You Mean You Dont Want Me? (An open letter to P1’s CEO)


Dear Mr Michael Lai

First and foremost I would like to thank you for your P1 wifi service that has been used at my house since July last year. It was my husband who thought that by using a P1 service, it would enable us to get connected as he was away in Canada at that time. It would make our communication easier.

Communication using chat with my husband  after signing up was tough at best as the line kept on dropping or slow, crawling to a dial-up pace. It went on and on and on till now. The word crappy came to my mind first but I like to be diplomatic as I could. My husband has a better word than crappy. He called it shit but that wasnt too nice to put forth to a CEO of a Company, I told him.

Yes I did receive your email explaining about the service upgrades and all that. That was last year. But I was kinda hoping that it would improve. My husband and I talked to your Customer Service a few times too. They say we can do a speed check online. But how can we do an online speed check when we can’t even get online? Whenever we are able to get connected, it is always at a snail’s pace. We can’t even upload our holiday pictures onto our Facebook albums. You see, Mr Lai. We are a family oriented people. We want family and friends to be connected to us via all modes of communication including FB. 5 of the children are located in another continent which has 14 hours time difference and another teenager, who even still live with us, wants to show us her photography skills via pictures uploaded in her site.

We can’t do this efficiently when our internet connection is not stable. It reacts like a psycho bitch who is moody and self-centred. It only works when it wants to. Most of the time, it doesn’t want to. It makes us pissy mad. My husband who believes that all these high-tech things will make our lives easier, cant even pay his bills online lest the data got lost while transmission.

I am a bit of a conservative type. I use the net to surf for recipes, read news, emails, FB-ing and blogging. I dont really blog well but so far I have steady followers who read my rants and stories for the past 3 years or so. I can’t even do that with the internet always at a dying pace. Or worse still, dead.

Then, my husband came to realization that he can actually switch to another provider! And change he did. Their service works all the time and at any time. Must have been the good works coming from the cute, funny Yellow Man who tags us whenever we use the service. It works in the toilet too! How cool is that?

With the new service provider in place, it makes me ponder, what should I do with P1? I have a few options, really:

  1. grin and bear with the service and hope it will get better.
  2. Go to the hub and buy out the service contract so that I don’t have to listen to my husband’s rant.

Listening to my husband’s rant day in day out about the service wasnt very pleasing, I must tell you. You see, he is a creative guy in a lot of ways, including word play. I stopped defending P1 service, its upgrading stuff and how the CEO is a caring guy. I ran out of creative excuses to give him and justifying why we are paying RM99/month for something that doesn’t give us anything in return.

With that I went to your P1 hub yesterday. 99% of the intention was to buy out the contract. However, 1% of me was really hoping that some miracle would happen so that I don’t have to do the deed. I was getting very attached to see the modem blinking red on the counter near the sofa at home. I know it wasnt really a comforting sight but it has been there for almost a year.

But we human beings never learn.

I sat in front of your Customer Service staff telling him that I am looking at buying out the contract. He clicked a few things on his computer and told me that I have another approximately 12 months for contract expiration. I looked at him, still praying for that miracle so that I can change my mind.

He proceeded to write down the total amount for me to pay (came to about RM500 plus including some dues because I was pissy mad at your service) and said, “You need to pay all these including RM299 termination fees”.

“Ok”, I said. “Can you please tell me why RM299 and not some other amount?”

He said, ” This is what we charge for termination of contract”.

“Ok”, I said again. “But what does it means? Worth of your contract? Documents? Modems?”

“No”, he said. “It is just an amount to pay….”. Sigh.

“You mean I dont owe you anything anymore after paying all these?”

“Thats right. Instead of paying RM1,188 as penalty, we are giving you a discount of RM299 plus amount due.”

“Hmm…the amount is weird and you can’t even explain to me why the RM299….”

“Is this all, Madam? Thank you and have a good day”.

WHAT? You don’t want to know the reason why I want to terminate my contract???”

