Tag Archives: customer service

I’m So Bored of Skype

I’m so tired of Skype. How can any company be so bad when here I am trying to give them money?
I made a payment using PayPal to Skype to reinstate my expired SkypeIn phone number. PayPal made the payment then instantly reversed it – refunding me. PayPal told me that this was because there was no balance on my PayPal account… they needed to transfer money from my bank and it would then be paid to Skype.
I’ve never seen this problem with PayPal before. I called PayPal yesterday and they assured me that I don’t need to do anything – Skype will take the payment soon. I have been waiting 5 days for this payment to take place now. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
I contacted Skype today to ask what is going on with the payment from PayPal and what did they tell me to do? Use Internet Explorer and clear my browser cache?
What is this all about? Is Microsoft so wealthy that they don’t want customers to pay for any services?
I’ve absolutely had it with Skype now – that’s really it. I’m so bored chasing them for support when I am not even complaining – I am trying to buy a service. If Skype does not respond to this blog in the next day day or so offering to just fix this situation then I’m sorting myself a new VoIP provider. This is just a ridiculous situation.
Take a look at my transcript with Skype support today. After asking for help they just cut me off.
info: at 8:58:39
Please wait for an agent to respond. You are currently ‘1’ in the queue.
info: at 9:00:39
All agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. An agent will be with you shortly. You are currently ‘1’ in the queue.
info: at 9:02:39
All agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. An agent will be with you shortly. You are currently ‘1’ in the queue.
info: at 9:04:39
All agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. An agent will be with you shortly. You are currently ‘1’ in the queue.
info: at 9:05:52
Privacy Statement
You are now chatting with ‘Herbert P’.
Herbert P: at 9:05:58
Hello! My name is Herbert.
Herbert P: at 9:05:58
Welcome to Skype Customer Service. If for some reason we get disconnected, please click on this chat support link:https://support.skype.com/support_selection and you’ll be reconnected in few seconds with our Skype Customer service.
Herbert P: at 9:05:58
With that being said, how can I help you today?
Mark: at 9:06:01
Mark: at 9:06:05
My Skype number expired
Herbert P: at 9:06:13
I see.
Mark: at 9:06:15
I tried to reinstate the number by paying with PayPal
Mark: at 9:06:21
There was a payment
Mark: at 9:06:28
then PayPal instantly refunded Skype
Herbert P: at 9:06:30
Herbert P: at 9:06:35
I’ll be more than willing to assist you with your concern and have your account checked for you.
Herbert P: at 9:06:40
To start with, can I have your Skype name and your first name for me to address you correctly.
Mark: at 9:06:47
They said that they need to transfer the cash from my bank account – then make the payment to Skype
Mark: at 9:06:58
So I asked PayPal about this
Mark: at 9:07:03
they said I don’t need to do anything
Mark: at 9:07:08
Skype will automatically take the payment
Herbert P: at 9:07:10
I see.
Mark: at 9:07:13
But I want to check with you
Mark: at 9:07:22
are you planning to take it because I want to get my number working again
Mark: at 9:07:56
You have all my details – I had to login to get support – why do support lines ask for details all over again?
Herbert P: at 9:08:36
Please give me your Skype name.
Mark: at 9:09:02
Mark: at 9:09:07
Why do I need to login to get support?
Herbert P: at 9:09:10
Thank you!
Mark: at 9:09:14
if the first thing you ask for is my skype name?
Herbert P: at 9:09:18
Let me pull up your account.
Herbert P: at 9:12:08
Skype is committed to respecting your privacy, security, and the confidentiality of your personal data. Thus, this verification process is one of the measures we have to safeguard your interest.
Herbert P: at 9:12:09
For security purposes, we will be sending a code to the email address linked to your account. Once you receive it, please send it (back) to me here in chat.
Mark: at 9:12:53
OK, I’m waiting
Herbert P: at 9:13:02
Sent it.
Mark: at 9:14:23
Herbert P: at 9:15:01
Thank you!
Herbert P: at 9:15:46
Let me verify your account. J I am already pulling up your account details. I will just need a minute to check them and then we can proceed.
Herbert P: at 9:19:48
Thank you for patiently waiting.
Herbert P: at 9:20:27
Have you tried clearing your browsers cache and cookies?
Herbert P: at 9:20:40
Alright please use Internet Explorere.
Herbert P: at 9:20:46
Mark: at 9:21:47
Um, seriously?
Mark: at 9:21:49
Clear the cache?
Mark: at 9:21:53
I have talked to PayPal
Mark: at 9:21:56
I said that to you
Mark: at 9:22:08
I made the payment to Skype
Mark: at 9:22:30
PayPal made an immediate refund and initiated the transfer from my bank account to PayPal
Mark: at 9:22:55
I need Skype to try taking the payment again – PayPal says this should be automatic but I have been waiting 5 days
Mark: at 9:23:03
Now I ask you guys about it and you tell me to clear my cache?
Herbert P: at 9:23:03
Herbert P: at 9:23:11
I perfectly understand.
Herbert P: at 9:23:51
Please do try it, there’s nothing wrong to try and if it will work, that’s that time you will believe me.
Mark: at 9:24:49
OK, could you please just pass me on to someone who can help and advise on the payment systems rather than telling me to use another browser
Mark: at 9:24:50
Herbert P: at 9:25:25
Please try it first.
Herbert P: at 9:25:28
Can you?
Herbert P: at 9:25:37
Just try it.
Mark: at 9:26:07
OK, Skype is going to be dumped from my phone and computer if I do not get someone who can help me here – I am trying to give you money not making a complaint
Mark: at 9:26:31
What’s wrong with your company? People get in touch offering money and you turn them away and make it as hard as possible?
Herbert P: at 9:26:42
Sir, you need help right?
Mark: at 9:28:00
Look, this has nothing to do with my cache or browser and everything to do with the relationship between PayPal and Skype – now can someone please check on the payment status and advise why you are not taking the money from PayPal?
Herbert P: at 9:28:27
Herbert P: at 9:28:36
I’m asking you nicely.
Herbert P: at 9:28:52
Let’s have a deal.
Herbert P: at 9:29:21
Try it first, and if it will not work, I’ll let you talk with my supervisor.
Herbert P: at 9:29:31
Will that be fair?
Mark: at 9:31:26
OK, so I cleared the cache, all browsing history, downloads, cached images, files, cookies… so what should happen now?
Mark: at 9:41:59
What do I need to do now? It’s been 10 minutes since I saw any messages on here
system: at 9:53:10
Chat not initialized.
system: at 9:53:31
Chat already ended
system: at 9:53:34
Chat already ended
system: at 9:53:34
Trying to send a line, but there is no current chat session.
Mark: at 9:53:34
What do you mean?
system: at 9:53:50
Chat already ended
system: at 9:53:51
Chat already ended
system: at 9:53:51
Trying to send a line, but there is no current chat session.
Mark: at 9:53:51

