Monday, 29 November 2010

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS SOMETHING CALLED CUSTOMER SERVICE

When I was a lad we knew that we could always rely on our public services. The trains ran on time and were affordable; bus services were regular; our milk was left on our doorstep at the crack of dawn everyday and the postman delivered our mail at the same time every day - usually as we ate breakfast. I also delivered newspapers and had two rounds; one in the morning, the other during the evening and people could rely on me to deliver their papers so they could read them at the breakfast table or while they are tea.

But oh how things have changed. You now need a mortgage to travel long distance on the railways at at time that suits you; the bus services seldom keep to schedules (if they run at all) and after our milkman decided not to deliver a couple of days every week we gave him the elbow. We get three different free newspapers through our door - most weeks. Sometimes we got none at all. We don't mind that because they only go in the recycling bin because they contain nothing worth reading.

Then there is the post! This started to go downhill 20 years ago; at least it did where I live and it has just got steadily worse. Just as we had got used to one postman he was replaced on the walk and another appeared for the next few weeks. Then he was changed and so on. With the coming of each different postman the service declined. Deliveries have got later and now we are lucky to receive our delivery by midday. Some days, usually a Wednesday, there is often no delivery at all. But, I have become tired of complaining; nobody takes any notice and anyway - if you try telephoning the sorting office the phone never gets answered.

Our national services are falling apart and good, old-fashioned customer service is a thing of the past. I have had issues with my Broadband for the last few months but they simply refuse to accept that it simply does not work properly. But no matter how many complaining letters I write nothing ever gets resolved. I am sick of trying to converse with call centres in India - they may well be very pleasant people but they have lack being able to converse in basic English - and I am tired of receiving template letters from companies I spend money with.

This is only one very small part of how Britain has become broken. Please tell me your experiences.

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