Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Woe is Now.

Guess what! Tenaga N@sion@l Berh@d proudly advertises on each bill the telephone numbers to call for enquiries or complaints – 15454 and their office number – 62506020. I called these numbers today.

As I had a question/complaint about my bill, I called the appropriate number – 15454. I got to the normal menu of press 1 for Bahasa Malaysia and 2 for English. Am not sure what other languages/dialects they offer cos my choice was English.

To my horror, the Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) told me I was customer No. 16 and to press ‘1’ if I wanted to wait. Anyhoo, I waited. Surprisingly, it was quite fast when I got to the customer executive.

Also surprisingly, he spoke to me in Bahasa Malaysia. Surprisingly he asked me for my name (not how to spell it mind you and Errolyn is not an easy name if you’ve not seen it before), surprisingly he asked for my full address. This despite me asking him at the beginning if he wanted my Account Number since he hesitated and seemed at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Not surprisingly though, he spoke as if he was in a deep slumber.

After giving him my address, he told me, "Brljsdfjk Sdfliu wkg eoowo elsmfL."
"Telefon nombor enam dua lima…"(Call the number six two five….)
"Then, number 15454 ini untuk apa?!" (Then what’s this 15454 number for?!)
"You nak tanya tentang billing, ini untuk kerosakan." (You want to ask about billing, this number is for faults)

I was fuming at the ears! So much so that I said ok and hung up the phone to call the other number. It was 4.05pm by that time and I was afraid they would not answer the phones anymore, it being so close to quitting time…..TNB is now privatised right – that means their working hours should be until 5pm but yeah I’d rather not take the chance. Even though, usually, logically, call centres are 24x7!

So I called the other number and guess what! Surprisingly, the operator did NOT answer the phone, I had to call again to get the right department, upon which nobody answered the phone and the IVR asked me to sms my problem or email to m-e-s-r-a-k-djbf@zfkgbfkbg.

There was no repeat of either the telephone number or the email address. Now, I am timing the years until I get a response.

Having worked in a Call Centre environment before I can’t imagine how any Call Centre can be set up with these sorts of procedures and Service Level Agreements.

1. Staff do not speak appropriate language
2. Staff do not practise active listening
3. Staff are not energetic and helpful, instead, worst! They are a hindrance
4. Instructions for contacting the company on the bill and on the phone calls are unclear or perhaps staff are not trained to appropriately manage queries or calls that come in on correct channels
5. There are unsuitable procedures for call taking
6. There is much opportunity for improvement in their process flow of call taking

It is a disgrace contacting them and perhaps it is a tactic so that customers do not even bother trying to query any bill/service level/service/personnel.

You know this kind of service and organisation makes me sick! Sick to the core that there is a monopoly in this country that promotes growth and proliferation of attitudes, values and service promises like this. Any Tom, Dick or Harry could do better, without even thinking too hard about it!

This smacks of what Obama talked about – the twins – Corruption and Incompetence! Instead of sending angkasawans to space (at the cost of proper roads, transport systems, education systems, fair and broad based aid for all Malaysians, clean public toilets, safe neighbourhoods, social graces training for our ministers in the dewans, crime reduction etc,) let’s focus on what is near and dear and important.

I do not complain about the keris brandishing – it is your culture, live with it, be proud of it, but don’t let brandishing it be the first and last step. We are slowly sliding down the slippery slope to being a fourth world country! I don’t want to say we’re better than Iran or Iraq or Mongolia or Cambodia. I want to say, "We aim to be where ‘Switzerland’ is now; and this is how long it’s going to take me and this is what I will have to do - a,b,c."

This many years after kemerdekaan, we are STILL lamenting the racial differences. No! We don’t just lament, we shamelessly MAKE IT AN ISSUE! We BRING IT UP, we SHINE THE SPOTLIGHT on the fact that you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Melanau, Kelabit, Serani and what not. I don’t reckon there is a multi-racial country without any issues but for heaven’s sake, do we need another 14 year old girl to tell us that we are all humans who happen to live together in one country, so let’s make the best of it?

I wonder at the state of our civic consciousness and our sense of responsibility. We have an angkasawan who after burning up RM100m, has the audacity to voice his desire to SHORTEN his contract so he can get MARRIED! No, not to research how to cure cancer, not to save the rainforests, not to learn how to reduce our energy footprint, but to get MARRIED! By George, I would have preferred to have heard him speak up before zooming off! I’m sure Captain/Major Faiz would have been happy to take his place!

On top of that, we’re BUYING that hunk of metal that he zoomed up in? I suggested the other night that our gofermen should have negotiated with Russia to land the shuttle next to our ‘Eye’ at Lake Titiwangsa! Besides that, I can’t think of anywhere else to store this white elephant – warehouse next to Muzium Negara????

Can we please grow up! It’s not about teh tarik in space, it’s not about warming up in London in a spanking new facility for the sake of the Olympics. It’s about the people right here, in this country, struggling under the cost of tolls (on roads that lead away from and towards new jams), monstrous crimes against little children (where our agents fly to America to learn nothing) and even education where the teachers give answers by recitation to students during class!

God Help Me, I can’t speak anymore.


Sue said...

Hey..UK call centres are mostly in India ok...worse..muahahaha

Errolyn said...

My dearest! You are the bestest! Always leaving comments for me when no one else reads my precious masterpieces!

I have heard many things about the call centres in India....they are a bit difficult to understand even for me.

But you know, if you call HSBC in the UK, you could end up a Malaysian speaking to you!