Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Serviceweltmeister

720 words

I had to choke / chuckle over breakfast when I saw this full-page ad in the paper:

Telekom Ad 'Serviceweltmeiste'

Deutsche Telekom putting an ironic (or ironic-ironic? or pseudo-ironic? It’s hard to tell in these times of ironic post-irony.) heading Serviceweltmeister (service world champion) with their name along with some small print that they haven’t managed to be that yet.

That sounds like sufficiently many people must have suffered from Telekom’s ‘service’ that even their higher echelons and marketing zombies felt they need to address it. Wonderful. Somehow putting ads in the paper must be better for shareholder value than firing the useless consultant who fuck up their processes and hiring people with brains. Sometimes the first steps really aren’t that hard…

While we have working internet again now and Deutsche Telekom, after just a few weeks (which is presumably less time than they’d need to find out what’s wrong with a DSL line), even promised to refund us €20 for not being able to use the DSL line we paid for, the story isn’t quite out yet.

As their fantastic administrative processes these days mean that changing the name on your phone contract implies that your line will be cancelled and reconnected (this was no problem a year or two ago), our ‘new’ phone line isn’t quite back in the state the old one was for (i.e. the state we signed up for). By now we had managed to turn off the annoying network asnwering machine they ‘include’ with new lines, we still send our caller ID (i.e. Telekom inflicting with our privacy rights without even telling us) and, most annoyingly our phone bill isn’t itemised anymore.

As the bill is to be split up fairly - hence the existence of Rechnungs Checker - we require that information. And we need it in electronic form. But now we had to re-apply for all of this again - which is quite of a hassle because you need signatures of all people owning the phone line for data protection reasons. And of course I want the itemised phone bill I missed in digital form as well. (Or they should supply me someone who takes the hour to parse my Rechnungs Checker preference file and split it up for me.) Judging from their past incompetence, I highly doubt that they’ll be able (or even try) to do that. Although that’s exactly what I signed up for. But any argument along those lines is completely ignored by their staff. It really seems like you need to be a complete jerk, get a lawyer and sue them or something just to wear off the blaséness (sounds a bit like Apple, to be honest).

Speaking about Telekom staff. People in their shops are as friendly as they are clueless. When I handed in the signed forms (which they actually fax somewhere else for processing), they still managed to bring up our old (pre name-change) account in their computer system, leading to an uh, you don’t even have a phone line comment. Free advice to Deutsche Telekom and everybody else: If your customers are able to explain the shortcomings of your internal systems to your staff, you have a problems.

Two extra annoying things I noticed when handing in the forms: First, the chick working there (I guess the fact that they are almost exclusively staffed by smiling little girls, makes a sexist comment fully adequate) tried selling me a DSL connection while I was their to fix a problem they caused. She firmly claimed that their offer would be better. And asking the standard question which of their DSL contracts can be cancelled monthly (answer: none) led to the blaséness mentioned above. It’s still better. We just like it the way it is.

The other thing I saw is that they seem to peddle some set top boxes now. A unit of that was being demoed at the store. And not only did they have Prekariatsfernsehen running, the image quality was hilariously bad with sharp edges being a showcase of compression artifacts and even the sound not synchronised with the image. Doesn’t that drive the people working there nuts? Who in their right mind would sign up for such a service? Can they at least make an effort to lie to people when trying to push it?

July 19, 2008, 10:23

Tagged as ad, business, deutsche telekom, digital tv, dsl.

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