Monday 28 October 2013


This is what my favourite cosmologist/scientist and amazingly gorgeous hot tottie Prof Brian Cox  said on TV recently "British science is disproportionally represented amongst the worlds’ best.  With 1% of the worlds’ population and 3% of the worlds’  investment, we produce 15% of the worlds’  most influential scientific papers."   Not to forget that the world wide web was invented (if that is the right term) by Tim Berners Lee - another Brit.  BOOM.

Just as well that we are good at something, because our communication companies are rubbish.  They  seem to be incapable of grasping the simple concept of customer service.  Take Vodafone as a good example.  Now I'm not a great mobile 'phone user but when I do use it I think that a pre-requisite is to have a good signal.  Not rocket science is it? This is where I got myself into some difficulty. 
Long story, they always are with me, but I make no apology.  At 73 I have to start at the beginning and continue on to the end otherwise I lose the thread!  Trust me, it will happen to you too. 
In 2008 we decided to try out a dongle for our sales team. I can't remember why but at that time Vodafone could not understand the need for a business to sign up for a dongle and insisted that someone go to their office in Boston to sign a contract.  I volunteered, signed up, the dongle turned out to be useless, the signal strength was (at best) spasmodic, we threw it in the trash and marked it up to experience!  Unfortunately no-one thought to cancel the contract! Big mistake. 
Move forward to 2011.  I had my 'phone stolen whilst on holiday, contacted my office, asked them to inform my mobile 'phone company and order me another one.  Instead of ringing O2, who I was contracted to and happy with, they 'phoned Vodafone. who I was also contracted to and was not happy with. You can't even begin to imagine the complications this caused.
Every now and then I would grumble, but in the house I usually use my landline - so not too much of a problem.  But things move on and everyone now prefers to call on my mobile and it has, quite frankly, become a pain in the backside.  So I asked my daughter (who is technically savvy) to look into dropping Vodafone and signing me up to O2 again without changing my number. 
Ah! problem.  The Vodafone contract expires next July.  "But she doesn't get a signal, how can she have a contract?" "But she has had the contract since 2008 without complaining".  Try explaining that!
My daughter told the full sorry story to customer service and the technical departments on several continents over two full days.  She said I was now getting older and needed a 'phone that worked.  Their solution was to offer a booster, "but there is no signal in the whole area, plus she have no broadband".  They offered to send a new sim card!  "but, how will this work when your own web site states there is no signal in the area?"
She was pushed around the world from Customer Services to Technical who both said the other would be able to deal with it.  She must have been on the 'phone and "live chat" for hours before we finally caved in.  
I am now signed up to O2 with a new number.  Although,,,,,,the O2 sim card hasn't arrive yet, but the first months invoice has!  Ever think that some days it would be better to have stayed in bed?

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