2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Milkandmore · Rural · Summer · Telegraph · Vicarage

Overreliance on AI or Incompetence?

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I think I am not the only one to spend a lot of precious time when it comes to customer service.

I am beginning to think that Covid has become a very convenient excuse for organisations to underperform. Every time I go to a customer service page on a website or make a phone call to the bank etc, the first thing that I read and hear is that due to current pandemic, normal services are not possible. Why not?  It Is increasingly becoming difficult to speak to an actual human being!!!!!  There was a reader’s letter in the Telegraph the other day.  The reader was lamenting the fact that at his local bank, he was asked for his driving licence among other legal documents to DEPOSIT the grand sum of £250!!!  

Dorothy who had to sit for an English Test in order to enrol in a course at the University of Cambridge has had the same problem.  She has been trying to get in touch with the University by email and all she got was the same semi -automated reply!  Admitting defeat, she tried to book in for her English test and according to her it took three whole weeks for someone to reply to her email.  All the while, time was ticking for the cut-off date for the test.  According to her all emails to the University takes that long even for an acknowledgement!   

Regular readers will know that we have a milkman who delivers our milk. I also get organic potatoes that are delivered every Saturday. Unfortunately, there were no potatoes on the doorstep on Saturday. We were almost left without tatties for Sunday lunch but thankfully we still had a few left from the following Saturday’s order.

Conveniently , Milkandmore the company that the milkman works for don’t keep a record of items that ARE NOT delivered! The onus is on the customer to contact them for a refund. How inconvenient! I am sure that they are many customers who just don’t have the time to contact them for a refund. It has happened to me at least once during the lockdown because it was just impossible to get through to someone. If you are a working person, you just don’t have the time to sit around and wait for someone to answer the phone.

This time,  I wasn’t going to let them keep my £2.50. I went to their website hoping to send an email but there was a notice to say that they have stopped replying to emails due to the high volume of emails that they are receiving! They don’t deliver the goods and they don’t have the decency to refund me. I am not sure what kind of customer service this is when I the customer have to do all the running around!

This is the same with our energy company OVO.  They actually reward customers for not getting in touch with them.  We didn’t choose OVO as our energy provider, they were already providing energy for the Vicarage when we moved so we decided to stick with them.  I prefer to pay our bills by telephone while they prefer their customers  to set up a direct debit which I refuse to.   Until recently, they were very reluctant to print a telephone number on their bills!  

Sadly, we the customers have no choice but to either put up or shut up!