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Poor customer service blamed on pandemic


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I’ve now made many attempts to tell IKEA that an item was missing from my delivery. Half the contact methods have been removed, you couldn’t even ring them for a while. After just being cut off from on line chat which has suddenly been suspended I am getting really rather annoyed! They are not the only ones either, I’m not talking About companies who have been badly affected but many are using this as an excuse to cut staff and costs. Is anyone else finding this? Has anyone had good service as I’m definitely willing to shift my custom elsewhere?

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You aren't the only one - I know someone on another forum who's been waiting weeks, if not months, for a replacement from IKEA when they didn't deliver everything he needed for whatever it was.

 

Sainsbury's are pretty poor at the moment, although I don't know whether that's definitely down to the pandemic.  You can only get hold of them by phone (limited hours, of course), or by Twitter or Facebook - neither of which are any good to me.  Other supermarkets seem to be doing rather better in that respect, but I had to wait over 12 hours to alert them of something which might, for all I know, require a product recall.  Poor.

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i'm going to  defend  organisations here 

i work for a retailer  in supply chain   , when lockdown hit not only did all our stores  close but the risk assessment for the contact centres,  repairs  and parts of  the supply chain was shut that they  had to  shut or massively scale back  operations   and see if they  employ  Working from Home solutions   ( luckily becasue of what  we sell  getting the kit to allow people to WFH was a commercial decision on do we  'keep it'  to support the operation or do we sell it  as we  would have normally 

it was pretty manic to  not only facilitate WFH for the contact centres  ( with limitations that imposed on voice  calls  - although oddly   with my volunteering hat  on I  ( and other volunteers) use VoIP very successfully to access calls to a support line as one of the support line  volunteers)  but also the expand  the  online / messenger  presence  using  retail colleagues  who would otherwise be furloughed  )    

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but the thing is lock down was months ago, I think most people have been very patient. Delays are one thing but if you can’t even make initial contact or have to spend hours on the phone to report their mistake it becomes unacceptable. I’m still waiting on refunds from Asda for months ago- I don’t have the time to constantly follow things up. If I can email and I get a reply to say response is delayed and they do contact me I’m fine with that. If they’re trading with equivalent or increased sales there really is no excuse for it
It’s really short sighted of these companies too, they are losing their loyal customers
 

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10 hours ago, Peony said:

but the thing is lock down was months ago, I think most people have been very patient. Delays are one thing but if you can’t even make initial contact or have to spend hours on the phone to report their mistake it becomes unacceptable. I’m still waiting on refunds from Asda for months ago- I don’t have the time to constantly follow things up. If I can email and I get a reply to say response is delayed and they do contact me I’m fine with that. If they’re trading with equivalent or increased sales there really is no excuse for it
It’s really short sighted of these companies too, they are losing their loyal customers
 

lock down was not 'months ago' it is still current , just somewhat eased 

the government  advice about workplaces is still that  people should be WFH  and/or that  only  be working in covid  secure  workplaces 

making a call centre or consumer electronics/ brown goods  repair workshop 'covid safe' is none trivial and usually  results in a 33 % - 50  % reduction in workstations   

there are questions that have ot be asked as to why  some of the WFH  solutions do not include VoIP  answers to the   providing   telephony  routes  for  customer service 
 

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Update contacted them via social media which I hadn’t thought to do as it doesn’t give any instructions that is available on the website or my receipt. Reply in minutes and replacement ordered. So someone is available within minutes to sort issues and authorise replacements, just not by any of their advertised routes. 

the government stance has changed to encouraging people to go back to work outside the home if possible, they’re not encouraging wfh specifically anymore. if people can’t work from home efficiently  they’ll need to look at renting  larger premises or shift working or part time office/home working. I don’t mind what solution but 5 months in it’s not acceptable to close your emails and webchat completely and have a 1 hour plus wait on the telephone. I‘d also be happy if they’d double checked the order so that I had no need to contact customer services!
 

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I can’t say much about this but my partner who has been trying to deal with some urgent things recently has been doing his fair share of cursing current conditions and nobody answering the phone etc or being put on hold and then cut off after 45 mins or so. I know this can happen in normal times but it’s apparently much more the norm now ...according to him anyway!! 

