BT Customer (Dis)service – the DPA strikes again!

What a joke BT so-called “customer service” is! (But you knew that anyway.)

I’ve just logged on to the BT website to check when my current contract expires. Surprise, surprise; I can’t find the information! I suspect BT hide it so that when your contract expires, they just carry on as if nothing had happened hoping you won’t notice and thus not think of comparing with other potential suppliers.

I therefore needed to contact BT to find out the date, and didn’t want to go through their useless, long-winded “telephone tree”, that in common with all such other systems never has an option that actually fits what you want to ask!

Just like the “telephone tree”, the website tries to prevent you from sending an email or starting a chat, with offers of multiple layers and options; none of which even remotely came near my question. When I finally entered the “chat”, I got a message saying someone would be with me in approximately “00:14” and that the average customer had to wait “00:42”. Many years ago, my grammar school headmaster (and maths teacher) would have gone wild with such information: give him a numeric answer without specifying the units and he would say “Bananas? Bananas, boy?”

I assumed the BT units weren’t bananas, but what were they? Minutes and seconds, or hours and minutes? Whilst I was pondering this, the “00:14” message was replaced by one saying someone would be with me “soon”. This turned out to be four minutes; not bad really.

By now I had three questions. The answer to the first was “It’s minutes and seconds.”

My original two questions were when my contract expired and why I couldn’t see this after logging onto the BT website. The answers were a date in December and “because of the Data Protection Act”.

As an aside, which is the most misused act: the Data Protection Act or the Human Rights Act?

I told my chat contact that this was rubbish (very polite of me, I thought) as other companies do show such information (e.g. mobile phone/network suppliers), so why not BT?

He said he would pass on my comments, but even if he does, BT won’t do anything about it, will they?

Justice Joke

Whilst I’ve never been called for jury service, my wife has recently been called for the second time; the first time was about 30 years ago!

There are two things that amaze and really annoy me about this latest call.

Firstly, my wife is now over 70, and thus not eligible for jury service. So why on earth can’t the system that ‘picks the names out of a hat’ filter out those that are not eligible? With all the government systems that contain everyone’s details, it would be a simple matter to filter out on date of birth, and thus save time and money!

Secondly, and this is the one that really gets my goat: the documentation sent out with the summons to jury service contains a sheet, printed on both sides, with three paragraphs in seven different languages. As only one of the seven uses the Latin alphabet (it may be Polish), I have absolutely no idea what the other six languages are. Why on earth is this necessary? At one sheet, it won’t have cost a lot, but it is nevertheless a waste of money IMHO.

I (naively perhaps) assumed that only UK citizens could be called to do jury service, so would expect them to understand English. Even if they are now UK citizens, but haven’t bothered to learn English, why would they be chosen? If they can’t understand the leaflets in English, how on earth are they going to follow the proceedings at a trial; or are we going to start translating all court proceedings if we get a jury member who cannot understand English? Again I would have thought there was sufficient information, e.g. census data, to filter out people who are either not eligible or not able to serve on a jury.

Completely bonkers!

Political Prostitutes

I’ve never used the services of a prostitute of either sex, but understand that they use a variety of things, from make-up to clothing, to make themselves more attractive to potential customers.

Since the UK General Election, the Labour party, aided and abetted by their mouthpiece the BBC, have dominated the news with analysis of why they, to their immense surprise, lost so badly, who will be their next leader, and how they can make themselves more electable. It is the last point that reminds me of prostitutes.

It is said that one of the reasons Milliband lost was because he had abandoned ‘Blairite’ policies and moved to the left. It is interesting to note that many members of the Shadow Cabinet and Labour hierarchy are now telling us that they never really agreed with the policies being promoted by them just a couple of weeks or so ago! As an aside, it was said that Ed Milliband stabbed his brother in the back during the previous leadership election. Poor Ed now seems to be getting stabbed from every direction by his former Shadow Cabinet members.

To return to my main point, senior members of the Labour Party are returning to the ways of Tony Blair; they seem to be prepared to say anything that will get them elected.

I used to think that political parties had principles, long-term objectives and firm policies. That certainly isn’t true of ‘New Labour’ or ‘Milliband Labour’ or the current leadership candidates. They clearly aren’t thinking of what is best for the country, as illustrated by previously-mentioned about turns after defeat; all they really want is power, and cf Tony Blair, the wealth that they can achieve from that.

I’m not a fan of trade unions. However, it seems to me that Len McCluskey has more honour than the whole Labour Party hierarchy put together. I think his ideas would ruin this country if implemented, but at least he sticks to his principles.