I hope you all had a lovely Easter and enjoying the hot weather!
Many businesses such as Internet Providers, to TV providers to banks they all have a support hotline for their customers to ring if they encountered any issues.
A few days ago I had a problem with my internet, which is with Plusnet. I looked all over their website for a live chat facility, I did find one in the end. The chap on the chat said,
“Due to our safety checks and policies, we can only handle issues and account changes over the telephone.”
I can understand from their point of view of trying to be safe, but what’s the point in a chat facility if it’s extremely limited?
Many organisations where they have customers offer a live chat facility in order to make it more easier for customers to contact them. Another issue is extremely long wait times to get to an advisor on big companies like BT and Sky. BT and Sky live chat don’t require customers to ring up in issues that can be solved easily, but do if it requires further action. Many people also prefer live chat as it means you don’t have to listen to accents you may hear in a foreign call centre – which may be difficult for some – if not, a lot.
BT (and I think Sky as well) have also introduced a sign relay service which means BSL users can contact the organisation through sign language this is done through a webcam and an interpreter watching you and they then relay onto the advisor who they talk to. BT customers can click here for more information. I wonder how many have actually used the service and if it has been successful with getting information transferred back and forth without any issues.
Speaking on the telephone can be frustrating, especially if it’s an offshore contact centre as they may have a accent that’s hard to understand. We may not hear or understand on the phone or they may not understand us. I’ve personally had good and bad experience with offshore call centres, but because most of them read of a script, they may not be able to take into the equation that you are deaf. Remember these countries are often Less Economically Developed Country and may not have full deaf awareness.
I wonder if a lot of deaf/HoH users ring up themselves if they can’t use a live chat facility. I sometimes do and it can be a struggle, I sometimes rely on my mum to speak on my behalf. Do you use relatives to speak on your behalf?
Also trending is the use of social media platforms to contact big companies, almost every company I can think of (except small ones) use Twitter. I tweet a few times to companies about issues and they can be helpful, or just direct you to the hotline. Now that’s what Twitter can be useful for!
You may know the usual, “Your call is being recorded for training purposes” but are they? Because every time you ring up, nothing much has changed and may be worse. This is what I dread!
What are your experiences on contacting a support hotline, has it been good, problematic, a mixture? I would say mine is a mixture, Plusnet is great and very deaf aware, but Vodafone, not so much.
‘Til next time,