Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Yesterday I had to arrange to have my boiler in Edinburgh serviced through my annual service plan that I have with Scottish and Southern Energy.

After waiting several minutes with musac to keep me amused, I got a very nice guy who took me through security questions. All going ok - well alright I wasn't so amused with the musac, but keeping myself steady.

Then he informs me that I can have any time from 8am to 5pm. Fine I thought... 8 will suit me fine. But no... what he really meant was that I had to wait in all day until the engineer deigned to turn up. I said it wasn't possible. I have to go to work when I'm in Edinburgh.

Then he told me I could have an evening. Anytime from 5pm until 8pm. Sounds good? Well yes, except that for the next month I'm out every night I'm in Edinburgh and so no possibility of that. By this time I'm beginning to lose it slightly, but told him as nicely as I could that although I realised he was being as helpful as possible given the guidelines he had to work with, sadly it wasn't at all helpful to me the customer. He repeated himself. I could feel myself getting tense.

I then asked, as nicely as I could, to speak to a supervisor. I waited 12 minutes and 43 seconds and he came back to me and said he'd spoken to the supervisor and they'd agreed I could have either a morning or afternoon to suit.

By this time I'd been on the phone for almost 22 minutes, and I was far from amused, but hey the engineer is coming out one afternoon I'm actually free in Edinburgh, so perhaps I shouldn't complain.

I can't help wondering what the hell happened to customer service? As in the service is for the customer? Very obviously Scottish and Southern have a different view of how things should be.

Still I was very polite, albeit through gritted teeth, and didn't swear once, which I think is a major achievement under the circumstances.

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