We've been experiencing a rash of utterly stupid customer service from an array of service industries lately. This will take a while, but I'll feel better after it's all typed out.
1. HomeBase - we bought a couch from them because they estimated delivery in 28 days, which was considerably faster than anyone else. After 28 days came and went we started calling to see when we might expect a couch, but every call resulted in a different estimate, from 3 days to 21 days. I think they were just guessing.
After about 35 days they delivered half of a couch (it's an L-shaped couch that comes in two pieces), but it was half of the wrong couch. We didn't determine this until we'd taken off all the packaging, by which time the delivery guys had left the scene (they sped off like they'd just robbed a bank).
My wife called yesterday to find out the latest estimate of when the right couch might arrive, and was told 21 more days (for a total of about 3 months of waiting). After a lot of heated discussion, they suddenly found a couch and now say they're delivering it on Friday, and will take away the half a wrong couch we already have. Neither of us is holding our breath that this will actually happen.
2. British Gas/Scottish Power - We picked Scottish Power when we moved into our new place recently. British Gas was already providing electricity/gas, so we've been doing the switching dance of reading the meters and paying off whatever electricity/gas we used in the first few days we lived here.
Our gas bill for that period came to £1.42 and electricity was £3.33. We had to pay this before the switch could happen, but we couldn't pay over the phone because the total is less than £5.00. We asked British Gas to send us a paper bill so we could send them a check, and when the paper bill came it included instructions for paying online. If the guy on the phone had given me these instructions a week ago, I'd have paid it then.
And today Scottish Power announced they're raising their rates 10%.
3. We spent the summer at my in-law's house while they were camping in Scotland. Their house is up for sale, so the estate agents had our cell numbers to call to arrange viewings (there's no land line at the house). No matter how many times we told them to call us, the estate agents continually called our in-laws to set up viewings, despite the fact that they were thousands of miles away, sleeping in a tent.
About the time the estate agents finally pulled their heads out and started calling us to arrange viewings, my in-laws returned from their travels and we moved out. We haven't lived there for 2 months, but an estate agent called me this morning to arrange a viewing.
I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting, but when there are so many bad customer service experiences, it's hard to keep them all straight.