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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 6740 20-Feb-2006 09:22
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We should really have a forum where we could discuss both New Zealand operators in the same place, but it would be a really low traffic forum... This is an entry that could go there, but in the meantime we have separate discussion areas for them.

After reading so many posts here about bad services in some Telecom store and about bad services from the Vodafone customer service, I wonder if operators worry as they should about this important part of their service.

I know operators worry to a certain point, but at what level this is passed on to the stores, which are the front end for their operations and many times the first point of contact when things go wrong for a customer?

These companies can't only rely on "we provide a good telecommunication service". This is expected. People know POTS would provide then with a dial tone 99.9999% of the time within a certain time limit, and they expect the same level of reliability from a mobile phone - although we all know that because of the highly mobile nature of users it is very difficult for operators to identify and balance the load in some sites, so sometimes mobile phone don't work as well as expected (but that's only on New Year's Eve, and during certain rugby matches right?)

They have to excel in customer service, the after sale stuff. But in such a small market as New Zealand, close to saturation, where the mobile competition is split 50/50 there are not many options for consumers. Either they purchase services from Telecom New Zealand or from Vodafone New Zealand, there's nothing in between.

So, there is not much incentive, because today's churn will be tomorrow customer again. And the cycle goes on.

While I know actions have been taken in cases reported here, and hopefully all will be sorted out, waiting for things to happen (and being reported on a forum) is not a good course.

Some people find our site and use it to vent their bad experiences, and I really think it's a shame people don't give praises too when things work well. Come on, tell the world about the good experiences these two companies provided, not only about the bad things. Tell us when things were fixed or simply worked!

I use both providers and I am happy with their services. It is a balance: I like the faster data speed Telecom provides me, and I like the roaming freedom I have with Vodafone.

In most cases people will have to decide which one is better for them based on their requirements.

The whole point of this post is to alert operators about their after sales services. That's where customers turn into clients. Clients are much better than customers, aren't they?

That's where customers can turn into happy clients, or turn into unhappy churn and a voice against your services.

Check this post for some evidence (unfortunatelly not NZ based) that people are not against the companies by definition, but against the way they provide services.








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Reply # 28821 20-Feb-2006 10:52
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Yea I agree for the better part and congrats to you and geekzone to put some perspective on things as you always hear the bad and never the good things.

I like Geekzone as a forum in general and has lots of excellent info and lots of help.

My own thoughts are its ruined by some members who love to flame and are to quick to jump on the bash Vodafone - Telecom bandwagon. Maybe they are over passionate employees

I have always found if you approach companies with a fault and be polite and ask for assistance they are generally able to help and the are paths to go down if you are not getting the answers. Yell at them or be rude you wont get anywhere.

Also I have worked on a it help desk and you cant always say exactly whats going on for commerical reasons.

The below is really bad comparison as it will only encourage another Telecom verses Vodafone session

"I use both providers and I am happy with their services. It is a balance: I like the faster data speed Telecom provides me, and I like the roaming freedom I have with Vodafone."

Lets here some good experances.




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Reply # 28822 20-Feb-2006 10:58
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It surprises me that neither company sends an official rep here to answer questions, or to post about new services, fixes, or general happenings.

Some dealers send users here, and from experience, I know that this can be because a customer asks a very valid question about a Telecom product that TNZ simply does not provide training to its dealers or account managers for. (e.g. last time I checked, the Wireless Data Helpdesk didnt support enquiries about CDMA data over bluetooth to any great degree)

In addition to knowing about good experiences that Mauricio mentioned, it would especially be good to know which store/dealer you use, and why. I dont intend this call to be a "moan about xyz dealer" but simply to highlight good or bad service to allow others to make an informed decision about where to go to get the best advice about their prepaid plan, or their PDA & data plan (and everything in between). Please create a new thread in the appropriate forum if you wish to do so.




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Reply # 28825 20-Feb-2006 11:20
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Lipex666: Maybe they are over passionate employees.
You will be surprise to find out the persons involved were not employees of neither company.

Lipex666: "I use both providers and I am happy with their services. It is a balance: I like the faster data speed Telecom provides me, and I like the roaming freedom I have with Vodafone."
Actually not. My point was to show the each individual will have different requirements and just because something works for you it doesn't mean I have to use the same.

