Friday, 5 September 2008

Hanging on the telephone

I'm sure that knocking Telekom's Call Centre is rather an unoriginal thing to be blogging on but it's Friday afternoon and I'm not otherwise inspired.

I was amused and a touch annoyed with my latest encounter with these people (I assume there are some people there somewhere!). Having got an e-mail congratulating me on my choice to have my bills (Rechnungen) online, I thought I'd better call them to say, no, I have never made that choice and I'd quite like old-fashioned paper through the post so I don't have to be fussed with printing the things out for the taxman.

Well, they now have a sort of voice-activated selection system where you have to pronounce the subject of your call instead of pressing "1 für Rechnungen" and so on. I expect this has been installed to save time and reduce frustration. Unfortunately, in my case, it increased my frustration. Having been told a number of times that my beautiful pronunciation of Rechnung was not valid, I got put through to that part of the Call Centre which I suspect is reserved for foreigners, people with speech defects and the mentally subnormal. I was feeling like all three by this time.

The cheery lady at the other end immediately enquired as to the name of my tariff. I mumbled that I didn't know offhand, feeling completely humiliated. She then gave me some prompting. Could it be the "Call & Surf Comfort" tariff? I recalled that the tariff did have some meaningless pseudo-English name. Now, come on Deutsch Telekom, make up your minds! Are you an International concern with English product names? Or are you a foreigner-unfriendly blast from the past?

By the way, the Call Centre lady wouldn't have passed my pronunciation test on their ridiculous tariff there!

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