drachenfach (drachenfach) wrote in bad_service,

The future contains 30000 calls to Customer Services

On Friday, I finally caved in after 4 blissfully mobile-free (cell-phone free for those who don't speak Brit) and bought a Motorola phone and Orange SIM card. There then ensued some of the most mind-numbingly crap service I have ever received. Thus the letter I sent to their carefully concealed complaints department...

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to complain about the level of customer care and service I have received whilst trying to register my new account with Orange.

I purchased a package of Motorola phone and Orange SIM card at a Tesco Store on Friday night, charged the battery overnight, and then logged onto the internet to register my SIM, as advised on page 9 of the 'Know How' booklet supplied by your company. The registration appeared to proceed as it should; the system gave me my new telephone number and informed me that a text message would be sent to my phone to activate it.

I then attempted to register an account online, as advised on page 8 of the booklet. The system then informed me I needed a 4 digit ID code, and that I would need to call customer services to get this.

Upon calling Customer Services from my BT landline, the automated voice system informed me that the telephone number I had been given online did not exist. After several tries, I then called 0800 079 0006 to find out what was happening. The gentleman I spoke to, who I found very polite, but difficult to understand, took down my SIM card number, and told me that someone had tried to activate me, but that the system had locked it for 24 hours. He did not know why this would be, but said it was a fault in the system, and that there was nothing they could do about it.

I felt quite angry at this point, and asked to speak to his manager. I was then connected to a lady called Rushi (who was also very polite but difficult to understand, so I may have heard her name incorrectly). I became rather confused at this point, but Rushi repeated several times that there was nothing they could do for 24 hours. She appeared to suggest that I could purchase a new SIM card- a suggestion I found ludicrous and frankly insulting- why should I spend more money as a result of Orange's mistake? I explained that I was unhappy with the service I had so far received, and the expense I had been put to by calling customer services from my BT line. She reluctantly agreed to credit an extra £1 to my account once it was activated. I explained that I felt I had spent more than this already on customer services calls alone, as well as the waste of my personal time. She stated that the most she could offer was £2. By this point I was beginning to wish I had never heard of Orange, let alone tried to use their services, and felt I had to agree.

Rushi then asked me when the best time would be to be called back, and I stated that any time on Saturday would be suitable, or after 10am on Sunday. The call then ended.

I did not hear from Orange until Sunday afternoon, more than 36 hours after I had first bought the phone. Once I had called back on my BT landline, I was able to activate the SIM card for the third time, and finally receive a valid mobile phone number.

I then logged on to the internet again to register my details and gain my £1 top up bonus plus the £2 that I had been offered as compensation for the previous mess. The system crashed at least three times whilst I was using it.

Having battled your online systems, I then checked my balance, which stood at £00.01. I then attempted to phone customer services on my phone to work out what was happening, but the automated system informed me this would cost £00.25. Of course, I didn't have this money.

I then indulged in a little private screaming, and returned to the internet to top up my balance with my debit card. Unfortunately, your 'Know How' booklet had omitted to mention the necessity of registering a debit card over the phone first. Back to Customer Services.

I eventually spoke to a very nice man in your card registration department, who registered my card, topped up my account, and informed me, as every other person and system had failed to do, that the £1 bonus is not registered immediately, only once the owner has topped up the account. I find it very strange that this is not mentioned anywhere in the booklet.

My last call, now I was finally armed with some credit, was to Customer Services (again) to have my name removed from all and any text, email or postal mailing lists that Orange or associated companies might have for marketing purposes. Yet again I found the extremely polite rep to be very difficult to understand. I also have some difficulty with the concept that I have to pay you (by ringing a designated number at a charge of 00.25) to stop you spamming me with unwanted information, and that there was no way to unsubscribe from these lists during the registration process.

Incidentally, there has not yet been any further mention of the £2 compensation that was promised to me by the supervisor, and no money has been credited to my account.

To sum up, I am exceptionally irritated and angry with the services I have so far received from Orange. One of the reasons I selected Orange as my provider was because my friends have all told me how excellent your service was and how helpful you are. I have yet to sample any of your excellence or helpfulness. Instead I have been left out of pocket and out of temper, and have wasted several hours of my time trying to sort out problems that Orange have created.

I look forward to receiving an apology from you, some sort of explanation for what has happened, and some assurance that any further patronage of your company will not continue to cost me time, money and sanity. You may contact me by email, telephone (evenings only) or post at the address below.

yours faithfully

and so on

Any tips on how to improve complaints letters will be gratefully received. I don't often send them, and apart from a: spellcheck and b: don't swear, am pretty clueless.
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