Australian (dis)Organisations refuse to talk to their customers

 Grumpy Old Man Gripes, Poor Customer Servce  Comments Off on Australian (dis)Organisations refuse to talk to their customers
Jul 212014

What the hell is up with major Australian organisations in that they are refusing to talk with their customers.

I’m looking at you, AGL.

And I’m looking at you, Telstra.

Both of you are out to pasture. Gone with the wind.

A bunch of useless bodies, with minds that seem unable to grasp the simple concept of COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Let’s take AGL, who first of all deliver cold water, but charge their customers for hot. On the rare occasion that their meters actually work. I’m about to have the fourth one installed in about ten years. Why is thier hardware so bloody unreliable?

But that’s not the issue. Because their hardware is unreliable, they decide that they’ll just take a wild guess at what your usage might be.

And by wild guess, I mean wild.

About double what it should be.

So, I try to do the right thing, and call them. They’re staff have no interest in talking about the issue. I’ve now called them SEVEN FUCKING TIMES about their problem. I’ve left messages.

I’ve left my number.


But do they call back?

Nope. What a bunch of useless pratts.

But at least their call centre is located within Australia.

There’s a few things that I refuse to do, and I’d recommend that y’all consider this too. First of all, I refuse to talk to off-shore call centres. They take our jobs. YOUR jobs.

But what’s worse is that the staff there do not speak Strine. Tring to communicate with people in offshore call centres is like talking to your cat. And expecting a sensible response.

And when the offshore call centre calls you, unannounced, and then asks you for personal identification information ???

I’m sorry, but no. Go to hell.

I have no way of verifying who the hell you are, and there’s less than a snowflake’s chance in hell that I’m going to give you any personal identifying information.

I really don’t know that you’re who you say you are, and I value my privacy way more than your offshore call centre is worth.

Which brings me to Telstra.

Who tell me that according to their records, I am not receiving spam SMS messages from them.

Except that their records are wrong.

And over the last two weeks, they have totally and abysmally failed to contact me with even an apology, let alone an explanation for their abhorrent, illegal behaviour.

Their so-called social media team keeps on telling me that a case manager will be contacting me. How nice. They’ve said that more times than there are days in the week.

But I’m still waiting.

For the next SMS spam, probably.

For an organisation that’s supposed to be in the business of communications, they’re providing a fine example of how not to communicate.


Is Postal Delivery Really That Difficult?

 Grumpy Old Man Gripes, Poor Customer Servce  Comments Off on Is Postal Delivery Really That Difficult?
Sep 042013

If your name is Australia Post, sadly, the answer to that question seems to be a very solid “yes”.

Please start by reading Get Your Head Out Of Your Arse, Australia Post and then Australia Post Fails Geography 101.

As stated in the second of these articles, yesterday we had them try to deliver the package, but because we were out, they needed to card the package and have it wait for us at a local Post Office.

Well, not quite so local: the local post office is just 300 meters down the road from where I live. Yep, a short walk, cross one road, and it’s right there, right on the corner of my street.

But no, that was not good enough for their delivery driver, who decided that a much better option for us would be to card it a different post office, over a kilometer away. Quite a long walk, including needing to negotiate some quite steep hills on the way back. Parking there is, of course, a challenge; this inappropriate (incorrect, as it turns out) post office is in a beachside area, and parking, by any Sydney beach, can be, at best, difficult.

But no, none of this figures at all into the pea-brain that this driver must have been given at birth; clearly he’s not a mental giant. Nor anything else, when it comes to brain power.

So this morning we wandered down to the Post Office, and, I’m pleased to say, finally collected the package – second time round – with no further dramas.

But I would be remiss to note exactly how helpful (ie, not at all) the Australia Post social media team have been through this total Australia Post fuck-up.

They were … slow to respond. Looking for excuses to run away from the problem. generally unhelpful, and with less than no concept of what the concept of “helping the customer” might be all about.

But the best part, the piece de resistance, as it were, of the whole debacle, came when I told them just how bad the choice of post office was. They were told about this about 4:30pm on Tuesday.

At about 9am this morning they responded, pretending to tell me that they understood my frustration. Piffle.

What a load of condescending bullshit. Empathy can’t be faked, and especially not by the talentless non-caring bullshit artists that are employed by (but don’t actually work for) Australia Post.

As noted above, we collected the package earlier this morning. To be honest, I really trust it in their hands any longer than absolutely necessary.

A little while ago, they sent me this tweet.


So, yes, they are finally admitting that they made an error. In fact, they’ve made a whole shitload, but they’ve finally admitted to one: let’s not get too greedy here.

But, what a stupendous offer: they will send it to the correct office, FREE OF FUCKING CHARGE.

Their generosity is absofuckinglutely amazing: Their error, but the underlying suggestion is that I may have had to pay for them to fix it up!

What a bloody nerve!

They have more hide than Jesse The Cow. Wanting to charge me (or at least offering to NOT charge me) to fix up their mistake?

As I’ve been saying, they have not got clue one about customer service.

Well Done, United Airlines. More Deception. No Transparency.

 Grumpy Old Man Gripes, Poor Customer Servce, Travel  Comments Off on Well Done, United Airlines. More Deception. No Transparency.
May 122013

You have done well last week.

