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Topic # 57611 18-Feb-2010 21:27
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Telecom customers sent obscene texts:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/3345725/More-Telecom-customers-sent-obscene-texts

Does telecom investigate obscene texts after you only get texted once? That's pretty cool because i think on vodafone you need to get 3 obscene text messages for them to investigate.

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  Reply # 300236 18-Feb-2010 21:37
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you do if it becomes a national news story With Michael Laws involved

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  Reply # 300240 18-Feb-2010 21:58
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Michael Laws was involved in this because he put on radio. Then the Wanganui District Council issued a press release. Why a Council needs to be involved is beyond me - it just smells like populism and sensationalism.

I received three updates from Telecom on this. The company is investigating the problem. Allegedly this person was sent a SMS from a Telecom employee - but this is still not clear if it's really from an employee of from someone impersonating an employee by using a web-based SMS service to spoof the sender's number.

To answer your question "Does telecom investigate obscene texts after you only get texted once?" that's because in this case they are saying a Telecom employee sent it.

Here are each of the releases sent out from Telecom:


17 Feb 2010 4:05pm

Comment on complaint from Mayor Michael Laws
 
Telecom has been advised that Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws has received a complaint from a constituent regarding an abusive SMS text that may have been sent by one of our service representatives.
 
This is a highly unusual occurrence and Telecom is swiftly investigating internally to verify the complaint.
 
Our customer service teams all set themselves the highest standards and therefore behaviour such as that reported by Mayor Laws would equate to serious misconduct.
 
We look forward to talking to Mr Laws and the customer directly so we can get the details and facts needed to address this serious complaint properly and quickly.
 
Telecom has a robust customer complaints process in place and is a member of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution scheme.



17 Feb 5:59pm

Further comment from Telecom on text message complaint
 
Telecom is this afternoon carrying out an urgent and detailed investigation into a complaint that a customer received an abusive SMS text, allegedly from a Telecom Customer Service Representative.
 
Telecom’s fraud team and customer resolutions team are involved in the investigation.
 
If it is established that the message was sent by a Telecom employee it would result in the individual being fired immediately, as this would be a totally unacceptable behaviour.
 
Telecom places a great deal of importance on delivering the highest standards of customer service.
 
As such, it is vital that Telecom investigates this thoroughly and establish all the facts as quickly as possible, and we are committed to doing that.
 
As part of the investigation, Telecom Retail CEO Alan Gourdie has been in direct contact with the customer, and Mayor Michael Laws today. 



18 Feb 2010 5:06pm

Telecom update on complaint of abusive text messages
 
Telecom is carrying out a thorough and urgent investigation into abusive text messages reported by a customer yesterday.
 
Because of the seriousness of the complaint, and the technology involved, the investigation is complex and involves a number of areas.
 
The messages have been sent using a tool called eTXT; eTXT provides the ability to send a text message to a mobile from a PC. Our fraud and technical teams have been working with the eTXT service provider to track where the messages were sent from.
 
eTXT is an online tool so could potentially be used to send a text message to a mobile from a PC anywhere around the world and our fraud team are working to identify the internet addresses involved.
 
The tracing investigation shows the eTXT tool may have been used to text five customers with abusive content.
 
If it is confirmed that the messages were sent by a current Telecom employee either from work or home, it would result in swift disciplinary action appropriate for this serious level of misconduct. 
 
The Telecom staff member who holds the particular mobile number that the text messages appeared to be sent from, is not in anyway involved in sending the abusive messages.
 
We have contacted the customers who our records show received these eTXTs. We are apologising, assisting them and gathering further information.









 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 300242 18-Feb-2010 22:07
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yuxek: That's pretty cool because i think on vodafone you need to get 3 obscene text messages for them to investigate.


It's alittle different as these txt messages are coming from their customer service, I'm assuming the 3 obscene text message rule with Vodafone is customer-customer, not CSR-customer.

Unless your dealing with johnr of course... Cool

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  Reply # 300406 19-Feb-2010 14:47
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Here is the latest update:


Telecom update on investigation into abusive text messages
 
Telecom has carried out an investigation into abusive text messages sent to five of its customers, and has identified the place of origin and the individuals involved. 
 
Telecom’s fraud and technical teams worked with other service providers to track the messages, and are in a position to confirm that the messages originated in Manila.
 
Telecom and its outsource partner in Manila Sitel have identified four individuals involved and suspended them pending further investigation. Because of the seriousness of the complaints and content of the messages, the appropriate local authorities will also be notified of the activity.
 
Telecom’s General Manager Customer Services Trish Keith says all of Telecom’s customer service teams set themselves the highest standards and will be feeling let-down by the irresponsible actions of these few individuals. “We have over 1500 team members in New Zealand and 800 in Manila and they will all be massively disappointed by this event.”
 
The name of the individuals involved in the abusive messages will not be released by Sitel or Telecom.
 
Telecom has contacted the customers who our records show received the texts to apologise, assist them and keep them updated on the investigation and its outcomes.
 





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  Reply # 300408 19-Feb-2010 14:50
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nate:
yuxek: That's pretty cool because i think on vodafone you need to get 3 obscene text messages for them to investigate.


It's alittle different as these txt messages are coming from their customer service, I'm assuming the 3 obscene text message rule with Vodafone is customer-customer, not CSR-customer.

Unless your dealing with johnr of course... Cool



Haha, you mean they look like they are coming from their customer service :)

Someone obviously spoofing the number, had it done before with a "please go to this link"....wtf



And Michael Laws, he'd go on the news with a press release if someone fed a rotten apple to a horse, he's just a bit of a attention seeker.

