Customer Dis-Service

It has become impossible to hold back my annoyance with customer service! It’s not even funny anymore. Customer support is the only point of contact you really have with a company after you buy a product or service and hence should be taken seriously. My most recent experience with shabby customer service left a limp in my stride- seriously.


Mobile phone contract (photo from, 2010)

I had renewed my mobile contract after a very seemingly successful 18-month period. My new contract had free internet access which enticed me to stay on. I was convinced to get a new phone (from a manufacturer I had never heard of) and my contract was renewed at a lower monthly cost. Brilliant! Well….not really because shortly after, I got my first bill and noticed that my phone bills had quadrupled….I was being charged for all my internet access! I called and the excess was reimbursed and I was assured the problem was solved. The next month- same thing! This time, I was left on hold for almost half an hour. If this company checks their records, I probably called about 50 times over a 6 week period. Each operator said something different, claimed to have sorted it out and it never happened. One even said it couldn’t be fixed. Then I told him that I had a contract in writing that stated what I was entailed to for £20 a month. My God- I was livid. I know- 7,8 months pregnant, I was a little more emotional than I normally would be. But still! I remember being on the other end of the phone to this insensitive operator…

“I’m afraid your current contract does not appear to indicate that you should have free internet, Madam, “I heard.

“But I have a contract here and this is what-“

“Ma’am, you were already refunded….”

“Yes, but I need you to stop billing me for internet completely!”

“I’m afraid-“

You better be afraid. And on and on in meaningless circles. At one point, when I asked to cancel my contract early, I was told that it was a 3-year contract and that I’d owe over £500! I started to cry on the phone, begging the operator to do something (seriously, this really happened).

Anyway, it got fixed over numerous more calls but I stopped using the phone completely. I had a work phone which I just stuck to. It didn’t help matters that before these events, I was simply tolerating this mobile network. I had to practically hang out of the conservatory window to get any service. In any event, the phone ended up at the bottom of a very messy drawer for over a year.

At the end of 18 months, I called to cancel the contract. The operator said I was a valued customer and offered me “fantastic” deals. I started to argue with her at first but held back. After 2 to 3 minutes of some convincing persuasion, I basically said, “No, thanks”. My heart went out to her. Where was this helpful lady when I was crying, begging for a fix? Anyhoo, that was that. I wouldn’t continue with the contract even if it was free for the rest of my life (I can’t remember if I actually said this out loud but these were my exact thoughts). I do recall saying,

“I haven’t used this mobile phone in over a year. Are you saying to me that your network people didn’t notice this? It would seem to me that someone would notice a customer not using their phone, that is, no texts or minutes used at the end of the month. This should prompt a call to the customer to ask why and offer some help or address issues, right?”


“Because, now I’m cancelling my contract, you are offering me heaven and earth when a call even 6 months ago may have helped tamper my irritation.”

“I understand, Madam,” she started to say. Poor lady, she was just doing her job. For all I know she may have just started last week. “Anyway, thanks for all your help. You were very useful.” Same as kissing a broken leg- not very helpful.

Poor customer service

Poor customer service (photo from, 2010)

I wish customer service was taken more seriously. In fact, serious blunders are often an opportunity to go out of your way to win back a customer (almost certainly for life). But hey! What do I know?


  1. jennifer egbunike says:

    Nicely written, well done! Can’t believe all the stuff they put you through!


  2. Argh! Sounds infuriating!! For some reason it’s like they don’t really start doing tri-age until the patient is dead. (Bad example, but you get the gist.)

    My customer service pet peeve? You call, get a recording – and over and over and over you hear for the next 36 minutes “your call is important to us” and “please continue to hold”

    aren’t those two phrases mutually exclusive??



  3. “You better be afraid.” Hysterical.

    Here’s a recent experience I had.

    You can’t make this stuff up.



  1. […] courageous, I called the contact number on the web site. What a lovely customer service lady! Even though they didn’t have my size, she offered to call another store and call me […]


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