Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Toucan If You Want To. I'm Staying With BT

A few months ago I answered a call from a call centre somewhere in India. Because I was in a very good mood, and had recently been reading (in the Guardian, damn their eyes) that working in an Indian call centre was not much fun, I was particularly pleasant to the caller. I won't make any attempt to describe the caller's accent but it was as heavy and impenetrable as, no doubt, my own accent was to him. The call went something like this.

Good evening. Is that Mr Robert Clematis-Grower?
No it is not.
May I speak with Mr Clematis-Grower?
No. Mr Clematis-Grower prefers me to take his calls when people ring up and try to sell him something. What are you trying to sell him?
Oh no. I am not trying to sell him anything. I just want to tell him about the fantastic telephone service that will save him lots of his money. Tell me, do you rent a line from BT?
Indeed we do - are you ringing from BT?
Oh yes. Now if Mr Clematis-Grower warble, warble, drone, drone....
That sounds very good. Tell me again - are you ringing on behalf of BT?
Oh yes warble, warble, etc. etc.
To tell you the truth I might have had a drink taken. There was some stuff about Bert's date of birth and his mother's maiden name.

I came off the phone feeling a little confused but soon forgot all about it.

Until the letter came in that welcomed Robert Clematis-Grower to Toucan.

I phoned BT and was informed that Toucan had indeed taken over our call provision.

We don't want them to.

So I cancelled it and the nice lady from BT said something about it taking a few weeks to change back.

Then I phoned Toucan and complained that I had been conned. They said they couldn't speak to me because I wasn't Mr Robert Clematis-Grower. I said well that's very funny as Mr Robert Clematis-Grower has never spoken to Toucan in his life and yet you changed his telephone provision on the say so of some eejit called Nelly Moser just because she knew his birthday and his mother's maiden name. And who was drunk at the time. Toucan said they would look into it.

Then they sent us a bill.

So I phoned Toucan and told them it wasn't going to be paid until they had investigated the circumstances surrounding our hook up with them because I believed it was illegal. They said they couldn't talk to me because I wasn't Mr Robert Clematis-Grower. Enraged I called Bert in from the clematis fields and he informed them of his birthday, his mother's maiden name and consented to their receiving verbal abuse, on his behalf, from some bint called Nelly Moser. After hearing my story Toucan promised to look into it.

Then they sent us a bill with an extra £7 tagged on to it and threatened to suspend our service. Too late Toucan - we suspended it first. I got back on the phone again and got talking to a very snippy little shit called Philip who gave me the impression he'd quite like to come over and lift our goods and chattels himself. I couldn't continue the conversation with him because I could feel the steam coming from my ears so I hung up on him and went and revised my Toucan file before phoning back. This time I was speaking to an extremely polite man called Mohammed. But I was still so enraged by Philip that I lost it and started using some very unladylike language. Words I used included shower, bastards, stick, bill and hole - and this, in all likelihood, to a Muslim. Oh cringe, cringe and cringe again. Mohammed said he would note my complaint although not in the exact language I had used if that was OK? I said it was.

When I had calmed myself I phoned Toucan again and spoke to a very nice person called Debbie. To Debbie I made a complaint about Philip and an apology to Mohammed. In return Debbie agreed to send a letter of investigation to the appropriate department. I took note of this.

Then they sent us another bill informing us that our service had been suspended. I ignored it.

The other day a Scottish-sounding woman with a bit of an attitude phoned and asked to speak to Mr Robert Clematis-Grower. I asked her what it was she wanted to sell him. She said nothing, could she speak to him please. I told her she couldn't and asked her if she was from Toucan by any chance. She said she was ringing on behalf of Toucan (inferring that it was none of my business.) I said, "So you'll be ringing about that £64.07 then?" She said, "Who are you? Are you Mrs Clematis-Grower?"

"No I am not, not that it's any concern of yours."
"Well, to whom am I speaking?"
"You are speaking to Mrs Moser," I announced grandly, "And I am the person who got poor Robert into this mess." I proceeded to tell her the whole sorry tale from beginning to end. By the time I'd finished we were bestest chums.

So from now on if anyone rings asking for Mr Robert Clematis-Grower I am going to reply in a high, girly voice, "This is he. How may I help you?" After all I know his date of birth and his mother's maiden name and a lot more besides that even he doesn't know.

No comments: