Friday, July 07, 2006

Customer Service

It's been a while since I wrote on here and I've got a wee bit of spare time on my hands and a lot of rage to share, so here we go...

At what point did companies get together and decide that customer service was no longer something that they cared about? I know I'm not the only one who's had shite customer service but recently, it appears that I've had almost nothing but shite customer service. Take, for example, the following scenario. I've just moved out of a flat which I occupied for exactly one calendar year. On entering, I took meter readings for Gas and Electricity and set up an account to pay both of these with our first culprits: Scottish Power. The deal was to pay £50 per month by direct debit, which would cover both Gas and Electricity and at the end of the year, we'd give final readings and either pay the difference or get the difference back. I have, in my possession, a letter which says EXACTLY that. After about 6 months of being charged £35 per month in direct debit and letters through the door from Scottish Gas piling up, addressed to the previous tenant, I though it'd maybe be a good idea to open one and find out what was going on. What I found was that Scottish Power had not been charging us £50 for Gas and Electricity as agreed in writing, but £35 for Electricity alone, and we had worked up a debt of around £200 with Scottish Gas. Not ideal.

Anyway, I contacted Scottish Gas, gave them the initial reading from when we moved in and the reading from that date and gave them my details and they set me up an account in my name, which they allowed me to pay off in installments of £37.50 per month and clear the remainder once the account was closed. Fine. So we come to the end of the time in the flat and close both accounts. In their defense, Scottish Power immediately told me how much they were owe me and returned the excess money which I had paid (just over £100) within a matter of days, sending with the cheque a letter confirming the close of the account. That was the only good customer service tale you will read in this entry. Scottish Gas for some unknown reason couldn't tell me for 2/3 days how much I was owe them and have yet to send me the details of this so that I can pay them! What the fuck is that all about? I'm owe them money and yet I can't get it paid!! What makes it worse is that my ex-flatmate needs to know how much money I'll need and the nearer to the end of the month we get, the less money either of us are likely to have! There's one last fact which will probably make you smile. When I got in touch the final time to confirm the amount i was to be billed for, I gave the woman my full name, address and postcode details and she told me that I didn't have an account with Scottish Gas. Fucking priceless!

Anyway, that's a gentle introduction. Next we have the awesome Bulldog Broadband. An account was set up with them in about August, finally installed in October and cancelled in mid-April, letting them know I wanted the account closed as of the last payment date in May - well over the 30 days notice they required by contract. The said 'No bother, you'll get a phonecall and a cancellation email through in a few days.' Perfect - cancellation call, final bill, paid, done. Not that easy tho, is it Bulldog. What they actually do is write down on their log that you've requested to cancel your line but not actually put this request through, so that when you call back again two weeks later, wondering why you've yet to hear from them, you get told that the request was never formally put through by the operator you spoke to. Fucking awesome. Did I say 'Write down somewhere that I want it cancelled but don't do anything about it', you fucking ballbag? No I did not, because that would be fucking stupid. Anyway, I made it clear that this was not my mistake and I would not pay past the date I had originally proposed and that would be the end of it. The lady apologised and put it through. Cue the phonecall and cancellation email. So that's Bulldog sorted then - cancelled account, final bill, payment, done!...or is it? No, that would be too simple for these guys! What they thought would be better, would be to cut my line off on the proposed date (which was fine) and then bill me at the end of May for the usage for May, right up until the end of June. Another phonecall. Another chance for me to explain step by step what has happened and then the guy has the cheek not to listen to a single word I said and tell me that I asked for my account to be cancelled at the end of June. Dude, you're a fucking liar!! I know what I said and that was not it. Furthermore, if you cut my line off at the end of May, why the fuck would I want to pay you till the end of June? I can't use the fucking thing! So the guy credits my account with a figure pertaining to the usage from May 28th-June 28th and says I'll get an email with the new bill in the next week. Awesome, probem solved. Account credited, leading to correct figure, final bill, paid, done........Or not! You see, nothing happened again for a couple of weeks, so another phonecall had to be made. This time I got a lady. The lady was very quick to inform me that there appeared to be no record of my call to the gentleman before and my account had not, in fact, been credited at all. The reason I was beign charged until the end of June is because that was the cancellation date I asked for. If you've been following this, you'll note that she is lying to me, based on the incorrect information which I had put right in the previous phonecall. Of course, I kept my cool and explained to her that I was paying her £90 and not a penny more and she'd do well to recognise this. Cue the decision to credit my account with £45.41 and issue the final bill. Oh, by the way, we issue bills once a month so it'll be with you between the 15th and the 19th! Great!

