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back to article UK gov call-centre serfs told: Fondle your button for HAPPINESS

Has anyone in the world ever phoned up a call centre to pass on how overjoyed they are about an organisation and its services? The British government certainly seems to think so, because it's introduced a new on-screen button for its headset-sporting apparatchiks to hit whenever someone rings up to heap praise. Designed by El …

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::rolls eyes::

The mind boggles.

Why, exactly, are .big .net outfits in such denial over lack of user support?

Might make for a decent psychology PhD thesis ...

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Meh

Re: ::rolls eyes::

I once politely asked a call centre operator (BT call centre) why she sounded so down in the dumps and miserable...

'Are you Ok, you sound like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders',

To which I received a tirade of abuse centred on her claiming that I didn't understand the nuances of the Irish accent. I replied, 'my wife is Irish so I think I do, and I do believe that you are having a difficult day today, would you like to talk it through.'

The expletives came back thick and fast but were tempered by that beautiful Irish Accent.

Interestingly prior to the phone being answered it stated, 'Your call maybe recorded for training purposes.'

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Re: ::rolls eyes::

@LarsG - she sounds nice, I do like an Irish Accent, did you get her 'phone number ?

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Pint

@LarsG (was: Re: ::rolls eyes::)

That's not an "Accent", laddie ... that's brogue.

Have a pint of Guinness on me.

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Happy

I just want to tell you guys how happy I am to reach you guys!

I hear you guys have a big new call center! Things must be going really well....You're touching your screen?? Hey, why stop there!...Sounds hot, let's get this going!...So, what are you wearing?.....Really, that sounds like something my mother-in-law would wear.. Not very exciting......So, what excites you?......Why am I asking? Isn't this Loveline?.......You're kiddding......GOVline!!!......No, I don't want to talk to you about exciting plans for mass transit......No, seriously, I think we'd be better off if the Thames flooded and carried you guys out to sea with the rest of the sewage.....I've got to go now,....No, I don't want take your damn survey!.....

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Alert

Public Guardian or Putrid Guardian - BUT GET A POWER OF ATTORNEY

Anyone who has had dealings with the unholy trio, the Putrid Guardian, the Court Frauds Office or the Court of Abuse will die laughing at the thought that anyone would ever thank that shower. When I had dealings with them they were such a waste of time, money, emotion and effort that you would rather shoot them than thank them.

However, they do run a 'sort of incentive scheme'. The Power of Attorney can remove so much of the aggravation from dealing with that shower that it should be mandatory. It can make dealing with the affairs of the disabled almost possible while the putrid guardian non-system makes it terrifyingly awful.

If you do not have a POA, get one done today.

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WTF?

Muahahaha

> . . .

A government source said: "The Cabinet Office [which runs GDS] is always interested in hearing what people think, so that's why this new service has been installed. There must be people who phone up with positive feedback, otherwise it wouldn't have been installed."

<

Ergo: There must be people who like higher taxes, otherwise they wouldn't be charged?

Ergo: There must be people who like being dead, otherwise there wouldn't be corpses?

What kind of assumptive logic is that?

Oh, wait: "A government source". Well, that explains it.

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Re: Muahahaha

The Cabinet Office [which runs GDS] is always interested in hearing what people think

Maybe they could try it for the next election. Instead of a box with an X in it, you could pick between "Like" or "Dislike" for all candidates. The w̶i̶n̶n̶e̶r̶s̶ successful candidates would be those with the best net score.

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Re: Muahahaha

Given the shower that we currently have in power, the shower that were in power previously, and the shower that want power but should under no circumstances be allowed to have it because they'll only cock things up, the best net score is likely to be a negative one.

In previous General Elections, people voted for the party that they felt best represented their interests. In 2015, I fear that people will vote for the party that will cause them the least harm.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Muahahaha

> In 2015, I fear that people will vote for the party that will cause them the least harm.

Or just possibly, on the "they're all a bunch of useless tw*ts" principle, the party that will cause the biggest upset, just to see what happens.

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Re: Muahahaha

and then complain like hell as they never dreamed that thing would apply to them as well as 'everybody else'.

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Devil

@ all - Re: Muahahaha

Beg differ. The 2015 election will be won by the party with the candidate with the most retweets of her new internet filtering & preventive prosecution policy.

Because you won't dare not to vote for CP*.

Lots of precedents in history.

*Not Child Porn, Claire Perry.

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Online Power of Attorney

> allows someone to log on and nominate someone to make decisions on their behalf.

Presumably most people where phoning in to ask why the gummint was wasting so much money, when simply giving the "someone" your password would achieve the same result.

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Put it in the hands of the user

Better to terminate the call with an automated menu :

If you had a happy experience, press 1

If you are not happy, press 2

If you are really unhappy and would like an electric shock to be delivered to the operative, press 3 to 9 according to the severity required.

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Devil

"If you are really unhappy and would like an electric shock to be delivered to the operative"

... "Excuse me, I'd like to escalate my complaint..."

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Unhappy

""The Cabinet Office [which runs GDS] is always interested in hearing what people think,"

Isn't that what GCHQ is for?

It certainly seems to be what they do, in partnership with their American cousins.

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hah

Certainly not the local council who miscalculated our council tax bill and refuses to answer the phone. I was surprised to find they had bank holiday off too! Plenty workers didnt. I cant imagine HMRC getting any positive calls. However this gimmick will likely be abused by different departments ringing to heap praise on other departments. The rule likely being that you cannot make a positive vote call for your own department.

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Oddly enough, I used the Power of Attorney service and it was really good - not the online part, but the behind the scenes service when things did not go to plan. In fact the online part could do with a 'workflow control tool' to ensure you do all the right steps in the right order.

All in all maybe we in the UK are among some of the best served in the world by Gov websites:

Gov.uk wins (2013) Design of the Year award

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22164715

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Anonymous Coward

Despite the cynicism

I am forced to admit that on the few occasions I have had to speak to someone from HMRC, or DWP they have been:

polite

courteous

intelligible (although I've had Irish, Scottish and Welsh operators)

willing to listen to my detailing the problem

but, above all

ABLE TO SORT THE ISSUE OUT THERE AND THEN.

So I have to confess that for me, HMRC/DWP deserve praise - although it feels so wrong to say that.

Now NHS booking receptionists on the other hand ....

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Re: Despite the cynicism

@AC

HMRC answered the phone? How long did you have to wait? I will admit the bodies behind the phones are polite when you can finally get one but for years they all assured me they had fixed my tax code and it will be right next year. And I would again ring the year after for the same reason.

As for NHS my family have suffered them plenty.

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Anonymous Coward

@codejunky

Not that long AIR. It was about 4 years ago. I had some queries about my tax coding notice. I know I only rang them once. I was so surprised to speak to someone competent and empowered. They immediately spotted the problem (they'd not processed a change of details I had sent them) and the person made the changes there and then. No drama. It was a pleasure to be able to thank them, and wish them a good day.

It's come to something when private companies (I'm looking at you, BT and Virgin) could take lessons from government over customer service.

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Stats all folks

'Our figures this month for customer satisfaction are well up on the previous months this year. We are certain that the recently introduced system for identifying callers who demonstrate their pleasure with our services'

'On other matters we have seen a rise in the number of damaged screens and head injuries'

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Anonymous Coward

call center droid

I actually work in a call center helping with pension problems. We do have happy callers, and unhappy callers, they are all offered a survey after the call to score us. If we do well we get a bonus, quarterly. One caller was so happy she sent our whole department most excellent cookies. And we got a bonus. 8-)

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