- Scan International: Two menus, advisor dealt with query. Scan do maintain a consistently high standard.
- Norwich Union Direct: Menu, selected "other". Computer thought of a new menu. Selected "other". Two minutes and ten seconds of legal recordings, "please hold for an advisor", then computer hung up. Second attempt: Menu, selected something which said I wanted to give them money. No legal message. Got a person promptly, who spoke English, and answered my questions. Once you get hold of a human, they're actually pretty good and very knowledgeable.
- Demon Internet: Menu, hold for 1 minute, advisor did not speak good English, and could not deal with query, insisted on sending me a customer service questionnaire (declined 3 times), and failed to transfer me. Promised a call back, but not expecting it. Utterly useless as a company.
- Soundcraft (Harman UK): Engineer answers own phone, calls back in response to answerphone questions, and has stunning technical knowledge. Excellent company.
- EDF Energy: Promised an advisor, and asked me to press * twice. On a mobile, this gives a + sign. Computer waited, then hung up. Second try, more carefully. Computer announced extremely high call volumes, and put me on indefinite hold, while asking me repeatedly to use the automated system. I eventually hung up. I think they're going downhill.
- HM Revenue and Customs: Computer announced extremely high call volumes and hung up promptly. At least they didn't put me on hold or make me use a menu before hanging up.
- RAC Auto Windscreens (last week): Answered the phone, solved my query, and actually sent me a letter to confirm the conversation. Lovely.
P.S. If anyone is driving from Bath or Bristol to London and can deliver a package for me, please let me know!
Edit: Demon just called me back. This agent sounded Dutch, and spoke much better English. He also asked me to fill in the customer satisfaction survey, but not as forcefully as the previous Indian.