Retro Skype Advert

Buying insurance should be easy right?

I really dislike insurance companies. They are taking money because of something that *may* happen and every time I have tried claiming insurance in the past the company has always found a get-out clause. Why bother?

Clearly it is important in a catastrophic situation – like crashing the car so badly it’s wrecked – but when the situation is less urgent, the insurance I have bought in the past has never paid.

I even bought an expensive property insurance policy once because I was upset that my previous policy did not let me claim for a stolen laptop computer. I upgraded it, threw in all the added extras and when my bicycle was stolen I felt sure that they would pay – only to find a clause stating that bicycles are not covered when away from the house.

I should have just lied, but then that would be fraud and I have never lied to an insurer to try getting a payout. They don’t pay me even when I try making a genuine claim.

But when I do want to buy a policy I don’t expect to have to go to a broker – not in 2014. I already have a car insurance policy here in Brazil with Porto Seguro. My wife just bought a car so ideally I would assume they could just modify our existing policy to lump the two cars and two drivers all together as one.

No. They can’t do it. I need to just buy a completely new policy and they can’t help me on the telephone – the instruction was to just go to a broker. The broker took the existing Porto Seguro policy so he had all our details from the existing policy – something the insurance company should have done anyway…

It’s not a very good way to treat an existing customer – surely the model any successful company should be following is how to make it easy for customers spend more money?

Porto Seguro and No Parking

The final meal at Café Rouge

What is it that Café Rouge does not understand about service?

Last Friday I visited their Manchester branch (next to the National Football Museum) for breakfast with my family. They had all travelled up from Hampshire to support Team GB in their first Olympic football game – me and my wife had come all the way from São Paulo in Brazil for this game.

We entered the restaurant and waited, and waited, and waited. I eventually went to fetch menus, but found they were the wrong menus – only featuring lunch items. Us having the menus finally meant the staff gave us a correct menu, and the waitress apologised and said she was running the entire café this morning all alone.

