Thursday, May 31, 2007

This train calls at xbhsgfyutu2bfbb.....and kkkkklpk

I return to one of my favourite rants on customer service today.

Two simple questions;

1 Why do rail companies install obviously inefficient technology for ‘in-train’ announcements that means passengers can’t hear the announcement?

2 When the technology is good and the sound quality is perfect why do the people speaking talk so fast or so incoherently that passengers again cannot understand the message?

Please, please, please, this is really not complicated is it???!!!!

Two simple solutions;

1 – Have a manager from the rail company sit in the carriage as a ‘passenger’ to listen to what paying passengers have to put up with!

2 – Someone tell the staff very kindly to talk slowly and clearly.

Now that really wasn't too complicated was it?


Phew I feel so much better for that.


Dan said...

My favorite announcement of all time occurred at an airport a few years ago.

A man with a very thick accent (why do they always give the announcer job to people for whom English is clearly not a first language?) said, with obvious confusion:

"Mr. Smith... um, we are looking for Mr. Joe Smith... Mr. Smith, where are you?"

I don't recall the actual name, but I'm not making the rest of it up. He actually asked, over the intercom, "Where are you?"

I just about fell out of my chair...

Anonymous said...

The San Diego Trolley has pre-recorded announcements so we can hear exactly the same thing every time: "next station: xbhsgfyutu2bfbb... xbhsgfyutu2bfbb, is next"

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Dan

I think the funniest I ever heard was the story of the check in person at the airport who was dealing with an angry customer who was getting more and more angry. He eventually shouted at her … ‘Do you know who I am??’

Without batting an eyelid she announced over the tannoy

‘I have a gentleman at Gate 17 who doesn’t know who he is – can anyone help him please?’

A classic!

Trevor Gay said...

Gabriel - obviously this person gets round the world - I wonder where else he performs - maybe we will hear from other countries :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes, these people certainly get around - I can’t understand the announcements on the Barcelona metro and they are in two languages – mind you neither is English!

Which reminds me of a French student who worked with me for a few weeks. She was staying with a lady who had several other paying guests. One of these, a Scottish lad, kindly offered to give our French friend a lift to and from work. However, she confided in me that she was uncomfortable as she couldn’t understand what he was saying. When I met him I was able to reassure her that I couldn’t either as he had the broadest Glaswegian accent!

Trevor Gay said...

Yes David - some people don't need a tannoy to not be understood - The Glaswegian accent is possibly the most difficult in Britain to understand :-)

Dmitry Linkov said...

It seems to be a problem all over the world! In Russia we have absolutely same problems!

In Moscow underground the situation is slightly better because all is pre-recorded. But when a guy announces something - it's a nightmare. There is only one case when everything is clear - when the announcement is "the train will not go ahead, please leave it now". )

Trevor Gay said...

Good to know it is not just the UK Dmitry - why don't managers just sit and listen as a 'passenger' so they know what it sounds like? - It really is not that complicated is it?

Dmitry Linkov said...

Of course it's not. But in Russia they don't do that because of a few reasons:
1. Low level of management.
2. USSR system feedback. and the most important is:
3. The demand is too high, so they just don't care.

Trevor Gay said...

There is plenty of work for you to do then my friend to change the system :-)