No suprises that BT were today named and shamed as having the nation’s worst customer service. A study of 5,000 people revealed the communications giant are almost twice as bad as second place British Gas when it comes to dealing with issues and complaints. Sky were third, followed by Virgin Media and Vodafone. Other corporate colossals to feature in the hall of shame were HSBC, AOL, Barclays, O2 and HMRC.
Today a spokesman for internet market research firm www.OnePoll.com said: ‘For many, having to deal with customer service reps can be very stressful, and everyone dreads having to make the call. ‘If you are already having a nightmare with the service, and you want to make a complaint, the last thing you want to do is then have to deal with rude staff.
‘Having polite and efficient staff in call centres can really make the difference, and I’m sure it helps keep hold of customers.’ The biggest bug-bear for consumers was the automated systems which means it can take several minutes to get through to a real person. Other irritations include being passed around different people and having to keep on repeating yourself.
Foreign call centres with staff who struggle to understand the English language also featured in the list as did rude staff and having to answer endless security questions. BT also came top for the longest holding times, with 18 per cent of people voting for the company. Again British Gas was second and Sky was third. Those who took part in the study believed on average they spent around 23 minutes on the phone trying to sort out problems each time they called. Just over 11 per cent said they regularly spent 30 minutes on the phone to companies.
Phone and utility companies were rated equally as bad as each other in the study, closely followed by banks and retail organisations. It also emerged six out of ten people have switched companies purely due to a poor level of customer service. And one in three become people have been involved in an angry conversation with someone in a call centre when frustrations boil over.
Among the horror stories which emerged were a man who fell out with BT because an Asian call centre operator said his mild Scottish accent was unintelligible. A couple were tricked into a package they didn’t want by Orange and were then fobbed off when they tried to cancel during cooling off period. Virgin Media refused to change the bill into the name of a jilted husband because he didn’t have his ex-wife’s permission – but were more than willing to give him extra services without her permission.
Sourced from Daily Mail [Link]