Sunday, 8 August 2010

Dumnosity Quotient

At the start of the year some elderly relatives were visiting the UK. One of them suffered an injury which necessitated an immediate operation and a hospital stay. Fortunately reciprocal government health cover arrangements covered the cost of the treatment. What wasn't covered was the cost of the accommodation whilst this elderly relative had to fully recover before being able to fly home. The couple had sufficient funds, but no credit history in this country. To help out I purchased, on their behalf, a SIM only monthly mobile (cell) phone contract. It avoided the complexity and expense of setting up a land line for a phone to their rented accommodation when they had no credit record. I gave them a spare mobile phone handset.
Things progressed well and the couple were able to return home about a month ago. I was in the position of being able to cancel the mobile phone contract with 30 day's notice. I tried to log onto the mobile phone company web site to cancel the contract. Even though I'd regularly been able to use the site before I couldn't because they'd chosen to impose the requirement to enter a verification code which they'd sent to a switched off mobile phone buried in a suitcase the other side of Europe.
So I telephoned the Help Desk at the mobile phone company and said "I want to cancel". After a couple of security questions I explained the background and said I was giving 30 days notice. "No problem Sir. We'll send you a final bill in 30 days. By the way would you be interested in Broadband to your home?"  In reaction to their polite handling of the query so far, I said: "Not really, I already have two DSL links, but your guys can contact me and discuss. My own personal mobile phone is still remaining with you guys." The Help Desk clerk said someone would call me the following day and we finished the transaction there.
I didn't receive any calls about broadband from the mobile phone company, not on my home phone, my business phone nor my main mobile phone. The mobile phone company has all of those numbers.  No! The dumb sales guys called the mobile phone I'd cancelled. How do I know?  I called the relatives and asked them to switch on the mobile phone for ten minutes. It reported five "missed" calls from the mobile phone company the day after the cancellation. It looks like their dumb Help Desk system ignored/couldn't record my warning I'd not be using the temporary mobile phone again.
It deserves a high Dumnostity Quotient Score.

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