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Sorry, you're a residential customer

, posted: 7-Aug-2006 09:31

If you have follow my earlier blog post, you will know that my Vodafone/Novatel Merlin U630 has decided to crap itself out over the weekend while I was up in Wellington.

I have talked to Johnr and also been on the phone with Vodafone/TelstraClear customer call centre and somehow I still feel that I'm heading no where with the issue. (Not Johnr's fault)...

Although Johnr has gone out of his way to suggest and tried to help as much as he can, and we both concluded that it is the VMC card at fault, after I have tried 2 SIM cards, 2 laptops and same misbehaviour of the VMC problem.

So I called TelstraClear business line 0508 555 500 and gone through their stupid voice prompt, and verbally request for their Mobility team, and later was told "You have to talk to the Residential team", got shafted transferred to the residential team. Repeat my background story and was told, "Because it is more than 7 days after TelstraClear has sent the card to you. It is now a manufacturer's responsibility and they may have 12 months hardware warranty on it. Let me get the number for their NZ representative for you to contact." Sure enough, there is no NZ contact for Novatel, and she said she'll get back to me after consulting her team mates, Vodafone and now she's trying the product manager.


I hate dealing with customer call centre, I am sure it is not the person that answer the phone is at fault or anything, but most company has stupid "step through" procedure that doesn't feel like anything is being done and the customer (in this case) felt like being shafted! I experienced the round-about referral, shifting responsibility from one company to another and back and forth and repeat the rince cycle over and over until the garment is torn and worn. I know I would have frustrated the person that answered my call, and I know they are doing their best and following through their company's stupid guideline on dealing with customer, and may even driven their day through the roof unneccessary. But being a paying customer, I also feel the rights to have the service that I paid for and expecting it to function the way I was lead to believe it is. When I don't get the service that I paid for, I demand a resolution to get what I paid for.

AT the moment, I am paying for the service that I cannot benefit from because the fault in the device, and over the weekend, I have to find alternative method of getting service I would have received... Who is going to pay for that alternative solution? or have i just paid doubled for a service that I was not able to received?


In short, when dealing with customer call centre, and if you're a residential customer, more often you will get SHAFTED. It's true, many companies only willingly and probably more delighted to serve their precious (in the voice of Gollum) business customers more than their residential customers. What about SOHO home business customers, like me?... Am I an unworthy customer to keep?

Well... If I get shafted, I will blog about you and let the blog reputation talks its way to several hundreds or thousands of customers, let them be aware of the company's reputation at risk... it's not my fault if the company ended up with bad reputation, YOU should have taken good care of me, and I will in return be looking after your brand name and services... Shaft me, and you'll get shafted too!





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Comment by freitasm, on 7-Aug-2006 10:09

Hmmm. I don't think the onus is on the manufacturer. The reseller will have to provide a fix if they can arrange a local service for this brand.

And, yes - bad TelstraClear, bad...


Comment by Mattnzl, on 7-Aug-2006 11:55

Exactly - seeing as they are specificaly saying you AREN'T a business customer, then consumer guarantee's law applies. It is up to the SELLER (not manufacturer) to organise the fix. They may well send it to the manufacturer, but that's not your responsibility.


Comment by tonyhughes, on 7-Aug-2006 11:56

If bought for non-commercial use, the CGA applies, and the onus is on the retailer NOT the manufacturer... (AFAIK)


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 12:12

So, do you guys got any more information, preferrably one that I use to present the case to TCL to let them know that under CGA, they will uphold their responsibility? At the moment, I am shafted and still not heard back from TCL customer centre. :-(


Comment by freitasm, on 7-Aug-2006 12:56

And I doubt you will ever hear from the TCL customer centre. AFAIK, "We will call you later" is an euphemism for "We will never call you later".


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 13:00

So if that's the case, then I got a non-working card supplied by TCL, and still got 22-months left with their 1GB for $49 plan and... umm.. what do/can I do? All seem going downhill... somehow I don't have energy at all in getting things done today!!


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 14:32

I called TCL probably 6 times now, and still not getting anywhere other than put on hold and ultimately pointed to a dead wall (no dial-tone or waiting-tone).

I resorted to the next method of contacting TCL, via their SmartAssistance email/contact us form.

Below is what I posted:

Still waiting for a callback from the Mobility team seeking for help with faulty Vodafone Mobile Connect card. I have called more than 5 times, and been put on hold or was told "will call back shortly" for few hours now and I am getting frustrated because I do not feel I'm being treated and served as accordingly.

Background information:
I have had Vodafone Mobile Connect card (Novatel Merlin U630) since I signed up for 24 months 1GB for $49 plan, which included the above stated card. It was working fine, and up until the 5th August afternoon when the VMC behaved weirdly.

