Customer Services make it hard to be a good samaritan

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    Inspector Sands

    This morning I found a bunch of keys in a docking station, so I picked them up and, when I got to work, called customer services to report it. Obviously I knew they wouldn’t give me the member’s contact details (and rightly so) but I thought they would be able to pass on my phone number to the key owner so they could arrange to collect them.

    Now I don’t know whether this is Barclays/Serco company policy or whether the bloke in the call centre got the wrong end of the stick, but he repeatedly told me that “policy didn’t allow” him to pass on my details, “for privacy reasons”. Eh? I’m asking you to pass on my phone number, how could that possibly be a privacy issue?

    Instead, I was told that “we ask the person finding the keys to take ownership of the situation” and that I should drop the keys into a police station, then phone customer services back and tell them where I’d taken them, and then they would phone the member who could go and collect them!

    Just to make matters totally ridiculous, towards the end of the phone call the customer services guy said “And are you happy for us to give this person your phone number, in case all else fails?”

    WHAT? I’ve just spent the past five minutes asking you to do that, so what do you mean “if all else fails”?

    Anyway, the good news is that common sense clearly did prevail in the end as I got a phone call from the key owner, but what a struggle!

    Does anyone know if this is standard policy or if I just got a particularly dim person on the phone?



    No I was told the same thing re drop them off at the police station. Common sense would be to put you in touch with the owner but they don’t want to risk your number being misused so they hide behind their policy. Fear of litigation etc often prevails over common sense.



    Same story for me too. I am not even sure the person who lost their key got it back. Customer Service seemed a bit confused by the situation (cue much toing and froing on the phone) and I am not sure they informed the person in the end…



    Replying to @BrigitteBardotBikes‘s post:

    From what i know about call centres, the staff dont have pens or paper and the screens they use only have set data entry. sounds simple but taking a number to call back isnt that easy for some of them. Recording personal data could actually be a sackable offence!


    Inspector Sands

    Well in that case maybe the man I spoke to at the call centre showed more initiative than average, as he did take my number and did actually pass it on to the key owner. Result, I didn’t have to trek to a police station, and he got his keys back within a few hours!



    Don’t they realise that having to take things to a local police station is a major pain (and will cause delay)? Much easier to have the keyholder come and do the running. Or at least provide a freepost address that people can post keys back to.



    Holy crap I am so glad you posted this. They might be mine! Did you find them at hatton garden and was there a blue fob and a pink (very chipped paint) clippy thing on them? Have been frantically looking for them since Friday and feeling like a daft cow for just leaving them there!


    Inspector Sands

    Sorry Lindy, these keys weren’t yours and have been returned to their owner now. Hope you get yours back!



    I had exactly the same experience (I posted on another thread a few months ago. It IS a major pain to go to a police station and unless the owner knows which station to go to there is no central database of lost property. My customer service person refused to take my number. It is silly that there isn’t an address I could post them too either. In the end in frustration I gave them to a Serco guy (who looked somewhat confused but took them).

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