bookmark_borderIncompetence


Photo30_2
Originally uploaded by isoLord.

I have a boiler maintenance agreement with Scottish Gas. That means they’re supposed to come and check out my boiler once a year. For some reason, it wasn’t a problem the first year, but this year it’s proving almost impossible to get them round…

They called me about it a few weeks ago. They tried to get me to commit to being at home for a full 12-6 afternoon slot, but I pointed out that wouldn’t be possible given that I have a full-time job, and taking time off for something that I’m paying them good money for to save me a hassle really misses the point. After a lot of talking, she talked to her supervisor and got me a 4-6 slot instead.

However, on the agreed day they didn’t turn up at all. I then called to get a new time, and they offered me 4-6 today, this time without a fight. However, they came twice before the agreed time and then gave up.

When I called to complain (and to get a new time), I was told they should never have given me 4-6 slots in the first instance because that’s not how it works.

It turns out their operation is split into two distinct parts: One, a call centre that puts people into morning and afternoon slots, and two, the service people going round to people. However, there are no direct links between the two. The call centre can add notes requesting specific times, but the technicians don’t have to follow this (and I suspect they might actually go out at the wrong time in order to have an easy time), and the call-centre workers cannot call the technicians to complain.

This is totally broken! It’s very convenient for Scottish Gas, because it means the call-centre workers cannot give in to dissatisfied customers, but it’s not exactly good customer service! That might not matter if you’re a monopoly or if you’re offering a vital service, but if you want to sell extra services, that’s just not good enough! I’m definitely planning to cancel my agreement with them as soon as they’ve checked my boiler one last time.