to be utterly fed up of "because of pandemic" being used as an excuse..

(310 Posts)
5foot5 Wed 05-May-21 12:56:52

..for piss-poor service. Particularly on call centres and the like.

Granted in the early stages I can see it would have an impact - people off sick or self-isolating. Initially also I suppose there was some set-up to get people working efficiently from home. But, come on, it has been over a year. Surely things should be sorted by now?

I have just spent 45 minutes of my lunch hour waiting for my call to be taken. And yes I do know that some of my questions might be answered on the web-site FAQ and yes I know that I can manage my account on-line for some things. But not this thing. Even though they gave me four choices of musical style to listen to while I am waiting it doesn't help. Of course I wasn't arsey with the person who eventually answered as it's not his fault (I assume) but I do wonder if some companies are now using this excuse to cut down on staff and explain the long waits away on "unprecedented" circumstances.

DH is in a similar position. He sent a query about something to one of his pension funds. February was when he made the original query. He got the "because of difficult times" excuse and was told it would be in excess of 20 working days before they they could reply. More than 6 weeks later and no response he chased it. Then he was told another 10 days. Of course no joy so queries again and now it is 5-10 days. FFS 3 months to answer what he thought was a simple query angry

Just how long I wonder are companies going to keep hiding behind the pandemic excuse

OP’s posts: |
Tiktokersmiracle Wed 05-May-21 13:07:05

Not just you OP

I could understand last year when everything was shut by supermarkets.

My GP surgery is using it as an excuse to refuse to see someone after a cursory, not qualified to judge phone "triage" with the desk dragons.

Then, I finally get a GP, after 15 years of begging for help of any nature regards my PCOS, Endo and other gynae issues, to agree to refer me to gynae. She even went so far as to say I've been let down dreadfully.

Shame the hospital, who've never seen me or spoken to me, don't agree, as my referral had been "reviewed" and they don't agree with a GP with my full medical records and having examined me and spoken to me. According to them they have to choose due to- that's right- Covid. Accept this has been a constant thing of them refusing referrals going back 6 years, so well before Covid.

Then we have the council. They have done sweet FA for 5 years about an issue with our binmen team. We regularly don't get bins collected, they've been abusive on more than one occasion. Merely because I moved in after a woman moved out whom one had a fling with, she ripped him (and other men as we got knocks on the door for months when we moved in) off so they used to not do her bins. So I move in, ring to ask why and end up having their anger and childish behaviour shoved into me.

According to them, they can't do anything due to covid. I pointed out they've not done anything for years, for me or other locals who they also behave appallingly to.

What are these lazy bastards going to do come June 21st and beyond? Our GP surgery seem to have no intentions of going back to normal. I even had to ring to remind them my second vaccine is due as they forgot us, again, from their list (which was grossly mismanaged for three weeks when I kept being told by the Dragons we weren't eligible).

Putitinthebin Wed 05-May-21 13:11:49

I spent two hours on the phone last week being pushed from pillar to post to try and get someone to talk to about changing a booking. All covid related excuses. But they're happy to keep my money even though my reason for not attending the booked event was covid!

Unanananana Wed 05-May-21 13:13:31

YANBU! I've been trying to contact Sky to ask why my super fast broadband keeps dropping out. The wait times on calls if you are not a key worker is 2-3 hours. There are no email addresses and livechat has been disconnected. The forums are useless. They were quick enough to answer the phone when I was buying it though!
Bit of a joke really seeing as I am doing a live chat/email/phone call job from home right now. The small business I work for has an excellent reputation for customer service, despite covid. But as Sky is such a massive company, I have no recourse and they can do as they please.

Treacletreacle Wed 05-May-21 13:18:35

Totally agree with you. Edf booked for my smart meter to be installed then cancelled 2 days before saying it wasn't safe due to covid. Was booked months after it had all kicked off... I had to wait 7 months for my gas connection to be made. First I was told workmen were unable to come out then we had to wait for permission from the council all held up because of covid. No-one answering calls from local education department to transfer my son school place and after holding for up to an hour several times I was told I needed to call every school in the Borough to ask if they had a place as they were currently unable to help me. They were not able to process any paperwork as working from home.

Ellpellwood Wed 05-May-21 13:19:05

Yep. I reported a roof leak on my 8 year old new build in October, to NHBC. The scaffolding finally came down 2 weeks ago. 6 weeks for an inspection, 3 weeks for a contractor to be assigned, oh whoops, November lockdown, and then it's Christmas, oh and now the roofer has to isolate. And then they were so busy they forgot we were under scaffolding for a month and we needed a final job doing. On and on!!

MadeOfStarStuff Wed 05-May-21 13:19:06


It’s shit management. Pure and simple.

March/April last year people accepted pandemic as an excuse as companies scrambled to adapt. But well over a year later, if companies haven’t adapted its because they have shit management. Management not hiring enough staff, not investing in decent equipment and software, not having put processes in place to adapt for wfh etc etc

Obviously only talking about businesses like financial services which aren’t limited by restrictions, not things like hospitality


danni0509 Wed 05-May-21 13:30:58

Yep massively pissing me off!

Every service to do with my ds who has additional needs is lacking because of covid.

He’s had the same pair of orthotic boots for 14 months (usually changed every 5/6 months) they won’t change them because of covid. I said oh his feet must be fucking clever to automatically stop growing then because of covid. I had to threaten with a complaint to pals and he was seen 2 days after.

Samsung have fucked me about sorting my washer because of covid left me with no working washer for 4 weeks.

