Knowing You’re Out There
I am writing to express my
dissatisfaction with the Speak-Wise XL1 telephone and answering system I
purchased two days ago (copy of receipt enclosed). It seems to have a mind of
its own. I followed the badly translated instructions, yet the machine randomly
deletes messages before I can retrieve them. This is particularly annoying because
I was expecting an important call from my sister in Australia. I assume her
message must also have been deleted.
I tried to return the machine
to the shop yesterday, but they told me to contact you because it is under
manufacturer’s warranty. Please advise whether I should return it directly to
your offices for a replacement.
Thank you for
contacting us about your Speak-Wise XL1. Your custom is
very important to us. Simply return the device to the outlet from which you
bought it and, subject to your meeting the terms of sale, you may receive a
While you are at
the store, check out our comprehensive and exciting range of Speak-Wise
XL1. Why just talk when you can Speak-Wise?
I am convinced that you did not
bother to read my previous letter (copy enclosed).
For what it’s worth—and in the
case of your product that seems to be little—the shop where I bought it refused
once again to replace it. They insist that I deal directly with you. I would
contact you by telephone, but your customer care number is not on the
documents, nor is it listed with directory enquiries. I find this astounding
for a company in the business of manufacturing communications equipment. Please
confirm your customer care number so that I can talk to somebody about this problem.
Thank you for
contacting us about
previous correspondence. Your custom is very
important to us. We have enclosed a copy of our sales brochure in which you
will find many exciting Speak-Wise XL1.
just got a whole lot better! Introduce your family and friends to our products
to receive a free
£250 holiday voucher/Speak-Wise
biro. Why just talk
when you can Speak-Wise?
To Whom It May Concern,
Is anybody in your office
listening? I have never dealt with a company with so little regard for
customers. Your previous missive—it can hardly be called a letter—in no way
addresses my problem. I tried once again to use the Speak-Wise. Not only did it
delete my incoming messages before they could be played, but also let out a continuous
screech for callers trying to leave messages. This is a new and unwelcome
development. I spoke to my neighbour, Gaynor Price, after she tried to telephone
me. She described the tone as ‘ear-splitting’ and it made her feel sick. She is
still suffering the effects. I believe that thanks to the problems with your
machine, I have also missed an extremely important call from my sister (Elizabeth)
in Australia, for whom I have no contact number.
Since you failed to provide a
customer care telephone number, I called the sales hotline listed on your
brochure. It turned out to be an automated response service offering dozens of
menu choices, none of them relevant, and some, frankly, sinister. Please advise within ten days how you intend to rectify this matter. Should you fail
to do so I shall contact the consumer ombudsman.
I hope this letter reaches you. I’m
so sorry you couldn’t leave a message if you called last week. I’m having
difficulties with my telephone and answer machine. It’s a Speak-Wise...if they
sell them in Australia and you were thinking of buying one, don’t!!
It would have been so nice to talk
to you after all this time. All I can say is that I’m so sorry for what
happened in the past, but please can we try to put it behind us and be sisters
again? Since mum died, I’ve felt incredibly lonely over here and missed you
loads. I promise I’ll do whatever I can to make things right between us. It’s
what mum would have wanted, I can see that now.
Love you loads
Thank you for
contacting us about your select
option 1 if you wish to make a payment. Your custom is very important to
XL1 is built from the finest available components and bears you no malice
at the present time.
Why just talk when
you can Speak-Wise?
Assuring you of
our best attention at all times,
Your Speak-Wise Team
Dear ‘Speak-Wise Team’
Your responses are gibberish.
This is to let you know that I have submitted a formal complaint to the
ombudsman. Although the ombudsman’s office could not take my call, I have sent
the details via e-mail and fax, as suggested on their self-service website
(copies enclosed for your reference).
