You Mean You Don’t Want Me? The Finale…?


(George)

Well, true to his word, Sivan (the P1 Tech) dropped by our house last night to pick up the P1 Wimax modem and have us sign off on the service cancellation form. After Sivan’s visit to our house a couple of weekends ago and getting our Internet back up and running at advertised speeds, we found that we couldn’t access sites like Gmail and Facebook that we depend on. “Server not found”, was the error coming back at us time and again. The competition’s service, on the other hand, gave us no trouble at all. Sigh…

Anyway, Sivan said that there would be no early cancellation penalty. I asked about the couple of months’ overdue billings for service that we weren’t provided with and he said we wouldn’t have to pay. I asked if that meant a “clean slate” and that we wouldn’t owe anything. “Yes”, was his response. I’ll be crossing my fingers that his affirmation does not get lost between his department and P1’s accounting department and that we will see a “zero” bill or some kind of message from P1 in the near future verifying that the service is terminated and my wife does not owe anything.

It’s so frustrating to think that things had to reach this point. Why did it take my wife going public about poor service before she was able to get P1’s attention? What about all the other poor schmucks who don’t have a blog and a means to take things public? Does this mean that they have to suffer in silence, continuing to pay for poor or non-existent service until their contract runs out so they won’t be charged an RM999 cancellation penalty? Companies really have to come up with a better way of dealing with customer service issues. Telling people to call customer service, putting them on hold forever and a day, and then asking customers to go through all kinds of troubleshooting they don’t understand, only to tell them that “…the speed test shows that you getting 1Mbps download speed so the problem is not with P1” is NOT an answer – especially when the connection used to work fine up until then. We customers need to WORK to eat and keep the wolves from the door. Apart from that, we have busy lives with our families and don’t have time to sit at home for hours over multiple days to troubleshoot Internet connection problems.

To add insult to injury, P1’s response to a wounded customer is:

1) To have a customer service agent show no concern about our plight, and make no attempt to find out what the problem is and correct it  – effectively telling us that P1 doesn’t value us as customers and doesn’t want our business.

2) To have a P1 “Buddy” send a bubbly email asking us to contact them to tell them about the problem.

Note to company CEO and customer service trainers: you have your staff do”bubbly” when you are trying to promote your service to new customers.  The bubbly “don’t worry, be happy” mantra of the Gen Ys you’ve hired as P1 Buddies does NOT work when you have an irritated customer – especially a Baby Boomer or Gen X that expects their concerns to be taken seriously. It only pisses us off more…

I have some other suggestions that P1 might want to consider to minimize the chances that our experience will be repeated with others:

1) You need to be more proactive in monitoring the capacity of your system. In our case, your tech identified fairly easily that there were too many users accessing a certain sector of the P1 base station near our house. He redirected our modem to access a different sector and we got our service back – well, with the exception of problems accessing some websites. Perhaps it could be done seamlessly if staff were to monitor the situation and, like traffic cops, take action to reroute users to less congested paths. If it can’t then maybe this is something that your tech support people can do while customers are on the phone with them without requiring a visit from a service tech. I’m not a technie, so don’t know the technicalities involved in such things.

2) You can be more more proactive in following up on service issues. You may want to make it a habit to call customers back a few days after they’ve called tech support about a problem to find out if the problem has REALLY been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Many customers call, don’t get the help they are looking for, then don’t ever call back again – even if the problem hasn’t been fixed! – because they are made to feel foolish, cannot collect the information that tech support wants from them, are dealt with rudely or coldly, etc. Follow up to ensure that customer problems have REALLY been resolved.

3) Include more “DIY” troubleshooting resources on the P1 website, and make them VISIBLE there. You could develop a matrix of typical problems and solutions and post this on your website under the title of “Having problems with your P1 connection? Things to check before calling technical support…”. By doing this, you give your customer the opportunity to diagnose and potentially fix a problem without having to call tech support. If the customer can’t fix it, then you at least give them the opportunity to save time when they phone tech support by telling what they’ve already tried.

At the end of the day, we are happy that we were finally able to get an acceptable resolution to our problem from P1. Closing off now with the hope that we’ve reached the finale.

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