My phone number transfer finally got sorted last week (see below) meaning all my business contacts and colleagues are finding their way through to me again. Yippee!
Damian Oates certainly helped. He's clearly quite senior at Telewest and he called me a few days before the next scheduled attempt to sort it out, to apologise and tell me he would oversee it, and then call me back afterwards to check that it all happened. It did, and he did.
"Is there anything else I can help with?" he said.
"Actually there is", I replied. "Your automated telephone payment system is driving me mad. I can't make it work and I can't find a way to talk to a human being!"
I explained that I've been trying to find out about a bill for a sum I didn't recognise and pay it. And meanwhile, he confirmed looking at his screen, I've got another monthly bill for broadband, tv & phone to add to it.
"How can I pay it all? Can I do it now over the phone?" I asked.
"No you can't", he said, "because I'm just clearing it. I think it's the least we can do considering how much we've messed you about!"
It's good, effective customer relations. It hasn't cost them the Earth (£50+) and if they are lucky I might mention it when talking to friends - 'word of mouth' is one of the most powerful marketing media.
... Oh, I just did!