Customer Service, Part 3

Today’s O2 email:


I know this will surprise you just as much as it has me, but this morning I got another text message from you. That’s three times you’ve told me I won’t get any more texts, and three times you’ve sent more texts. Once is a mistake, twice is a system error, but three times means you’re lying to me.

Given that we’ve established that you’re lying to me, I no longer believe the summary statement you’ve given to me, nor do I believe the details of the router return. Hence I’m not paying anything, or sending anything, until:

1. I’ve heard from somebody who has a first AND last name, and a direct phone number (and who doesn’t lie to customers)
2. I’ve received a written bill BY POST that clearly states it is the final bill.


Cheers, Paul

PS As always I hope that you, as an individual, have a really good day, and that my frustration doesn’t get you down.

Customer Service, Part 2

Here’s an email I just sent to Argos:

I wanted to let you know just how far your delivery service was from what a reasonable person would expect. My order number is xxxxxxxxx, for a Nara Entertainment Unit. To quote from the acknowledgement email:

“We will contact you by Friday 12 November 2010 to arrange a convenient date and time for your delivery (except items delivered by post).”

I was not contacted.

I did receive an email from DHL, telling me that 2 packages were out for delivery in Stockton on Tees this morning. Note that there was no reference to Argos on that email, I was not aware that DHL were your delivery company, I didn’t know that the item came in two parcels, and I live 300 miles away from Stockton on Tees. Oh, and the email started “Dear Harris”.

Going back to the original email:

“A signature will be required for this delivery”

Or, as it turns out, they might just leave it down the side of my house with a note put through the door, and leave it to my wife to struggle with lifting them inside before they were stolen.

I’m about to open the packages now. It would not surprise me at this point to find a Peruvian basketweave chair in them.

Paul Harris

PS. Also from the email:

“We’ve charged this order to your 6 Months Buy Now Pay Later Card under the {2}”

Variable substitution is tricky, but it’s worth the time to get it right.

Customer Service

Here’s the text of an email I just sent to O2. They keep sending me text messages saying that I’m going to get a bill, but don’t send me the actual bill. I’ve asked them twice to stop sending these texts and been told that they will; this is my third attempt:


Guess what? I got another text this morning, what I didn’t get was a final letter telling me what my bill is. I’ve copied in a bunch of people this time who hopefully have the skills to actually do something. To help them out, here’s what I would like you to do:

1. STOP TEXTING ME (Seriously, how hard is it to NOT text somebody? I don’t text billions of people every day, and it takes me no effort at all)
4. STOP TEXTING ME (Just in case you forgot, it’s a while since I said it).

The real shame of this is that I only moved to Virgin broadband because there was no connection fee for my new home. Turns out their broadband sucks, and I was thinking of switching back to you even if it did cost me £100 to reconnect. But now?

Cheers, Paul

PS I’m sorry for shouting, and I hope you have a really good day today. I know that you’re doing your best, and it’s just your organization that is the problem.



An interesting bit of trivia, I think: If you play with the graph here you can show that since Obama came to power the S&P 500 (which I chose because it’s a better indicator than the Dow of the overall market, though still far from perfect) has fallen around 10%. That’s pretty shocking. Not as bad as the previous incumbent, though, who experienced a drop of over 12% in the same timeframe. This doesn’t indicate anything, of course, it’s just a curiosity.

Rescuing GM

Thomas Friedman has a great article up about the foolishness of the likely bail-out of GM:

They were interviewing Bob Nardelli, the C.E.O. of Chrysler, and he was explaining why the auto industry, at that time, needed $25 billion in loan guarantees. It wasn’t a bailout, he said. It was a way to enable the car companies to retool for innovation. I could not help but shout back at the TV screen: “We have to subsidize Detroit so that it will innovate? What business were you people in other than innovation?” If we give you another $25 billion, will you also do accounting?

One of the puzzling things is that most of GM’s non-US operations are profitable, and most of those are prospering with the sort of cars that consumers in the US now want. Development costs are minimal – all the cars have great safety features, ‘clean’ emissions, etc. so there’s little tweaking to do – the cars are fuel efficient, and they’re even pretty well styled. The only stumbling block is cost, though production costs in Europe can’t be significantly higher than in the US (otherwise GM wouldn’t need the bailout. I guess hiring a container ship to start importing Vauxhall Astras is too innovative without a fat pot of government cash to pay for it.