On Friday, May 10 2013, you switched planes for your flight number UA1180, departing Boston at 5pm for San Francisco.

Ordinarily, this would not be a notable item, but in this instance you put into play a plane that had no Economy Plus seating. Seating with extra leg room that some of your passengers had paid for, and many others had made bookings expecting the extra leg room that had been promised.

Of course, the professional thing for you to have done would be to have informed your passengers – particularly those who had paid the extra fees for the extra legroom – of the change, and hopefully in advance of the change. This would have permitted those customers of yours – yes, the ones who paid for the service, and who paid for the extra leg room – who might have a need to use that extra legroom for, say, health needs, to make alternate arrangements.

Yes, that would have been the professional thing for you to do. It also would have been the honest thing for you to do.

But no, no such notice, and no acknowledgement of the change on the flight either.

And no damn apology either.

Instead, you chose to deceive your customers, and to just herd them, like cattle, into the crowded aircraft.

You knew, however, well before departure, that there was an issue though: you were asking for volunteers to take a later flight, and for passengers to not bring their carry-on luggage onto the plane. This was happening for maybe an hour before the plane had even arrived at the gate, but yet you chose to cover up the fact that you were now charging your customers for a facility that you were not prepared to provide.

There’s words for that sort of behaviour. Deception comes readily to mind. Misleading conduct, too. Distrustful behaviour as well.

Jeff Smisek, how about, instead of prancing around like a dumbstruck show pony on your pre-flight videos, why don’t you take a few minutes to actually talk with your customers – the poor, suffering people whom you have the gall to lie to, when you say, in those smarmy, useless show-pony videos, that you care about your customers?

Instead of talking about the non-existent commitment to customer service, actually get up of your backside and listen to those who can tell you what the hell is actually happening within your fercockt airline, rather than lying to your passengers as is currently the case.

I’ll bet that, like your social media people, and like your so-called customer service team, you simply don’t have the guts!

Yes, this is the same United Airlines that decided to misplace some of our luggage earlier in the trip. And no, they have have still not called me about it, nor have they issued me any sort of a satisfactory explanation nor apology.

Pathetic is the word I’d use.

May 012013

Yes folks, step right up. What does “priority” mean to you?

Please review where I initially voiced my concerns about how lousy their treatment of us has been in this particular instance. Let me be perfectly clear: as long as everything runs smoothly, there are no issues. But as soon as one thing breaks, their staff simply cannot cope, and the concept of providing service to their customers is totally lost on them.

One call center person put me on hold for over 15 minutes.  If she thinks she’s doing a good job, she’s very sadly mistaken.

Another transferred my call to an area where I had already told her that I did not wish the call to be taken. Yes, I have names. I have requested yet another callback, but when they fail to make that call to me, I will speak with somebody there who can pull their teeth out.

Now, here is the actual problem piece of luggage.

Well, no, the luggage is fine. The issue is that United simply failed to transfer this item onto our DFW flight, despite promising that they would do so. Certainly, it’s tagged to go to DFW. They just didn’t do their job.



Also observe that has been very clearly tagged as “priority”.

United didn’t simply fail to transfer this item onto our DFW flight at Houston, but they then

– tried to tell us that this was luggage that we initially checked at the check-in counter, and the clerk then argued with us over this point. The person in question was not there when the item was checked – at the gate – and continued to argue with me despite being told to shut up by her colleague working alongside her. And then she denied she was arguing!

– Failed to call us – as they had promised they would – if the piece of luggage was not on the next available flight out of Houston. It was not. And they did not.

– This item, finally arrived in Dallas around midnight. Some seven hours after we had arrived. Is that priority? No way in hell!

But it gets worse. At that time of day, it would take less than thirty minutes to travel from DFW airport to our hotel. Despite this rather short travel distance, this item of luggage was not delivered to our hotel until 3:25am. What in the world were they using as the delivery mechanism? Horse and carriage?

Rest assured that this is not the last of this; I refuse to accept this sort of crappy, piss-poor excuse for service from anyone, least of all United. And if United believes that today is the day that I should start accepting this sort of rubbish, they need to think again.

And no, they’ve not yet responded to any of my tweets about this disgusting performance on their part.


May 012013

Pretty simple really.

The flight is a full one, and so the gate attendants ask passengers if they would check their carry-on luggage at the gate, for delivery to the final destination, so as to make extra room in the plane’s cabin.

Except that they failed to shift the luggage from the intermediate destination. Then argue with you about this at the final destination.

Where, six hours later, your luggage remains AWOL.

And the United so-called baggage resolution and customer service staff are argumentative, incompetent, unprofessional, fail to return phone promised calls, refuse to listen, talk over the top of you, and basically try their hardest to NOT achieve a satisfactory outcome.

One such staff member seems to feel it’s her duty to keep the customer – the very angry customer – on hold for over fifteen minutes. She is so wrong, and so wrong on so many counts.

And we won’t overlook the team leader who, after promising to call me, failed to do so.

That’s after a baggage supervisor at DFW, having promised to call me if the missing luggage was not on the flight arriving at around 18:45, failed to make that call.

It’s now 7 hours since we landed, and we still have no idea as to when our luggage will be delivered.

What a bunch of incompetent, unprofessional, childish people the so-called United Baggage resolution team seems to be.