It chronicles his experience buying a Blackberry this afternoon.
The next edition is in!
Steve made the rather silly mistake of assuming that he should be able to walk out of the Carphone Warehouse store with his device operational.
That ain’t how it works, Steve 😉
With a pained expression, I now present to you “Putting you on hold sir” – a modern day Blackberry acquisition tragedy in 3 acts.
I promise you, none of this is made up. This has really just happened…every single excrutiating second of it. In case you didn’t read the earlier instalments on here, the company in question is CARPHONE WAREHOUSE (ok T Mobile also play a minor part as supporting actor but the lead role is definitely CPW). I make that very clear because I want everybody to know exactly who I am talking about and not be under any illusion that I may be talking about some tinpot company in the outer hebrides who could be excused such shoddy customer services (actually I apologise to our most northern of friends, I bet you could do a million times better).
So…the scene is set, we have a lone businessman sat at his study desk, the light from his green desklamp arcing across the room, the sound of children playing in the distance…the curtain rises…
someone’s mobile in the audience begins to ring…huff’s all round…
the actor re-composes himself, the audience’s tutting dies down, act one…
– 17:00hrs: 5 hours after my almost orgasmic shopping experience for my first Blackberry I can take the withdrawal no longer. I have turned the Bb on to see if it is powered up enough to work (but it’s still charging, honest). “SIM Card Rejected”. Oh bugger.
– I call cpw helpline (of course no direct number through to the helpful lady in the shop). I endure 75 seconds of “hi we are a lovely company and have a website for you to go to, but if you really do want to waste our bloody time then press 1 for…..2 for…..3 for something that sounds like it might be what you want…”. I press 3. “now press 1 if you are on shoddy network number one, 2 for shoddy network number 2…..press 789 for your network”. I press 789.
– “Hi. security check first please before I even say good afternoon to you sir, because until you prove that you are at least the third son of the Duke of Wyneburgh, I will not lower myself to give you the time of day, never mind a courteous ‘hello welcome to hell’.”. security done…almost…”what is steve short for?”. “it’s short for steve”. “that’s not what we have on our system”. ” well that’s my name, it always has been, it was when I told the lovely lady in your shop and it always will be, change your system”. “I can’t do that sir, first I need to check a few things, popping you on hold”. brrrrhhhhhhhh…..
– call back, 75 secs of crap sales bullshit, 1 for, 2 for…3. press 3. “which crap network?” number 789 please. security check. done. “steve hi there, nice name, I’m not even going to attempt to be so anal as to suggest that we have Stephen on our system but you are telling me that your name is Steve so I need to smash the glass and call in the Spooks as we have an imposter. how can I help you today?”. “sim rejected”. oh dear that’s no good, let me pop you on hold as I’m the token nice guy today and really want to help you. brrrrhhhhhhhhhhh……..
– call back, 75 secs of crap sales bullshit, 1 for, 2 for…3. press 3. “which crap network?” number 789 please. brrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh……..
– call back, 75 secs of crap sales bullshit, 1 for, 2 for…3. press 3. “which crap network?” number 789 please. security check. done. “steve hi there, sim rejected, ooh dear, let me put you on hold”. “NOOOOOOOO, please don’t, you always lose me”. “I won’t lose you sir”…brrrhhhhhhhhhh………….
[for fucks sake. a major international mobile phone company and their staff are so fucking useless that they cannot work the call-on-hold button on the phones. who is the dozy sod that is responsible for setting this cowboy outfit up and employing morons!? Or is it their knackered old telephony system that is dysfunctional, in which case I apologise to the humans who are forced to operate it everyday.]
– call back, 75 secs of crap sales bullshit, 1 for, 2 for…3. press 3. “which crap network would you like, press…”. number 789 please. security check. done. “sim rejected? but didn’t the shop tell you, it takes up to 24 hrs to send the configuration signal to your device”. “Oh ok, fair enough although I must say I work in the business and have had a fair number of handsets over the years and it has never taken more than a few hours; and I must say the fact the woman in the shop didn’t tell me this news has significantly affected my expectations on your company and services”. …..[They could learn a lot from Amazon who tell you your books will take 4 days and always arrive in 2 so you think ‘wow, faster than they promised, wow!!’]….. “but hey ho. at least you appreciate that Steve and Stephen are the same name. While I’m here can I please activate the email data stuff and the Webwalk options”. “no sorry you have to call t mobile for that, here’s their number”. “but I bought it of you and…oh Whatever…”.
