My mobile phone company loves me. They tell me they love me. They send me things. They give me money. With my new shiny phone they gave me a whole new website, which is mine to use as I choose. They send me cards, which always begin with phrases like, "as a valued customer..." or "Dear nationwide, we really really love you a lot. More than you can possibly imagine**...." They sent me a series of texts yesterday, because I'm such a valued customer, asking me what I thought of them. They value my opinion. They wanted to know what I thought of the phone call I'd made to them the previous day. I felt wanted, so I told them....
First they asked if I'd recommend them to any friends, on a scale of zero to ten where 0 is bad and 10 is good. I said the chances of me recommending them to anyone alive on this planet were, oh, about minus 10,000 million. I couldn't really be bothered thinking up a lower number.
Then they asked me if I'd called "about this issue" before. I said that yes I had. Every time they cut me off without any warning - about once a month for the past six months, despite bein a customer for years now - I'd called. The calls generally take about half an hour. Ten minutes to get past the automated menu, where I have to key in a variety of numbers and information, then to the first operative to whom I have to give exactly the same information otherwise he or she won't speak to me, and then generally to a second operative to whom I have to give exactly the same information again before we can speak.Never a good start I'd say. They used to have a number you could call and get straight through, get a person who knew who you were, and talk. I think it was called "The Valued Customer Line" or something like that.
Then they asked me if my "query was resolved" this time. I said no, because it didn't seem to matter how many times I asked them to send me my bill, whereupon I could see it and then pay it, they never seemed to know what the problem was, but generally guessed that it was my fault. I explained that since I'd given up on their stupid computerised system which generally blocked access to read my own bill, and therefore resulted in me having to pay before reading it all I had asked they do was post the bill each month which they seem utterly incapable of doing. I didn't have the space on a text message to explain what I thought about the staff I'd spoken to, who couldn't give a shit where I'm standing when my phone gets cut off randomly, but then I didn't want to get all nasty with such a neat questionnaire from a company that loves me.
Then finally they asked me to rate my adviser in terms of expertise and knowledge. Of what? I thought for a moment. In how to wind people up mercilessly? In how to destroy customer relations with a tone of voice that says "I hate you too"? With an attitude that I could smell?
I tried to imagine the lowest number in the universe, then I multiplied it by the biggest number I could think of until my brain hurt. Then I just hung up and didn't bother texting. If they really, really do love me, they'll call me back.
** I made that bit up. They don't really love me at all, they only want me for my money.