I would like to take your Speak-Wise
machine and hand it to the gang of hoodies that congregate at the end of my
street so that they can vent their anger on it. At least then it would be of some
use. I do feel, however, duty-bound to follow up on this issue so other customers
do not fall into the same trap. Also, in my last letter I mentioned that my
neighbour, Gaynor Price, suffered ill-effects thanks to your machine. Her
symptoms have worsened and I believe that she intends to sue me. Your
organisation will be fully liable should this happen.
If you wish to TALK to me while
we await a response from the ombudsman, my telephone number is on the enclosed
card. I advise against attempting to leave a message because I own a Speak-Wise
Subject: Re: Speak-Wise Complaint
Dear Sir or Madam
This is an automated response confirming receipt of your e-mail. We are
currently experiencing high volumes of queries. We will attempt to reply to you
within the next 60 days. Please do not respond to this e-mail address as it is
Sorry you didn’t have time to talk
the other day. What did the doctor say about the sickness and loss of hearing?
I’ve been trying to talk to somebody at Speak-Wise for weeks but all I get are
nonsensical automated letters. I’m beginning to think no real human beings work
there at all. I’m at my wits’ end. If I don’t get to talk to somebody soon I’m
going to visit their London office in person. I really don’t know what else I
Dear Ms Tovey
Re: Ms G Price—Pending
We have been
informed by our client, Ms Gaynor Price, that you recently attempted to
communicate with her regarding her pending legal action. We have been
instructed by our client to inform you that any communications should be
directed to our office since we are acting on her behalf in this matter. You
should not attempt to speak to Ms Price directly. We are currently taking further
instruction and will progress this matter in due course.
Dear ‘Speak-Wise Team’
It has now been several weeks
since I wrote to the ombudsman; I have also tried repeatedly, and without
success, to speak to a real person via your sales hotline. I am no longer
willing to exchange correspondence beyond this point as it is obvious that,
like your hotline, your correspondence is handled by robots that are about as efficient
as your products. Why is it impossible to speak to a real person? Do you have
any human employees at all?
In any event, I am not content to
let this drag on indefinitely. I will be visiting your London office in person
next Tuesday morning and bringing along the faulty Speak-Wise XL1. I am willing
to wait all day if that’s what it takes to see someone in person and get
Thank you for
contacting us about your
Speak-Wise XL1/ sense
of alienation. Your custom is very important to us.
In the interests
of your health and safety, please do not under any circumstances attempt to
remove the outer cover / visit our London office.
NOT ANGER THE MACHINE.
Hey, have you
heard about our new spring offer #Tovey#? It’s got everyone talking! Why just talk when you can
As I haven’t heard back from you, I
assumed I must have used an old address and you’ve moved. I thought I’d give it
one more try in the hope someone is kind enough to forward it on to you. In
case you’ve tried to call, I’m STILL having problems with my telephone and answer
machine. I seem to spend my life dealing with machines…answer machines, fax
machines, self-service checkouts, texts, e-mails. Why don’t people just want to
talk anymore?! That said, I’d be delighted to hear from you however you wanted
to get in touch. I haven’t forgotten it’s your birthday soon, and I’ve got a
gift for you once I know where to send it. It’s something that belonged to mum…something
dear to her. I love you Liz, and I feel less alone just knowing you’re out
there somewhere. Please let’s put things right.
Your little sis,
PS I’m going to visit Speak-Wise’s
offices next Tuesday about my machine—that should shake them up a bit. Let’s
see how they deal with a customer face to face!!
with information on the whereabouts of Darlington woman Alison Tovey
(pictured below) is urged to telephone our missing persons hotline. Ms Tovey
was last seen disembarking from a Darlington to King’s Cross train on the
morning of Tuesday, 21st March. Police describe the circumstances
of her disappearance as suspicious. Should your information lead to a criminal
prosecution, you may be eligible for a community action reward. Your call
will be handled in the strictest confidence. Select option 1 at the tone
followed by the appropriate menu option.
©2011 D M Artis
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