Ten days that shook my world (3)

I’ve used this blog to give a detailed account of my recent experience with Pipex whereby I lost my Internet connection for 10 days and only had it restored after around 20 calls to the Pipex first line ‘support’ in The Philippines and regular conversations with the second line ‘support’ in India.
The day my Net connection was restored (last Monday), I filed a formal complaint to Pipex via their online reporting procedure.The automated response said that I should receive a response within two working days. In fact, it has taken a week for me to receive a response and this morning I took a call from Pipex Customer Relations in the Republic of Ireland. The results of our conversations were confirmed in an e-mail which I have reproduced below.
At the end of my note of complaint, I had asked for three things:
1) an apology – I received this but, of course, it is easily given especially by a junior member of staff
2) compensation – I have received a credit of £14.77 which is scant response to all the time I gave to resolving the issue and all the frustration I suffered in the process
3) an explanation of how procedures will be changed to avoid a repetition of this experience by any other customer – here all I received was an bland assurance that all customer complaints are reviewed and changes are constantly implemented.
Of course, this last point is at the heart of my frustration. No reference was made in our conversation or in the subsequent e-mail to the specifics of my case. No explanation was given as to why it took so long and was so confusing to resolve my lack of connection. Indeed the guy in Ireland admitted that he did not have the technical knowledge to understand the data on the file.
Yet again I was dealing with somebody who was polite and patient but lacked the knowledge and the authority to deal with the essence of my complaint. It is not the individuals who are at fault – although it is not an easy customer experience to deal with three sets of accents which are often strong and hard to understand. The fault is with Pipex’s systems.
As I explained in my original posting, the protocols followed by the staff put too much emphasis on insisting that the fault is something on the customer’s premises and then, when it is established that this is not the case, the dialogue between the first and second lines and that Pipex and BT just do not work as they should.
I have heard nothing to explain how it took so long to identify my fault and how the company intends to ensure that this sort of failure will not be repeated. I will, of curse, leave Pipex once i have taken this matter all this way. But I guess that i now go to Otelo which is the alternative dispute resolution procedure of which Pipex is a member.

Response From Pipex
Please accept our sincere apologies for the level of dissatisfaction you feel you have received from Pipex. I can assure you that the service you have received is not indicative of the service we strive to offer to our customers.
Following our earlier conversation, I am sending this e-mail to clarify the issues we discussed over the telephone with regards to your Pipex account, and the recent experience you encountered following the loss of your broadband service.
I can confirm that I have applied a credit of £9.77 to refund the period of no service following the Technical issues that affected your broadband service. In relation to your refund request for call charges to our support line, I can state that, as per our terms and conditions we do not refund for the cost of call charges to our Customer Care line. Due to the inconvenience that this experience caused, I have applied a credit of £5.00 to your account. In total, £14.77 will be off-set against your future invoices.
As you have expressed your dissatisfaction with the level of service you have received from Pipex, an internal complaint has been logged on your behalf detailing all the points you out-lined in our earlier telephone conversation.
Please refer to the following link for information in relation to our complaint procedure, http://www.pipexuk.com/terms/code_practice_customer_complaints.html.
I trust that this is a satisfactory response, but should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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