My patience is wearing thin

By the time you read this, a certain fashion model – we'll call her Dora – either will have a new phone line from German communications giant Deutsche Telekom or she'll have become a customer of the competition. So what, you ask? Well, only that she happens to be the face of Deutsche Telekom's national advertising campaign. Yes, she smiles out at passersby as she promotes a new high-speed connection service on billboards across Germany. Now, you might be inclined to think that, of all people, the company would be sure to take care of its own first. After all, what business can afford to have those who, in a sense, speak for it going around spreading complaints about its customer service? But Dora has been waiting and waiting and waiting some more for her Berlin apartment to be hooked up to the great new feature she extols. In fact, three months after placing the order, she still had had no satisfaction. Thus, a few days ago she resorted to a time-honored tactic: the threat. "I'll give them another week," she told the mass-circulation newspaper Bild. "But that's it. After that, I'm going to switch to another provider." That got Deutsche Telekom's attention; Bild is, after all, the bestselling daily publication in Europe. At last word, the company hadn't commenced on the situation, but a spokesman was promising to be in touch with Dora right away.

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