Ds special school he’s starting haven’t let him look around because of covid, so he’s starting in a fortnight having never seen the place nor met any of the teachers nor me either and it’s in a completely different town, all because of covid but then he’s fine to go and start in 2 weeks but banned from stepping foot inside before this date, makes no fucking sense!

osbertthesyrianhamster Wed 05-May-21 13:33:29


Bookworm19 Wed 05-May-21 13:36:51

Yep, same here.
Having a nightmare right now for SALT for my son. Told it's because of Covid.
Ironically the private SALT he's started seeing told me they've been operating face to face (including funded NHS patients) because they're deemed as essential hmm

Cantbebotheredtothinkofaname Wed 05-May-21 13:37:20

YANBU I agree some places are using it as a convenient excuse to get out of services they don’t want to provide, or to accept poor service. However I work in the back office of a large company and we work closely with our team in India, and they are suffering heavily with staff sickness etc, due to the situation there. It won’t be the reason for every excuse but we are certainly suffering without our support so it could be affecting other businesses too!

HazeyJaneII Wed 05-May-21 13:37:27

I think it must vary from area to area. Ds has just been measured and had moulds taken for his new orthotics, and the orthotist delivered his last pair on her motorbike! He has had his usual therapists seeing him, albeit over video call, but it did take us months to get him to participate at all (or even stay in the room!) We've also been lucky in that he has had a visit to the special school he is going to in Sept.
I'm sorry that it's not the same everywhere.

Mind you I've just been referred for an urgent scan and the first date I got through was Jan 2023!!

TheKeatingFive Wed 05-May-21 13:41:02

Time to get workers back to offices methinks.

danni0509 Wed 05-May-21 13:41:19

Mind you I've just been referred for an urgent scan and the first date I got through was Jan 2023!!

@HazeyJaneII my god that is shocking!

IrmaFayLear Wed 05-May-21 13:42:10

The local council is just loving being able to offer limited public contact. Cases in my area are 0 so I am surprised to hear on the phone message that “due to our staff self-isolating, shielding and experiencing illness” you cannot make contact.... about just about anything.

AnUnoriginalUsername Wed 05-May-21 13:42:29

YANBU Our customer service hasn't changed. What has changed is what we can do, but a pandemic hasn't stopped us being able to answer the phone or emails. But the pandemic has had a massive effect on tech manufacturers which has affected us, we don't have all the stock that we should do so there's delays for actual service calls.

laserfocus Wed 05-May-21 13:42:42


It is being bandied about for everything!!
Small menus, no staff, rude service, lack of stock, bad or zero healthcare. I am sick of it!!

One person died the day before yesterday, how are we even still calling it a 'pandemic' I am pretty sure we are not even officially in a pandemic here in the UK anymore. I am seriously reconsidering who I use after this.

JemimaPyjamas Wed 05-May-21 13:43:50

I said exactly the same thing yesterday! Spent 45 mins on hold to a large medical helpline (diabetic replacement supply, nothing crazily urgent) due to ‘delays due to COVID.’
And as for the farce I had with British Gas - shocking!

MusicMenu Wed 05-May-21 13:43:56

Yes. I've recently had to deal with an offical organisation to gain permission for something needed for a project I'm working on. Their review is entirely desk based. The usual SLA is 45 days, but "because of Covid" it's currently 60 days confused (and they took every last one).

I keep hearing how everyone is much more efficient wfh, but it's not borne out in the customer experience, banks, insurance companies, even healthcare, my HR consultants, response times are far longer now people are wfh.

Katyppp Wed 05-May-21 13:44:17

I made a complaint to the financial ombudsman on 1 May last year and was told there was a long wait because of covid. I eventually got the report last week, which didn't find in my favour. After waiting a year, I have until 7 May to appeal (so 7 days) including providing any new supporting evidence. I am ten back in te queue which may take longer than usual because of covid.

HazeyJaneII Wed 05-May-21 13:46:31


Mind you I've just been referred for an urgent scan and the first date I got through was Jan 2023!!

@HazeyJaneII my god that is shocking!

It is, and it's very frustrating because having a child with complex needs I'm used to calling hospitals etc and kicking arse (and waiting on hold for hours) but I can't even get through to the's all automated, 'dont leave a message' etc etc.
I've called my GP and she is going to try and work out how to get through to a human!

Sugaryouth Wed 05-May-21 13:47:20

YANBU. It is highly irritating! It’s not a new circumstance or something that
I feel so annoyed for everyone with children or their own health needs that have been forgotten because of this. I pay for a health plan for my dog, she goes in ad hoc every month to get weighed for her included fleaing and worming, this visiting of the surgery is fine. Part of this is a full health check every 6 months, had a text off them to say she’s due it but they’re not giving it due to Covid. Happy to keep taking my money for it though and forgot my dog was a carrier of Covid 🤔

aiwblam Wed 05-May-21 13:48:43

Totally agree. So many people are using the pandemic as an excuse for anything under the sun

ComtesseDeSpair Wed 05-May-21 13:52:04

This is largely why I’m getting very sceptical of this universal view pretty much everyone now seems to have that they’re so much more efficient working at home than they were in the office. Every time in the past year that I’ve had to make contact with my bank, a utility company, an insurance company, the council, a supplier, or the customer service department of just about any organisation, I’ve been treated to a recorded message telling me that I need to be patient during this difficult time as staff are working from home and have had to adapt their ways of working to suit, so to expect long delays. If everyone’s being so much more efficient, why aren’t customers experiencing a better service?

ChocOrange1 Wed 05-May-21 13:55:22

It was somewhat understandable in the first lockdown when people were working from home with inappropriate equipment and trying to home school. But its been a year, more than enough time to get everything in place, and kids are back at school/childcare now. There is no excuse now.

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