British Gas one-off kitchen appliance repairs is a clunky broken service

It’s always a risk when I rant discuss customer service issues, more than once in the past I have anxiety that a brand I’ve lambasted has been in the building to ask us to pitch or that we’ve been wooing. In this case, I’ve already spent some time in front of this brand, way back in 2008 (maybe 2009). One day it might come back on my plate but here’s the thing, I speak as I find, as an end user, the point is today was just another example of an ostensibly straightforward request being idiotically laborious to change.

Our dishwasher’s broken. It’s not that old, it’s showing an error code. I decided to use British Gas to fix it because their Channel 4 idents and suchlike make it look so easy. Cheerful engineers wielding spanners can repair anything.

I phoned up a couple of weeks ago, had a bit of a crap call-centre experience with shouty voices (I think they were trying to make themselves heard amongst the din) repetition of script after script, hand-offs and I think I had to tell them at least three times it was a one-off booking, not a sign up to a monthly repair plan. Eventually an appointment was booked.

I couldn’t make the appointment tomorrow, I wanted to cancel.

No obvious route back to cancel, had to tweet to get a phone number, eventually @BritishGasHelp (Jamie-Lee) did call me back.

Then, to move an appointment two weeks ahead took three hand-offs to different people, 23+ minutes of time (90% of which on hold) and involved full diaries “Nothing available until mid November” [It’s early September] and lots of tapping around on screens presumably.

How is it, in 2015, that something as logistically straightforward as this, results in a terrible process? Frustration, irritation, time-wasting for them and me. It’s insane.

Eventually an appointment was found. It’s an all day appointment, I’ll get about ten minutes warning before the engineer arrives but I’ll have to be at home from 8am to 6pm.

British Gas’ own website states “Technology and Innovation is key to the ethos of British Gas”, anecdotally at least there is much work to be done.

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