Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Well done, for once

I write this piece for my sister, who is probably quite fond of me really but, like some others, believes that I am a carping, intolerant old curmudgeon, always seeking out the worst in everyone. There may be something in this, although I think of myself as a gentle and kindly soul, almost excessively lenient and long-suffering. Anyway, I wish to demonstrate here that I am quick to commend virtue whenever I encounter it.
How many people can say that they have telephoned BT Broadband Support and had a pleasant experience?
My email had stopped working and when I consulted an expert he told me regretfully that it looked as if I would have to ring BT. Full of foreboding, I did so.
There was the usual business with all calls are recorded so that our supervisors can have a laugh listening to customers getting angry, followed by if you really want help and are not just ringing for fun, press 3, and so on. But then there were only three rings before someone answered.
That was the first shock; the second was that I found myself speaking to an intelligent, articulate man who sounded as if he actually wanted to help me and was optimistic about the chances of doing so; moreover, there was nothing in his tone or his questions to suggest that I was a fumbling idiot. Best of all, it seems they now have a system whereby, instead of ordering you to type this and click on that, they tell you not to touch the mouse or the keyboard and then take over your computer, so that you can watch on your screen as they prod about repairing corrupted files or whatever needs to be done. It took the man five minutes or so (I was pleased to see that his typing was not much faster than mine) and then all was well again.
After that I felt none of the rage and frustration normally generated by a call to a support line; both of us were in a relaxed and chatty mood. We compared the current weather conditions in the south of England and New Delhi, then for some reason he asked me how old I was and we discovered that I had exactly 3½ times as many years as he. Finally, we parted with expressions of mutual esteem.

So there. I might say that I am always generous in giving credit where credit is due, except that this would commit me to citing the source of everything I write which I have lifted from somewhere else, and that would be tiresome.

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