Now we move on to my particular favourites, 1-2-Let. This is a letting agency which left us without major electrical applicances for large parts of the year and did nothing to compensate us, never gave us an inventory form, took a month to repair a faulty lock and claimed that we had defaulted on our second rent payment, despite these being via a direct debit from an account with several thousand pounds in it, which has worked fine for the first payment. They left me to move 2 beds onto our cupboards where they lay for 3 months, despite their assurances that they'd be gone before we left in order to make way for my own bed which I was bringing. At one point, I requested to move out a week later than planned and was told this'd be fine. I called a week later to confirm and was told they needed this request in writing. Straight off the phone, I wrote and mailed the letter, asking for written confirmation. This never arrived and we were forced to make alternative arrangements and move out on our originally scheduled date. As you can see, I have somewhat of a history with this company!

Anyway, I decided that it's be a good idea to go along to the inspection with these guys after we'd left, because I wasn't keen on getting shafted for any parts of the deposit - which is something that's happened before. It went fine and there was a decision to take off cleaning costs for 2 carpets, totalling £60. That meant that the remainder of the deposit (£490) was due to be returned. I explained that I would get copies of the closing utility bills to them asap, but was told that this wasn't going to be a problem and they only said that on the lease as a precaution. She took my bank details and said 'I'll put the money in your account as soon as I get into the office and if it's not done today, it'll be done tomorrow.' That was Monday. I have digital banking and kept a close eye on my account. 3 working days sound about right? Nothing in a week. So I phone up and get put through to the girl who I met at the inspection. Sorry about that, it'll go in today. Magic, sorted. Then Thursday comes with no sign of the money and I send them an email in the morning with my full bank details, explaining that I need the money because my new landlord needs rent money. This is no lie. Quite often landlords want rent money and this was no different. No response to the email by Friday lunchtime so I call. The lady I spoke to is on holiday and the woman who deals with deposits is unavailable so she'll call back. 4pm. No call back. I call again. Put on hold twice, with a pause in the middle where I am asked whether I've provided copies of my final utility bills and I explain the situation, telling her that I have written a cheque which is going through as we speak, with my new landlord. On hold again and finally she apologises and says the money will be with me on Monday or Tuesday and if it's not, I should call back. Understand this - I will call back. Again and again and again until I get my fucking money. My ex-flatmate also needs the money. Neither of us can afford to wait. We've done what was requested of us, now we want our money. Why is that so difficult to organise? From this chair I can transfer money to anyone in the world, assuming I have the funds and their account details. It's not a hard thing to do.

What I guess I should add here is that this situation has pissed me off so much that I have decided to pursue the matters I discussed about not having the electrical appliances we were meant to and the other general complaints. I have quite a bit of time on my hands this summer and I have, in my possession, copies of the original letter I sent, detailing my compaints and requesting compensation and a letter of reply, where they say they'll consider this and get back to me. The letter is maybe 4 months old. I'm not gonna say whether they got back to me on that one. You can probably guess! Anyway, it just so happens that I know an organisation who have a small amount of money put to the side to help me out with Small Claims Court suit - just in case it goes that far ;) And if you think that little wink means I'm joking - you don't know me well enough!

Another organisation lacking any kind of skills whatsoever are Glasgow City Council: Council Tax Office. But that's a story for another day!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ho, ho mo leannan, Ho, ho mo leannan bhoidheach

So happy new year I guess, to all those who I've not seen in a while (and that's too many!) I was ding a little roundup of the blogs that computing people still keep alive and it was nice to see what everyones up to. Disappointed that Colleens didn't have any topless pics (and that it hadn't been updated in about a year!) but you can't win them all!

Recently, my time has been divided exactly 50/50 between watching the NFL and making soup. At one point, I found myself sitting with 10 of the other Tigers boys (Glasgow Uni's American Football Team) eating some of my fine soup while watching the NFL, thus combining my two favourite tasks! On reading this, one might be lead to believe that I have very little to live for, and am merely whiling away the days until my inevitable death, however I might just have to tell such a person to go fuck themself! It's been a strange period recently, with Christmas and New Year and at the moment I'm taking real pleasure in the little things in life. Tonight I was training with the Tigers at the University's Garscube Sports Complex, in miserable weather, yet I couldn't stop and admire the way in which the wind was blowing the rain across the flood lights. It made for a nice sight. Now of course, that makes me sound like a little emo bufty, but the difference is, I am a rock moster of biblical proportions! I dug out my old stingray and gave it a new set of sttrings and a battery and took it along to jam with my current glasgow band Quoxite and was shocked at just now much fo a racket the thing made. Yes, it's been back to basics for me!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And it's been a while, since I could hold my head up high

Been far too long since i've been a part of this game, so i thought since i now have the internet in my flat again, i'd best get back to it!

Since I last wrote, lots has happened. I started my new job at the SRC and Vice-President (Education) and i've been hard at that since the first of july. It's going pretty well and although it has its ups and downs in terms of achievements and feeling like you're getting somewhere, I'm still confident that the University will be a better place when I've finished then when I started, even if only a little!

Just before I started that, me and the wife went on holiday to Greece. Had a magic time in Athens and on Santorini and Naxos. I took some magic photos too and just got round to getting them printed this week, which was really nice. We got home at the start of July, just as everything changed! New job, new flat and a graduation! Yikes!

