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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 156246 12-Aug-2008 11:53
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robscovell: This is the message I sent to Vodafone through their feedback system:

Hi,

This relates to number 021 xxxx xxxx. 

I made several attempts to add a best mate to this number using the 756 TXT service and the online web portal. However, I was told that the number I was trying to add is 'invalid'. I rang 777 and reluctantly paid the $1 to speak to a CSR. I was told that the best mates system was down for maintenance and to try again later. As this was due to a fault at your end, I asked for a refund of the $1. He told me that he could not do that. I said I wasn't happy to pay to report a fault but he said there was nothing he could do to refund the $1. 

The amount of money is small but I object in principle to being charged to report a fault with your system and request a refund of $1.

Rob Scovell


This is the response:

Dear Rob

Thank you for your email.

We are extremely grateful that you have taken the time to contact us with this feedback. This will be channelled to the appropriate department, please keep in mind that they may not be able to contact you directly.

I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the decision to implement a $1.00 service fee for Prepay contacts to customer service; this fee is really designed to reduce contact that can be actioned by customers through other self service channels such as the internet.

This in turn will reduce the wait times for any customers who need assistance for anything that cannot be actioned online such as problems with their mobile or issues with a particular service.

Unfortunately with the current labour market as it is in New Zealand it is not possible to simply increase staffing numbers to address increased demand for customer services and the introduction of a service fee will hopefully improve service across the board for all customers.

Please see the details below for the self service options that are available to you as a customer and once again thank you for your feedback.

Although there will be a service fee to speak to a customer services representative, remember we offer a wide range of self service options to manage your mobile via 777 and online with My Vodafone.

By calling 777, you can use our self service options to check your mobile balance, review your TXT2000 balance, top-up your mobile via Credit Card, purchase, cancel and change your Add-Ons as well as hear about the latest Vodafone promotions and offers all at the touch of a button. 

My Vodafone is another great way to manage your mobile service online. With My Vodafone you can access all of your mobile information - you can top-up online, check your mobile balance, manage your Add-Ons, view your PUK code, plus much, much more - so check it out! Visit vodafone.co.nz/myvodafone

If you have any further questions please reply to this email, call our Customer Contact Centre on 777 from your Vodafone mobile, or 0800 800 021 from any other phone. From overseas you can contact us on + 64 9 355 2007.


If the person who sent this standard reply had read my message, he would have seen that the standard reply is not relevant to what I said:

1. It tells me to use 'My Vodafone' -- the point of my message being that 'My Vodafone' wasn't working when I tried to add the best mates number
2. It suggests I could call them back on 777, and pay another $1.

If Vodafone now has a 'Right First Time' then why does my message get sent to 'the appropriate department' and I get sent an inappropriate response. Why don't I get an appropriate respone 'First Time'?

I am wasting a lot of time on this but there is a principle at stake here -- being charged for essentially reporting a fault. 

Rob


And it looks like you didn't get the refund after all? Or did you?






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  Reply # 156365 12-Aug-2008 19:04
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I've had a voicemail from someone at Vodafone on behalf of Paul Brislen -- thanks Paul! She's going to call me back to discuss this.

I hope the conversation proves to be useful.

Rob

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 156412 12-Aug-2008 21:43
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Great to see that Paul has helped out but why should it have had to come to this?

At the end of the day vf customer service has been very poor for a while, with a further slap in the face for prepay customers now having to pay for help.

It will be interesting to see what happens with customer numbers once the telecom gsm network becomes active. I for one have stuck with vf simply because of the phone options available but if telecom offer up some decent handsets I will be gone like a flash, as will many others I suspect.

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Reply # 156452 12-Aug-2008 23:04
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Unfortunately with the current labour market as it is in New Zealand it is not possible to simply increase staffing numbers to address increased demand for customer services and the introduction of a service fee will hopefully improve service across the board for all customers.


ROFLMAO!!!!!! 

Perhaps you just don't pay enough.





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  Reply # 156476 13-Aug-2008 07:45
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robscovell: I've had a voicemail from someone at Vodafone on behalf of Paul Brislen -- thanks Paul! She's going to call me back to discuss this.

I hope the conversation proves to be useful.

Rob

 

If they offered something similar to bestmates - bye bye vodafone!!!


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  Reply # 156679 13-Aug-2008 19:53
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Geektastic: Unfortunately with the current labour market as it is in New Zealand it is not possible to simply increase staffing numbers to address increased demand for customer services and the introduction of a service fee will hopefully improve service across the board for all customers.


ROFLMAO!!!!!!

Perhaps you just don't pay enough.


I don't think that's the problem:  It would appear, according to PaulBrislen that they pay plenty:

It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.


Um.. does that suggest they're paying more than $1 a minute to their CSRs?

Where do I sign up? :) 

Cheers,

Jenny.


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  Reply # 156682 13-Aug-2008 20:09
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dendennz:
Geektastic: Unfortunately with the current labour market as it is in New Zealand it is not possible to simply increase staffing numbers to address increased demand for customer services and the introduction of a service fee will hopefully improve service across the board for all customers.


ROFLMAO!!!!!!

Perhaps you just don't pay enough.


I don't think that's the problem:  It would appear, according to PaulBrislen that they pay plenty:

It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.


Um.. does that suggest they're paying more than $1 a minute to their CSRs?

Where do I sign up? :) 

Cheers,

Jenny.


