not like we can go out on strike or anything. Grrrr!

    CoCo

    6 Dec 05 at 11:38 am

  3. Merete: Oooh, that’s awful! And the police wonder why people snap and go on killing sprees.
    Coco: Maybe we all need to write to them.

    I just got another SMS reminding me that they’d becoming between 8am and 4pm. They’re taking the piss now.

    Craig

    6 Dec 05 at 12:13 pm

  4. ugh this reminds me of our washing machine repair people. they told me a service engineer would visit between 10am and 6pm, and when he hadn’t turned up by 5.30pm i called them only to get the smartass reply ‘it isn’t 6pm yet’.

    wait a second. does this mean you’re still not over that bakery/coffee shop thing yet?

    Bushra

    6 Dec 05 at 12:54 pm

  5. sounds like congster DSL…
    chances are, the telekom guy won’t even enter your house, just open a grey box on the street, flip a switch and you’re go.

    at least, that was they way with me. I was told to be at home from 2pm to 4pm, so I took off work early and when I arrived at 1pm, everything was already working. He didn’t come in, just, … opened the box and…

    Marius

    6 Dec 05 at 1:12 pm

  6. Hear hear! *nodding and applauding* I had a close encounter with Dells’ technicians. The 24 hour guarantee ended up to be the three weeks guarantee. Dell support – fine and dandy and really nice people. Their technicians – not so. I very seldom loose it but after a few hours I snapped and barked like a dog on the phone.

    Elisabeth

    6 Dec 05 at 2:03 pm

  7. That’s cotton candy silly!

    b

    6 Dec 05 at 4:02 pm

  8. Bushra: I’m kinda over it, but I feel it’s probably always gonna be simmering there waiting to erupt.
    Fihu: If that happens, I’m gonna bomb Telekom.
    Elisabeth: Computer technician people – everything that needs to be said about them was said in that episode of The Office when the techy guy’s installing stuff on Tim and Gareth’s computers.
    Becki: No, it’s candy floss, Yankee!

    Craig

    6 Dec 05 at 6:40 pm

  9. i hate this too, but i know WHY it is!
    those people coming to your house are NOT employees of the telekom. they are assigned by the telekom to do this. that is why neither the telekom nor the internet service provider know when these guys are coming…i guess the telekom cannot afford any employees driving around randomly, coming late to their customers…cause that’s the way it was, when the telekom had it’s monopol and a lot of employees…so nothing really changed…

    gas

    6 Dec 05 at 6:44 pm

  10. Atleast it is not NTL!!! I spent maybe three months sitting around waiting for them to call/turn up/answer the phone, and they invariably seemed to prefer to believe i just didn’t exist.
    I would recommend NTL purely because they make every other example of customer services in the world look like the height of sophistication. Grrr.

    the brain

    7 Dec 05 at 10:42 am

  11. Look Craig im really sorry, i have no idea why that post posted about 10 times. but it takes about 5 minutes for me to delete each one.
    Um. Sorry?

    the brain

    7 Dec 05 at 10:47 am

  12. I’d like to specifically commend you for your ‘hut and potatoes’ phrase — its sums up perfectly the feeling I get when all my technology gangs up on me and I feel like there’s no way out of the whole fucked-up mess of modern life.
    Of course, I’d be bored rigid after one weekend, but sometimes you just think ‘hut… potatoes…’

    Anna

    7 Dec 05 at 10:56 am

  13. Hmm. I don’t mean to pull out my ace (or my brother’s, actually), but nothing beats the time that our parents (as his birthday present, since he’s incredibly lazy) arranged and paid for an electrician to come fix the lights in his apartment in Amsterdam. He took the day off work and I went over there to keep him company while he waited. After we had waited for hours, he called and asked where the electrician guy was. As it turns out, he had called in sick that day. It never occured to the company to call their customers and let them know that nobody was coming.
    Of course, that was a year ago and my brother’s lights still aren’t fixed. I think the experience was too traumatic.

    Julie

    7 Dec 05 at 11:14 am

  14. Gas: That makes sense, cos he didn’t have a Telekom uniform or anything. Not even wearing a tie. Kids these days…
    Brain: Oh yes, I’ve heard friends in the UK moan about them before. Seems like Blogger went crazy for a few minutes with yr post, huh?
    Anna: Secretly, I do dream of such stuff. Just gimme an internet connection and a big satellite for telly and I’d be happy.
    Julie: Yep, your brother wins.

    Craig

    7 Dec 05 at 1:07 pm

  15. COTTON CANDY, silly redcoat.

    b.

    Anonymous

    7 Dec 05 at 9:45 pm

  16. The best way to be a consumer guerilla regarding this problem is to a: write them a stiff letter – on cardboard if need be, or b: if the agent doesn’t show call the company and make a new appointment, then make sure you aren’t in. Revenge.

    Benji

    8 Dec 05 at 11:38 am

  17. ReNTL, you may or may not have seen this:
    http://www.wibbler.com/archives/2002/10/ntl_letter.php

    Magic Door

    8 Dec 05 at 12:13 pm

  18. Well, viva Deutsche Telekom. Sounds like a dream compared to NTL.

    Craig

    8 Dec 05 at 1:10 pm

  19. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Cosmo takes on the cable guy after being stood up like you. He gets his revenge and an apology.

    In addition: There is no such thing as German (Berlin) customer service.

    I’ve been enjoying your site/blog for a year now. Thank you for that. Keep up the good work!

    ggpurk

    10 Dec 05 at 10:50 pm

  20. Yes, that has become obvious. No reason to accept it, though.

    Thanks.

    Craig

    11 Dec 05 at 11:32 am

  21. Funny–I once had a summer job answering directory assistance calls for AT&T; in the US–exact same story. Our ideal call time was 22 seconds, I believe. The databases were terrible (there was some dispute going on between the phone companies at the time, and some had refused to update their information), so we were knowingly giving out WRONG information in between being yelled at for the wrong information someone else had just given. Plus, the call center (located in Arizona) served the entire country–so I was frequently chewed out for not being able to spell the names of well-known local businesses in New Hampshire or Missouri. Good times!

    -Kelly

    Anonymous

    12 Dec 05 at 5:45 pm

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