About passionate (or fanatical) users, there's another post you might want to read that extends the discussion - this one is for the operators, the other is for the users.






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Reply # 28826 20-Feb-2006 11:22
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tonyhughes: It surprises me that neither company sends an official rep here to answer questions, or to post about new services, fixes, or general happenings.
In the last week or so before this post we actually had a quite high up person from TNZ joining the forum and personally arranging for some problems to be solved.

But you are right, it would be great to have a single "official" voice from each company so people could use as a contact - not replacing the normal channels because those should be followed first.

Tried, but couldn't get the commitment of neither operator...





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Reply # 28828 20-Feb-2006 12:15
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freitasm:
But you are right, it would be great to have a single "official" voice from each company so people could use as a contact - not replacing the normal channels because those should be followed first.

Tried, but couldn't get the commitment of neither operator...



Which gets back to the point of your original post and the very obvious question - do they actually care about their customers?

Judging by the comments made on here Vodafone seem willing to offer deals when you threaten to leave yet they would be far better off trying to deal with those problems before that stage is reached. The fact that there are people on here from both Vodafone and Telecom who are solving customer's problems in their own time (or maybe work time considering the number of posts by johnr and jama during the day!) should show them where they are going wrong and how they can fix it.

I remember speaking to a senior Vodafone retail manager about 2 years ago asking why they didn't have Data Experts in stores where people could take their PDA's, laptops etc in and get somebody to actually set up the device so the person could use mobile email. afterall network operators everywhere see data as the big growth area of the future. There are probably a lot of people out there who have no idea how easy it would be to hook their Bluetooth capable phone up to their laptop or PDA yet neither network really seems interested in providing simply help. Vodafone's answer along the lines of "I don't know why we don't do it and I don't think we will do it" came as a bit of a shock.

I think part of the retail problem lies with the staff who are generally young and with the good commissions that can be earned don't seem to realise it's not just about pushing the quick sell but looking at the long term needs of the customer.

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Reply # 28832 20-Feb-2006 12:32
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freitasm: In the last week or so before this post we actually had a quite high up person from TNZ joining the forum and personally arranging for some problems to be solved.

Saw that - its a one off out of hundreds of issues though.




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Reply # 28833 20-Feb-2006 12:42
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I just had a really funny thought: What if we did actually secure a TNZ rep and a Voda rep and they started flaming each other? Do the users decide who gets banned?

Gads, they need to let me out more often.

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Reply # 28834 20-Feb-2006 12:56
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freitasm: people are not against the companies by definition, but against the way they provide services.


I found its very easy to hate a company after being on the receivng end of a bad experience with. But its important to take a step back sometimes and realise that often its not the company as a whole that is at fault, but maybe an employee who has failed to do their job properly. That shouldnt take away from great service or products that the company offers.

The people at Telecom could really not be more helpful in resolving my problems with a particular store. I was very surprised at how fast they moved on the issue. A now happy customer here.

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Reply # 28836 20-Feb-2006 13:04
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It becomes a case of drawing the line regarding what you support and what you don't support. You will understand when I say that it is easy to become a 'free' Microsoft help desk. Data issues invariably are centred around a customers lack of knowledge and expertise in how something works which in a lot of cases relate to the OS. So, where do you draw the line? You can write instruction manuals but experience shows people don't read instructions they want the condensed version - someone showing them or telling them how to do it. Look at Geekzone the number of Bluetooth problems is astounding.

From an operators perspective you have to draw the line - A customer phones the help desk and says 'my data card is not working'. How far do you go? You check the systems to ensure that it is provisioned correctly, you check that there are no network issues. What else do you do?

Personally I don't believe that its help desks that are the problem, it is customer education (or lack off) that is the problem. If I walk into DSE - purchase an Acer laptop with XP and Office installed do I get any training or support - the answer is no. If I plug in a data card and it doesn't work it suddenly becomes Telecoms problem.


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Reply # 28837 20-Feb-2006 13:10
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BTW - Brad glad to hear that your issue was sorted. That is good news. All it took was one little email sent to the right person with the link to your post.



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Reply # 28838 20-Feb-2006 13:14
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While customers have their participation in bad experience as Jama says, it's still something operators should be able to orient the customer - if it's really not their problem then give directions on where to go next.

