Gransnet forums


It set my teeth on edge

(11 Posts)
M0nica Tue 17-Jan-17 15:19:13

I have just rung the National Trust to renew my membership. As is always the case the phone was answered by an automatic answering system welcoming my call and saying my call would be answered eventually.

What set my teeth on edge was the voice and tone. It was an unctious male voice, being friendly and chatty using informal chatty language, which continued while I waited - and it was so false. I knew it was just a recorded voice played to everybody not a friendly telephone operator talking to me on a one to one basis.

By the time I got through to the cool pleasant business like voice of the real person, I was close to resigning from the NT rather than renewing my membership.

NanaandGrampy Tue 17-Jan-17 16:18:05

I feel a bit like that with voice on our Tom Tom sat nav ! So bossy !!

Just makes me want to turn left instead of right.

However our new SEAT has a built in sat nav and the man on that says please and thank you !!!

M0nica Tue 17-Jan-17 16:57:02

I think it made set my teeth on edge at two levels. First was the overwhelming disconnect between the tone and language of the voice, as if it was a real person and we were chatting to each other and the knowledge that it was a taped ansaphone reply played hundreds of times a day.

The second level it set my teeth on edge was it reinforced my impression that the National Trust is getting more and more patronising and elitist in its attitude to its members and visitors. It naturally wants to increase the number of its visitor but instead of finding ways of making its properties appeal to people at many levels, it is dumbing down everything on the basis that if you do not occupy the exclusive well-educated culturally sensitive world they occupy then you are part of an uncultured mass that are happy with a one-size fits all version of the past.

The National Trust is rapidly becoming the McDonalds of the heritage industry.

cornergran Tue 17-Jan-17 17:22:20

I also phoned them today monica to change our direct debit to another bank account. It couldn't be done until Mr C had verified the request as apparently he was assumed to be the lead member, although the membership says a joint membership. I passed him the phone, he said it was OK and passed the phone back to me. I was almost speechless at the principle and that he could have been anyone. Apparently I am now the lead member, why on earth can't either of us operate a joint membership, we operate a joint bank account. angry.

Rigby46 Tue 17-Jan-17 17:32:26

I have never rung the NT- any queries I send an email and payment is done by DD. I try to avoid phone calls as much as possible with any organisation for two main reasons - time and the lack of an audit trail. The contact I have with the NT locally is fine - I find them great with the dgc and with lovely activities for children in the holidays. I live very close to many NT properties and land

KatyK Tue 17-Jan-17 17:40:36

Much as I love the National Trust, I have always found them a nightmare to deal with/contact by telephone.

Rigby46 Tue 17-Jan-17 17:59:07

KatyK - I honestly don't understand why you would need to. I've been a member for years and never once picked up,the phone to them. I am honestly puzzled as to why anyone needs to ring them

M0nica Tue 17-Jan-17 18:04:20

I rang them because I had forgotten to renew our membership at the end of last month and I wanted to do it as quickly as possible before it expired. I do not pay any subscription by Direct Debit because I want to give every one of them a conscious consideration every year and make a positive active decision to renew, rather than be caught up renewing by inertia, which is what happens with Direct Debits.

Rigby46 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:17:05

I use dd as much as possible as I know I am never caught out by renewal inertia for anything, ever, I am very well organised. The NT send out the renewal letter very early and so I have plenty of time to consider. But obviously, not everyone works the way I do. I was just making the point that it's easy to avoid irritating phone calls. My favourite avoided phone calls are to my surgery - I love being able to book appointments on line and avoid those receptionists that are very brusque and unhelpful ( not all of them of course)

KatyK Tue 17-Jan-17 18:33:20

Rigby46 We bought membership for our daughter and son-in-law a while back and the National Trust put the wrong details on their memberships. We had to contact them regarding this and they were hopeless.

M0nica Tue 17-Jan-17 19:24:55

Rigby I am sure your system is absolutely perfect and never fails, but the rest of us are human and in even the best managed system mistakes occasionally occur and it is much easier to renew an unrenewed subscription than get back money you have paid, but didn't mean to.