It's good to talk down to you (1)

This is what happened when I got through to a 'technical guru' at CWC.

I asked about cable modems. He said 'You are allowed to connect to the Internet with modems on our lines now'. I emphasised 'CABLE modems', preparing to give this fellow the benefit of the hard-of-hearing doubt.

'Cable modems? I'm not sure I get you? You can use the same modem you use on a BT line on our phone lines'.

After much discussion (I began grinding my teeth - literally) it appeared that this company, as its television advert so graphically portrays, really doesn't know its arse from its front-end. As a closing comment, I muttered something like 'So when are you going to cut off the free local calls for ex-Videotron subscribers then?'. It was eerie - he switched into automatic mode:

'The new Cable and Wireless Communications package offers unprecedented value and choice. It is unique in the British telecommunications industry ...'

I cut him off and reminded him I was quite happy with my unique free local calls at the moment.

'Ah', he exclaimed, as though he had some brilliant Wildean lance to trounce me, 'but did you know that these are only free to other ex-Videotron customers, and are only available off-peak?'.

'Of course', I said.

'So you can see that we are giving you a huge package of free local calls to anyone. Isn't that a better offer?'

'No, because 100 minutes is NOT huge. With off-peak BT, it's about a penny a minute, so in exchange for cutting off free calls to my ISP, you'd be giving me £1 a month. Thanks'.

He giggled annoyingly and said that no other customers see it that way.

Text by Nick Mailer

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