April 19, 2013 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Published in the Littlehampton Gazette Thursday April 11th.2013
FASCINATING things statistics but they are very easily manipulated and rarely represent the whole truth and I note them with great suspicion. However, there is one particular stat I would be interested in seeing and that is this, just how many people actually die when on the telephone to BT? I had cause to ring them with an account query last week. I followed the ‘contacting us’ directions on the reverse of the bill and phoned the contact number – here consider the word ‘contact’ very loosely. A series of choices leads to another series of multiple choices, all offered by a recorded voice until eventually you are right back where you started. So take an alternative route and go on line to BT. Worse than the M25 on a foggy day, the best contact you can hope for is a sort of rapid email chat with someone called Leona. Lack of a satisfactory answer to my query I suspect was due to the fact that ‘Leona’ is, in all likelihood, a pretty name for yet another automaton. Blood pressure rising, heart thumping and tearful, I gave up and went to the New Inn for a glass of wine and some human company. Telling my tale of woe to those at the bar who showed any interest, I learned I was not alone in my near death experience. The following morning I picked up the phone gave it another shot and after the roundabout ride and constant pressing of buttons from out of nowhere, a humanoid voice, a kindly gentleman living in India, who sorted my problem calmly and efficiently in just a few short minutes. A little while later my phone rang, it was BT asking me to share my experience. Oh joy! I am not a man given to rudeness and I save any or most profanities to the wide open spaces of the golf course, but I did tell them in the broadest of terms exactly what I thought of their automated ‘contacting us’ system…
SUCH was the dismal wintery weather this Easter that the prom was deserted, the bustling river walk a thing of memory. I felt so sorry for the LA traders who rely on these short days of spring but was uplifted by the mournful whistle of the miniature railway engine somehow promising a lovely summer.