|Photo by Fundraisingnetz|
How’s this for a Friday Fail? A french phone network attempted to charge one of its customers €11,721,000,000,000,000 to cancel her contract. That’s €11.7 quadrillion, nearly 6000 times the country’s GDP.
Solenne San Jose had contacted the phone company, Bouygues Telecom, to terminate her contract back in September. She was told that there would be a cancellation fee, but wasn’t expecting it to be quite so steep. When the bill arrived, it stated that the amount would be automatically taken from her account.
Realising that it was a mistake, Ms San Jose called the company to let them know. Unbelievably, she was told that it was an automatic billing system and her account would be charged. The customer service representative then unhelpfully suggested she set up an installment plan – not taking into account that it would take a few million years to pay off a reasonable monthly figure.
After a series of frustrated phone calls, Bouygues Telecom agreed that there had been a printing error and the actual bill came to €117. The company eventually waived the amount.
Despite this small gesture of goodwill, the story only goes to highlight the fact that ‘robotic’ customer service is all too common – a lot of stress (and bad publicity) could have been avoided if the customer service department had taken a common-sense approach to the original complaint.
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