July 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm #74782
I am really very disappointed by this scheme. The people on the ground, well some of them, are extremely helpful when possible, it is apparent that they have that air of resignation about head office having the competence to deal with anything properly, so it is usually hints and favours they do. Bless them, they do their best in spite of the mismanagement surrounding them.
The so called support staff really are variable, I would avoid Sundays, evenings, and if possible mornings and afternoons if you are awaiting a decent answer or a solution to the problems of broken machines (Notting hill, South Kensington, Hyde Park), card issues, and account problems. The ineptness behind it all would be laughable if it weren’t so painfully frustrating given that they have all the opportunities to make this work, the majority of Londoners are behind them with this, there is a clear need, urge, and chance to popularise cycling in London on a large scale. Except it appears that we have all been completely shafted by the ineptness of Serco.
How can they honestly have messed this up so badly? The bikes seem in great condition because they are hardly used. The call centre support staff generally sound as if they have just woken up, or worse still like some monosyllabic dunce trying to master sarcasm as wit. It is the arrogance that gets me, given how poorly implemented this scheme is, you’d at least think they’d have the decency to be polite, but the fashionable attitude of ‘Whateva’ seems to permeate their air. What sort of message is this supposed to send to the users, and to tourists: what does this say about our country if this is the best our nation’s breadwinner can produce!
I doubt a complaint will do any use to the ‘support’ staff, they couldn’t care less about your problems (that you may actually need a reliable way to get around the city, and view a bike as something other than a mere lycra, shades and helmet borne recreational activity), and the vast majority of them certainly do not have pride in their selves or in a job well done. A few of them really are gems, sadly it is like roulette to be in with a chance of being connected to them.
TfL will continue to laud this debacle as a roaring success, as there is no independent means to register complaints, and on the surface it is good. The tragedy is that they could have made this scheme something to be emulated worldwide, it seems the French beat us there. They have enlargened bus-lanes, good coverage of bikes, reliable systems in multiple languages, one-way roads made 2 way for bikes, and a scheme designed for the people (advertising is elsewhere.)
What do we have? An overpriced corporate plaything, an unworkable system with rude and uncaring technical support!July 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm #84205
Customer Services is just the opposite of what it should be. I am of the view they would be much better off closing down the Customer Service line because the people on the end of phone can never help, and you get frustrated when you know they can’t help. They know how bad the system is – and I do feel sorry for them.July 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm #84206
The Bike Scheme is heroic, but I agree the business processes operated by Serco are appalling and I abandon hope whenever I have to ring their call-centre. Incredible that in 2011 a Serco call-centre can be so badly staffed and managed.
Last Saturday the Sydney Street, Speakers Corner 2, Park Lane, Upper Grosvenor St and Green Street stations were all out of service.
Serco should consider a feed-back q&a board to answer some of our queries because clearly they have bitten off more than they can operate at the moment.
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