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Announcing the 'OOPSes'

Awards season is in full swing, on both sides of the Atlantic; but forget The Golden Globes, the National Television Awards and even tomorrows BAFTA nominations. The only awards that really matter on a wet Monday are the 'OOPSes', for outstanding communication by a business.

Never heard of them?!

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Well, that's not really surprising I only came up with the idea on Friday!

No, this isn't another mutual admiration society or self-congratulation fest. In fact, I don't think the competition is going to be hot except maybe not to win because these awards are for outstandingly bad communication!

All the winner will get is a bit of negative publicity. The rest of us get a laugh at their expense, though and maybe a bit of self-congratulation, as we think smugly:

Wed never do THAT! although you know what they say pride comes before a fall

Over the weekend, I couldn't decide whether they should be the Shoot Yourself In The Foot awards or the Open Mouth, Insert Foot. The nominations I've seen over the past week fall into both categories and both conjure up great ideas for a trophy!

For the moment, let's stick with the 'OOPSes' unless you've got a better idea? I'm open to suggestions.

Ideally, I'd like to make this a weekly, rather than an annual event so I'd love to get your nominations. We could have some fun with it, voting for the best or rather, the worst on a Friday afternoon. You could always nominate anonymously but why waste an opportunity to vent your frustration?!

To kick things off, I have to congratulate a catalogue company Oxendales for making it so difficult for customers to pay their bills by phone!

My Mum bought some items from them before Christmas and last week, her bill needed to be paid. According to the catalogue, all she had to do was call, press 2 when requested and within minutes, her account would be settled.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

What actually happened when she pressed 2 was that she was taken through to an automated payment system, which asked her to speak her account details then kept telling her I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear that. She tried four times, before losing her patience.

When I saw her later in the day and she told me about her frustration, I tried but I gave up on the second attempt. Waiting in a queue for several minutes, while my phone-bill steadily mounted, was better than arguing with the automatic payments clerk!

I have to say that as soon as I managed to reach a human being, who was UK-based, the process was incredibly straightforward but I don't think my eighty-three-year-old mother will be in a rush to buy anything else from this particular catalogue especially when there are plenty more to choose from.

Good on Oxendales for employing call centre staff who are so friendly and helpful but please, go back and look at your voice recognition system because it really isn't working right now!

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Posted in Business Other Post Date 07/06/2017