Normally, when you plug in the card, start up the laptop, and run the VMC software, and the software will load the driver and detect the VMC presense.

Since Saturday (5 August) afternoon, the VMC card was seem to be doing something unusual. The LED sequence it normally goes through is yellow-blink (detecting GPRS) or blue-blink (if UMTS is available) and will blink periodically until connection is established. However, in this particular case, the LED displayed white, yellow, blue then the frequency increases rapidly until all three colours are lit up constantly.

When quiting VMC software, the error came back "SIM is not ready". I have tried with different SIM card which also have Data plan and was behaving the same. However, when using SIM (that is for VMC, one with 1GB Data plan) on my Imate Smartphone2, and established GPRS connection via my smartphone, it connects to internet just fine. Which this suggest that it is not the SIM problem, nor the network problem. I even tried the VMC card on 2 laptops and the same erractic problem was observed.

Issues:
I called TelstraClear both residential line, and business line, and tried talking to the Mobility team and I have been pushed and shoved around in all direction but not getting anyone to get back to me with what I can do. I was told that someone will call me back to tell me what I can do with the 2 months old now-not-working VMC card. I was told by several other call reps that someone from Mobility will return my call, and acknowledged that I am expecting calls but this has yet happened.

I try not to get frustrated with the call reps but I just feel that I am not getting the service that I am expecting. I am both very disappointed and highly losing confidence with TelstraClear's services and their responsibility in serving and providing help and supports when needed. As at the moment, my subscription to the TelstraClear 1GB plan has been paid but I am not getting the service I have paid for.

I would sincerely hoping that someone in TelstraClear can understand my frustration and be of useful help to show me a direction of how this issue can be solved.

If my query is not answered shortly, I would bring this case up to the Consumer Affair to alledge them of the service that I am not getting. I wish not to take the suggested resort, but only when I am ultimately been ignored.


Once again, I apologise for expressing my frustration but I do hope you can see my point of view from where I stand, when one is not getting the service as TelstraClear customer centre promised the return calls.

Kelvin Yong


Comment by antoniosk, on 7-Aug-2006 15:21

K

Have had a work with some folks. Let me know if the situation improves.

Antonios


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 15:29

Finally, a call back from TCL Business Mobility team (David) who is looking into the problem now.

I am frustrated but keeping my calm tone with them. So far I am getting somewhere, and hopefully closer to find out what can be done next.

I may came across as ruthless and rude to whoever is reading this but my frustration is near its boiling point simply because I just get shoved around between reps.

I would like to thank few people that are looking into this for me too (I don't want to list them out, but you know how you are, thank you!). And to the people that are not in Geekzone, but are helping me to get closer to get something done, thank you too.

I want to apologise again to everyone, sorry that I'm expressing my frustration and perhaps seem very rude too. I do hope you can see why I got this frustrated. It is definitely not my nature to get this frustrated however when you feel like you're being "dicked" around, one cannot help but to think what is going on and the frustration too.


Once again, I am sorry but I am thankful and grateful for those who are helping at the moment.


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 15:46

Just got off the phone with David, and he has lodged a fault call and "escalate" this matter to their 2nd level support. Hopefully this will speed up the response. I appreciate that level of service and support, instead of being /dev/null.

Once again (again), thank you for those that are helping me at the moment. I appreciate every inch of help and every inch of direction your helps have given me.


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 17:00

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the people at TelstraClear who are helping me to get this going. I do feel that my issue is being looked at and being served. I appreciate the call back (afterall that was all I have been expecting).

Tomorrow the VMC card that I have here, will be on its way to Wellington to Teresa. Meanwhile a temporary replacement card will be on its way to me tomorrow to cover the service that I'm expecting.

I know it is of nobody's fault, but it also has clearly pointed to me that it is not a great experience being just an end-product user/consumer. It did took quite a bit of battle to get to the customer call centre, to get the ball rolling, to get the issue looked at, to get someone to get back to me when they promised.

I will keep everyone posted with the progress, and hopefully this will end with a fairytale happy ending that everyone is expecting.


Comment by 3g, on 7-Aug-2006 21:04

To be honest, I don't think the fact that you're a residential customer (versus a business customer) makes much difference with TCL when it comes to these sorts of issues.

My company has all their services through TCL, but I moved my teams business away from them and directly with Vodafone. Like you, I got sick of hearing "we'll call you back".
We were spending over $1000 month (for our team alone) and it still didn't make any difference. It hurt them a little when I moved our connections directly to Vodafone - and REALLY hurt them when our entire company moved 8-).

Hopefully you'll be back up and running soon - I know how frustrating these things can be!


Author's note by chiefie, on 7-Aug-2006 21:16

Thanks 3G, at the end of the day, for any business to survive well and merrily, every pea and bean counts, not just the exotic tropical fruits.


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