Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tiscali BroadBand & Its Bad Customer Service

Oh yes! I promised to write this after my B’day about my ISP. Now here it is.

Being one that likes good customer service so well, I always look out for that great and excellent customer service which compels one to stay put and pay through the nose. But yes, for me, its better I pay highly and get a service than pay little and be frustrated. Many Ups to Vodafone, they hold my praise for best customer service in the UK.

For the past 15 months, Tiscali has provide my broadband service but it has been like going through hell. At first, I also routed my phone calls through them, but became wiser after few months. And you know what? I returned to BT and had been happy ever since.

Every thing about Tiscali seem to be wrong. I had to stay with them on broadband till now due to 12 months contract system and the hassle of re-connected to another which at best might take over a month to get done. And visiting internet cafe isnt something I love doing while that goes on.

Starting from making a phone call to Tiscali, to the time you drop the phone – usually an average of 1 hour – there is nothing to write home about them.

First there are different phone numbers for different departments, Technical, Billings, Customer service etc. Most annoying is that when you are connected to one of the various ditches-of-woe called departments, you will need to drop and dial the other department which is basic cos they can never solve your problem within a department. And the exasperating part is that you have to go through the whole process of selecting endless options and listening to unwanted music. Meanwhile, your phone bill is mounting because they charge you for calling to rectify their own mistakes.

Secondly, as said above, all calls are charged at national rate. May God save you if you are with BT which charges the lowest on national rate and please, dont even dial from you mobile. And as you most likely have to to jump from department to department, get ready to incur a phone bill of not less than £2 and above per call.

When and if you finally got a response, it is time to deal with the all-round Indian customer service assistants. Now get me right, I am no racist, but at least if they employ people who speak what you understand, that would be better. Though I suspect they are one of these ruthless companies who are charging UK rates and paying Indian wages; Wisdom. These telephone attendants seems to have lived all their lives in India and so speak with the heaviest of accents - I do have accent too.

Anyway, that might be the least of your problem on this journey for customer 'support' cos you are yet to discover that these attendants do not listen to what you say but deals with complaints like programmed-computers. In fact, from the point they pick up the phone, the badger into your with muddle of words that you end up wondering how to respond. They greet you, say their names, ask your customer code, your phone number, your address, etc. everything in one go and you are left panting and almost dropping the phone cos you hoped to speak to a human being not a robot; sorry, I suppose they are.

Well, at this point, I’m sorry to tell you that you are yet to find out all Tiscali staff lack sa ense of responsibility. Well, of course a computer don’t take responsibility. You will be put on hold many times for them to consult a senior staff (or an oracle), you will be pushed to other department because these irresponsible staff and the toothless supervisors do not want to be the one to do what you ask or offer any solution, and on it goes, the endless cycle.

And funny enough, just on my birthday of all days, I found out they seem to be using customer accounts for training (or playing) that they have changed my broadband package to a different one without my knowledge and completely messed my day so that I dont have connection.

Now you may wonder. Am I still with them; and why? Well, I am still there because I hope to move home some time soon and don’t want to go through the hell of changing address with a new provider. But it seems we have come to our tether’s end now. They have 72 hours from me to put themselves in order in regard to me or they will be reading my own small prints very soon and replying to the Communication Ombudsman cos I don’t play child’s game.

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