– [commercial break]. main actor goes to the loo, takes small bottle of “tonic water” from inside jacket pocket…..(well these tragedies are mentally tough to perform you know!!). Hey quick question. why don’t they have breaks in the cinema any more, I always liked that…why are cinemas different to theatres where a nice G&T at half time is most welcome!?
– call t mobile. ok everyone in the audience lets sing the ‘Press 666 for the Devil’ song…after 3…”hi there, welcome to a completely different company from the one you contracted with today. we are great and have a website where you can go and do everything your frigging self, because we are a bunch of lazy buggers filing our nails and talking about last nights Eastenders. press 1 for…..666 to speak to the devil himself…853 for a Customer Interaction Operative” – ok I made that title up but it sounds like the sort of toss-talk these companies speak.
– “hi there, mobile number please…ok thanks, when did you last do a top-up?”. “excuse me? it is a brand new phone on a contract (a damned expensive contract but hey lets chat about that one another time)”. “oh, but our system shows it as a PAYG phone”. ” well it aint. so anyway, story so far…bought at CPW, had pizza afterwards, went home..did a bit of business, had a cup of tea, blah blah, 5 phone calls, sim rejected, they say ring you, blah blah. what you gonna do about it”. tap tap, let me put you on hold…[now crossing my fingers that she presses the big one marked in red that says “HOLD” rather than the tiny one on the back of the phone that says “hang up”]. 2 mins…wow she did it, she’s back!!! well done you telesales person you, go sit at the front and put another gold sticker on your name badge. “ok well I can see it is a new account [2 new stickers for this young lady] but I can also see that the activation signal sent by CPW has likely failed so I am pretty sure from experience that when this happens you must go back to the shop to have it re-activated”. “but going back to the shop is massively inconvenient”. “well call CPW because there is nothing I can do”. “what and tell them that you said it is in their hands, do you really think they’ll believe me?”. “well they’ll have to”. !!!!!! “and as for what I was actually ringing for which was to enable my data and webwalk stuff, can I do that now?”. “no, not until the phone is activated”.
– [are you laughing or crying at this point in the cheap seats? 😉
– call back CPW, 75 secs of crap sales bullshit, 1 for, 2 for…3. press 3. “which crap network would you like, press…”. number 789 please. security check. done. “Hi there, ok story so far……………………”. “the person at t mobile said that? well there is nothing more we can do here. if it isn’t activated by midday tomorrow [24hrs] then call t mobile”. “I knew you’d say that, and I knew she’d say to call you. Do you really think it is fair to have your customer treated as a ping pong ball?”. “hhmmm. well let me put you on hold and call t mobile myself for you”. on hold, by a CPW person….oh noooooo, please…..I can hardly breath as I wait for the on hold tone to turn to a disconnected tone…..
– he’s back!!!!! hoorah!! “ok sir I’ve re-sent the activation for you [although I’m not going to tell you what the conversation between us and t mobile was about]. if it isn’t working by midday tomorrow call us back”. “what, call cpw or t mobile? make your mind up. and it seems you can send re-activations while I’m on the phone rather than, as t mobile said, return to the shop. does anybody know the full true story of how any of this work?”. “as I say sir if it isn’t ready by midd…..”. Ok he is now back to reading from his cards, has turned his brain off and aint listening. bye bye…
What will tomorrow’s instalment bring? Tune in at midday when this frigging activation signal better be on a silver platter, held by a troop of synchronised swimmers in their working clothes stood at my front door singing [to the tune of the cpw tv ads] “welcome to to carphone warehouse STEPHEN”.
An elementary mistake Steve, assuming that you could have your device working when you left the shop. 😉
I now remember that I had exactly the same trouble — when I bought my device, and when I got the one for our MD, Hetty. For some unknown reason, the network needs ‘a day’ to work. Totally 100% annoying. I can remember constantly picking up my device to see if it was working. I can remember cursing the staff at The Link who said ‘er, yeah, give it a day.’
Now, while this sounds like a reasonable request for a sales/support person to make — it simply isn’t. Not when you’ve just sold me some gorgeous technology. I want it to work NOW.
Why wasn’t it provisioned last week? So that when I walk in, it will work right away?
Ah well……. keep the faith, Steve!
(If you’re having or have had similar trauma… I want to hear about it — mail me!)