Today I came across this outrageous example of customer service. Ryan Block, a journalist, recorded his call to the Comcast call centre, when he was trying to cancel his contract. The call turned into a “customer service odyssey“, with the call centre agent refusing to cancel the contract and even being rude at some stage. This reminded me of a very recent bad experience I had with Three (3), the mobile provider in UK.
Disclaimer: I left Three almost a year ago. Not because the service was bad, or because the customer service was not good enough, but because I needed a tariff to make/take calls when I’m abroad. And maybe because their target customer is different, they didn’t have competitive tariffs. I went to O2 – after the worse customer experience with Vodafone UK.
My girlfriend is still with Three. Last week she received a telemarketing call. The agent offered her a new phone and contract for £16/month. As it was cheaper than what she has (£21/month), she showed interest. But eventually found that the offer was not a replacement, but an addition. Straight away she said that she was not interested.
But the agent insisted, saying that it was a great offer. My girlfriend concurred but repeated she didn’t need it. The agent insisted again, saying she should take the opportunity of a good promotion to get a new phone. My girlfriend said that she would actually like to have a new phone, but didn’t make any sense to have two contracts and two numbers.
So the agent insisted again, suggesting her to give the old contract and phone to a family member or friend, and keep the new ones for her. My girlfriend replied that she didn’t have any family member or friend that would accept or need that, as everyone already had a contract and phone. But he insisted and said he would send her a SMS with the T&Cs.
At this point I already had enough of the conversation so I asked my girlfriend to let me speak with the agent. I picked up the phone and kindly asked him two things: a) if he didn’t understand that she didn’t need or want to take the offer; b) Why was he insisting with a person who told him 10 times “No, thank you“. He started pretending that the signal was bad and he could not hear me.
So, I asked him his name, employee ID and also the ID of the call. The answer was “Ok sir, if you don’t want the offer that is fine. Have a nice day“. To what I replied “I hope you don’t hang up the call before giving me what I asked“. Again the answer was that he could not understand. So I repeated slowly “Please give me your name, employee ID and ID of the call, if you can“. He hung up the call in my face.
Obviously I called Three customer service straight away, and asked to make a complaint against these aggressive and abusive telemarketing calls, and this agent in particular. The customer service agent listened, concurred the behaviour was not acceptable, apologised, logged the complaint, and promised his supervisor would call me in the next 48 hours to give me feedback/update on the situation. 48 hours passed, nothing so far.
So mapping once more the experience to the CX pillars (from Nunwood)…
Three didn’t behave uprightly (Integrity). And then despite making an effort to empathise (Empathy) they failed with their promise (Expectation) and didn’t solve my issue (Resolution), forcing me now to call back asking for an update (Effort).