Well spotted! $60/hr would be at least $120,000 a year - so if they get more than $1 a minute, they must be up there with lawyers. Think of all those tedious exams you could avoid!





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Reply # 156688 13-Aug-2008 20:19
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....typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.




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Reply # 156717 13-Aug-2008 21:27
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Question: if you have a problem and phone up and speak to a CSR, and get charged $1, afterwards you phone up again to see if you got refunded the $1, do you get the second $1 refunded as well?Wink

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  Reply # 156725 13-Aug-2008 21:41
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Geektastic:
Well spotted! $60/hr would be at least $120,000 a year - so if they get more than $1 a minute, they must be up there with lawyers. Think of all those tedious exams you could avoid!


I don't think the CSR's are paid that much :-) But I imagine they would be paid between 40K-50K plus you have overheads (office space, flash Christmas parties, computer terminals etc) and CSR Team leaders etc. It all adds up. I assume that is also inc GST, so it's more like 87.5c/call or $109,200/year :-)

I'm all in favour of charging $1 if I can reach CSR's within 5 minutes on hold which arn't pissed off at the world because they have been dealing with time wasters all day.

What I am curious about is what happens to post pay customers, do we get charged $1 as well?




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  Reply # 156726 13-Aug-2008 21:45
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exportgoldman: What I am curious about is what happens to post pay customers, do we get charged $1 as well?

No, only prepay users. At least now On Account customers can say that their monthly fee includes free customer support now.




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  Reply # 156756 13-Aug-2008 23:27
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Geektastic:
Well spotted! $60/hr would be at least $120,000 a year - so if they get more than $1 a minute, they must be up there with lawyers. Think of all those tedious exams you could avoid!


Absolutely!

I doubt the Egyptian reps are being paid NZ$50k p.a. VF pays the NZ staff under that so where would the cost savings be in the shift? No, I imagine they're paid a lot less.

Remember guys, Paul is PR Smile. His job is to make out it's all OK. He's also exceedingly helpful so where he loses points for smooth-talk he gains in fixing the issues. As someone mentioned it shouldn't need to come to this however Vodafone's not evil, they just cut costs where they can. If enough people leave their network, they stop doing it (or start). I think the idea behind this is good but it was implemented badly.

Incidentally, I've had the pleasure of speaking with the Egyptian CSR's on a few occasions now for personal reasons and I found their accent hard to understand. It wasn't at all posh and I wouldn't call it 'proper'. It was distinctly unique with overtones of American. This was compounded however with the poor line quality. I believe all calls to this centre are now VoIP but, coupled with the strange accent and their apparent confusion with my kiwi accent, I became frustrated quickly. I actually felt a little sorry for the rep too.

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  Reply # 158755 21-Aug-2008 17:33
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PaulBrislen: If you call the call centre with a problem with a self service function (like signing up for a Best Mate) then tell them that and they'll be able to reverse the $1 charge.

Call centre staff aren't assessed on how many calls they churn through. Instead we use "right first time" to determine how well a call centre staffer is doing. They're expected to solve the problem on the first try no matter how long that takes.

Cheers

Paul


Tell that to the CSR I spoke with today.

Last week, just before leaving NZ, I call up to top up and the CC service is down.  So, after a few tries, I call customer service as it suggests.  I try that a few times, but it just keeps hanging up on me after I'm on hold.  And on top of that, it's now chewed my remaining credit.  So, I can't top up, and I can't talk to someone because I can't top up because of a problem with your system.

Later that day, I'm topped up @ the airport via the Vodafone reseller there, but then I call again and get hung up on and charged again a few times.  When I finally get through, I'm charged another dollar, and told that the computer system is down and that they can't help me...but I've just been charged a dollar for service they can't give me.  He says call again later...I do, and the customer service centre is now closed.

Fast forward to today when I arrive back home....I call up to get a refund.  The guy wants to refund me for the times that I got hung up on...but won't refund me for the time that they couldn't help me, or this call, saying that I had a problem and he solved it so I should be charged.  So I ask to speak to his supervisor, he refuses, I get frustrated and yell at him (not swearing, I know the law).  He puts me on hold and 5 minutes later tells me he can refund in full.

But then, to top it all off....after refusing to put me on to his supervisor....he tells me that I can't take my frustration out on the CSR's.  When I try to explain to him that I know that and that's why I wanted to talk to his supervisor, he starts on his "Goodbye and thank you for calling Vodafone script". 

I've put in a complaint with the Commerce Commission for this.  Unfair trading practices - having to pay to communicate regarding a remedy is unacceptable.

I recommend anyone else that has had a similarly bizzare and frustrating experience to do the same!

Oh, and BTW, I'm not against the $1 charge, I'm just against it if a) The self service/website is broken b) It's something you can't do with self service.

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  Reply # 158827 21-Aug-2008 22:38
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How long is VF going to let this debacle go on? If there was any real competition in NZ in the celluar market they would be getting hammered with falling customer numbers.

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  Reply # 158830 21-Aug-2008 22:46
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marmel: How long is VF going to let this debacle go on? If there was any real competition in NZ in the celluar market they would be getting hammered with falling customer numbers.

The only other hammer is proper EU style regulation - and that won't be on anyone's agenda in an election year. Toytown name-calling and dirt-digging is much more en vogue in the Beehive just now! Proper business must wait until after the election dust has settled.

Regulation works well in non-competitive environments provided that the regulator has teeth and the freedom to use them.





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