An Ode to “Mr Customer”

Sky Broadband customer service is utter crap.

Ok, so I should probably qualify that statement. The two people that we spoke to in a futile attempt to sort out our wireless router were clueless and disinterested.

We have two computers connected to our Sky Broadband router – some Netgear equipment re-badged. My iMac is connected via AirPort and our XP Dell laptop also connects wirelessly. Both generally worked OK, although the laptop keeps having initial connection problems (possibly hardware related considering we can’t even see our neighbours’ connections sometimes) and my Mac sometimes seemed to suffer “bursty” internet.

Two days ago I attempted to update WordPress (see previous entry). My FTP connection kept dropping in and out, took forever to copy everything across and caused me no end of aggro. On Tuesday evening my Mac’s internet connection just died on its arse. The Laptop would occasionally connect but was incredibly slow.

I had a look at it when I got home from work yesterday. I could connect to the internet fine when I used an Ethernet cable but the wireless was screwed on both machines. I tried changing the channel but to no avail. We had to phone Sky to sort it out.

The broadband is in Jo’s name so she had a first attempt. She got hold of some woman in the Sky call centre who tried her best to frustrate her. Apparently she sounded bored, and I would be too if I worked in one of those places. After fifteen minutes of trying to follow this woman’s scripted instructions the line went dead. No doubt she was just bored with helping us.

We tried again. The second person was not much better. Jo passed the phone over to me because she couldn’t understand his instructions – he turned out to have some sort of pseudo-American accent and clearly knew nothing about computers. He eventually prompted me to try all the things I’d already done in my own attempts at finding the problem, although more slowly and with rubbish instructions.

At one point he called me “Mister, er, Mister Customer” as he knew Jo’s name but not mine. I was amused!

Eventually he came to the conclusion that it must be our computers causing the issue and that we should contact our “wireless manufacturers”. I don’t bloody think so! I explained my displeasure at his poor logic, or rather the conclusion provided for him by his terminal. His thinking was that both our Dell and iMac must be misconfigured even though they’d been working (almost) fine for over six months prior to this breakdown.


After a little more fruitless investigation he decided to send us a new “broadband”, which I take to mean that our postman will soon fail to deliver a new router and we’ll have to go and pick it up from the depot.

No doubt Sky earn a lot of money from these calls. I suppose this level of customer support is what you get when you give money to The Man.

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