As this is an on-going work of progress through the MKDS Network, I will share with you the cloudy experience of the most dreaded act ever to happen to anyone – Customer Services.  For a long time Customer Services has allowed us a couple of good breaks, but just not all the time.  When they ring and inform us of great new offers and how they are just too good to be true, when all the time they are.  Recently, I ended my contract with a well-known mobile network after nearly ten years being with them, it’s true.  Over the time of my contract with them they allowed me to upgrade my phone for free, and that’s how they were giving me a great offer that I just couldn’t refuse.  With my new phone and new 24 month contract they hit me with I took it home happy as Larry, until I got home and found that only O2 and Vodafone had a mobile relay nearby my town.  This mobile network was completely unconnectable, except for the one bar that I could get if I stood on a chair with it high above my head in the middle of my loft.

When I rang T-Mobile Customers Services, for which I was a little nervous about doing, the fellow on the other end of the phone I learned was Asian.  Unfortunately, with being from Yorkshire, my accent and his accent were clashing in some way and so I requested to speak to someone else.  The man agreed and put me onto another Asian, who fair enough spoke broken English fine.  Now the other guy first of all thought I was trying to buy the new Motorola V3i!  I corrected him and explained about my loss in service from my home and he sympathised with me for almost 30 seconds before asking me if I wanted to buy a better model phone!

“We have the new V3i with Logitech technology, would you be happy for me to send this exclusive mobile phone out for you now, Sir?”

I couldn’t bloody believe it!  All the belly aching about my last phone and the new upgrade to the newest model and now they were offering me a completely different phone altogether.  But this was not to be, because instead of the new phone being allocated to me free of charge, I was given two options on how to solve the problem.  I could go out and buy one of these gadgets that increased the reception that allowed me clear calls, or I could end my contract there and then with no fee to pay except for the previous months calls I’d made.  I thought “Wow”.

Before the new Customer Services guy could do this, however, he had to make sure that all my details for cancelling were correct and justified.  The basics were asked, like full name, address, postcode and account details, then the more complicated queries came into play.

“You have no signal at all, Sir, is that correct?”

“Yes.  I have no signal at all, except when I balance on a chair in the loft”

“So you can get a reception, Sir?  How are you telling me that you can’t get a signal, then telling me that you are getting a signal?”

“Well, what I mean is, I can’t get a signal unless I was stood in my loft!”

“But you say you can’t get a signal anywhere else in the house, is that correct, Sir?”

“No, nowhere else in the house.  I have to get to the end of the village before I get a bar showing, that’s how bad it is.”

“How far from the village do you have to travel before you get any signal, Sir?”

“Fuck, I don’t know, maybe the last couple of houses, I think.”

“So you do get a signal in the village where you live, Sir?”

By now the conversation and beating about the bush was really starting to get on my tits!

“Listen!  My phone is not receiving a signal from your network, it says ‘NO NETWORK’ on the screen and the only place that I can get a signal is probably on my roof…And yes, I did say loft before but now I’m thinking I would be as well getting onto the fucking roof if I wanted to make a call.  Now, if it helps with your enquiries, the village I am in…my home village does not have a signal for the network you are working for.  Does that help you in any way, shape or form, Sir?”

Now, reverse psychology usually works, after all it’s a large part of the learning curve when you train to be a salesman.  With some people though, they are more the over dedicated types who go to work in the morning in their Citroen Saxo, or Ford Fiesta and take with them a stereotypical lunch containing Tuna sandwiches and a bottle of spring water.

“Well, Sir, after all the information I have put into the computer system has been processed I will be able to tell you when we can cancel your account.  Ah, I don’t think that is possible!”

The sudden puzzled sounding voice on the other end of the phone starts to worry me and now I’m thinking that there will be another day when I have to phone Customer Services.

“Is there a problem?”

“Well, Sir, from what you have told me today about your phone, it would appear that you have been red flagged!”

What in the fuck is Red Flagged?  When you go to the Customer Services at Tesco and you kick up a stink about being ripped off, you don’t get a Red Flag pushed into your face before you get thrown out of the store.  Actually, with Tesco you get thrown out of the store first, then as you’re trying to walk away with your head held high a police car comes up by your side and arrests you, only to take you back inside the building where the manager accuses you of trying to shoplift thousands of pounds worth of items.

“Red Flagged!  What do you mean, Red Flagged?”

“Well, Sir, you say that you cannot get a signal on your phone equipment, but later on in our conversation you said that you could if you went into another room inside the house.  You then told me that your village does not receive our network coverage, but later said that the network coverage can be received from the end of your street, Sir.”

I was absolutely speechless.

“Are you still there, Sir?”  He asked over the wall of silence.

“I bet you’re in a faraway country where the summer lasts months and the rain spell is short, aren’t you?”

“Unfortunately, the computer is showing you cannot end your contract with our network, I’m sorry, Sir.  I can, however tell you that I am in a nice far away sunny place, its 90 degrees and a beautiful day.  Goodbye, Sir, and thank you for calling our Customer Service.”

A week later I had the contract terminated due to insufficient calls being made on the mobile phone.  So, people, be aware that there are over dedicated people who work for companies who don’t make Managers for no reason.  I’m out of here.

© Paul Saxondale -2008-