Tag Archives | customer relationship management

I take back some of my nice comments about NTL

In the past, I’ve been pretty complimentary about the NTL customer service. However, after they stole about 30 minutes of my life last Friday afternoon, I’m not so sure any more.

Tried to get through 3 times to upgrade my broadband package (the previously mentioned Slingbox needs a faster upload than I had already). And I also wanted to cancel my Setanta Sports package – I had it for the Rugby World Cup but it’s not really doing much for me these days. I wouldn’t watch Liverpool playing in my back garden never mind paying €15 per month on the offchance they’ll be shown every couple of weeks.

First time I got through after a hold of about 5 minutes, I made the school-boy error of saying first up that I wanted to cancel a subscription – I was immediately put back on hold, and I’d still be there I reckon if I hadn’t hung up.

So, second time up I knew I’d have to go with the “hello, I’d like to give you more money” rather than saying I wanted to give them less. After waiting again for another 5 or 6 minutes, there were a couple of ominous clicks before I ended up speaking to a customer service person in India. I gave them my requirements, upgrade this, cancel that, and the said to hold on till they put me through to someone who could do that for me – back onto the hold queue. After a couple of minutes, nothing happened, so hung up again.

Third time lucky? Well, yes. Again after 4-5 minutes waiting, I got through to a lady in their Irish centre who (relatively) efficiently processed by broadband upgrade first, and then my Setanta Sports cancellation.

Still – 30 minutes to get a 3 minute job completed. That works out at €2 per minute for the money I won’t be paying NTL in the next 12 months. Just as well I had the alternative to their 1890 number so at least the phone call didn’t cost me anything and just came off my 02 monthly minutes.

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Response to a customer service complaint – would you be happy with this?

I know someone who has complained to a 5* hotel about the service received when they were trying to check in early a couple of weeks ago. Early mind you, was 12.30 in the afternoon, after checking out time in the same hotel. But still, they were told that there was not a single room in the 500 room hotel available for another 3 hours.

In defense of the hotel, they did actually respond to the complaint:

With regards to your experience at check-in I would like to personally apologise that you did not receive our usual five star standard of service and please be assured that I shall personally be looking into this.

Once again please accept my sincere apologies and I hope you will return and allow us the opportunity to show you our usual high level of service, please contact me directly if you have any questions and I look forward to welcoming you back to *** ******** Grand Hotel & Spa in the future.

Assuming you’ve gotten past the exhilaration of having a business actually respond to a complaint in the first place – Dunbrody Country House Hotel take note – would you be happy with this response to a complaint?

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“I’m so sick of the service you get in this country”

So starts a pretty good blog/rant by John Braine here. It seems to be one of many articles recently about customer service that’s been catching my eye.
There was another in last Fridays Irish Times by Margaret E. Ward. The article is linked here, but you need an Irish Times subscription. The article refers to CRM – Customer Relationship Management, long popular amongst Irish companies, but for all the wrong reasons it seems. As the article states:

After the introduction of CRM systems, the Irish customer care experience is
akin to death by a thousand cuts. Consumers like us are often “managed” by an
automated telephone service, an anonymous e-mail address or left fuming over the
pretend managers who never respond to our letter of complaint because they don’t
exist.

To finish, I can’t remember where I read it, but there was a classic comment on another site in the last week or so where someone was having problems with their Internet service provider. They decided to try to make a stand and asked for a refund for the time when they didn’t actually have any connection.
The person they ended up speaking to said that she “wasn’t authorised to provide refunds on accounts”. So our friend asked to speak to someone who was, upon which the customer service person responded, “I’m not authorised to put you though to the person who is authorised to give out discounts”. Fantastic!
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