Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
21613 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4430

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 173752 26-Oct-2008 20:39
Send private message

Having to have credit on a phone to talk to them may be an issue for me soon, since i have some that only get a yearly topup to stay live and then I use it up calling, then leave it till next year (check the voicemail by calling on another phone)




Richard rich.ms

131 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 173973 27-Oct-2008 23:39
Send private message

PaulBrislen:
robbyp:
freitasm: I think it's the principle. If Vodafone allowed CSR discretion and charged at the end of the call if the call was for any futile reason then I would agree.

But they start charging $1, even if you call to report some problem. Or to try and find some answer when their system is down. Then you have a whole process to get this $1 back.

As I said, if it was something like work on an issue and the CSR click a big red button saying "CHARGE" at the end of the call if it was really something that could have been done through the self help...


I assume they will be removing this fee next year when telecom release their GSM network, and they begin losing prepaid customers. At the moment they have a monopoly on gsm, but telecom will be aggressive in getting new customers, and this will be a point of difference. Already we get charged some of the highest calling rates in NZ.


I would be interested to know where this quoted $3-$10 fee that paul referred to in the program came from, for calling the helpdesk. I assume that refers to the wage they pay their people in Egypt, divided by the number of calls made to the call centre. Did this also take into account the profit they make from the prepaid cusomters.


I don't have a problem with self service, and use it myself, but sometimes the answer isn't in it. Also the online system is out of date for some things, and if you email vodafone through the help system they don't reply, so phoning them is sometimes the only answer, or it has a bug that it can't be sent for some reason. I think they should be penalising those people who phone for stupid things, rather than penalising all of their cusomters for this. You don't hear telecom complaining about this problem. Also there was no explaination as to why prepaid cusomters were charged, but on account ones weren't, even though I assume they both get just as many 'stupid' calls.

Also I thought Paul made a mistake by saying he wasn't aware if the competitor charged a fee for calling the helpdesk. He knew of course that they didn't. I am sure he now regrets saying that.



Regrets, I've had a few... that's not one though. What I was trying to say (albeit without an elegance whatsoever) is if you want to know what Telecom's doing, ask Telecom. We don't follow Telecom's lead, and what Telecom choses to do in terms of customer care isn't my concern.

We won't be dumping the dollar a call charge once Telecom's GSM network launches - why would we? The vast majority of customers do not care whether Telecom offers GSM or CDMA... it's all about the price. Telecom currently has one of the cheapest TXTing option in the market with its $10 TXT... how does switching to GSM make any difference?

You do not get charged "some of the highest calling rates in NZ". If you read the OECD comparisons you'll see that Vodafone's plans are in the top half in terms of value even without including Best Mates and Family. Telecom's plans are not.

The $3-$10 figure comes from me asking the head of customer care how much each call costs. They have a formula based on wages paid, duration of calls, earnings made from a Prepay customer etc.

Telecom doesn't complain about this because it's already reduced its call centre costs... it has reduced the staff in NZ and hired staff in the Philipines. Vodafone hasn't reduced staff in NZ and has ADDED staff in Egypt... that's quite different.

We don't charge on account customers because they've committed to Vodafone up front with a contract and an account that's paid each month. Also, on account customers by and large do not make pointless calls to the call centre. Prepay customers made up the vast majority if not all of these kinds of calls. As I said on the show, 50,000 calls a month asking about stuff like what time is it, how do I turn the volume down, what's it like in a call centre... On top of that we had calls spiking when school gets out and the calls were mostly of the what's my balance kind.

That's all stopped now. In fact, call volumes are down 60%. That's a huge win because when you DO need to call in to speak to an operator (once every seven months on average, although that is now dropping and I think will end up being more like once a year)  you will be able to get through.

Cheers

Paul


I do stand behind believing that eventually the $1 fee will be dropped. Look at how offshore owned Contact Energy backed down on not paying their directors, after a public backlash of NZ customers. Apparently they lost 5% of their customer base because of that error with losing touch with their NZ customers, and the media beatup.

VF are getting a similar backlash, albeit on a far smaller scale, and it is more drawn out. Media are fueling it in part, such as TV3, but many people who are VF prepaid customers may not yet realise they will be charged. This is a topic that has been going on for a few months since it was introduced, and it doesn't really seem to be dying, as it is an unpopular fee.

For your information I have never had trouble getting through to VF customer care instantly, before the charge was introduced. I haven't had the need to phone it since, but I only need to phone a few times a year, and it is always due to a problem, or a billing error. However now the fee has been introduced, I do feel like a second class vodafone cusomter, and will direct further communications via email, fax, or snail mail if the answer isn't online.


