A lesson in how not to do customer service

Any successful business knows that to continue being a success, you need to not only lure in new customers, but keep your existing customers happy. But not every business does this – even the big guns. Take Sky, for example. I recently purchased an additional package from them, having been a customer for more than 20 years. An engineer was booked to install the product, so I juggled my working day to ensure I would be home between 12pm and 5pm.

It wasn't until 11am when I managed to check my phone and heard a voicemail asking me to call their customer service department. I rang, and sat in a queue for ages, answering questions to those irritating robots.

Numerous times these robots – sorry, automated messages – stated that they were very busy and, surprise surprise, there would be a considerable wait, but you could track your order online.

Great, I thought. So, after digging out my password, I duly logged on to find the message: 'Please call customer services'. Helpful.

Luckily, there was an online chat button, so I typed in my request. Their response was speedy, but simply asked how they could help. I repeated my request and was told – again – that I needed to call customer services.

After a lot of sighing – and, I admit, one or two expletives – I told them I couldn't get through, and eventually I was informed that the engineer had a technical fault and couldn't come today. They asked if a further two weeks was ok. Frankly, no – we had already waited two weeks for this appointment.

So I tried to cancel the order; they couldn't deliver what I wanted when I wanted so I'm happy to go elsewhere. But, you guessed it, I had to call to cancel.

With steam coming out of my ears by now, I asked them why – after all, it was they who couldn't provide the service, so why should I waste my afternoon and my phone bill on hold. I demanded that someone call me back.

Of course, they couldn't – how, in this day and age, they can't connect you to another department I don't know!

They did say they'd pass on my complaint, but I'm not holding my breath.

So, over to you, Sky. I've been a loyal customer for decades but am seriously questioning why now. There are others on the market that are far cheaper, and I'm sure are more customer friendly than you.
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