Posts Tagged ‘complaint’
EDF Energy have been gits and Ofgem has slapped their legs by ordering them to pay £3 million in compensation to benefit “vulnerable customers” after they’d been found guilty of breaching complaint handling rules.
The investigation followed an increase of more than 30% in the levels of complaints recorded by the company during the the introduction of a new IT system in 2011.
Ofgem found that, between May 2011 and January 2012, EDF didn’t have sufficient or correct procedures in place to adequately deal with, process, record and receive, all complaints in accordance with handling rules.
In English, that means customers had unacceptably long waiting times when calling them to tell EDF they are rubbish.
And if you wanted them to follow up your complaint, that wasn’t happening either.
When customers finally got through, EDF didn’t even make a record of all the required details for the complaints. Basically, customers may as well stuck their hand out of the window and tried to finger the moon.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner for enforcement, said: “EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints. Their commitment to putting things right and paying £3m to the Citizens Advice Energy Best Deal Extra scheme and the Plymouth Citizen Advice Bureau’s Debt Helpline to benefit vulnerable customers is a step in the right direction to rebuilding consumer trust.”
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of people moaning about it.
When you phone EE’s customer service line, an automated message offers callers the chance to jump the queue into a “priority” queue. Customers already have to pay to call the provider at certain times of the day, so some think it’s a bit rich they should be asked for more.
Most of the outrage is on social media, with one disgruntled customer spouting off: “As an already paying @EE customer, why should I have to wait longer for help because someone else with no patience can pay [to] jump the queue?”
Another spat: “I have been a customer of [T-Mobile and] @EE for 10 years now. The call jump system they want to introduce is disgusting. I’ll be off to O2 then.”
Talking to the Inquirer, an EE spokesperson said: “EE’s goal is to set the highest standard for customer service in the telecoms sector. To support that ambition we’re investing significantly in our retail stores, contact centres and account management websites and apps.”
“We’ve already committed to returning over 1,000 roles to the UK from overseas call centres, and have already opened two new UK centres. To contribute to this and other investments in service we have introduced some small charges for certain customer services.”
What do you think? Should EE up their game so they don’t need a priority queue, or is this quite handy as it’s only 50p?
Sometimes, you have to ride out the spiel that people in call centres are paid to dish out. Their bosses make them do it and it can often be quicker to simply let them blurt it out as fast as they can, so you can give an answer and move on.
However, customer retention teams are a different breed altogether. They want to keep you on the phone and seduce you.
They’re the pick-up artists of the business world, all needy and determined like that Ted fella from How I Met Your Mother.
When Ryan Block, co-founder of Engadget, wanted to cancel his Comcast contract, he was met with a member of staff who is absolute agony to listen to. That’s right! There’s a recording! And now Comcast has issued an apology after their representative kept Block on the line for around 18 minutes.
Have a listen to the call here (and don’t worry, it isn’t 18 minutes long).
Block said that him and his wife wanted to switch provider, however, when Block’s wife was transferred to Comcast’s customer retention guy, the employee wouldn’t accept anything for an answer. The Block got involved and more of the same occurred.
“I started the call by (very nicely) saying that we were moving, and that we needed to cancel our service,” Block’s wife, Veronica Belmont, wrote in the description of the recording on SoundCloud. “He asked if we wanted to move our current service. I said no, thank you, but we’ve already signed up for Astound.”
“The representative continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone,” Block wrote in the audio description. “Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun.”
A Comcast spokeswoman provided the following statement to ABC News today about the recording: “We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”
The figures show that npower were glued to the top of the energy complaints league for every single quarter in 2013 and had been there since the close of 2012.
Over a year ago, npower said that they knew their new billing system was causing problems and they acknowledged that they needed to do something about the level of complaints. However, there’s concern that they’re just not arsed.
Customers’ main gripes are that bills arriving late, payments are being stopped and new accounts are not being set up.
The latest energy complaints table, published today by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, based on complaints made in October to December 2013 showed that one in every 326 customers made a complaint to npower, with ten times as many complaints received about them compared to SSE, and three times as many as the second worst performing energy supplier, Scottish Power.
As for themselves, npower had twice as many complaints about them by the end of 2013 compared to the start of last year. They really couldn’t give a monkeys, could they?
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “Things are getting worse not better for npower customers. It is unacceptable that npower has not yet sorted out the serious failings in its billing systems and customer service which are causing so many complaints and serious problems for its customers.”
“For well over a year now some npower customers have been finding their finances thrown into chaos. Some are not receiving bills and others are ending up in debt because their direct debit was cancelled. Citizens Advice has asked npower to make sure people affected get any appropriate compensation.”
