Tuesday, 5 July 2016

"Thank you for reaching out with us"

I'll write about the referendum soon, when I can decide what, if anything, I can add to the existing conversation. I may write about Top Gear sometime too, and the Euros, and Wimbledon, and lots of other exciting things. Soon. Maybe. But in the meantime, let me return to the subject of live support chats on websites. I've been here before, but having tried to engage my mobile operator on the subject of a new phone at the weekend, it's time to go there again.

Backstory: I will soon qualify for a free handset upgrade. I like a smaller smartphone, because it fits in my pocket better, and have a long-standing brand preference for Sony. According to their website, my provider has just stopped selling the smaller Sony models I like. On the basis that, in years gone by, the provider has retained limited stock of discontinued models, or had open-box/refurbished handsets available, I thought I'd chance my arm. The black text is the honest-to-God transcript of the live support chat I had on my provider's website at the weekend - I've added comments in red to show you why I hate live support chats.

12:13Info:Thank you for choosing to chat with us. An agent will be with you shortly.
12:13Info:Hello, you are now chatting with Charles. How can I help?
12:13Charles:Hi Martin!Easy with the exclaiming there, mate.
12:14Charles:How are you doing?Fine until you used a Joey-from-Friends pick-up line on me.
12:14Martin:Hi. Is there any way to get either the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact or Z5 Compact from you? Other smartphones are so big and unpocketfriendly.Admittedly, I hate myself for typing 'unpocketfriendly'. This is what trying to play the live support chat game does to me.
12:16Charles:Thank you for reaching out with us Martin.WT actual F?
12:16Charles:The Sony Xperia Z3 is out of stock due to popular demand however we have many handsets that you might fancy of.Hmm, I asked about the Z3 Compact, not the Z3. Let's see if I can make that clearer without being patronising.
12:17Martin:Indeed. However, I was specifically looking for either the Z3 Compact or Z5 Compact because they are compact.Damn. I was patronising...
12:18Charles:What specification of Xperia Z3 do you love most Martin?...but it's water off Charles's back.
12:19Martin:The small size. Not the Z3 but the Z3 Compact - it's a different model.Okay, polite but clear.
12:21Charles:Great! Can I interest you with other mobile handset that has a small size too.What's great? The fact that you've finally twigged the compact phone thing?
12:22Martin:For example?This is me humouring Charles. If that's his real name.
12:24Charles:Our Apple iPhone 5s has a 4 inches screen display. How's that sound Martin?
12:25Martin:It's sounds appalling, I dislike Apple products in general and the iPhone in particular. Sorry Charles!My own fault for not saying "I want another Sony." But how do you like my exclaiming?
12:27Charles:No problem Martin. What brand do you love aside from Xperia compact Martin?Stop over using my name....
12:30Charles:Are you still there Martin?No, I've gone, but have left the chat window open in my browser because I am a child...
12:32Charles:Thank you for chatting with me today. We value your feedback, please take a moment to complete our customer satisfaction survey at the end of the chat. Thanks and have a good day!...and I really doubt you want my feedback on this.
12:32Info:Thank you for chatting with us.

I'll write some grown-up and interesting blog posts soon, I promise (although my fingers are crossed behind my back...)


  1. Ha - I can see a whole new blog-thread in this...

    1. Well Rol, I have to do something to keep this tired old blog going...