Friday, November 16, 2007

What's wrong with M1?

Quite disgusted with M1.

Had changed a phone set with a accompanying plan recently, so they handed me the 4D/TOTO and Bye Bye Ring tone subscription (2 useless nonsense that I never even used) for 1 month. I had such freebies before and had been an M1 customer since I first had my phone in 1999/2000.

The angry thing is that after 1 month, I assumed that the free services would be cut off like they always do in the past. Guess what, they continued charging me for 2 months. Okay, first month is my own fault - for being too busy with my work to pay attention to the billing details. 2nd month (which is now), I just happened to see my billing details and saw this $6 subscription for services that I did not even use and had been billed for 2 months. Guess what, it wasn't even written in my subscription summary (which was written clearly in the first few lines of the bill).

Such tactics to earn $12 ($6 x 2 months) shows a shift in their customer services. They used to be good in their customer services though their plans are a bit expensive and not much value-added. Why? Market share eaten by starhub and have to resort to such tactics to get some extra revenue? It just disgusts me.

Luckily, I was saved by this customer service guy when I called 1627. He happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, so I gave him a good lecture about such underhand tactics. Of course it's not his fault - he's just doing his job right? But bo pian, have to complain about it to him (I didn't verbally abuse him, in case anyone is wondering...I'm just assertive about my rights).

Why was I saved? He waved off a $20 admin fee that is usually charged when I changed bill plans (changed from GSM prime to Suntalk plus 100 for the free incoming + free weekend mobile calls + 500 sms). I didn't know customer service officer have the powers to bestow random blessings to alleviate the sufferings of their customers. I talked to 3 such officers before - each one gave me a different ans when I talked to them about the charges/penalties for changing bill plans. Probably their responses are catered to the angriness detected in their customers.

Interesting isn't it?

A few lessons to learn here:

1. Do not ASSUME too much - it's makes an ASS out of U and ME!

2. M1 changed from being open, transparent in their billings to this - what's the underlying reasons for this change? Think about it if you're an investor.

3. A good customer service officer can help defuse an angry customer. All good companies should invest in good training for their front-line staff - instead of hiring teenagers (supposedly for their cheap labour) and subsequently lining them up for the firing squad. This problem about inadequately trained front line staff is getting more and more prevalent - just look at all the fast food chains.