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Fun and Frolics in the world of telephone helpdesks 
16th-Jun-2008 08:45 pm

Ever get the feeling someone just isn't listening to you?

So I came home from a productive day doing thesis work on the museum, and flopped down on the sofa to watch cartoons. Only to find I wasn't getting any cable channels. Fair enough, it happens. Also, no Virgin On Demand - and what's the point of having  a service called Virgin On Demand if it doesn't work?

So I made a mental note of the code and phoned up the helpline. While in the queue, they played pre-recorded instructions for self-diagnosis, which included Shut up and Reboot, which - yep, I hadn't done. So I did. By this point I'd already been connected to a real person, so I stayed on to apologise for wasting his time.

Little did I know he would GET HIS REVENGE IN KIND.

Virgin: Good afternoon, what seems to be the trouble?
Me; Well, *sheepish laugh* I was having problems with my TV, but I just tried unplugging and plugging back in my set-top box and.... *waits* Yep, it worked. Sorry about that.
Virgin: OK, what problems are you having?
Me: Well, I wasn't having any picture on the channels or On Demand, but I restarted the box and it's OK now. I just called to see if it was a regional problem, but clearly it isn't.
Virgin: What error code are you getting?
Me: well it was 1095 on the On Demand, and something else I can't remember and didn't make a note of on the channels.
Virgin: I'm going to need an error code.
Me: Um. 1095?
Virgin: What's the account code?
Me: Are you serious? The problem's fixed?
Virgin: Please give me the account code, miss.
Me: Uh. OK, but I don't have a problem anymore and I'll have to go get it out of my paperwork.
Virgin: Please do that.
Me: *puts phone down, comes back with bill* OK, the code is *gives code*
Virgin: And can you confirm the address?
Me: *does so*
Virgin: And the accoutn holder?
Me: Well it should be (InnerBrat), but it's possibly still down as (Greek)
Virgin: OK, I don't have you down as the account holder. Can you try again?
Me: Is this really necessary? I don't have a problem any more.
Virgin: The account holder, please?
Me: *repeats Sterghios' name*
Virgin: And what's your name?
Me: That would be InnerBrat.
Virgin: And can you please tell me the code you're getting when you try On Demand?
Me: Are you serious?
Virgin: Can you bring up On Demand again and tell me what the error message is?
Me: OK, but it probably won't come up because I don't have a problem any more since I reset the box. It will take a while because it always will.
Virgin: OK. What's the error message?
Me: hang on! It's coming up. I just told you the error code was 1095.
Virgin: There is no error 1095. Please bring it up.
Me: I can't! Because it's working now!
Virgin: OK, Ms Brat, sometimes when this happens, you just need to unplug the box...
Me: Yes, I did that.
Virgin: ...wait 30 seconds.
Me: Yes, and it worked.
Virgin: and plug it back in, and sometimes it works.
Me: Yes, I know. I told you back at the beginning of the call it was working.
Virgin: so it's working now?
Me: Yes.
Virgin: Is there anything else I can help you with this evening?

Seriously, OMG what the shit was that?

16th-Jun-2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Good manners do not apply to drones.
16th-Jun-2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
hahaha. *sighs* They and Comcast must share employees.
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jun-2008 08:10 am (UTC)
I don't believe I ever said this guy had a British accent.
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jun-2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
South-East Asian meets British enunciation. I wouldn't commit to a location.
16th-Jun-2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia', but only slightly less well known is this:

Never attempt to divert a call center employee from his carefully prepared script!

Ahahahahahahaha ahahaha--- *thud*
16th-Jun-2008 08:29 pm (UTC)

Read off script. Ignore customer. WOOT.

I feel for you :D?
16th-Jun-2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
I can understand the bit at the beginning where he asks what the error code was, because that might have led to him saying- "yes this is perfectly normal thing, if it happens again just reboot and it'll be fine." Its just everything else is just bonkers.

16th-Jun-2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
o.o Wow. I. Think he's just beyond able to comprehend that someone for once actually did it themselves, ahahahahaha. God.
17th-Jun-2008 08:01 am (UTC)
*unseemly sniggerings*
17th-Jun-2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
Oh my god. Usually the nightmare tech calls we hear about are the ones where the tech is the one getting screwed around...
17th-Jun-2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Next time, just hang up after saying he/she's all very impolite. That way there won't be an error code for the drone to put into his/her little clicky box on the screen thing, thus confusing the heck outaq them; but they'll get into deep shiRt if someone monitors them (customer complaint..) ; that'll learn them.
17th-Jun-2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
In hindsight, I should have said "yes, I'd like to register a complaint with how this call was handled" when he asked if there was anything else he could do.
17th-Jun-2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
I've been told by friends who've worked call centers that employees are actually ordered to follow a script exactly or Dire Consequences happen. So you may have run into that. :/

Does not make it any less frustrating, sadly.
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