Tuesday, July 13

Phones 4 POO

A summary of the worst customer service ever. I have replaced the guy's name with 'DICKWAD' to spare his dignity, but even that is a questionable concept:

Dear Phones 4 U:

This letter is to complain about service I recently received from a Phones 4 U customer service representative named DICKWAD.

I came to your Kilburn High Road branch (ref 424) on 13/07/10 at approx 15.20pm to find out how to deal with a problem I’ve had with the handset of my Sony Ericsson Experia X10 phone. After I had been waiting on the shop floor for several minutes, a member of staff told me to wait on a stool. A few minutes later a member of staff named DICKWAD called out to me from where he was sat with another customer and asked me the nature of my enquiry. I rather self-consciously called back from my position on the other side of the store that my phone was faulty. After a few minutes he turned around and said ‘You’ve got a faulty phone, yeah?’ then continued talking to his other customer. Seemingly having finished with the other customer, he started the consultation by tapping on his computer with his back to me, and turning round periodically to call out and ask me for details; this prompted me to ask ‘Would you like me to come over there?’. The sales assistant shrugged. Not wanting to conduct business by calling across a shop floor, I went over and stood next to the seated sales assistant for a few minutes before another member of staff saw me and fetched me a chair.

Once I had explained my fault the sales assistant asked me to remove my memory and SIM cards, because, he said, ‘I don’t wanna break your phone’. I had to explain my problem to him several times (can’t switch phone on, red flashing light) because he did not seem to be listening, frequently asking me to spell simple words out to him and appearing never to have heard of the London district of Hornsey, which is less than three miles from his store. I was informed that my phone would take two weeks to be returned to me, and when I asked why I could not have a replacement handset or a loan phone immediately he told me that it was because ‘Phones 4 U are tight’. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated, not just with him, but because I would effectively be paying line rental for a phone I could not use.

I asked to speak to the manager, who was busy with a customer at this stage. He later told DICKWAD to call the customer service team and speak to them. DICKWAD conducted his conversation with his back to me, and seemed quite agitated. He then passed the phone over for me to speak with customer services, and walked off to another area in the shop. After I had finished speaking to customer services I was asked to hand the phone back to the assistant, but was unable to do so because he had gone off to try and sell a phone to someone else. Myself, and the representative of your company at the other end of the phone, spent an uncomfortable few minutes waiting for him, and in the end I had to go and fetch him to speak to me. After the call ended he walked away and the manager dealt with me from that point.

The manager and the customer services team on the phone were able to provide an adequate handset replacement for me to use while my X10 is being repaired, but by this point it was 16.10 and I had been in the store nearly an hour.

At one point while I was waiting for the manager, a customer’s coin fell out of his hand and past DICKWAD, who noticed it, and ignored it, preferring to sit and fan himself with a mouse mat in the shape of a telephone handset. This signposted to me very clearly his lack of customer service skills and given that your website says that ‘Delivering excellent customer service is Phones 4u’s number one priority’, I would recommend some basic training in this area, as he was practically monosyllabic throughout my consultation.

I expected a much higher level of service from your company, and I am quite disappointed. I will be informing my friends and family about this experience.

Sunday, July 11

Lost one, losing the other...

Mum and Dad were a unit. Dad was the one who called me every day, but Mum was the one who always said 'goodbye' at the end. Since Mum died Dad calls me rarely, and when he does it feels like I am talking to an android. I know why he's so scared of talking to me, because most of his 'news' revolves around the lovely adventures he's having with the woman that he so conveniently slotted into my mother's place about two months after she died. Over thirty years of marriage, and a loss, dealt with in two months, it must be some kind of miracle. He's still very angry and guilty around us kids, so he clearly hasn't dealt with his loss yet, and I worry that because he's not dealt with it yet he'll jump feet-first into a situation that is difficult for him to extract himself from.

I have told Dad that I love him, but I can't deal with this new relationship so soon after Mum's death (her grave doesn't even have a headstone yet). He went on holiday with her last week, and I received a five minute phone call on my birthday and a BACS payment of £70. I felt like sending it back. I still might. I told him 'okay, have fun' but no, I don't want to hear about it, because I'm not over my mum yet, and it feels completely alien, but because he's like a teenager in the throes of first love, he's not listening to anything that anybody else says, using juvenile defiance along the lines of 'It's not fair, huff...'. I can't feel how he wants me to feel. I love him, and he knows it, but I feel hollow with loss, and I can't deal with any more.

One day I'll be in a place to accept what he's doing but it is just too raw now. So I've gone from two amazing parents to half a parent; it hurts like hell but what can I do about it?

Do Google searches and that...