“No, I don’t want to ask. Besides it is your right to terminate the contract at whatever reason you have.”

“Uh yeah, but here you are saying that you are willing to let me go at a cost of RM500 plus so that you can get rid of me and not looking at the potential income for next 12 months which will generate you a thousand plus ringgit??”

“Thats right!” And he smiled at me.

“Arent you supposed to do a service recovery here by asking why? I might change my mind, you know?”

“Ohhh, we will only ask you when you return back the modem to us…”

“Isnt that a little bit too late to do service recovery?”

“Well, that’s our procedure here.”

I promptly left the counter as I felt that either this guy didn’t get what it means to be customercentric or the company hasn’t given him any training of service recovery. I didn’t want to waste my time talking to someone who didn’t feel it is important enough for him to ask questions from his customers. It didn’t matter to him.

Mr Lai

A source in the internet says that you have a client database of about 80,000 subscribers as of 2008 and climbing I am sure for 2009. I am not sure what is the segment of users who fall within my category but lets just say, for the sake of discussion, if you have a fall out of 20% and their profiling is similar to mine, you are losing 16,000 customers on a steady rate. Charge them RM299 per termination, you will get RM4,784,000.

BUT, if you train your people to do a service recovery well, you will actually gain RM19,008,000 if all changed their mind like I almost did! (RM99 x 12 months x 16,000 customers).

By the way, here is my first rant about your service. Enjoy reading. Search for other rants in the search box if you will.

PPS: I was told that you and your team have a weekly meeting to discuss on any items that came out in the internet search. I hope you found mine. And share with your team. Especially about the service recovery. Mention about the potential loss of income too. Let them ponder a little.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Your soon to be ex customer

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8 Replies to “You Mean You Dont Want Me? (An open letter to P1’s CEO)”

  1. Hon, I think you are being a bit optimistic in your service recovery projections, since recovery can only happen if there actually is a service available to be recovered. Sadly, in our case, no such service has existed for quite some time. I read that Green Packet Berhad – P1 is a subsidiary of Green Packet – lost RM176 million in 2009. But it apparently expects to “bounce back” in 2011. I say “fat chance” based on subsidiary staff that apparently don’t care about customers walking away, or – better yet! – these same staff giving customers a discount on early termination to encourage them to walk away. This is the WRONG kind of “Malaysia boleh”…

  2. Hi there,

    We are from P1 online social media team.. just to drop by to say Hi to ya =)

    I had gone thru your blog and it’s really galling about our service that you had previously experienced. I truly would like to apologize on the subject matter above.. I really do hope that you to agive us a chance to assist you on this..

    Should you require further assistance please feel free to drop us your P1 account details @ talktous@p1.com.my / reply to this blog for further assistance.

    Once again, apologize for any inconvenience caused. Have a nice day ahead =)

    best regards,

    P1 Buddy
    Digital Care
    Talktous@P1.com.my
    Careline 1300 800 888

  3. Hi there,

    We are from P1 online social media team.. just to drop by to say Hi to ya =)

    I had gone thru your blog and it’s really galling about our service that you had previously experienced. I truly would like to apologize on the subject matter above.. I really do hope that you can give us a chance to assist you on this..

    Should you require further assistance please feel free to drop us your P1 account details @ talktous@p1.com.my / reply to this blog for further assistance.

    Once again, apologize for any inconvenience caused. Have a nice day ahead =)

    best regards,

    P1 Buddy
    Digital Care
    Talktous@P1.com.my
    Careline 1300 800 888

  4. You know…reading this made me realize to what low level I have come to expect service quality in our country. My P1 is not as bad as yours but just tolerable and I have decided to just let it be as I am not going to allow that to spoil my day. I know that soon enough someone will come along with a better value proposition at a click of a button and I am off.

    Talking about service quality in Malaysia. Recently I was invited to the opening of Neutral, a new club in town…just below the Modestos at Jalan Alor (?) where Beach Club etc is. I responeded to the sms and made reservation for Alcie and my self. A guy (whose name I know) called to confirm.

