I have always been the stuff wet dreams are made of for the established giants of our service industries. I have always had naive faith in the big brands, complete loyalty to and inexplicable trust in corporations proud to proclaim themselves as pre-privatisation Britons. British Telecom among others. Well all that has changed now.
Brand loyalty has just caused me to spend six weeks attempting to have the BT phoneline reconnected in my new home. I have spent my days lost in mysterious meanderings between various far-flung call centres. I have had my details temporarily mislaid, and I have had engineers and appointments scheduled, unscheduled and rescheduled.
Nothing out of the ordinary then? No, you may be right. But the straw that broke this marketer’s back was yet to come.
When I had the audacity to query the extreme delay before the next engineer’s appointment (between ten and two on such and such a day – thank you very much), Mrs Jones, Strategic Difficult Customer Consultant, Anonymous Call Centre, up North, ended the brand love affair of a lifetime. “Well Madam”, she said “the huge success of our recent marketing campaign has increased demand to such an extent that we are currently unable to meet our usual service levels”.
Need I say more – except that I have now exercised my right to be brand schizophrenic, and CWC will be connecting my cable phone next Thursday. Be afraid you corporate giants – after all, it’s good to be choosy. It’s good to be a difficult customer.