A case study in bad customer service

We all have our horror stories of customer service. Few people have as many as me - I seem to have a hex on transacting any business with any entity. I like to say I am lucky in the big things in life so I pay for it with bad luck in the little things. When I couldn't stand the instability of ADSL internet connection any more (since I run webinars etc from home), I decided to be an early adopter of New Zealand's Ultra Fast Broadband (i.e. optical fibre) rollout. It didn't go well. Along the way just about every service sin was committed.

Click here for the story.

There are a litany of minor service failures here, but the key issue is the failure of all parties to understand what a service is.

They were all intent on selling me their product.

NONE wanted to sell me a service: a value-add to ensure my satisfaction, over and above the technology they were peddling. Box-droppers.

NONE wanted to take the responsibility to provide me the service I was seeking: a working fibre connection to all parts of my house.

For fun, let's count the classic service errors:

  • Unreliable communication mechanism (lost registration despite confirmation email) - Orcon
  • Failure to provide a solution to the customer's requirement - CTS
  • Failure of the customer to confirm the proposed solution fits requirements - me
  • New service rolled out but service desk and even level 2 support can't answer questions about it - Orcon, Chorus, CTS
  • Booking a transaction for a day when all technical staff are on holiday (the same tech staff made the booking) - Orcon
  • Service desk don't know the available escalation path - Orcon, and/or their Phillippine service desk service provider
  • Fobbing off the user by promising a callback or worse still proposing they call an unresponsive number - Phillippine service desk service provider
  • Arguing with the angry user - Phillippine service desk service provider
  • Every contact is a new ticket - Orcon
  • Bad functional design - CTS
  • No technical design documentation - CTS, me
  • Lack of technical knowledge by designers (number of ports on modem, size of cabinet required, presence of wifi) - CTS
  • Poor quality workmanship (broken cover) - Chorus (sub-contractor)
  • No accountability for sub-contractors - Chorus won't accept accountability for subbie
  • No accountability for service providers - Orcon won't accept accountability for Chorus
  • Noone wants to be aggregator or integrator - the customer has to do it - CTS or Orcon should offer this service.

What did I miss?

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