Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Road Work on the Information Superhighway

My family and I have been internet users with jaring and now tmnet ever since jaring first came on the scene. We have been streamyx users ever since its inception.

About a month ago, my connection failed and I have been unable to reconnect ever since. I have reported the issue to the streamyx helpline (report no: 3708934) and have called them for updates almost daily because no one has ever called back to say "it's fixed!". At first we were told that it was because we moved a year ago without telling them, but this is impossible as it was the tmnet technicians who transferred the connection to our new phone number and it had been working fine at our new place for 13 months. So they got a technician to check the "jumper" which apparently was already done for the phone number at our new place. Then they said it was the server not accepting our number which they had to escalate to the "expert team".

After many calls, and us insisting that they let us talk to someone who can DO something, someone from the "expert team" called about two weeks ago and said they were working on it. We never heard back from him, so we had to continue our one way tennis match with the call centre.

One day after constantly insisting we get to talk to a supervisor or someone with more authority, someone actually called back (apparently the supervisors and managers were all "out" our "in a meeting" previously) saying that they would get someone to do something about it. Again, we have not heard back since.

On the 3rd of February (a Saturday), I got a call in the evening saying that the connection should be fixed very soon, maybe even Monday. Come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, the connection is still not working. It has now been a week and a half since that call.

It has now come to a point where the call centre agent can only say that "I will escalate the issue to the correct department and put it in the report". Apparently our case is on the "priority list". It has been so for over a week. I get the feeling nothing at all is being done.

I understand that the call centre agent should not be an outlet for our frustrations and we have tried to be patient and understanding because they are really just doing their jobs. However, they have promised to e-mail me copies of their report many times (and I ask for it almost every time I call up) but I still have not received anything so it's not just the maintenance crews/"expert team" that doesn't seem to be doing their job. It also seems that no one I can speak to can actually DO anything to fix the problem.

As it is, I have been told that I have to go to the nearest TM shop to get a refund, but I am still required to pay my streamyx bill promptly. I understand systems have limitations but charging customers for non-existant services is unacceptable. Imagine going to the petrol kiosk and paying for fuel then being told "sorry, we're out of stock. Please go to PETRONAS twin towers to get your refund".

I understand that intermittent connections and connection speeds are commonplace and that there is a lot of frustration around the fact that customers are not getting what everything they're paying for. But here, they are leaving a loyal PAYING customer without an internet connection and practically no follow-up for one whole month.

In the meantime, my family and I have resorted to staying late at work and spending more time and money at cybercafes & wifi enabled coffee joints for personal internet use. We are quite dependent on technology as a family even though my parents both do not have technical backgrounds and are past retirement age (we use it for banking, research, stock trading, communicating with family members who are overseas etc.), so this has disrupted our lives quite a bit.

So here we are, living in the information age and having embraced technology as part of our lives... Unfortunately if you happen to be visiting, the sign at the end of my street says "road closure due to unplanned work - completion date unknown"

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Anonymous meekiee said...

yin sern u got a duplicate post.

What shall i say abt the services. They are well-known of their inefficiencies. Hmmm speechless abt it.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Teleza said...

Good post.

5:37 AM  

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