Or if they had problems with a specific handset model and then it's found to be a faulty device, don't go around and around.

For some problems, involving client relationship management and product orientation then stores should be better prepared.

Note I am using client as in a long-term commercial (or consulting) relationship, not customer, which is in general a single commercial touch point.

BTW - Brad glad to hear that your issue was sorted. That is good news. All it took was one little email sent to the right person with the link to your post.
This is what I am talking about. It shouldn't be needed, stores should know better - but the fact that this went up a little is a step in the right direction.






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Reply # 28839 20-Feb-2006 13:21
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Jama: Personally I don't believe that its help desks that are the problem, it is customer education (or lack off) that is the problem.

Spoken like a true tech support operator. :D

On the flip-side, though: As a help-desk operator, you can't just leave the customer in the lurch. As much as it disgusts me to say this, I've found that you have to be a walking user manual. Otherwise your customers will go elsewhere and your business gets a bad rep. And in a country as small as New Zealand, word-of-mouth goes a long way.

And I demand that the salespeople I work with take some responsibility in terms of customer orientation. I've told them in no uncertain terms that if it's cellular, I don't want to know about it. If the client wants to turn off predicitve text, the salespeople need to know how to help them through it. If the scratchpad tones are turned off, they need to know how to turn it back on. Yes, this stuff is in the manual. But if we tell the client that and walk away, they won't come back to us. If we show them where in the manual it is and walk them through doing it themselves, they'll bring their business back and hopefully their friend's business as well.

And after the client leaves the building, we shoot them with our imaginary guns, then go out back and have a smoke.

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Reply # 28840 20-Feb-2006 13:24
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Jama: BTW - Brad glad to hear that your issue was sorted. That is good news. All it took was one little email sent to the right person with the link to your post.


Yeah thanks to the person who did that. The issue isnt actually quite sorted yet. I am awaiting a call back from the regional manager by 2pm. Was promised that it would be sorted to my satisfaction by then. But im taking that as a good indication. Person couldnt be more pleasant or helpful.

freitasm: This is what I am talking about. It shouldn't be needed, stores should know better - but the fact that this went up a little is a step in the right direction.


Im just disapointed that it had to go this far, i used to hold that particular manager in high regard as a helpful, friendly guy, but no more. Hoping i get the refund i want so i can take my money to another store.

Hopefully the store does learn something from this. Since stores are the public face for a company like Telecom (help desk doesnt really count but are very good) they really need to make sure they handle things in a manner that does not reflect poorly on a great company. Maybe Telecom needs to reinforce this to the stores.



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Reply # 28841 20-Feb-2006 13:29
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bradstewart: Since stores are the public face for a company like Telecom (help desk doesnt really count but are very good) they really need to make sure they handle things in a manner that does not reflect poorly on a great company. Maybe Telecom needs to reinforce this to the stores.


You see the problem operators have to realise? "...stores are the public face for a company like Telecom", even though they are not Telecom, but independent third party.

When companies have third party facing the customer there's a big risk these will not be turning into clients. The risk exists because stores are there just for the quick buck on the sale, not for the long haul relationship.







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Reply # 28843 20-Feb-2006 13:41
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Something of a dilema for companies. What is the deal with the More Mobile stores? i was under the impression they were owned by Telecom.

freitasm: When companies have third party facing the customer there's a big risk these will not be turning into clients. The risk exists because stores are there just for the quick buck on the sale, not for the long haul relationship.


What these stores need to realise is that customer service is a key to making a sale. With so much choice in the mobile market- everywhere seems to sell them now, it is important they are doing their best to look after their customers because one bad experience or being messed around and the customer wont hesitate to walk and they will also share their bad experiences with their friends causing them to stay away. So when they focus on making a quick buck, they end up losing out on much more and get a negative reputation.

Last year i was looking at buying 8 apaches and data cards for the company i work for. I asked for a quote from the same store, after 4 weeks of harrasing them for the quote i went the vodafone rep who had offered me a much better deal. I even gave TNZ an opportunity to mtach the deal. Work out how much 8 apaches and 8 data cards are worth to them....thats how much went to VF instead.

Great customer service is everything!

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