The problem I feel with charging an additional fee to some VF customers, and not others, is that VF are running a 'voice' commincations business. At least people on prepaid are largely using it for that purpose. To get an answer online, they have to go to a computer, which they don't usually have access to when they are out and around. Sure they could have a smart phone and access VF website over the internet , but they would still be charged the $1 in data fees, so that wouldn't save anything.

A free alternative does need to be offered that is just as efficient, and so far there doesn't seem to be any free quick alternative. EMail just doesn't seem to work. The forum maybe the answer, but again you need to online with a computer. 

The funny thing is, many companies actually like their customers to phone them up, as it gives the company the opportunity to catch up with the cusomters, and possibily sell them something else. It is a marketing opportunity. I guess with the call centre being in Egypt, it does make onselling more difficult.


PS. Paul, you must be one of the hardest working people in Vodafone, you are everywhere. Hope you are well paid for your efforts,as you certainly seem to be working hard.


 
 
 
 


970 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted
Vodafone

  Reply # 173975 28-Oct-2008 00:09

Hi Robbyprep,

I know what you mean - it does seem counterintuitive to charge customers to ring you. But the 'backlash' has been extremely limited and we've had great feedback about the reduced wait times. We survey our customers regularly to see what they think of us and how they feel about Vodafone and I have to say the results have been extremely pleasing. Far from being upset, customers are seeing the benefits of being able to do more via self service AND get through to the call centre when they do need to speak to someone, despite paying a dollar for it.

It's still early days (we're nearly at the end of month three) but so far it's working and working well.

Cheers

Paul (who really shouldn't be just checking the forums at this time of night but did... oh well)




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


355 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 174167 28-Oct-2008 17:40
Send private message

The incidents where customers are not being refunded for legitimate calls is decreasing rapidly and the system is working as intended. While ultimately a cost saving venture, the charge has greatly decreased wait times and this can benefit everyone. Fair enough to be charged if you can do it yourself, no?

3000 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  Reply # 174219 28-Oct-2008 20:16
Send private message

I'm all for "onlne access" and paying $1 otherwise but frankly:

The website "MYA" is a bad joke and among the worst websites ever and everyone I know agrees.

Checking through "MyVodafone" in Vlive is now a charge (BOO!) (*Correct me if i'm wrong and it's 0-rated.) and still horribly limited with functionality.
'
IVR menu selection is very glitchy, no sense with "*" "always going one step back", sometimes it's two steps, sometimes not at all. certain options can then only be selected by SMS and not through voice prompts and whoever made the "balance" key combinations 1,1,1 should have been shot as it leaves the digits on-screen on many handsetsand too easily redialled.

SMS codes are very unreliable and more often than not return a "Sorry we are experiencing difficulties and cannot process your request" or some other garbage. the MYA 756 menu could also have been designed much simpler.

Suggestion:
Add call records for Prepay users, it's been the norm in Australia for ages and we have heard every excuse about it not being introduced here.

Then, every reason to bring in $1 charge but so far, I have not seen any improvment in the online self-service options.



2483 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4

Trusted

  Reply # 174222 28-Oct-2008 20:20
Send private message

paradoxsm: IVR menu selection is very glitchy, no sense with "*" "always going one step back", sometimes it's two steps, sometimes not at all. certain options can then only be selected by SMS and not through voice prompts and whoever made the "balance" key combinations 1,1,1 should have been shot as it leaves the digits on-screen on many handsets and too easily redialled.

So very true. My mum over looked my mobile when I was using this and thought I was making a prank call! Surprised

paradoxsm: SMS codes are very unreliable and more often than not return a "Sorry we are experiencing difficulties and cannot process your request" or some other garbage.

Yep. I use BAL to 777 now, but half of the time, it returns with a message saying that they're having a problem, yet their online My Vodafone system displays it fine!




Find me on Twitter!

I posted 1, 2 x 10^3 times!

39 posts

Geek


  Reply # 174823 31-Oct-2008 10:51
Send private message

how can you compare the cost of mobiles calls in nz with austriala? when just one of their major citys has the population of our entire country and our 4+ mill population is spread across a large area (so it cost's more to have coverage for everyone). nz is small country..remeber this...we cannot compete with most other countries on price...espically countries that have a national population 5 times our own (like oz).

also, charging for call's to a call centre is actually a standard international process...companies overseas have been doing it for years. nz is just very slow in catching up in this respect and VF is one of the first to implement it. also the nz police even do the same thing - and have done for yrs (your first call from the phone is free, any subsiquent call is charged @ like $10.00) and this is for the same reasons, pointless calls coming into the call centre.

imo, you enjoyed a long period of not being charged for it, it's making necessary calls into the call centre's get their quicker and slowly other companies will adopt it....

