Last night we came home and there was no phone service. After checking in with the concierge, we discovered it was only in our condo -- no one else had complained and the front office reported that no one from Bell Canada had been in the building.
OK. Let's check the website and see how to get the phone working again.
Bell.ca has a lot going on. But there is a tab clearly marked "Customer Service". OK. So far so good .. big headline reading "Technical Support". Here's where I get my first twinge that this might not go well ... "Technical Support" has two options. "Star Codes" and "User guides, troubleshooting & repairs". Basically, "Star Codes" and "Other". OK. I click "Other".
Now Bell wants me to choose my technology. OK, reasonable request. I'm feeling a little more antsy. How many more clicks? See .. we're waiting for a call from the hospital because Roro's grandfather has been admitted and it's pretty serious. (Question: how many personas that all of us user-experience folks create, ever include "anxiety" personas? Not everyone is sitting happily in front of a computer with all the time in the world and zero-other pressures. Back when I worked on the Allstate Canada site, I created an emergency persona - someone who had just been in a car accident and needed help FAST. That really helped designers and developers focus on the essential.)
Now, I'm a gadget girl. I think "Troubleshooting Tips". I'm smart. I can do that. So I click. Yeep.
Breathe. There are headlines, there are bulleted lists. Someone went to the trouble to make this scannable. Searching ... searching .. Ah Ha! No Dial Tone. That's it! That's me! Yay! Bell has enabled me to help myself. Online customer service rocks! Click.
WTF? I'm in a condo. I can't touch these things in my building. If I could have switched phone services right then, I would have.
OK. Maybe I am going about this all wrong. Maybe I should search for my problem. So, in the search box, I type "I don't have a dial tone." I get a page with several results. #4 looks promising:
Bracing myself, I click.
OK, well I've done the troubleshooting. I don't want to register. I'm just going to call. So we call 310-Bell from our cell phone. It's 5:15 PM.
Their customer service department is CLOSED. It's 5:15. People are just getting home from work. To broken phone lines. You're making all these people wait til tomorrow? Seriously?
Fast-forward to today. 8:15 AM. We call. Explain the problem. The nice customer service lady says "Why didn't you call the repair line?" Well, we did what the website said to do. We called 310-Bell. "Oh, you should have called the repair line. The number is in the front of the phone book."
Phone book? We haven't had a phone book for .. oh .. six years?!? Why isn't the web info the same as the dead-tree info? And why doesn't the call centre know this?
Moving on .. she takes our number down, says she'll have someone look into it and will call us back on the cell.
Oh, and while we're on the line, she noticed that we're not using Bell Express View - even though its in our building. Maybe we'd like to subscribe.
No. Thank you.
Oh, well, what about our DSL service? Who's your Internet provider? Rogers? Well you can save a lot of money with us.
No. NO. NO! Look. Just fix our phone. I can't believe you're trying to upsell me on your services at one of the lowest points in my experience with your brand. Who writes these call centre scripts? Have they ever had to use their own call centre?
Fast-forward once again. 5:30PM. We arrived home. There was a dial tone. No followup call to the cell phone as promised. So today, we still have Bell. Tomorrow .. it is definitely time to consider going to a non-Bell cell phone full time. I wonder how that City Fido service is?