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music on hold

On hold now for over two minutes. I’m half expecting this to be an hour’s job as it is British Airways but we shall see. It’s an I want a refund not a voucher job. It was a reward flight but the tax must have been around £1,400. I want both points and tax back. 

Their music on hold gets a little tedious after a while. The first few times you hear it it isn’t too bad. A bit of classical geetar. Now I want them to change the record. Never mind.

En route to the shed this morning the tree was dispatched through the conservatory door. Still needs relocating to the woodpile which itself needs a big tidy up. A morning with the chainsaw.

Part of the BA irritation is that the music occasionally stops making you think you are about to be put through to a person but what you get is the same “all of our agents are busy message”. The irony is that their website where I have the page open on my booking times out before anyone answers.

I was downgraded from gold to silver a couple of weeks before they extended everyone’s status last year, or was it the year before. Had I still been gold they would quite possibly have already answered the phone by now. Ah well.

We were going on a big trip but the continuation of the pandemic makes it too risky. The risk, apart from perhaps finding lots of places closed on our trip, is that of catching covid and having to isolate in a (expensive) hotel room somewhere in the Caribbean or USA. We were going to 4 destinations.

We will reschedule the trip.

Fifteen minutes. At least I get time to write this. As I write back in the house the decorations are being boxed up for another year. I quite like the relative austerity of January although the first two months of the year do quickly get tedious with their low light levels. 

Today, as it happens, is not a low light day. Perfect for getting out in the fresh air, were I not on hold to BA. Needs must. After the BA I need to cancel an American Airlines internal flight. I’ll have to see how that goes. I booked a fully flexible fare in case of this eventuality and they have also change the flight time, fwiw so it is likely to be just the hassle of calling them. Might be able to do it online. Who knows?

All this hassle does bode well for our campervan rental business Anne’s Vans. It is likely to be a lot easier to continue holidaying in the UK. Advanced bookings are up 78% year on year and that’s before we add the fourth van to the roster. Might do that this weekend although it is still undergoing internal refurbishment and we are short on photos.

Thirty minutes.

Fifty minutes and it is all done, at least the BA flight. An espresso made on top of the stove and now onto American.

First impressions. Poor quality line and appalling music on hold. It’s Caribbean steel band music which together with the poor line grates.

In other news my Caravan & Motorhome club membership renewal email arrived yesterday. “It’s only £56*, when you think about the great adventures you can start planning and booking, we think that’s well worth it.

I joined a year ago in order to book a trip with some pals this coming April. You need to be a member to use the particular site we are headed to. Not used it since then and haven’t even had the stay yet! 🙂 There was a time where I wouldn’t have been seen dead being a member of such an organisation but the “motorhome” bit justifies it. When I joined they gave me “Count” as an option instead of Mr, Mrs etc so I adopted that title, at least for use in exploring the great outdoors presented to us by the club.

Meanwhile American Airlines are focussed on providing me with excellent service and are working very hard to be with me as soon as possible and appreciate my patience. Huh! Thirteen minutes. The musical interlude between these statements seems to be even shorter than with BA. They must have done some research on the subject. 

The science of music on hold. Music is still crap. I think the poor line is that connecting to the music on hold media server. The message that keeps being injected into the music stream is pretty clear.

In forty minutes I need to take Hannah to the station. I would hope this is finished by then. It will have taken an hour. I dunno.

Twenty five minutes. I should have brought a book. I do have a few here in the shed, “History of the Adjustable Spanner” being a notable volume. However I don’t want to get distracted from the task in hand of being there when the music finally stops and they will give me a limited window to actually say something. This whole process is stupefying. It would at least be nice to know someone was going to answer the phone if I stayed on long enough.

They should start paying me/callers if they don’t answer the phone within a certain time. That would soon get their staffing levels sorted. I know these are extraordinary times, which actually is why I’m cancelling the trip.

On track to be on hold for longer than BA. Not much of a claim to fame is it, for either company. Sounded like the BA call centre was in India. Any bets on where AA’s is? 55 minutes.

At least I’ve done a little job that needed doing in the shed. Put my Gudbye T Jane vinyl single clock birthday present up again. I did originally stick it up but needed to change the command strip arrangement for reasons with which I won’t bore you. I now also have a DVD player on my desk, solely for the purpose of playing the 50th Anniversary of Recordiau Sain triple CD that my friend Nest gave me, again for my birthday. Lots of good old numbers on there. My amp doesn’t have a DVD/CD player or a USB port otherwise that would have been the obvious place to leave it permanently.

Lunchtime has arrived. One hour and two minutes into the hold. One hour and six minutes and I’ve started looking up AA hold times on tinterweb. Anything between two and 12 hours. This does not bode well. I’ll give it another ten mins and then bail. The flight isn’t for ten weeks or so. Next time I’ll call using my mobile and whilst wearing headphones so that I can move around and do stuff.

BREAKING NEWS: One hour and ten minutes and someone has answered the phone. Now I’m back on hold whilst she consults the tariff department. Always a bit of a worry 🙂 Being put on hold that is. The number of times I’ve been in this situation and the line has dropped is not funny. Just hope there isn’t such a long wait for their internal calls.

Must have taken nigh on 90 mins for the whole process including filling out a bureaucratic refund request form online but I got there in the end. Collapses into an amorphous state. That’s a couple of grand’s worth of refunds and a morning spent on hold.

That’s all folks.

By Trefor Davies

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