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BT On-Line Billing Woes!

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Ok I hate to harp on about BT services but this is funny! My online billing has not worked ever since BT updated their software to some all signing, all dancing, all… not working new system. Well finally I am able to see my latest bill but have no idea what my previous two bills are since they are still not accessible.

So BT kindly send me a letter today stating that because of the technical problem with my online billing they are reverting me to paper billing. They then go on to say:

Because of the switch back to paper bills, you will temporarily lose your paper free discount

Great so I get charged for their technical issues. But, we forget how kind BT are…

But to offset it, and to say sorry for the trouble, we'll give you back £5 on your next bill

Well how nice! Let's hope they sort out my technical issue before the month is out…

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 at 11:42:01.

BT Service Fails Again

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I am not one to grumble!? But what is it with BT and what use is online billing when you can't view your BT bills?

They have rolled out their new all singing/all dancing accounts software, informed me of the 50p price hike per month to benefit from all these swanky new features, fired off my latest BT bill notification and it DOESN' T WORK. Just keep getting error messages across the board and BT's customer response to this predicament is one of disinterest as always.

Invariably my bill will be wrong as it has been for the past two years. Full of complicated extras and misnomers that lead the buyer into confused meltdown and leave only the most hardy chasing up on those hidden erroneous charges. But by the time the system actually works and allows me to view the bill my money will probably already be steaming its way into BT's back pocket. Someone sort out this tyrannical free reign of oligarchic super powers that form the telecommunications industry… PLEASE!

Posted on Aug 21, 2010 at 09:57:37.

First Signs of Spring

Also relates to Surf and Travel

Nothing like a sun fuelled walk along the rugged coast line of the Lizard peninsula breathing in the fresh sea air straight off the Atlantic to loosen the shackles of modern day living! Olive and I were blessed with a glorious February afternoon for a brisk hike from Gunwalloe to Mullion on Tuesday afternoon.

I chose to travel light and photos were captured with the Canon Powershot automatic.

Looking west across Porthleven Sands towards Mounts Bay

Rays of sunshine capture the war shop out in the ocean

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 at 22:33:18.

Tesco Customer Service and Hostile Staff at Pool Tesco Extra

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We spend on average £120 a week in Tesco supermarkets - principally in Pool Extra and also in Helston. That is more than 6 grand a year! Out of choice we shop at Tesco because their service usually is efficient and their stock is reliable. Following the way I was treated in the supermarket at Pool on Monday night Tesco can kiss goodbye to our money since I will not shop there again!

On Monday we had the misfortune of getting caught in the rush hour traffic ensuing from the lorry fire on the M5 which left us stranded for nearly 4 hours and made our return journey from Birmingham excess of 8 hours! Poor little Olive having to spend so long stuck in her baby seat when perhaps a bit of better planning from the traffic authorities could have had us (and all other Exeter traffic) re-routed via the A303 saving a considerable amount of congestion I am sure.

Anyway, by the time we arrived at Tesco Extra in Pool shortly after 11pm to pick up some milk and formula we were all understandably exhausted and feeling quite irksome.

I hopped out leaving the car running expecting it to take a couple of minutes to pick up the milk and formula as Olive was fast asleep and would undoubtedly stir again if the engine stopped. Unfortunately when I got to the checkout it turned out to be very busy! There was a single operator currently checking through a large trolley of goods on a basket isle and four automated machines were in operation likewise with a queue of shoppers with semi-full trolleys.

I patiently queued with my three items behind one of the automated machines since the operator was clearly struggling to check through and pack items from the trolley in such a confined space. Nearly 10 minutes later I got to the rear automated machine and pressed Start on the touch screen. A message popped up telling me this machine was now closed and processing the end of day receipts! I notified the member of staff who appeared to be acting as support for the machines. He asked the operator on the manual till and she called back "Oh it will only be 5 minutes to process that and the machine will be back on".

At this point she had finished checking through the trolley of goods and was about to start on a full basket from a woman who had just come to the till. I would have thought this would have been an opportune moment to offer for me to come into that till with my tin of formula and two cartoons of milk which would take seconds to check through. But no! I was left to patiently wait several more minutes for the person on the front automated machine to finish. Once again I pressed Start and once again I was told that the till had closed. So I notified the same member of staff who said nothing can be done I would have to wait another 5 minutes for processing to end!

Understandably my patience was now wearing thin and I backed up to queue for the manual till. As I loaded my three items on the basket stand to be checked through I calmly remarked how service was a little poor with only two automated and one manual basket till open when the shop was so busy. To which I got an aggressive retort from the cashier telling me to be patient and that after 11pm only automated machines are used. I pointed out that while that seems reasonable enough two of those machines were offline currently while other isles were closed leaving only two working automated machines. The cashier seemed intent on making an argument out of this pointing out that the rear machine had just come back online as someone else arrived just in time to start checking through their trolley. But yes I responded, while I have been too-ed and fro-ed between machines and queues trying to find somewhere to check through my three items for nearly 20 minutes.

To my shock and total disbelief the cashier then became confrontational asking me in a most antagonistic manner if I wanted to speak to a manager as she flagged over the store security! Mr Tesco Security came and perched over me in a most hostile and policing manner and asked what appeared to be the problem. As politely as possible I clarified that I did not have time to speak to a manager because of course I was in a hurry with my exhausted 12 month old waiting in the car after a very long journey. Mr Tesco Security backed down and the cashier rather rudely checked my three items through dumping them the other side of the till without asking me about bags, club cards and all the other usual routines a cashier would be expected to go through.

Now I appreciate it is not Tesco's problem that I had had a long journey and was tired and in a hurry. But it is pretty clear that the shop was very busy and understaffed. All four automated machines were handling large trolleys as was the manual basket till and if it is the case that only automated machines run after 11pm then they shouldn't be shutting down and processing their end of day receipts at this time! In total it took me just under 20 minutes to check through my three items. On any other day I would expect to go into that same Tesco at peak time with a full trolley and reach a checkout almost instantly.

But what really got me riled was the aggressive response and belligerent attitude I got from the cashier and the way I was suddenly made to feel like a criminal by Mr Tesco Security for my lucid observations about the under-manned tills. Thankyou Tesco for responding so cruelly to the years of investment I have made in your customer service! I will shop with you no more…

And a lesson for everyone else out there. Watch out for the Tesco Police! The customer is clearly never right.

So if, like me, you have been mis-treated by Tesco and their bullying customer service team then stand up for yourself and shop elsewhere!

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 at 12:30:01.

BT Broadband Very Slow Bandwidth

This post does not relate to any other topics

When trying to download a large file from a client yesterday afternoon I couldn't help but get impatient at the slow bandwidth and shockingly poor internet connection I was getting. In fact it was so slow that the download speed was rarely exceeding 10Kbps (that is bits not bytes)! A disgraceful level of performance from my BT Total Broadband upto 8Mbps. Now everyone knows the spiel these ISPs dish out about their upto claims but I had previously been reaching speeds of 3Mbps and the hub software had always shown my connection to be 3,520 Kbps. When I hoped over to the hub (at http://192.168.1.254) I was appalled to see the downstream speed now being reported at 1024Kbps! What is going on with BT service - do they just arbitrarily cap users service or something…

Fortunately I have been forgiven the anguish of dealing with an inept and robotic support team over the telephone since a reboot of the hub has restored the reported speed to 3Mbps and I am getting accepatable download speeds once again. Not sure what this says about service capping on an IP basis and exactly what information BT are extracting and storing from our web usage.

But, before you waste your breath (and money) try a reset - just switch the hub off and back on again. It worked for me!

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 at 12:44:26.

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