“Time and time again energy suppliers are letting customers down. People will not feel able to trust energy suppliers again if firms cannot get their house in order and deliver decent customer service.”
However, Steve was dealing with Thomas Cook. Now, not that long ago, Thomas Cook were sharing some of the preposterous complaints they get with everyone, but this time, they’re not being funny at all.
It seems Thomas Cook are having problems with their website (more complaints about that here), which is where Steve got stung.
He said: “So, I tried to book a holiday with Thomas Cook UK. The web site kept throwing up errors during the payment process. The booking failed. No records. No booking reference. But guess what? They took my money anyway.”
“I’ve tried their customer service folk online (who, of course, keep asking for a booking reference). No joy at all. What a rubbish company. Don’t bother with them.”
Below, the complaint shows the money being taken out of the account and, at the time of publishing, Thomas Cook haven’t rectified the problem.
Keep an eye on this if you’re booking a holiday with Thomas Cook. Customers have been complaining about the Thomas Cook site not working for some people; the last thing you want is to have your money taken off you with no holiday to show for it.
If you’re booking a holiday, it might be worth waiting for this issue to be rectified before booking.
A while ago, we wrote about iFlorist and the fact that there was something a little fishy about a number of reviews they’d received. It certainly looked like positive reviews were being hastily thrown at sites in a bid to counteract all the negative ones.
Well, the complaints and negative reviews are back again, with people furious at what they think is crappy service.
On BW, one reader got in touch to say: “On March 29, 2014, I paid iFlorist to deliver a bouquet of flowers with a glass vase, a card (which was to be handwritten in) and a box of chocolates, which were to be sent to my partner’s mother for Mother’s Day.”
“After Mother’s Day weekend, the flowers did not arrive, and after several attempts at contacting iFlorist, they finally replied saying that they would try to get my order out and that they would offer me a £5 voucher for my next purchase – no refund (even though there were no flowers!)”
“Finally, on Wednesday, April 2, the flowers were delivered – and were old. No vase. No card. No chocolates. I’ve opened a dispute on Pay Pal and am trying to reclaim my money back. What good are flowers for Mother’s Day if they’re delivered 3-4 days late? Not to mention, 3/4 promised items weren’t even included! I’ve reported them to BBC Watchdog and hope these scam artists are go out of business and SOON.”
Over at MoneySavingExpert, there were more complaints. Shouting “AVOID THIS COMPANY”, one disgruntled customer said that they had “paid extra for express delivery. The roses turned up on the doorstep at 745pm and the courier didn’t even bother to ring the bell. Three of the flowers were blackened and the others looked very sorry for themselves. I cannot believe I ordered flowers through this company having seen them mentioned on MSE Valentines link… their chat link is always dead and they have not responded to support tickets.”
Yesterday, complaints were coming in at the ReviewCentre, where someone spat: “Purchased “designer flowers” for mothers day which were appalling. Flowers were half dead and wrapped in tissue paper that looked like it had been dropped on the floor and danced on! Only wish I had read other peoples reviews first because most people seem to be of the same opinion. Never again – my local supermarket were selling better at a quarter of the price and forget customer services – they are as bad as the flowers!”
A number of new complaints bloomed over at FlowerDelivery, saying “avoid”, “disgusted” and “took money – no refund given!” and TrustPilot was again rife with angry customers, with loads of complaints coming in this week. One iFlorist user said: “Extremely poor product and appalling lack of follow up service,” with products being delivered not as advertised, as well as “the supposed live support service appears to be permanently unavailable” and the customer feeling “cheated and angry. The flowers were a rip off and I have paid for goods and services in addition that I have not received. Now they don’t even have the decency to respond my enquiries by email and it’s impossible to get through to anyone on the phone.”
Other customers said they had been “ignored”, “the WORST company I’ve EVER dealt with”, “WORST SERVICE EVER”, “AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE!”
iFlorist did contact one customer (not all) with an apology and an offer to “e-mail you personally to arrange some appropriate compensation,” so it may well be worth peeved customers giving them a ring on 0844 874 5010 or email them again at their contact page. You can send them a letter if you prefer, at iflorist HQ, Jubilee House, Phoenix Way, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 5SX.
In the meantime, if an offer online looks like it is too good to be true, then it probably is.
Remember when EE were unveiled as Britain’s best mobile network and everyone laughed? Well, this morning, we saw their customers apoplectic with rage after they were left without a signal for 12+ hours.
Customers were unable to make any calls, text anyone or use the internet.