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I've been having issues with my local Credit Union. Normally they are great. However just today I took all my savings out of my account , bar £50 and transferred it all to my bank account. Not been able to log in to my credit union account for weeks on end. Someone told me last week an IT technician would phone me on Tuesday just gone, to help find out what the problem was. I waited in all day. The phone never rang. Nor the next day. In a few weeks my son will hopefully ( finally) be going to university at the age of 23. We have to pay £2,000 upfront which is half the first year of tuition fees ourselves . Once his Uni give us the word, they will expect the payment asap i'd imagine. Have tried transferring money to my bank account from them in the past; just small amounts. It has taken nearly a week sometimes. I understand a lot of their staff are working from home at the moment, but I need them to be super efficient with my money right now, as my son's place at uni might depend on us getting that money to them when they ask for it. They were falling well short, and I think I did the right thing in moving my savings. 

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Ever tried working in a tiny cubicle in a packed barely ventilated call centre anyone? Read the reports about how these places spread the virus? Aircon is one of the worst things..most offices these days have inadequate fresh air.

 

All businesses that import things are having big problems.

 

The whole thing is very big and complex. Individual problems about getting through on the phone etc are real and annoying but it within a bigger picture.

My own building work has been held up by supply problems and I am now stuck for accommodation so I do know- but let's see all sides.

 

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It depends on what type of aircon you have, and whether it’s recirculating air, some types are not a problem.

If companies have their retail and supply section fully open as normal and are happy to take the money they really do need some form of customer services open to help if things go wrong. If you’re told something is delayed etc that’s a bit different to shutting all communication or promising something that doesn’t materialise. Let’s be honest some have furloughed their staff in areas which don’t directly affect profits to save money, it’s not really about small offices or lack of IT solutions as that could be changed although it may require investment. There just aren’t any staff available to answer the phone. Hopefully they’ve been using the last few months to find a solution whether that is larger offices, shifts or wfh, with furlough coming to an end I guess we will see. I have sympathy for companies in industries badly affected and small businesses (although I’ve had excellent service from them), large retailers reporting increased profits less sympathy! 
 

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My issue is with all the agencies who have not, after 5 months, sorted themselves out in order to provide a proper service using people who are working from home to coordinated effect. I know that it's challenging but there is the technology now and I am growing tied of listening to countless messages about Covid-19 every time I ring and every time I make a selection from the options they offer. I find myself shouting out, "Please just get on with it".

 

At the moment my top three for error-ridden, slow unsatisfactory service are 1) Santander; 2) Domestic and General; 3) HMRC

My award for prompt and helpful service goes to Sky.

 

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10 hours ago, capybara said:

... I am growing tied of listening to countless messages about Covid-19 every time I ring and every time I make a selection from the options they offer. I find myself shouting out, "Please just get on with it".

 

 

 

Me too!

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I reported a company (airport car parking) for unfair business practice on the government website. The company's website stated they'd furloughed all staff but were still taking new bookings. After my flights were cancelled, I tried to cancel online but the 'cancel my booking' function had been disabled and  because of furlough, they weren't answering calls or emails. After several months, I've managed to get a refund but it took an email to the CEO which resulted in a call 30 mins later from a team member who took my card details and issued the refund. Suffice to say I won't be booking with them again. 

SAGA travel insurance is another company who have been less than helpful along with Easyjet who made it extremely difficult to get refunds. Kudos to BA though as they cancelled a flight and 2 days later I received a refund. 

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A friend who lost her holiday to Botswana (BA flight booked separately from Safari) booked her seats online separately from the flight booking and, although the flight was cancelled, BA have refused point blank to refund her seat booking fee because she did that herself rather than through the tour company who booked her flight!

 

I think we have all had different experiences of customer service during lock down.  And we are still in lockdown, albeit a lighter version of what was put in place in March.

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Santander was one of the problems my partner met with. In the end his problem only got dealt with properly when he insisted on speaking to some bod higher up as he was in this strange catch 22 type situation otherwise 🙄 