learn to live with it :P


1163 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 174854 31-Oct-2008 13:02

BLKR32:

how can you compare the cost of mobiles calls in nz with austriala? when just one of their major citys has the population of our entire country and our 4+ mill population is spread across a large area (so it cost's more to have coverage for everyone). nz is small country..remeber this...we cannot compete with most other countries on price...espically countries that have a national population 5 times our own (like oz).

also, charging for call's to a call centre is actually a standard international process...companies overseas have been doing it for years. nz is just very slow in catching up in this respect and VF is one of the first to implement it. also the nz police even do the same thing - and have done for yrs (your first call from the phone is free, any subsiquent call is charged @ like $10.00) and this is for the same reasons, pointless calls coming into the call centre.

imo, you enjoyed a long period of not being charged for it, it's making necessary calls into the call centre's get their quicker and slowly other companies will adopt it....

learn to live with it :P

 

You could say the same about broadband costs in NZ, but is this true. The commerce Commission doesn't believe that is a valid arguement, and believe that competition in the market will bring down prices. The fact is many prepay customers are paying the same or more per minute that they were 10 years ago. eg. It costs $1.39 per minute to call a telecom mobile on motormouth. Don't get me started on TXT messaging, which is datatransfer of only a few bytes of data, yet it costs 20c, whic has remained the same for a decade. Costs should have come  down over time, as more people joined up to 'share the cost'


2 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 174879 31-Oct-2008 14:38
Send private message

PaulBrislen: Vodafone hasn't reduced staff in NZ and has ADDED staff in Egypt... that's quite different.

Sorry GZ for no introduction - long-time reader, first post - but I have to correct this. Fifteen NZ-based CSR's (incl my partner) were made redundant two weeks ago - 5 from v.nue, 10 from Manukau, with more to come. Paul, you can confirm this with your Head of Customer Care if you need to.

970 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted
Vodafone

  Reply # 174886 31-Oct-2008 15:18

That's completely untrue.

I'm sorry but we simply have NOT laid off any call centre staff anywhere.

cheers

Paul

EDIT: Unless you're talking about contractors of course - we've let a number of contractors go but we are replacing those contractor roles with permanent roles.

Contractors are used in a short term role and are paid accordingly. You use them when you need them and wind up the contract when you don't. We've decided these contractors' roles are better filled with permanent staff so that's what we're doing.




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


2 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 174902 31-Oct-2008 15:57
Send private message

Perhaps you should confirm what I am saying with [name removed], call centre manager. Staff made redundant from Chay Proms' team, Mark Vinces' team and Tania Parangi's team at v.nue; not sure about Manukau. 15 in total. No contractors - all permanent, 1.0 FTE staff.

I know what I am talking about...


[Moderator edit (MF): name removed]


ajw

1442 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 136


  Reply # 174903 31-Oct-2008 15:59
Send private message

Looks like Paul has been caught out again.



[Moderator (ND): Fixed slight typo]

1780 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 35

Trusted

  Reply # 174916 31-Oct-2008 16:32
Send private message

bcnz:

Perhaps you should confirm what I am saying with Pandora Downs, call centre manager. Staff made redundant from Chay Proms' team, Mark Vinces' team and Tania Parangi's team at v.nue; not sure about Manukau. 15 in total. No contractors - all permanent, 1.0 FTE staff.

I know what I am talking about...



if that is the case I am honestly speechless, back on topic, I find it is quicker now getting through to a CSR one quirk though, when I rang I think it was 8.00 a.m. in the morning I was quite surprised that they have the national radio running in the background (I don't know if they know that we can hear them) ... playing some music other than english with a traditional beat. So .... Laughing

970 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted
Vodafone

  Reply # 174924 31-Oct-2008 16:41

I'm sorry, but I've just spoken to the head of customer care and she tells me quite frankly we have made NO redundancies at all.

We have moved some contractors to Sales Force, our outsourced call centre, but that is it. See my previous post.

Pandora's team has lost NO full time staff. Neither have any of the teams you've listed lost staff.

I don't know who you are but frankly this is untrue. Either you're making it up or your partner is a contractor whose role has been moved to Sales Force.

Either way I say to you again, we are NOT and HAVE NOT laid off ANY permanent staff from the call centre.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


355 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 174926 31-Oct-2008 16:52
Send private message

BCNZ: Vodafone is being very careful about the bad publicity lay-offs can cause, especially in these times. To this extent my impression has been that absolutely no permanent staff should be made redundant unless absolutely necessary. Are you sure that your partner wasn't contracted, but on a permanent basis? Have you actually seen the word "redundant" on paperwork given to them?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Geekzone Live »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.