We finally placed our order and waited. And waited. And waited. Our coffee and juice had been served, but was all finished because we had been still waiting half an hour when I decided to ask where our food is.

I asked the waitress, who just brushed me off with a ‘it’s on the way’ – I said in the mildest possible way (given that I was now fed up with this café) that if they do not serve us in the next few minutes I’m leaving and I don’t expect a bill for the coffee.

Soon the food was being served and all was well. I asked for the bill and paid in cash immediately. It came to £48.10 and I left £48.20 – really not interested in giving a tip for such poor waiting service, then the change came back all in coppers.

So the manager decided that because I was a difficult customer, she would be difficult when giving change.

Well I can see that Dana was my server. Now let’s see if Café Rouge has anything to say about the way their manager behaved? I’m hoping they can tell me how this reflects great British customer service and what visitors to the country should expect.

Then again, whatever they say I know I’m never going back. Or my family, or my friends, or anyone else who reads this.

Team GB - Game 1

Customer service isn’t dead, or is it?

I walked into a florist shop today and ordered a whole load of flowers. They wanted over £700 for my order. I said, OK, I can pay that.

Then they said: “Oh, we need to add £10 for delivery…”

Delivery in this case was to a place that is a five-minute walk away from the florist. I asked if they were joking – in fact I said something like, how about a ‘buy more than £500 worth and get free delivery’ deal for me?

They thought I was joking. They had to call up the managing director of the store just to ask if the £10 could be waived.

Another example of great British customer service… I would have told them to stick the order, but I don’t really have any time available this week to go shopping around, so I just hope they do a good job… once I get the flowers I can decide whether to post the company name here…!

What’s a shame is that a mate of mine runs a florist business, but he is down in Aldershot, so it’s not really convenient when I really want to stop by in person to get some flowers and to get the majority of them delivered. I bet he could have done a better deal for me…

Pizza Express menu

This is customer service. Landlords take note…

A couple of weeks ago I went to a local pub in Ealing, The Rose and Crown, for dinner.

I was with my girlfriend, and she had a rough time with the dinner – she really thought it had not been cooked all that well… as far as I remember, it was some very overcooked pasta. But we ate what we could and shrugged as you typically do when pub food is a bit dodgy. Then, just as we were leaving, the boss Tom said hello and how was the food etc… she let him know that it’s usually fine, but tonight was really bad and she was disappointed.

He offered to give us a free meal the next time we were in there eating dinner. I pretty much forgot about this when I called in last weekend for dinner, but when I saw Tom, he actually reminded me about his promise. I had a tab running with dinner and a few drinks on it. When I went to pay the tab – assuming something like the main courses might have been free – I found the entire tab had been cleared! Even the drinks…

It’s the kind of gesture you think that pubs and restaurants really should do when they let you down, but it rarely happens, so thanks for that Tom – and dinner this weekend was great. No complaints this time!

@BTCare – yes, BT really cares!

In some of my corporate or academic lectures I have mentioned @btcare in the past. It’s often been controversial, like the time I was speaking at LSBU and I recounted the time that BT had helped me out with a dodgy broadband connection – all via Twitter. One academic took exception to this because he had faced a similar problem that took him hours to resolve, after several phone calls.

So, when I had another issue with BT, the first place I turned was BTcare on Twitter.

In short, I keep getting a lot of phantom phone calls at home. The phone rings and when I answer there is nobody there. Usually there is some bleeping, like a fax machine trying to connect. It’s impossible to find which company is doing this because they block the CLI, so it’s always a private number.

So, I asked BT on Twitter what I could about this – after 3 or 4 calls today drove me to do something about it.

I had low expectations, but the BT Twitter team came back to me in about half an hour asking for my phone number, which I sent on to them. They came back even more quickly with some ideas about what I could do to immediately resolve the issue. I never even knew I could get my BT phone to just reject (and therefore not ring) if a caller has withheld their number. I had a problem setting this up on my line, but the BT Twitter team took over and said they would sort it all out for me remotely.

I don’t know how BT is going to scale this up once more and more users start using social media for support, but the way @BTcare works at present is a case study in how a large telco can use Twitter and make it really work. The agents who answer the Twitter messages just feel so much more empowered to help than the regular contact centre agent. Perhaps that is just my perception, but in using the Twitter help service twice I’ve been impressed on both occasions, and I can’t recall that kind of service from any major firm – let alone a telco.

Nice job BT, keep it up!