Sunday, 6 March 2011

Don’t worry about the brain drain, there’s nothing left to go down it.

I can’t believe this shit only happens to me. It must happen to everybody, but folks, I just don’t think we are making enough of a fuss about incompetence. I am referring not just to incompetence in general but to the sort of monumental I’m-brain-dead/I-don’t-give-a-fuck type of incompetence that has thoroughly infected large corporations, retail stores, government departments and councils. This is incompetence due to bad attitude rather than lack of aptitude and it is rife throughout not just this land, but also the rest of the world.
There are times the universe appears to be conspiring and we encounter a large number of these micro-intelligences over a short period of time.
I’ll give you a couple of examples of a bunch of microbial life forms I have encountered recently and the names of the guilty parties have been published to avoid any further illusions any of these charlatans know which end their arsehole is.
First up to the plate is Contact Energy, possibly so named because their abilities in this sphere (making contact) are even more abysmal than their abilities to manage their power resources. You can waste a lot of energy trying to contact these numb-nuts, and marvel at their complete inability to manage simple one-on-one communications. My conflict with Contact Inertia began after a particularly lazy meter reader from a company who shall remain nameless, but we’ll call them Wells, failed to read our meter or leave a card to let us know he’d been for several months last year. When I realised what had happened I did a read myself and found the geniuses at Compacted Inertia had underestimated my gas bill (at summer levels) all winter. I had a massive bill to pay all in one go. I negotiated a settlement with accounts and then a complete retard manager sent me a letter threatening recovery action. But when I tried to speak to the culprit I found I had to spend the next three days arguing with nitwits on the phone that refused to put me through to her. Eventually it was sorted, but it should have been on the day I first rang them about it.
Second on the agenda is Westpac Bank. They effectively stole money from me. We filled out forms to cancel two insurance policies and I took them to the Greerton branch to action. An imbecile whose job description has him as a customer banking consultant invited me into his office ostensibly to discuss my decision and check the forms. However he simply asked me why we were cancelling. I told him they were overpriced and he smiled weakly and took the forms. Apparently it never occurred to him to check them, despite this being part of his job, and it would seem they were not entirely correctly done, or at least one wasn’t. The reason is minor, technical, long-winded and unimportant here, but what happened next is not. Wankpac duly took the forms, cancelled one policy, and then waited two weeks before sending out a letter advising of the error in one of the cancellation forms. In the meantime they had removed a further premium for the policy that, given it was handed in at the same time and accompanied by the other and were obviously intended to be cancelled. Once again resolution took several days and the ‘letters of apology’ I had demanded were more attempts to justify their own incompetence than any acknowledgement they acted unprofessionally and incompetently.
Vodafone also qualifies as extremely stupid, although by telecommunications standards they are one of the better ones. Their problem is the Vodadrone website that says you can click on a button for webspace and then doesn’t have one. It also has a button for transferring or registering a domain name, but when you click on it you only get the option of registering a new name. I subsequently found that if you overlook that little discrepancy and click anyway, it takes you to that option. But how the bloody hell would anyone know that?
The next two nongs managed to turn up on the same day and both are international companies.
International nitwit number one is Skype who for about the four hundredth time informed me my subscription is due to run out – except that it isn’t. It had several months to run before they sent me an extension recently due to an outage they had recently that left all subscribers without the service. What makes this interesting is that when these cretins send you an email about your subscription it is one of those ones you can’t reply to. Okay, so go on the site and hit the ‘contact us’ button or better still Skype them. No actually you can’t do either because Skype website has no ‘contact us’ button and if you want to contact them you have to go through tons of hoops until you get to a place where you can finally bang in a question although even then it will attempt to drag you off to one of its forums. Incredibly one can’t find a way on the website to phone the people at Shype.
And last but not least we have a delightful new business relationship between me and a domain and web hosting company called Just Host. Well it certainly ain’t Just Ice, I can tell you that. These guys are incredible. First of all their website advertises the cost as $4.45 per month and advertises a 20 percent discount on that. What it doesn’t make clear is that if you only take out two years instead of four, the price is $5.95 per month. Not satisfied with that, when I ordered the package Just Ass added two add-on services which they asked me if I wanted during the ordering process and which I rejected and of course billed me for them.
These matters might not seem of great import in isolation, but when you consider this level of incompetence is going on every minute of every day, you can see why the entire Western world is a collection of economic basket cases. What’s more obscene is that most of these companies continue to make more money than many third world countries and control large sections of their various markets.
We could turn parts or even most of this around if we just all refused to be treated as afterthoughts rather than the stuff that puts food in the gaping maws of these troglodytes. The time is well overdue for us to vote with our wallets and slash with rapier sarcasm. Tell them bluntly and without any chance for misinterpretation exactly why you’re pissed off with them and what you expect to be done about it. Humiliation can be a great weapon.
In the worst cases, if you can find an alternative to your latest dickhead retailer, ISP, energy company or whatever, then do so at the earliest opportunity. But tell the new ones why you’ve chosen them and don’t forget to give the old lot a suitable goodbye wish so they know why you left. They won’t notice one or two, but a flood is pretty hard to ignore

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