Friday, 2 October 2009

The Orange experience

Welcome to Orange customer care; for inquiries about your bill press 1, for inquiries about your contract press 2, for inquiries about technical issues press 3, for inquiries about our latest offers press 4….Silence, silence…Hmmm, ok…when is it that I get to press on zero on dash or the star button or whatever so that i can talk to the operator?...Welcome to Orange customer care; for inquiries about your bill….Oh, shut up!! So I press 3, maybe the sub-menu will have what I'm looking for, and if it doesn't maybe it has a direct connection to an operator.

You are in the Contract menu, for information about your own contract press 1, for information about….yeah yeah yeah…your sub-menu can't help me, now put me through to an operator. Silence, silence…. You are in the Contract menu, for information about your own…AGHHH!

What happened to talking to actual human beings?! I keep saying it, we are overpopulated on this planet so might as well use some of these guys to have them talk to us. I want to talk to someone who listens to me…it's called customer care for Christ's sakes, the machine doesn't CARE! Anyway, I decide to move my lazy ass off of my chair and go down to the actual Orange shop which is located just two minutes away from my office. It's about lunch time, so I was sure there'd be a lot of people waiting (being located in central Geneva where all the banks are), but I figured they'd have all the sales people on duty because it is the busiest time of the day.

So I get there, there were quite a few people waiting in line (but not as much as I expected) but of course the sales people were all on their lunch breaks, which means that we were left with two guys only – including a trainee. Sure they can have their lunch breaks but can't they have them super early or super late? Or they could also have a massive English breakfast at around 10 o'clock which would make them last until 14h easily. But hey, don't tell the Swiss not to have their 2 hour long lunch breaks at peak time, they'd get mad.

So I queue, I was lucky as only 2 people were ahead of me in the queue plus two people being dealt with already. I hear one of them say "thank you, have a good day" so that means there's only one more person ahead of me, yikes!! But of course it had to happen. You know when you're queuing at the train station or at the post office and the people right in front of you are SO SLOW and they ask about every single little detail! On my left was the "I don't speak French and barely English" woman asking about everything she possibly can in her dialect – well she did queue for a while, so she's making it worth it. And to my right was the very innocent "I don't understand anything about technology" grandma.

First of all, grandma, from 11.30 till 14.00 is OUR time, for us working people to do our business during our lunch break because we're busy making a living and paying for your retirement during the rest of the day. Whereas you, my dear grandma, wake up at 5am, walk the dog, feed the cat, do the grocery shopping and hang out in slow motion in front of your flat screen TV that my taxes paid for…you have from 8.00 till 11.30 and from 14.00 till 18.00 do go to the Orange shop, why do you want to come during OUR time?! Leave us alone and go use the phone booths outside, they're here for you. Stop asking how much you can save on your SMS because you don't even know how to use it. And stop asking how much the roaming charge will be because your kids (and grandkids) paid you this airplane ticket and the all-inclusive hotel in Turkey so that you leave them alone for a week! So move your wrinkled ass away from here and go feed the pigeons on the street!

Good thing they have that relaxing soft rock, chill-lounge music playing in the background otherwise there'd be a massacre there! So there comes my turn, I'm super excited…a bit nervous actually. As i approach the counter, the guy leaves and says he'll be right back. And he goes into That Room that says PRIVATE on it. I don't know what that room is, but everytime a sales guy goes in - he NEVER comes out. And sometimes you see some other sales people come out of it, people you had never seen in the shop even though you've been queueing for the past 20, what IS that room? It's like a black hole. Anyway, he finally comes out of there, I ask my questions and I realize, without any surprise, that he's trying to rip me off and even though I said "I'm leaving Switzerland soon"; he was trying to sell me a new "Optima-20-SMS-Sensation-Extreme…" Anyway, being the polite guys that I am, I hate to hold up the queue – I could see the people behind me staring like a bunch of starving rats hoping to hear me say "well, thank you, bye-bye"– so I don't have time to think about all the questions I really wanted to ask and then thank the guy for his useless assistance and walk away. It is only then, when I get a minute to myself while walking towards the door that I realise that I hadn't actually asked everything that I wanted to…ahhh, what the hell, I'll skip work and go back on Monday morning just to annoy these old farts coming with their little ugly doggy, stand in front of them and ask everything I can possibly think of. Worst part is, they probably won't even care.

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