Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Learn how to piss off your Customers

Last month, I received a mail from my ISP (Internet Service Provider), inviting me to recontract my broadband account. Since the monthly subscription would be lower, I decided to recontract for another 12 months.

According to the mail, I need to go to their website to perform the necessary procedure. So I logged on to the site, indicated my choices, submitted all required information, and clicked the button to submit. That’s the beginning of my nightmare.

Oh no, there’s some mysterious errors encountered which they (my ISP) deemed too confidential to reveal to a normal customer like me. The only ‘useful’ information in their error page is “Please call XXXX for assistance”.

Being a typical kiasu singaporean, I assumed I must have done something wrong during the recontract process. Nevermind, let’s repeat the process again, carefully. Oops, the same mysterious error came out.

Alright, being a well-trained engineer, maybe I should try to isolate the problem by changing the variables. I tried on different PC, used different web browser and used different internet connections. And I got the same mysterious error.

So, finally convinced that it wasn’t my fault, I called the number indicated on the error page for assistance.

“Welcome to Blah Blah Blah. For existing subscriber, please enter the phone number blah blah blah….For new customer, please blah blah blah…….”

I entered the phone number for my broadband account.

“For sales and product information, please press 1. For add-on services like email anti-spamming, virus scanning, blah blah blah, please press 2. For blah blah blah, please press 3. Blah Blah Blah…….For other enquires, please press 0.”

I pressed zero.

“Please wait for our operators to attend to you shortly.” Followed by some music.

So I wait.

“Sorry all our operators are currently engaged. Please wait blah blah blah…” Music started again.

I wait again.

“Sorry all our operators are currently engaged. Please wait blah blah blah…” Music started again.

I continue to wait.

“Sorry all our operators are currently engaged. Please wait blah blah blah…” Music started again.

I hanged up.

Getting fed up, I packed my stuffs and went to the nearest shop of my ISP. I told the person at the counter I wished to recontract my broadband account. To my horror, he told me that they don’t perform recontract here and asked me to use the internet instead.

Hey, I tried the internet and got some mysterious top secret error that nobody knows how to decipher. I called your hotline but apparently it is so hot that not a single operator is free to answer my query. Now I came down physically to your shop and you are telling me that you don’t do recontract here? The worse thing is, you asked me to try using the internet. Am I playing some merry-go-round here?

Finally, he led me to another counter and the staff there is so kind to take down my account particulars. He told me the particulars would be sent to the department handling recontract stuffs and I would receive a call from them for confirmation within 2 working days.

I waited for more than 7 working days.

Pissed off, I tried my luck using the internet approach, yet again. The error is more stubborn than me.

I called the number again for assistance. Alas, after some waiting, finally there’s some kind-hearted operator willing to answer my call. So I related my problems to the operator, and she yet again took down my particulars.

“I would pass your particulars to the people in-charge. They would call you back for the recontract.”

“So approximately when would they call me back ?”

“Around two working days.”

Labels: ,