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Thursday 22 June 2006 7.55am
I thought I would contact British Gas on the ' dedicated' customer service team on 0845 955 5314 initially to pay my bill...after waiting stuck in the loop for 30 mins.I thought I would be clever and contact the number under we want to help if you are finding it hard to pay your bill...too late i realised the flipping number was the anyone managed to speak to a real live human being on that number?

Then this morning giving up on the bill paying decided to phone the council on 7525 2000 to enquire what days to put out my recycling paper bag. After a lengthy wait of the now inevitable push this push that, I gave up and rang the main switchboard number, I explained the position to the operator expecting her to use a bit of initiative and put a complaint about the lengthy wait through to the actual department.

She said it was a twenty four service, but the reason for the long wait was that there were only a few people on until 9am! Right I replied so if it's a 24 hour service I can phone at 9 tonight? as it's now 8.30am and there is not enough people? She then said No! I'll put you through...and she did....back to the sodding wait in the queue..What has happened to the switchboard at Southwark, years ago if you phoned with a complaint the operator would ensure that you got through to a senior member of staff. Today the girls attitude was not all that either.
Well my council tax of 1500 barely bays her months salary I expect! I really hate the modern telecommunications push button world.
Now you dont even seem to have the option of pushing 0 to by pass it only me I wonder?
Thursday 22 June 2006 8.19am
It's probably easier to pay the bill on line or set up a direct debit - they give you a discount if you do this. Also, if you switch to one of the other energy suppliers and buy both gas and electricity from them, it will save you around 120/year on a bill of 1000 (rough figures)You can do the switch on line or by phone (phone is not good as you have explained)You can log on to a price comparison site that will tell you the cheapest supplier in your area - mine is Atlantiic (no connection etc) and I guess i've saved about 500 since I switched from British Gas and LEB
Thursday 22 June 2006 10.37am
crikey...thats a vast improvement BMovie, and thats Atlantic? I will try and find a number later, thank you..
Thursday 22 June 2006 3.26pm
Isn't there some website that lists the tricks that enable you to get through to a real person. Eg by pressing a certain code or hash or whatever. It is different for each organisation but aopparently most have them
Thursday 22 June 2006 4.24pm

(from a post by lagse1)

Gives you normal telephone numbers instead of 0845/0870 which cost more - not sure if they'd give you more chance of getting through to a real person, but at least it wouldn't be quite as bad being on hold for ages.

Hitting zero repeatedly often works, or just avoid specific options - go for the 'other' instead, as non-standard queries go to real people more quickly in my experience.
Thursday 22 June 2006 4.54pm
thats the annoying thing - on the gas there was no option....

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