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Topic # 12985 17-Apr-2007 09:58
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Check this post out on thier contact center forum...

Is 67 Minutes an Acceptable Wait?
Posted Mon 9 April 2007 @ 8:18 p.m. by Ernie

Easter Saturday morning I enjoyed a live on-line chat with iconic Wellington talkback host Garry Ward. I talk to him about matters telecommunicatory a couple of times a year.

After the usual chitchat Garry told me - and his listeners - that the previous week he had occasion to phone his telecommunications company and was kept waiting for the call centre to answer for 67 minutes. You got it - more than an hour!

Garry named the company on air. I'm not about to here because I honestly believe it could have been any of them, so bad has the telecommunications industry's customer service become.

Back in 2004 Minister Swain took the industry to task about its sluggishness in dealing with customer complaints. He threatened to regulate, enforcing an industry specific complaints authority like those operating in banking and electricity. TUANZ at the time sided with the industry and asked for an industry-driven scheme in preference to a regulated one. Its been on its way via the Telecommunications Carriers Forum ever since and it will be a good scheme, but its taking far, far, far too long.

Even longer, you might say, than you wait "on hold" for a typical carrier's contact centre to answer!

Delays like this are unacceptable in any sector - they show contempt for the caller and wreck the nice warm fuzzy feeling the marketing departments try so hard to engender. In utility industries - where people's lives and businesses are often "on hold" with them and where there is a great imbalance of power between buyer and seller - companies have a special responsibility to be easily contactable.

The TCF needs to accelerate its work, and the phone companies MUST pay attention to waiting times for contact centres. This kind of experience shows the industry in a very bad light indeed.

Categories: Benchmarking | International | Technology
Comments (4)

What the hell is with that?!!? They are refusing to name a telco who has poor service!?! I bet if it was Telecom they would be singing it from the roof tops! I am putting my money on it being Telstra-Clear who happens to be a big TUANZ sponsor.

They are nothing but poodles!

Any views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer Telecom NZ

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  Reply # 67326 17-Apr-2007 10:24
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I've never bothered waiting that long. If it was my problem the call centre usually answers promptly. If it's their problem, there's already hundreds trying to convine them. Maybe more should follow the DomPost and front their intro with the latest outage details.

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  Reply # 67328 17-Apr-2007 10:51
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If it was TCL why was he stupid enough to wait so long when they have a callback option?


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  Reply # 67363 17-Apr-2007 15:23
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I have a 10 minute tolerance for waiting on hold, after that its email them, and if I don't hear back its complaint to someone on the board time.

Vodafone being the exception. Its just a given with them when calling about prepay matters they don't give a rats about answering, no point complaining to them about it.


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  Reply # 68529 26-Apr-2007 09:33
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A few weeks ago, I spend a total of 8 Hours on hold (and have the call logs to prove it) with TelstraClear Residential.

I had a customer which could get DSL sync, but no PPP. I.e. their PDQ broadband was not working, we spend 4 hours on hold the first night as they tried basic things then transfered us back into the queue instead of waiting on the line for us (another 45-70 minute hold)

We then had several more attempts of 2 hours apiece to get it resolved.

Funny thing was in the first 30 seconds of speaking to a tech guy, I told him I thought it was a port problem and we needed a port reset, they didn't believe us and thus we went through the pretty flowchart, for three days.

The client was shocked and amused.

While on hold, we could get through to TelstraClear Business support every 20 minutes, but they would say not our problem and hang up. The cable location service was only voicemail, sales were no help (of course) and no one called us back on any of the call back options we left. We seriously comtemplated driving to the call centre in Takapuna!

The problem is that this is common with TelstraClear - I often wondered how someone didn't come into New Zealand and make a killing at Telecom's expense, then I looked at the competition - TelstraClear - and wondered no more.

If you can't get the basics right, like figuring our if you pick up the banana shaped bit on top of that box on your desk making that funny sound, that you can hear people through it, specifically your customers, then what are the chances of making a real business in NZ, you know with business plans you stick to!

I have come to the conclusion that TelstraClear in NZ (and the Tauranga project) is simply a don't piss in our backyard, and we won't piss in yours to Telecom and AAPT.

If AAPT starts getting annoying to Telstra in Australia, they simply turn the tap in NZ with TelstraClear and make it hard for Telecom in NZ and Telecom then have to focus back on NZ and drop the ball in Australia again.

Otherwise it's just your standard friendly neighbourhood duopoly.

Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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