Thursday, 16 August 2012

What the hell kind of a way is this to run a customer service operation?

Here's how EDF runs its appointments system. Like airlines, they book in more customer visits than there are actual time slots available. They send out a confirmation letter in which they tell you that if you miss the appointment, they will fine you. Then a week or so beforehand they bump some of those appointments. However unlike airlines, they don't bother telling you they are bumping you.

When you ring up 30 minutes after the end of the 6 hour stretch the engineer was supposed to arrive in, you get a half arsed apology from a call centre operative who clearly couldn't give a toss at the end of a long day and you are then rescheduled at the back of the queue in the same system, presumably to run the risk of getting bumped again. Earliest date, mid September.

At that point, I let the greatly increased irritability that depression brings get the worst of me and I went nuclear. You will give me a two hour appointment slot, next week on the day of my choice, I shrieked. No, I won't she said. Apparently that requires referring the decision upstairs to a special department and that can't be done till Monday.

Even I recognise that ripping my electricity meter off the wall and throwing it out of the window would be counterproductive. I will just say however that EDF have what is undoubtedly the worst customer service I have ever experienced. The comedy of errors that my switch over to them has been has been going on for an entire year. They make me think fondly of Ryanair, it's that bad. If it wasn't for the fact that I don't think I can face going through this again with another switch, I'd be out of there so fast the static would burn out the National Grid.

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