Capita 999: The extraordinary tale of a Barnet switchboard operator
Today I rang the Barnet Council switchboard and I got through first time. Well done you up there in Blackburn. So how could a thing that seemed so right go wrong?
My call was answered by what I can only describe as a long cackle of female laughter followed by the hasty ending of what must have been an hilarious office conversation.
"May I speak to Andrew Nathan please. "
"Just a minute. I'm looking at my list. I can't see him."
"He's Head of Governance".
"There's a Jonathan Nathan".
"No, Andrew Nathan. Don't you know who Andrew Nathan is?"
"I can't know everyone. Um, there's someone in Assurance."
"I can't believe you don't know one of your most senior officers. Yes, please put me through to Assurance".
"And what's your name?"
"Is that with a 'y'"
"Yes, I think Kay is always with a 'y'".
"I mean an 'e'".
"No, no 'e'. Could I have your name please".
Sudden switch to music. Got through to one of the many Andrews at Barnet who was very helpful, but had first to listen to my rant about the switchboard experience and offered to report it to customer services.
With the usual consistent standard of lamentable service it is easy to understand why Capita is losing more and more unfinished contracts but it is impossible to forgive those ten Tories who, without consultation as verified by the Courts, signed the people of Barnet up to Capita for ten years without even reading the contract.
Lest we forget.