In early December last year, my expensive Bosch induction cooktop, still covered under warranty, broke. This is one of those “I had to wait for seven weeks and be home six times for it to finally get fixed” stories – but it comes with some juicy twists.
The tale of the dodgy call-back service: During multiple attempts to contact Bosch, I was offered an attractive alternative to waiting on hold: I could enter my contact details and hang up. “We’ll call you back once your call-back has reached the front of the queue.” But every time I tried it, my place in the queue wasn’t held and I was never called back.
The supervisor shuffle: Want to speak with a supervisor? Take a seat on the “we’ll have to transfer you to another department, hold please” merry-go-round.
The “I’m a journalist” trump card: After waiting six weeks, having almost half a dozen service visits and spending literally hours on hold, I got results. Not because I’d been treated badly and Bosch was sorry. Or because the subcontractors, Matic Service, who turned up without parts and didn’t reconnect the stove properly, admitted they’d got it wrong. Not even because I bombarded Bosch’s Facebook page.
It was because I uttered those magic words: “Can I speak to someone in your communications team? I’m a journalist and I’m writing a story on this”.
Suddenly I was offered an extension on my warranty, copious apologies, and spare parts appeared as if out of thin air.
So what does Bosch have to say about all this? On the first point, a spokesperson admitted their call-back service does not operate the way they claimed. “The message on the call centre hold system will now be changed,” he said. Just under two weeks later, it was.
On the second and third points, the spokesperson claimed if I had been put through to a supervisor (as they say is their policy) when I requested, he would have “located the spare parts and offered you the extended warranty without having to know you were a journalist, as this is also part of BSH’s [Bosch’s] goodwill gesture. Unfortunately this was another instance of human error.”
Somehow, I can’t take their word for it.
What statements or tactics have you found help get a problem escalated?