I hate dealing with People Telecom. Hate it.

Trying to speak to anyone on the phone has taken up to two hours of waiting (no exaggeration) on more than two occasions in the past. And they make promises they don’t or are not interested in keeping.

Recently, I got a new credit card (a new expiry date to be precise). As I am on an automated payment with People Telecom, I had to contact them to update my details. The thought of having to contact them was already unpleasant given my previous experiences.

They sent out a reminder letter. It said NOT to call them (good), and that they prefer me to use my online login to change payment details (even better). The thought of not having to call them made me feel better. So off I went to their website.

Boy was I sorely disappointed.

The instructions bore little resemblance to the actual website. They said to click on “Your Account”, but nothing happened when I did! The all important “Change Payment Details” link was just missing. On IE7, I kept getting Javascript errors (Line 36, Char 253, Object doesn’t support this property or method, Code 0). And when I clicked on the “Chat to Us” link to try and summon a human, whatever was trying to load froze Firefox (and nothing at all came up in IE7)!

And I am expected to hand over my credit card details to these idiots?! Why didn’t anyone check the instructions in the letter against the actual website? It isn’t that hard – I can do it, and type it up neatly, in the time it took me to write this rant.

The website is stuffed with options for home, small, medium and large businesses; across mobile, broadband and God knows what else they offer. All these options, most of which are irrelevant to me, just added to the confusion and the general sense of “we don’t give a damn”. Why would a small business like me want detailed cost-centre-based breakdowns of my mobile usage (which is with another provider anyway)? Likewise, if my business were big enough to use this functionality, why would I want to know about managing my web space? All these functions are jammed together because it is easier for People Telecom, and not for their customers.

Obviously they don’t give a damn. Their marketing campaign – Talk to People – just pours salt on the wound. It rings utterly cynical and false, so very typical of we-will-tell-you-what-to-believe marketing.

The lessons:

I ended up faxing them out of utter frustration. How ludicrous is this for a supposed high-tech telco! And who knows if the fax will end up in the right place???

On a positive note, their broadband service has just worked thus far. When that stops being the case, I will move. Does anyone know of a service provider that actually provides real customer service the one time a year I need it?