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Hilton cancelled my hotel booking in August without notifying me, I found out as I went into the booking to extend it by a day and it said cancelled. emailed to clarify and I got a lovely email directly from the hotel to explain and apologise (even though they were shut). So faith restored and have re-booked with them. It’s true there has to be good will and understanding in current times but it’s the ones who evade all communication which I have run out of patience for!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can I include Corgi Homeplan here - even though not once have they mentioned the virus?  I have a policy with them for boiler maintenance, part of which is an annual service.  Last year it took place in May.  This year in early July the boiler switched itself off.  Bruce went through a rigmarole of trouble-shooting and got it going again.  I started ringing Corgi to request a service.  Here we are two months and numerous phone calls later - still no service.  Each time I ring I'm told an engineer will contact me within 24/48 hours.  Never happened.  To rub salt into the wound Corgi emailed me a couple of weeks ago, with an identical follow-up letter, saying that the boiler service was now due, an engineer had been trying to contact me without success, so would I ring (the usual number) to arrange an appointment.  I did so.  Usual story.  I rang again, this time being patched through to an engineer who undertook to come on Monday, 7th September and carry out the service.  He rang on Monday morning - unable to come after all but would ring the next day to rebook.  Guess what?  I rang Corgi.  This time the apologies had progressed from basic through deep and were now profound.  The call centre lady promised to call me back personally.  Guess what again.  I am so cross I could spit!  I tried to ease my feelings by sending an indignant email complaining bitterly and demanding a refund of part of the not-inconsiderable cost of the policy.  Imagine my pleasure when I got an email back promising a reply within 72 hours.  Still waiting.

Edited by AnneMarriott
to correct typo
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51 minutes ago, AnneMarriott said:

Can I include Corgi Homeplan here - even though not once have they mentioned the virus?  I have a policy with them for boiler maintenance, part of which is an annual service.  Last year it took place in May.  This year in early July the boiler switched itself off.  Bruce went through a rigmarole of trouble-shooting and got it going again.  I started ringing Corgi to request a service.  Here we are two months and numerous phone calls later - still no service.  Each time I ring I'm told an engineer will contact me within 24/48 hours.  Never happened.  To rub salt into the wound Corgi emailed me a couple of weeks ago, with an identical follow-up letter, saying that the boiler service was now due, an engineer had been trying to contact me without success, so would I ring (the usual number) to arrange an appointment.  I did so.  Usual story.  I rang again, this time being patched through to an engineer who undertook to come on Monday, 7th September and carry out the service.  He rang on Monday morning - unable to come after all but would ring the next day to rebook.  Guess what?  I rang Corgi.  This time the apologies had progressed from basic through deep and were now profound.  The call centre lady promised to call me back personally.  Guess what again.  I am so cross I could spit!  I tried to ease my feelings by sending an indignant email complaining bitterly and demanding a refund of part of the not-inconsiderable cost of the policy.  Imagine my pleasure when I got an email back promising a reply within 72 hours.  Still waiting.

 

I would 'like' this post but it might give the wrong impression! Sounds absolutely awful, Anne. 

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On 11/09/2020 at 06:57, bridiem said:

 

I would 'like' this post but it might give the wrong impression! Sounds absolutely awful, Anne. 

Update.  To my surprise and delight a gas engineer came and serviced our boiler yesterday, on time, just as promised.  Not only that, we had a call from Corgi Homeplan to check that he had turned up, and an email feedback request.  Late in the day, but all very welcome.

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We've had our own share of trials and tribulations with poor customer service blamed on pandemic - all eventually resolved.

Car leasing company I put in room 101 - lease on husbands car ran out 27 March and on that date they were supposed to take the 'old' car away and bring another one. Notified on 22 March that due to shutdown that would not happen and then nothing - no response to emails or phone calls til 2nd week of April when they informed him that since he had kept the old car he would now be on £x per month and still be liable for mileage in excess of the amount agreed for the 3 year term - the new cost was just over 25% more than he was paying. My husband is a keyworker and at the time was working 6 to 7 days a week getting hospital wards converted to high dependency units so he needed the car still - an official complaint later and they backed back to original terms and extended the lease until end of may - when we had a repeat performance and another official complaint made and then again when the new car was delivered 3 weeks before they could collect the old one. Finally sorted out mid July so that we were not out of pocket but took so much time and effort at a time when my husband was working such long hours and under a lot of pressure.

 

2nd one was the water company - did a meter reading and then asked us when we had had a new meter installed as they had no record of it! Well nor did we - complete surprise to us - they think one of their workmen may have changed the wrong one some months ago - anyway their mistake meant a number of months they could not charge us for as no meter reading from old meter

 

3rd was potentially very serious mistake from a finance investment company. Husband transferred money over with written instruction for them to pay it into his SIPP. Only it never arrived - accidentally paid into someone else's account but they had no idea whose. Luckily our daughter spotted a payment into her account for the same amount that she had not made so the money eventually was returned.

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