Perils of Providing Unreliable Support Systems


I didn't mean to scream, honestly!
Whoever was on the other side of the phone, I truly apologize. I didn’t mean to scream at you. I just wanted to scream at your company, and you were in the way.

As you may have guessed, I was furious at this one telecommunication company for the way they treated me as a paying customer earlier this week. The brand claims to provide various channels for customers to ‘so call’ contact them but none of those channels actually worked. I tried calling their support line and after a few gazillion minutes of holding on the line, the automated answering machine prompted me to go back to the website to solve my problem. Who does that!? Nevertheless, I kept my cool (it is Ramadan, after all) and searched for alternatives.

"Keep your thoughts positive because
your thoughts become your words"
- Wise line, Bappu.
I saw their online chat feature and tried my luck. Surprisingly (well, not really), nobody responded. I tried the form they provided online and threatened to report the case to the authority if they didn’t contact me in due time. My request was simple, “I want to terminate my service, please inform me regarding my outstanding balances and any other payments that I need to settle and guide me through the process”. The reply was abysmal as the person wrote, “I cannot tell you the details and you need to call to find out.” When the phone lines and online chat are not accessible, what are my options? I could do a rally ala Dr. Martin Luther King, and demand for justice to all customers of this company, but that’s too much trouble for something so trivial.

Patiently (I still had some at this point in time), I tried the online chat again and after almost many hours of trying, I got to chat with someone named Andy. Again, the same question was raised. Apparently, my contract will only expire in September; hence I need to pay an early termination penalty. “After paying, please go the website and fill up the form again,” said the Support fellow. My patience was seriously thinning at this point in time because I couldn’t just email one person and get this over and done with! Alas, there’s no need to pull off a ‘Gandhi’ and tell Andy I won’t eat until he’s taken care of everything. I simply paid, filled up the form and sent it.

I received an email a few hours later with this message, “Madam, you need to pay an outstanding amount before we could process the termination and after you have paid, kindly fill up the form online,” At this point in time, my patience has already flown out the window. I sent them a really ‘oh-some’ letter to read, stating that I paid the amount and filled up the form. I channeled my inner Lennon and Yoko, though, and made sure the letter was peacefully aggressive.  

If MLK were still alive, I bet he'd give the
girl on the other line this same exact look!
And, the next day, THAT phone call came in. “We have received your termination application and you need to drop by our office to return the modem and fill up the form to confirm.” Is there any address that I can courier it to? “Sorry ma’am, you need to come”. Wow! The thing is, when they wanted me to be their subscriber, the modem was sent through courier, but upon termination, I need to send it back personally. Upon hearing that ‘instruction’, I could see my sanity leaving my office room as that girl on the other line definitely GOT IT GOOD that day. Heck, after the way they treated me, even Mother Teresa would’ve approved of what I did.

If you feel irritated reading this, imagine how the customers feel when they have to experience it first hand. I swear I will never recommend that brand to anybody ever and I’ll always speak evil of the brand as long as I live.

That’s how terrible customer service can destroy a reputable brand. Even a peace-loving, anti-war activist can become vengeful.

And amazingly, after they terminated my account, I received another email entitled: Retention Program Survey. Seriously? Who does this!?

By Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

I didn't mean to scream, honestly! Whoever was on the other side of the phone, I truly apologize. I didn’t mean to screa...

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