By in Random


TECHNOLOGY IS WONDERFUL - Except when it isn't! I'm sure we can all relate to that statement. When modern technology works as it's supposed to it is absolutely brilliant but occasionally, just occasionally, even when it works properly it can be a source of extreme frustration.

Mrs Kasman has a mobile phone which, if truth be told, is a little out-of-date (and that's putting it mildly) but it does the job ie: it makes phone calls and it sends texts, which is all she really requires. Her phone is on one of those pay-as-you-go tariffs where you pay a certain amount (£10 in Mrs Kasman's case) and the phone works as advertised until that runs out.

Well, that precise situation happened a few days ago and, as usual, Mrs Kasman purchased a top-up voucher from our local supermarket and proceeded to use her phone to activate the top-up only to be told that there was a problem with the voucher.

So she jumped through the usual hoops of Press 1 to top-up your phone then Press 2 for help then Press 3 for customer service and was told at the end of this pantomime that she would have to call a certain helpline to deal with the problem.

All fine and dandy except that, of course, her phone didn't have any credit left and she couldn't call the helpline! This ludicrous situation seemed to be lost on the customer service person she was speaking to and when Mrs Kasman asked why the helpline wasn't free she was told it was 'company policy'.

By this time steam was beginning to trickle from Mrs Kasman's ears as she became more and more annoyed - and rightly so in my opinion. Here she was trying to give her business to this company and they seemed determined to place obstacles in her way. You'd think they would do everything in their power to solve a simple problem like this and keep a loyal customer happy but they didn't seem interested in doing so.

Eventually, after she had calmed down a little, she used my phone to call the helpline and the problem was soon solved.

I know this was just one minor glitch amongst the millions of transactions carried out by mobile phone companies every day but it goes to show that computerisation, whilst a good thing, by and large, can be a source of incredible frustration even when it works!

In case you're wondering which mobile phone company Mrs Kasman is with I don't feel able to point the finger in any obvious manner except to say that this particular company is usually Extremely Excellent with its service emoticon :winking:

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lookatdesktop wrote on May 6, 2018, 8:58 PM

Customer service can drive a person insane at times. I wish they made phones like transceivers like the basic Citizen Band Radios. You buy the radio and plug it in or add batteries and find a channel you can use to talk to someone and it doesn't come with apps nor a monthly fee but you can actually have a good conversation with another CB user yet these days hardly anyone uses these communications devices any more except for truck drivers.

VinceSummers wrote on May 6, 2018, 8:58 PM

Oddly, this brought to mind the old British debtor' prisons. You were in until you payed. Since you couldn't pay because you were not working, it essentially was a life sentence...

MegL wrote on May 7, 2018, 2:20 AM

You have been reading Charles Dickens. I think his books helped to change the system.

MegL wrote on May 7, 2018, 2:22 AM

I always wanted a CB as a child but now I have skype, though I seldom use it.

MegL wrote on May 7, 2018, 2:36 AM

I belong to the same company as Mrs K. In my case, because they took over Orange. I also have the same type of phone as Mrs K. When Orange was still around, I had a Pay As You Go with them for unlimited texts for £7.50 a month. I don't make many calls, so paid as I made them. Every month, they texted me to say the month was up and I bought a voucher and called a special number and was automatically topped up for free. They then sent 2 texts confirming the top up, my balance and the unlimited texts. When they were taken over by the company you are talking about, all that stopped. They closed down the top up line, so I have to call them every month to get my unlimited texts. BUT what they don't tell you is that they refund your 25p after you call. Not that that is any use if you don't have it in the first place! Also, the balance is wrong.

VinceSummers wrote on May 7, 2018, 7:03 AM

Yes, precisely. Or should I say, exactly? The word perfectionist would say precise is a collection of measurements that are close together, whether exactly correct or not.

Kasman wrote on May 7, 2018, 10:41 AM

The thing is that we, as small customers of these huge companies, are just a minor annoyance when we complain. The system is heavily weighted towards the company.

MegL wrote on May 7, 2018, 4:01 PM

Yes, I refuse point blank to get a contract with them, or any other phone company, nor will I set up a direct debit. I have told them it is because I don't trust them. I have seen too many people finding over-charges and huge bills they didn't expect. I have a smartphone which is also pay as you go and I also top that up only the exact amount each month.