the future’s bright

Telcos are the devil. They’re all incompetent profiteering scumbags providing unreliable service at insane cost, bombarding you with marketing and terms that are so straight up dishonest (“unlimited internet” anyone?) they’re actually getting taken to court for it, and forcing you to leap through so many hoops of awful web design and sub-awful customer service to change your terms, most customers (myself included) come to just give up and bend over. The sooner they realise they exist as a dumb pipe to sell you airtime, the better. The services they offer are pretty much essential, but picking out which one to use is like trying to choose what kind of artillery piece to be fucked with. Orange, whose contract I am ditching as soon as February rolls around, feel at times like a 68-pdr carronade.

I’m looking at my phone bills online, and they’re £25 rather than the £15 they should be. This contract has a pretty bad history of outrageous bullshit surcharges, but this is something else. I go on the Orange site and the “Your Account” section, which, due to retarded branding nonsense, has a truly, aggravatingly schizophrenic approach to capitalising.

Yeah, they’re charging me £10/month extra for the internet package I called them up and specifically, explicitly cancelled three months ago. The bloke who answered the phone then sounded helpful and earnest. Knew he didn’t fit in.

Beep, beep, dumb audio navigation menus. Boop, boop, wants me to verify by entering my password. Except I’m using a smartphone which has a proper keyboard, and so it doesn’t work the first time. I have to google a horrible dumbphone keypad to enter the right digits. Finally, a human voice. Man; sounds careworn, Northern and middle-aged; the kind of voice I associate with effortlessly competent blue-overalled maintenance types who fix everything.

“Hi, I’m paying for an internet contract I don’t want and thought I’d cancelled months ago. Can I cancel it?”
“I should be able to help you with that, sir. Let’s have a look… oh, yes, the £10/month unlimited broadband?”
“Yeah. I specifically said I only wanted it for one month, and called up at the end of the month to make sure it’d been cancelled, but apparently it didn’t work. If you can track usage, you’ll see I haven’t even used it…”
“Ah, I can find a memo here from the last chap you phoned. He’s written down that you wanted to cancel… but he doesn’t seem to have actually cancelled it. Very odd.”
“I’ll just cancel that now for you, sir, and put £30 credit on your account. Very sorry about that.”


7 thoughts on “the future’s bright

  1. Hurrah for helpful people. It took several tries for me to get my phone bill down to a more acceptable level, and even after getting through to someone and explaining what I wanted I had to wait about 10 more minutes with music playing (on an 0845 number) to get through to someone who would ACTUALLY change it.

    1. There’s something about the abject shittiness of all telco-related customer service that makes you really disproportionally thankful when your experience isn’t akin to having someone cut up your face with razor blades then pissing in the wounds.

  2. Do you REALISE how much of the good telecoms experience karma for the entire COUNTRY you just burned up in that one call? Soon we’ll be seeing angry alligators crawling out of our phones, and nobody will be able to do anything about it. All for your superfluous internets. I hope you’re happy…

    1. Or, maybe, in response to the universal hate and contempt that all telcos (deservedly) get, they’re starting to improve basic training of customer service personnel and come up with something that doesn’t feel like choking on a million dicks?

      …yeah okay, now I’m just telling ridiculous fantasy tales to get out of trouble. Sorry :(

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