Newest Review: ... website ( http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsit em/752/ dated Friday, June 20, 2008 ) one reads: "Andy Copestake, Finance Directo... more
National Trust - Membership shambles - Beware.
Member Name: ChrisRyman
Disadvantages: Bad service, misinformation, incompetence
Awful experience with the Gift Membership scheme, which has quite put this household off from any further attempts to remedy the situation, or indeed to visit any "pay-to-enter" properties administered by the NT.
A gift membership for two adults was purchased for cash at a National Trust High Street shop. Included in the gift membership pack was an "activation card" inscribed with the date of purchase and an activation code that seems to relate to the shop and a unique ID number.
A phone number is given on the reverse that is supposedly available 365 with reduced hours on weekends and bank holidays.
The recipient phoned the number on the first normal working day after receiving the card and was told that "the computers were down" and the membership could not be processed. Some days later another attempt with the same response. And another.
Some "googling" revealed that the NT has ongoing computer problems since at least 2007 and so several days left until the next attempt.
"Good morning ... and how are your computers today?" elicited the response that there was no problem and had been no recent problem. Alarm bells start ringing.
The details given yet again to the Customer Service (hah!) operator and after being put on hold told that the membership could not be processed, but he would try and find out more. To his credit he did phone back within a couple of hours, but said he couldn't do anything but would pass the matter on, and we could expect another phone call from his managers - which has not materialised.
It seems that there is a complete discontinuity between the shops (who sell memberships), NT HQ and call centre, and some third party IT company who manage the membership records. From an outsourcing review website ( http://www.sourcingfocus.com/site/newsitem/752/ dated Friday, June 20, 2008 ) one reads:
"Andy Copestake, Finance Director for the National Trust, commented: "We are looking to further developing our long term strategic relationship with Vertex where we can together take full advantage of the experience, skills and enthusiasm of our people to deliver a first class service to all our supporters." "
Not seeing much of the first class service from this end Mr Copestake! Meanwhile we hope to get a refund on the £88.50 spent as the service sold was not as described, and the NT have lost the membership, and goodwill of a couple of people who would have been keen supporters. We have no trust in the National Trust.
Summary: Don't bother to join. Have to give one star to publish the review, but Zero from me