Friday, August 28, 2009

How to complain

OK, so the English are renowned for our manners, our politeness and our stiff upper lip. Which is clearly why OFCOM has felt it necessary to produce a video guide for consumers about how to complain about your telecoms provider.

The complaints procedure as it is today, is itself a cause for much complaint. A neighbour of my mum's signed up to Talk Talk in the Asda carpark (yes, I know signing up to anything in the Asda carpark is rarely a good idea) and then had to endure a month of intermittent service and the constant frustration of having to contact the call centre (using her prepaid mobile) and re-explain her situation on every occassion. Three visits by engineers later, and a failed attempt by Talk Talk to get her to pay "thousands" to get the fault fixed as it was on her property (even though the previous engineer had said the fault was kerbside) and she finally has a service. Oh, and was it fixed by Talk Talk? No, of course not. It was fixed by a good old BT engineer.

Today, you have to endure 12 weeks of this before you can complain to OFCOM for 'Alternative Dispute Resolution', but under new plans coming into force on the 1st September, this will come down to eight weeks. Still not good enough to help my neighbour Lorna, but a start.

So, if like me you're too English and really hate to create a scene, here's some helpful advice from your friendly OFCOM:

PS. TalkTalkHell has a helpful guide on how to complain here ... and three years on, and it seems they are no better at customer service.

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