Naturally, EE customers took to Twitter to vent spleen while EE themselves stuck their fingers in their ears and shouted about ‘Gremlins in the system’.
EE tweeted: “There seems to be some Gremlins in the system – we’re aware of a network outage at the moment & working hard to fix.”
“A technical issue has been causing some of our customers to experience problems with their signal,” they added. “This issue has been resolved for many of those affected, and normal service for all customers should resume shortly. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”
However, this morning, there were still scores of customers unable to use their phones and again, Twitter was crazy with angry comments.
“@EE I have had no service since 6pm yesterday and still have none. Not happy. Will my bill be reduced?” shouted @Ditzytart. Meanwhile, @Alex_Segal flatly stated: “Everyone on @EE should get this month for free as compensation,” while @sealeyd clucked: “Definition of irony: After 12 hours without @EE service, the first text I receive is to tell me my data allowance has expired”
Celebrity sorts were affected too! Groovy MP Tom Watson tweeted: “@EE 12 hours without a phone signal. Good prep for the zombie apocalypse. Not so good for my busy day of work.”
Drum & Bass royalty weren’t happy either, with Shy FX (@ShyFX) tweeting: “Dear @EE, I suggest you change your name to NN (nothing nowhere). Safe.”
People are forever winding up companies with joke letters of complaint, but things get really good when companies play along in turn.
And so, to Bic, who make the famous pens. One customer told them that one of their pens must have been faulty because it was erroneously drawing nothing but massive penises. And so, Bic responded to the letter and apologised in a funny fashion.
Have a read of this letter (click on it to make it larger, if needed)
[image via twitter/warrenchrismas]
If you haven’t noticed, because you wisely avoid all comments on YouTube videos, the bottom half of YouTube has been flooded with spam, virus links, rude drawings and distasteful language.
On their Creators blog, the YouTube comments team insisted that the new system, which requires you to have a G+ account in order to post, thereby forcing their failing social network down people’s necks, had solved a lot of spamming problems. Sadly for them, they also had to admit that it “introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch we saw some users taking advantage of them.”
As such, there have been some changes including “better recognition of bad links” and has made changes in an attempt to improve the detection of ASCII art (as seen above). They have also had the problem of users posting very lengthy comments (some jokers posted entire Shakespeare plays in the comments).
“We’re moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better,” YouTube said, promising new tools for bulk moderation of comments, which it admitted was a “long-standing creator request”.
What won’t be happening, sadly, is a return to the old system (over 200,000 people have signed a petition to asking YouTube to remove the G+ requirement). There’s trouble for YouTube and Google, as a number of YouTube’s bigger stars have disabled comments on their videos because of this new system, which means advertisers might pull out.
Colin Marsh went to Tesco and bought an iPad for £470. That, in itself, is a very boring story. However, when he opened it up, he was rather surprised to find three lumps of clay inside the box, rather than an Apple tablet.
He then returned the item, as you would, only to have the staff report him to the police on suspicion of attempted fraud. Our Colin was whisked off to his local police station and was held there for hours before being released on bail.
The missing iPad was found 200 miles away in Wales almost two months later and Marsh was told that he wouldn’t face charges and, unsurprisingly, Tesco have yet to apologise.
“You just can’t treat people like that. It’s absolutely disgusting. I’ve not even had so much as an apology from Tesco. It’s disgraceful,” he said.
Tesco did issue a statement: “We were very disappointed to learn that the product we sold to Mr Marsh had been tampered with. We would of course never knowingly have sold it to Mr Marsh and we apologise sincerely for the problems this has caused him.”
Mark Leiser, who teaches and studies internet law at Strathclyde University, got the hump about a delayed flight from Glasgow to London, which made him miss a connection.
Of course, the first thing he did was to go on a social network and moan about it. He also complained so the rest of his feed could see it, which is incredibly irritating. He said: “Flight delayed 90min. Soldier going to miss last connection & @easyjet refusing to help pay for him to get to Portsmouth. Get right into em!”
The back story is this – he was annoyed that a member of the armed forces, also waiting in departures, would miss his connection to Portsmouth where he was due to get on a ship.
Apparently, EasyJet officials spotted his tweet and tried to turn him away from the aeroplane but it was only when Leiser said he was a law expert that staff let him onboard. He later tweeted: ”A manager from EasyJet just said I couldn’t board the flight because I criticised @easyJet on Twitter before boarding.”
Leiser told the Independent: “She [an EasyJet employee] implied that if EasyJet wasn’t able to do anything for him if he might miss his boat, then they definitely weren’t going to do anything for me. It was at that point I sent the tweet. I wasn’t concerned for me, but if this guy might miss his boat, which was potentially disembarking into a war zone, because he had relied on EasyJet then I thought I’d put pressure on them to do something about it.”
