NaBloPoMo: Day 26

I’m beginning to think that because I work in Customer Service it’s made me want to request/demand higher levels of customer service from other companies.

That’s my introduction because I have another whinge coming on and I can’t quite pinpoint whether it’s my banks fault (Alliance & Leicester/Santander) or the cinema’s fault (Cineworld).

So here’s the story – I’ve had a Cineworld Unlimited card for about two or three years now – even when the price went up about £2 I still stuck with it because it’s worth the money – well it is when I can use it.

I went to the cinema two weekends ago with my friend. We go to Milton Keynes and got in the queue for the cinema, we waited patiently and then got to the front of the queue for our tickets. I asked for my ticket to see Burke and Hare and would be using my Unlimited card. The guy on the counter put it through but it didn’t work apparently there was an error. (However rewind 24 hours – although there was an error the guy at the Bedford cinema put it down to a system problem rather than a problem with my account).

The guy on the counter told me to go find a supervisor (this was a little unhelpful but the rest of the customer service I received was awesome). So I go and find another person – I’d later find out that normal people wear red shirts, supervisors wear blue shirts. Easy right.

So I grab someone in a red shirt and ask nicely if I could speak to a Supervisor – I was ready to escalate to a Duty Manager if needed but I figure I’ll start out nice.

I explain the situation and the guy rings the Unlimited helpline. Okay so there’s a problem between Cineworld and my bank because of the switch over to Santander.

Now because of the times that Cineworld helpline is open to the “civilians” I needed to wait until I had a day off during the week to spend the time on the phone (it is open on a Saturday but last Saturday was busy and so I coudn’t call then, so yesterday or today was my first opportunity).

At 13:02 I call customer service and after about 4 minutes waiting on the line I decide to leave a message.

Now maybe this is what I expect because of my background but if a customer leaves a message on the answerphone at work they kinda expect a response hopefully the same day – even if we call back to take more info and come back to them the next day with a proper answer just a “we have your message and wanted to ask some further questions to deal with your problem” would be suffiction to get the ball rolling. Well I go to my Mum’s at 2:30 and tweeted that after an hour and a half I hadn’t heard anything back. At 3:16 I recieved the following tweet from the person at Cineworld customer service.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/cineworld/status/8177222443606016″]

You’re kidding right – it said on the website about getting back to customer issues in 3-5 days for email inquiries but there is nothing on the phone about taking 3-6 days to get back to you. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure it says about getting back to you as soon as possible. If I left it 6 days before getting back to my customers I’d get shot! Either that or I’d get handed my P45 and the shown the door! (Let me also add there are 2 main people in customer service in our office – there is a third to help when it’s busy but thats it really.)

Right so I get this tweet and I’m like – what do I’ve got to wait till next week to be able to get this sorted well thank goodness Zoza did cancel our cinema trip tonight and thank goodness I had to reschedule tomorrow (two possible cinema trips were lined up but they have been rescheduled for other reasons) other wise I’d have been paying nearly £20 for 3 trips to the cinema rather than my £13.50.

So anyway back to the bank because that also needs a kick in the butt. Why was there a problem in the first place. When Alliance and Leicester merged with Santander and all the other banks that Santander ate for dinner, they switched so that everyone was on the same sort code system. Well most companies were automatically updated with this so my electric, gas, mobile phone and other things all got switched over no problems – all the payments have gone out normally. Well it seems Cineworld didn’t get notified or didn’t pay any attention because mine wasn’t updated, so no payment was taken and therefore now my cinema card won’t work – but the only way I can fix it, is to speak to someone in Customer Service at Cineworld. WHO WON’T RETURN MY CALL! Plan and simply GRRR! I couldn’t go to see Harry Potter last week because of my adventures at Children in Need and my adventures with my Dad.

It seems that in the grand scheme of things £20 for 3 cinema trips isn’t that much I could have got a £136 fine like this guy did.

Another irritating thing that normally I can get round is 0844 numbers. When I worked with Rickie (her Blog) she enlightened me to a website called Say No To 0870 – well this is genius. You search the company or the 0844/0870/0845 etc number and you get the normal landline – for example rather than calling the Cineworld 0844 number I tried the 0208 number from my mobile first as that would have been included in my minutes rather than paying out the nose on top of my contract.

Well I called the 0208 number but apparently they can’t transfer me through to Customer Service I need to call back and use the 0844 number. Yes I was irritated – why do companies do that if there’s a way round it?

Right going to put all this stinky negative energy into writing my NaNoWriMo story – I hit 30k this afternoon and I’m hoping I might be able to fill in some gaps in the story and add some bits to get to 50k by the 30th – is it possible? (Maybe this is where I pray for 18 inches of snow and I can’t get out the front door because of the snow and I can’t climb out of the front window because I don’t know where the bonnet of the car starts or something equally outrageous lol)