Graduation was really good fun and it was a really proud moment when I wandered up and got that scroll. It seems a strange thing to get for 4 years of effort, but at least my CV can now say 'Obtained' instead of 'Expected'! The grad ball with the computing posse was lovely too and it was a good chance to say hello after not seeing people for ages, and an even better chance to say goodbye to those I may never see again. Good luck to all the computing posse out there doing their thing!

The new flat is lovely and my flatmate Lynne is an absolute gem to live with! she's fun, clean and easily persuaded to eat a lot of junk food while we mong out in front of the telly so that's magic!! we've had some real problems with the letting agents recently, but i'm trying not to let that get to me too much!! that's a story for another day!!

I took up american football about 6 weeks ago and we have our first game of the season on the 6th of november. i'm playing guard on the 0-line which id mighty good fun, if a bit sore!!

Been going through a bit of a soup making phase recently! This happens to me every now and then but especially so at the moment. I am completely skint because my last pay cheque had 3 months worth of tax deducted so with my last few quid, i bought a huge pot and a heap of vegetables! my favourite at the moment is sweet potato and carrot, but the pea and mint soup i made for me and the wifes 18month anniversary dinner was delightful!

Anyway, it's bed time so the rest can wait!
Loads of love
AB3 4 Life

Friday, May 27, 2005

Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time

Well it's been fucking ages since I've posted anything on here so there's plenty to chat about! Lets get in in some kind of order:

Finished. Exams went ok, but to be honest, not that great! It's a disappointing feeling when you get to the last lot and you're just looking for get through them and then you make a bollocks of Neural Computing and want to hang yourself! Enrolled for graduation yesterday. £49 - mmm, cheap!

Things are grand as always at the UGC. We had a visit the other day from Cineworld who are taking over the cinema after their buy-out at christmas so I've yet to hear how that went. Next year brings a new challenge with me starting a sabbatical position on the SRC from July 1st. I was elected earlier this month so I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Not anything of real significance. Hosting an event on sunday at walkabout in town for charity with my right-hand man DJ Troutfish on the decks so it should be good. apart from that, just been spending time with my peeps and watching star wars films over and over again!

Once Uni finshes, summer no longer has any real meaning. This time next year I'll not be looking forward to months and months of loafing about and even this year, I start the VP job on July 1st so there's not a great deal of free time till then, but me and the wife are heading to Greece for some island hopping at the end of June and then it's graduation on July 5th. There's also the presidents dinner at the QMU before then and the computing grad ball, which I'd best start writing my speech for!

Anyway, I need a shower so I'll be getting off now but get yourselves a copy of 'I'm on a Roll' the new album from Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes. It's a beast!!

Holler at your boy!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

she asked me "are you a christian child?" and i said "man, i am tonight!"

so fuckin' unmotivated to do any uni work it's unbelievable. i can't be arsed creating a new questioning style for PRS handsets, i have no interest in equality in HRM and i couldn't give a flying fuck about supply chain modelling in powersim. i have more free time right now than at any other stage since i started university but i do nothing with it. i go from quiz on a wednesday, fuck about, it's the weekend, go to work a couple of times, fuck about, it's wednesday quiz time again and so on it goes in cycles.

on the positive, i've spent the last couple of months looking for suitable graduate jobs and filling in application forms and i've finally seen some good feedback. got through to an interview and a phone interview and heard over the last few days that i've passed each of those and now it's assessment centre time. here's hoping someone wants to give me a job at the end of it all!

nonetheless, tonight is a whole night i have free to devote to university work so i should really do something about it. i think i might force myself to write those pieces i was meant to do before christmas!

i am shit!


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

georgia on my mind

greetings from 2005. it's a whole different year. like 2004 in a lot of ways, but the one after. the relationship those years have is similar to the relationship between 'jurassic park' and 'jurassic park 2 - the lost world' except i'm hoping that this year is ace. and JP2 was a shitfest.

what did '04 give me? 2 girlfriends, more exams, the hardest year of my life education wise, a crazy freshers week etc, etc.

so what's ahead? job interview next week, last quiz ever in march, final exams in may/june, motley crue live in glasgow in june, graduation in the summer and hopefully employment. fuck me - there's plenty to come.

well there's been a shitload of stuff in the news recently about the tsunami but i'm not gonna dwell on that here. everyone else can do that for me. gives you a lot to think about.

i hope everyone had a great holiday and is ready to tackle '05 head on. it's gonna be a great year for me, i can feel it! i've already got one great ebay sale on the go. bring on the rest!

peace out

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If I Die Tomorrow

Why the fuck did I say I would have a heap of project stuff finished for the end of this week. It was never gonna happen! And now all my proper handins are complete and here's me looking at the bottle of jim beam on the shelf thinking i could get fired into it, and i've got this shite to do. baws!

In good news, Motley Crue are back together for a final world tour. tickets for glasgow on the 14th of june. got mine already!

bring the rukkus