    Alcie and I have never been to a club opening. We are not ardent club goers anyway. We are more of the pub types where you can get good meat….the eating type! Its cool for us to get invited to this one though! That was what we thought.
    We were there at 9pm. Ordered 2 drinks and decided to see how things go before ordering a bottle of my favourite single malt. Before my drinks arrived. The guy who took our reservation came to us and said, “I am sorry you have to go to the bar as this place will be packed and these tables are reserved”. Well, I am sure you know the most logical question I would have asked.

    There was no answer. Just a blank stare. We moved to the lonely bar. Finished our drinks. Drew a long line over our names in the guest book and walked across to Aloha and spent good money, had some fun and left.

    Businesses in Malaysia beware! The empowerment of us long suffering Malaysians is at hand. We can now just walk across to your competitors and if needed to their competitors.

  5. Dear P1Buddy

    Thank you for writing to my blog. I am not quite sure which tag that you picked but I am sure those somewhere along the lines of “crappy service”, “P1”, “Mr Michael Lai” AND they appeared along within the same blog would have piqued your curiousity.

    I have a quick question to you, P1Buddy team. Does your response to all the bloggers who complaint about your service came from an auto response? I asked because they seemed so to me. To add to that, YOUR response to all these complaints seem to come out very juvenile, seems like a “reaction” rather than a well thought answer.

  6. Hi SK

    Sorry to hear abour your experience. You are so right about customers nowadays will just decide to to move to competitors when they are not happy. But the questions are, how long will this cycle lasts and when would big companies realize that customers are getting more sophisticated in their methods to complaint, or more, to gain attention. Like me. And trust me, I like making noises 😉

  7. Dear Ms. Hanie,

    Please accept our apology if the above sounded like an ‘auto response’. We can ensure you that it is not.

    We can truly understand your frustration and we are truly very sorry for the bad experience you faced with P1W1MAX and also with our customer service rep.

    We would love to do service recovery and hope you will give us a chance. If you could drop your account number here, we can give you a call immediately to help.

    Thanks

    P1Buddy

  8. Update to readers: P1 dispatched a service tech named Sivan, who came over to our house last Saturday, April 17. He spent about a half hour or so, first trying to reorient the modem to get a signal but not having any luck doing so. He then did something with his computer and called me over to have a look. He displayed a map that displayed our location and the location of the base station that served our modem. He said that he had rerouted our modem to access a different sector of the base station, saying that our modem has previously been accessing a sector with too many users. He said that our download speed accessing the new sector was fine (speed test showed full 1.2Mbps speed) but that upload speed was slower than it should be at only 70kbps. He asked us to monitor the signal for a week and if we aren’t satisfied with the upload speed or encounter any more problems that we could call him and cancel the service WITHOUT PENALTY.

    Access was fine over the past few days up until last night. I tried to access CNN and BBC but encountered “website not found” errors. Speed showing 1.2Mbps download and 300kbps upload. Hmm. Disconnected P1 and connected the competitor’s service. No problem accessing either CNN or BBC. Cleared cache and reconnected P1: still problems accessing those two websites. Not sure why P1 is having problems connecting to sites that other services are able to access. May call the tech to ask.

    Initial verdict: we’ll give P1 another few days to prove itself and then see what happens. Speed – when it works – is very good. Consistency of access leaves something to be desired.

    Question for P1: Why does it take a tech coming out to our house to figure out that the problem is a modem accessing a crowded sector of the base station? Shouldn’t you be proactive in monitoring your base stations for crowding and seamlessly redirecting user modems to access less crowded sectors when service starts degrading? If this is a problem for us, then is likely a problem for others.

    Suggestion for P1: You should update your FAQ to include questions pertaining to “What should I do if I can’t get a signal?” and “What should I check (before calling for Tech Support) if I am having trouble accessing the Internet?”.

    I’ve got more to say, but will leave it to the conclusion of this most interesting experience in customer relations…

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