Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Call centers of our Telcos

I wanted to apply for a fixed line. I called the call center of SingTel and Starhub. It was a frustrating experience.

They asked me to listen to pass a button select an option, and to go through it many times. The trouble is that I do not understand the various services and options.

I hope that the designers of call center system are considerate. They should understand that the ordinary customer does not understand the complications of your business. Why not get the customer to talk to a person on your careline early?


Monsoon said...

The telco are the biggest culprit of these call centers being so user unfriendly and make sure to discourage you from calling them for anything. What saving they get from this system they will loss out from the frustration of their customers.

Anonymous said...

Many organisations have used this press button select options system for many years now. NTUC Income under your leadership was the very few organisations left to use real people to answer calls. Kudos to you. Not sure how long that will last now that you are no longer in Income. I already see the policy holder loans and fitness centres being done away with under the new management. These are things that we policy holders are grateful for in times of needs and showed that NTUC cared about the people. Not anymore!!!
Starhub's hotline is actually more user friendly and you can get to a courteous operator faster than Singtel. The designers of these centres are usually technical people who are not able to put themselves into the shoes of the laymen. Also many staff nowadays use the automated system to ward off customers calls and put it into an endless loop where a sweet recorded voice kept telling you how important you are to the company and that you will be attended to shortly and it is actually a real test of patience as your phone bill goes up without any real purpose. So the phone companies get to benefit from these too.
There have been recently the hue and cry over Starhub's increase in fees and the contract that prevents people from cancelling their subscriptions. Singtel also practices these unfair methods by a three year contract which does not reduce in price when a similar broadband service by the same company is now 20 dollars cheaper. Subscribers cannot cancel unless having to pay a hefty penalty fee but has to continue to pay the old higher subscription fees. How is it that when prices are raised then the contract is not binding in price but when prices are reduced it is binding?
We are now living in a society that cares only for more money, whether in cash or in kind, like all these automated answering services in the name of higher productivity but in actual fact just wants to save money by cutting down on the number of real people manning the phones to give real service.

Anonymous said...

I really hate all the telcos' customer service. Its one of the worst in Singapore. Once you are subscribed, you are finished.

Its one way all through out. I'm subscribed to Singtel Mobile for the last 7 years, and never in these 7 years I can reach the customer service easily. Its a shame on Singtel.

I like NTUC's call centre and I always recommend it to my friends. Why not telcos listen and use NTUC's model.

Govt promotes service, but what these giants doing are something opposite to customer service. Once we are a customer, its like we have to service them.

I lost hope with them.

Anonymous said...

NTUC Income is fast becoming like this too. Once you have bought policies from them, it is like you have to service them yourself. Although the call centre is good, these are just frontline staff who have no decision making clout. It is the managment who decides, and I must say it is getting worse. NTUC Income has joined the ranks of those money principled organisations that cares only about bottom line and their own (management) egos. Tsk Tsk

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