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I will not allow this journal to become a repository of endless kvetching about my broadband provider, but I just had to commemorate this:

Getting through to TalkTalk is an endless nightmare, more Philip Dick than Kafka, with its cheerful humanesque simulacra feeding you messages of false hope and the pointless button-pushing and then the waiting, God, the waiting... Beware if you get through too soon, though: I’ve found it means the operator you’re speaking to will have even less clue what to do than usual. Recently I [excruciatingly boring detail cut here] on the TalkTalk website, and it didn’t work. Later, when I had eventually got through to a human being in Mumbai or wherever after a half-hour wait, she spent five minutes tapping away and saying “Just a moment”, before she announced the exact same message I had got when I [boring, again]. “Did you just try and do that on the website?” I cried. “I can do that! I just did do that! I thought you had special databases or something in front of you! What the hell’s the point my calling the other side of the world if...”, and so on. She didn’t, it turned out, have a special database in front of her; nothing, in fact, that a trained kitten with an internet connection wouldn't have access to, or indeed a similar strike rate with.

This afternoon, however, in a rare display of wit, they buggered me about in a completely new way. I had reached TalkTalk Nirvana: I had somehow got through to one of their very helpful technical people in Johannesburg. “I’ll sort that out for you,” he said. “I'll get our technical team to call you back.” “Hmm," I said, “they failed to call me back about [boring] before.” “Well, let me take your mobile number too,” he said, so I gave it to him. “Okay, that’s on the computer now,” he said, as my mobile began to ring (I ignored it; I knew I’d only be about a minute more), “so someone from the team should be ringing you some time in the next three days.” The mobile quit ringing. We said goodbye, I hung up, I picked up my mobile, I checked its voicemail, and “this is Graham from TalkTalk’s technical team. This is the first of two callbacks. We will be calling you again within the next 48 hours”. On this occasion they were far too efficient—they had rung me back before I had even got off the phone from the first guy.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
They sound like they are competing with Demon in the bizarre unhelpfulness stakes. Demon suck 100MB cock.

TalkTalk brought a company I was using and suddenly all their service numbers were based in Ireland. The Ireland-based staff were perfectly friendly, but also perfectly unable to help UK-based customers, and perfectly unsupplied with any UK TalkTalk numbers.
Oct. 3rd, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
As I said, only way to get through to them is to visit Carphone Warehouse HQ and start screaming at random people in the foyer. Worked for me!
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
You and everyone on tonight's Watchdog, it seems...
Oct. 4th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
I'm getting old. I can still remember the days when you could only get 2-byte cock.

All punchlines gratefully received.
Oct. 4th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
Oh! I was thinking of using Demon. What's up with them?
Oct. 3rd, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
So are we, and so far they have been ace! They got us on broadband in just over a week, despite a mysterious existing 'ghost' account in the property, actually bringing forward the engineer's visit (to a Sunday morning). Admittedly our flat already had cable installed.

Now I've posted this of course, something is bound to go wrong, like all the salmon in Scotland swimming up the wire into my modem to spawn.

So far as I can make out, Demon's official, company-wide way of going about ADSL installation is wrong and impossible, and is presumably costing them thousands of customers.
Oct. 3rd, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
mmm salmon
Oct. 4th, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
Nicky Campbell shouted at them on Watchdog for you!
Oct. 4th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
So I heard. I was heartened by the presence of two other members of the public who had turned up at the same time to shout at them off their own bat. I think it's the way forward.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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