An Open Letter on the Subject of Customer Service

Dear readers, customer and company representatives,

I am sick and tired of bad service. Not of bad products and goods but of the service that supports those products or is the product itself.

I am fed up with you seeing me as an annoyance, as something that costs you money to provide a service to and of your belief that I will accept the poorest possible service and not take my business to your competitors.

Here’s the thing; I will, and at the drop of a hat.

Here, out of the goodness of my heart, are a couple of clues for the clueless companies out there:

Clue 1

I am fed up with receiving terrible service because it “boosts your bottom line”. Here’s the thing, “off-shoring” your call centres to India is a terrible and short sighted idea. Yes, it boosts your bottom line but for how long? What happens as your customers wise up to the appalling service and start to move to your competitors with call centres in the UK? What happens to your bottom line then?

I have never had a positive experience with an Indian call centre. The moment I get through to one I know that you the service provider and the person I am giving money does not value me as a customer; you see me only as a cost. The service I receive represents your company – don’t you see that?

I get through on a crackling line to somebody that calls me Mr David or even worse Mr Hugh-geeze. Who then says things like “may I have your address?” Yes you may… oh wait you want my address? Well why didn’t you say… Then once we are past the name calling invariably my question or issue cannot be dealt with and I am transferred back to the UK. I was once dealt with by one of BT’s India call centres and found that they couldn’t even talk to the UK; they had to email the issue to the UK.

You are handing your competitors a real a true advantage. Think how many adverts you see on TV where a UK call centre is used as a positive selling point.

Clue 2

I am fed up with dialling your customer “service” number to hear the message “All our representatives are busy now; please hold and we will deal with your call as soon as possible.”


If you are going to provide a telephone line for customers make sure there is somebody there to answer the phone.

Then when you make me hold for an eon or two don’t have a message that says “your call is important to us” – no it’s not. If it was, you’d be speaking to me.

Dear Customer

You are as much to blame. You continue to accept service this bad; you continue to give these companies your money. You do not complain and you do not move your custom and money to a competitor.

Stop accepting it.


Above all stop giving people who treat you this badly your money.

That’s the other problem; stop thinking only about the cost and start thinking about the experience of dealing with this company. What’s the point in saving a few quid if it means an hour on the phone every time your bill/statement arrives?

My Dream

I have a dream that one day people will stop accepting poor and insulting service, stop accepting being treated as an annoyance and will vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere.

Already some companies have seen the light, Adverts are on television promoting UK call centres, Apple and Dell have already brought some their service back from India – only some in Dell’s case I believe but would be happy to be proved wrong.

The Future

To make my own small contribution to this cause I will be writing about every piece of bad service I receive or see and the companies that deliver that service.

But I will also be celebrating the great service I receive or see and celebrating the companies that delight and deliver.

If you receive good or bad service then please share it here. Let’s name and shame those companies that don’t care and let’s celebrate and congratulate those that do. That’s what it boils down to you see – caring. Too many companies simply do not care about their customers.

Note: This entire post was written whilst waiting for BT (British Telecom) to fix the lates in a string of mistakes they have made on my account. Mistakes happen I get that but I really shouldn’t have to spend an hour or more on the phone to make you fix them.