November 01, 2007

life in general: abysmal service standards in india of telecom & broadband companies

I do not know about the levels in other countries but, here, in India, the service standard levels of telecom and broadband companies are very low. This, I say, based on my experiences as a mobile phone customer of Vodafone (earlier called Hutch), and a broadband subscriber of Tata Indicom and Sify.

The most jarring note is the very low competency of the first-level customer service staff -- whether on phone or at their physical service centres. If your problem is even a tad beyond a basic problem (like bill not received or opting for charged-for new features) then you will encounter sheer incompetencies and disregard for your time.

Then there is the issue of inflated bills. Recently, Vodafone charged me for 35 Mb interent usage(around Rs 200) in a month when I was already a subscriber to that internet tariff of theirs (fixed Rs 500 per month) that provided for 500 Mb free usage .

I don't blame the front staff really. It is really the vice-presidents and other senior managers in the customer service divisions of these companies who are oblivious to their responsibility of ensuring adequate training to the front staff and then actively monitoring them on a daily basis. They are the ones who need to be taken to task. But who can do that? Their bosses? That is, the CEO or MD? Problem is, more often than not, these CEOs or MDs are also not interested in monitoring their vice-presidents or other senior managers.

The above description might even hold good for most of the rest of the corporate world.

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