Does anyone else think he looks sort of like "Milky/Whitey" off Me Myself and Irene?






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  Reply # 300409 19-Feb-2010 14:51
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vinnieg, read my update just before your post - Telecom has found it did come from their customer services in Manilla.





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  Reply # 300411 19-Feb-2010 14:53
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freitasm: vinnieg, read my update just before your post - Telecom has found it did come from their customer services in Manilla.



Doh...haha I had the page open but didn't refresh before posting :)




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  Reply # 300412 19-Feb-2010 14:56
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freitasm: Here is the latest update:
Telecom and its outsource partner in Manila Sitel have identified four individuals involved and suspended them pending further investigation. Because of the seriousness of the complaints and content of the messages, the appropriate local authorities will also be notified of the activity.


I'm honestly surprised.  It takes a hell of a lot to get any emotional reaction out of those Manila folks at all (flat Phillippino accent + pretty rigorous call scripting and training) so I wonder quite what happened to get them so worked up.

Not acceptable in the slightest, but the part of me that used to take calls at Telecom Faults sympathises a little.

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  Reply # 300414 19-Feb-2010 15:03
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Shame on Telecom.

I don't blame them for the abusive text messages as such as this could happen to any company, but as Michael Laws pointed out, the issue here is also that when the customer complained to Telecom about the abusive text message, the issue was not followed up and the customer was never called back despite Telecom saying they would call back. The only reason why things have been dealt with now is because the media picked it up. It really goes to show how shabby the customer service is within Telecom.

Of course Vodafone CSR's are no better at returning calls either but that's a different issue.



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  Reply # 300416 19-Feb-2010 15:09
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nate:
yuxek: That's pretty cool because i think on vodafone you need to get 3 obscene text messages for them to investigate.


It's alittle different as these txt messages are coming from their customer service, I'm assuming the 3 obscene text message rule with Vodafone is customer-customer, not CSR-customer.

Unless your dealing with johnr of course... Cool


yeah but why have a 3 obscene text message rule in the first place? why can't they investigate after the first text? if they want to stop text bullying asap then they should investigate after the first.

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  Reply # 300436 19-Feb-2010 15:48
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yuxek:
yeah but why have a 3 obscene text message rule in the first place? why can't they investigate after the first text? if they want to stop text bullying asap then they should investigate after the first.


I could be wrong but I'd guess that they make a distinction between "offensive" and "threatening" texts.  If they investigated every text someone thought was obscene or offensive they'd never do anything else.

simon14: Shame on Telecom.

I don't blame them for the abusive text messages as such as this could happen to any company, but as Michael Laws pointed out, the issue here is also that when the customer complained to Telecom about the abusive text message, the issue was not followed up and the customer was never called back despite Telecom saying they would call back. The only reason why things have been dealt with now is because the media picked it up. It really goes to show how shabby the customer service is within Telecom.


I agree that there could have been better communication, but it's not clear that the promise to follow up with a call back wasn't going to be kept before the complainant went to Laws-everything happened pretty quickly.  It does take time to trace one of these texts, and most call centre team leaders wouldn't be able to do so themselves so they'd have to refer it on then wait for the results.  If the complainant wasn't given an expectation on when they'd be contacted back, or they were given one that wasn't kept, then yes, definitely a failure on Telecom's part.

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  Reply # 300452 19-Feb-2010 16:34
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I have very little sympathy for this women. Instead of going back to Telecom with the complaint about the text she rushed off the news media. It seems to be the first port of call these days when someone has a grip with Telecom or the like.. If she had gone to Telecom about this text and they did nothing about and then she went to the media that would be a different story..




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  Reply # 300557 20-Feb-2010 18:09
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It's a wonder hell desk operators don't go postal more often given that they work a largely unrewarding job, dealing mostly with a constant stream of morons who have unrealistic expectations and unwarranted self importance.


It would take it's toll!



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  Reply # 300592 20-Feb-2010 20:50
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http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/more-complaints-over-telecom-call-centre-3374572

Another alleged case of Telecom's Philippines based call centre staff harassing New Zealand customers has been revealed.

The mobile giant has already stood down four staff members over abusive texts and now an Invercargill woman claims she has been victimised also.

Paula McMeekan claims she is the victim of harassment - 15 prank calls in just an-hour-and-a-half that she claims started as soon as she hung up from a terse phone conversation with a Telecom call centre worker in Manila.

"I rung telecom and asked them to search the number. They confirmed to me that these 15 phone calls had come from Manila and from Telecom," McMeekan says.

And then she found herself locked out of her Telecom internet account.

"It was too much of a coincidence that this had happened after the 15 prank calls," she says.

Telecom has told ONE News it has tracked down the staff member allegedly behind the prank calls and it is investigating the allegation. A spokesperson says the staff member is being spoken to with some priority and if the claims are true, it is unacceptable behaviour.

On Friday the telecommunications giant suspended four of its Philippines based call centre workers after five Telecom customers received offensive text messages.

Andrew Little from the EPMU says he is not at all surprised.

"Telecom made the deliberate decision to contract out this work to the Philippines because they thought they could get customer service done cheaper. And now they're getting what they're paying for," he says.

But Telecom says that is "absolute unsubstantiated rubbish" and it is happy with the level of service it is getting in Manila.

But McMeekan wants it to end and she wants Telecom to improve their customer service.





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  Reply # 300594 20-Feb-2010 20:54
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A lady on the news got 19 prank calls and the internet connection cut off

OUCH

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