vida_boheme: (piggy!)
A tale from my dark side.

I'm almost fanatical in my belief that servers, shop assistants and customer service operators should be treated with respect. So it's even more embarrassing (apart from the fact that my brother-in-law, who was witness to my meltdown, still mocks me for it) that my worst public rant happened whilst phoning customer services.

It was mid-December 1999, freezing cold, and I was just out of hospital with a newborn baby and a c-section wound that needed looking after. Almost inevitably, our boiler broke down completely - no heat, no hot water, nothing. Initially I wasn't too worried as we had bought some ridiculously expensive breakdown cover when we had the boiler fitted the previous year. So I phoned the 'helpline' (and isn't that one of the greatest euphemisms ever?) gave them our policy details, told them that I had no heating or hot water and added the additional details of my baby/wound situation. I was informed by the man at the end of the phone that they couldn't get out to us until after the Christmas/Millennium holiday because we didn't have the (newly-introduced) 'Emergency cover' policy which offered priority repairs. No, we had merely paid a fortune for 'breakdown cover'...

Feeling pretty hormonal, extremely pissed off at them for introducing an extra level of cover, and not being a shy retiring type anyway, I asked the 'assistant' at the end of the line what 'emergency' my boiler could possibly undergo that didn't involve a it breaking down - the very thing that I had paid them to cover? He ummed and ah-ed and just kept repeating that they were different... and that just annoyed me further. My questions soon picked up speed into a full-on rant that involved me listing possible 'emergency' scenarios that didn't involve the simple fact that my broken down boiler refused to heat water.

"Hey, maybe it might be suicidal and I needed you to come round for emergency counselling to talk it down from the roof? Maybe it could have joined a cult and I would need you to abduct it from their country house headquarters and re-programme it back to sanity?" This eventually built up to me ranting on about "Who's that in the clock tower with a gun? It's the Wightman's Potterton boiler! Quick, call the EMERGENCY helpline!" before slamming the phone down.

You know that little announcement on a phoneline where it tells you that they monitor the calls? Well, half an hour later I received a phone call that started with, "Hello Mrs Wightman, I'm the helpline supervisor and I've just been listening to the recording of your phone call..." and ended with them making an appointment to come round the next day to fix the boiler.

The 'Emergency Cover' was renamed 'Premier Care' in the following January, and I'm fairly sure that my phone call is now used in training exercises.

I regret nothing.

Reply

From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

January

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23 24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31