Base, To Be Avoided

It seriously grieves me to add another company to the sorry list of companies here in Belgium that treat their customers like trash. Who sit on their bottoms doing nothing while their services are down, and who honestly expect their customers to be grateful that they answer the phone at all after 6 pm.

In a nutshell, that’s the sum of today’s haggling with the cell phone company Base, which I made the mistake of signing up with a few years ago. Today at about 11.30 am, I paid them money online to top up my account. As of 9.52 pm, the money has still not reached my account, and the “customer service” has informed me that they won’t do anything about it until tomorrow because their technicians went home at 6 pm.

With the result that I can’t make any calls on my cell phone, and have been unable to do so during the whole day.

Little did it matter that I did both call and e-mail during the day, before their technicians fled. Little did the argument mean to them that a professional phone company will keep working until the problem is actually solved, rather than dodging off and keeping their customers waiting until they can be bothered to show up at work again. Little did it mean to them that they are sittig on my money right now, without giving me the service I pay for, which in my book is equivalent to stealing.

And don’t expect any compensation, mister. Oh, want to complain? Write a letter to our legal department, was the answer I got.

I’m asking myself: How much more money has vanished from my account?

And the worst thing of all is that they seem to think that this is a good way of conducting business. “Call Belgacom”, they said, “this time of day and you will get a little music and a message saying that they don’t take any phone calls after office hours”.

Progress? Ho hum. Belgacom, the former state monopoly, makes dinosaurs look youthful and virile in comparison. A dead dog can give better customer service than Belgacom. But that’s not what I pay Base for; it’s for a service that is actually in the neighbourhood of the 21st century.

But judgng by their replies today, I should be grateful that they would actually lower themselves to pick up the phone at all.

I grieve, because I like this country so much that it is painful to watch the people here earning themselves a bad name. But sadly, very very sadly, this is only one more example to add to the list of service business companies who behave as if they were government officials whom we should all revere, admire and respect, and tiptoe around so as not to disturb them during their very busy day.

It grieves me seriously to find once again that the idea of The Customer Is Always Right  still has to make any impact in this country.

I’m seriously thinking of switching to a supermarket chain’s GSM service. At least they don’t pretend to have any customer support.