After his complaint, Leiser said an EasyJet manager “pulled me out the line, which was embarrassing” and that “they were not going to let me get on this flight because of the tweet I sent. The manager then came over and told the woman to check if I had any bags on board. They asked to see the tweet and said to save it and that I was not to delete it. Then he said to me: ‘You should know better than to send tweets like that and think you can still get on the flight.’
“I said to him: ‘It wasn’t a threat, it was a criticism. It’s called free speech.’ He replied: ‘What are you, some kind of lawyer?’ And I said: ‘Well, yes, I am a law lecturer actually, and showed him my ID from university. He only really let me on the flight because I flashed my law lecturing ID and I don’t like doing that.”
It’s difficult to know which pain-in-the-arse to side with in this instance.
Killer salad alert! Sainsbury’s have had to recall a batch of their bagged own-brand watercress after 15 people fell ill with E.coli – and 6 were hospitalised. The illnesses have been linked to watercress bought in the store in the last 6 weeks, including a watercress, spinach and rocket salad.
The supermarket has reacted by recalling six watercress products. The Food Standards Authority said on its website:
‘Sainsbury’s is advising people not to consume any of these products and to return them to the store they were purchased from for a full refund. Investigations by the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and local authorities are continuing and further information will be provided once it becomes available.’
No E.Coli has been discovered since the investigation began, but tests are continuing.
Sainsbury’s said: ‘We are urgently testing all similar products and have to date found no indication of contamination. We will of course keep customers fully updated.’
So if you bought any watercress-related products from Sainsbury’s from August 1st, don’t consume them. (Obviously, a salad you bought in August will be a bag of mush by now anyway, but be warned).
More proof, if needed, that salad is bad for you.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) said new complaints rose 15% to 327,035 between January and June, which was helped along by a 26% increase in complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI).
The ombudsman said lenders were still dragging their heels on repayments to customers, causing “long waits and unnecessary delays.”
Complaints about Lloyds Banking Group were nearly five times higher than this time last year, while Barclays’ complaints were up 81% on a year earlier. RBS were responsible for 22,940 complaints while HSBC saw 18,444 complaints lodged against them.
FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney said: “Disappointingly we are still seeing cases where businesses are not following our long-standing approach to PPI, resulting in long waits and unnecessary delays for consumers. But, more positively, we are seeing encouraging signs from some major businesses that are starting to recognise the value of getting things right for their customers – with an increased focus on sorting out problems and concerns as quickly as possible.”
Domino’s said: ”So sorry about that! Please share some additional information with us at bit.ly/dpz_care and please mention reference #1409193 so we can have this addressed.”
It seems that the pizza chain reply with automated messages, and not one of them anticipated the possibility of someone sending them compliments.
After someone pointed out the error, the company joked: “No, we meant we were sorry it took Jeaneth so long to enjoy the best pizza ever. Think of all the pizza she’s likely had that wasn’t the best ever!”
In other news, imagine being the kind of person who has consistently eaten pizzas worse than Domino’s, and thinks that theirs are the best ever. Poor sod.
According to statistics, one in three cars have been damaged by potholes on Britain’s dreadful roads. The cost of fixing that is around the £10bn mark.
A study has deduced that the number of potholes has gone up by nearly a third to more than 2.2 million, or, one in five of all roads. This has resulted in compensation pay-outs reaching an eye-watering £32million.
£113million was spent last year filling in the potholes and this year is worse, thanks to heavy rainfall, floods and cold-snaps. The investigation by Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) concludes that there’s “a crumbling road crisis of increasing concern”, signing off with a delightfully hysterical notion that this is a “ticking time-bomb”.
The report thinks it is time to “stop the rot” and for politicians to start making some money available to sort all this out, moving on from a policy of “patch and mend” in favour of a “planned, preventative maintenance programme.”
The report said: “The cost of filling the estimated 2.2 million potholes across England and Wales came to £113million, while £32million was paid out in compensation claims and the cost of staff time spent on claims amounted to over £13million. Councils have paid out 50 per cent more last year than the previous year in compensation claims from road users for damage or injury due to poor road condition.”
The AA added, in their own report, that they’ve had to double the size of the team who deals with pothole damage and that: “As spring arrives our patrols are reporting potholes appearing faster than daffodils,” and after polling their members, found that a third have rated the overall surface condition of their local roads as ‘poor, very poor or terrible.’
What do you reckon?