“The Customer is Dead…” – Does Good Customer Care Exist?

I’m at it a again, and this time I’m speechless. Well, almost. I have bashed Safaricom on more than one occasion, but because of us Kenyans and our peculiar habits, I swallowed my pride and bought an Mpesa line. It’s nothing personal, just business, so for obvious reasons, the number is constantly mteja.

I also have a Zain line to pay my electricity bills. The price war means I can now get calls from any provider, so my Yu line is perfect for everything. Also, my second handset died and I gave away my third one, so I’m now among the ‘normal’ people who have one phone and a hole for extra simcards.

Where is the problem in all this? Well, I love Yu, no complaints. It’s cool, it’s clear, the rates are really cheap, and the simcards are cute. I have to load small cards at a time, but I can live with that, and it’s still the only network that gets service in my house.

But I’ve complained about endless promotion texts, and have asked them to stop it more than once. I have spoken to three different Customer Care people and they each said the messages would stop in 24 hours. Yeah, still waiting on that.

So a few days ago I called Customer Care to ask. I had done something stupid. I had answewred a ‘Shinda’ text and spent Ksh 25 of my airtime. I spent another Ksh 25 typing ‘Stop!’ and the thing replied ‘Just answer with 1 or 2. It’s so easy!’ I swear I wanted to bitchslap the phone.

Now it keeps texting to remind me to get back into the game. Plus there’s all those other texts from 855 and  Charlie and Beyoncé and Rafiki and all the other Customer Care aliases.

Anyway, I called Customer Care and got this girl and explained my problem. She asked me to type ‘stop’ and I told her that I already had. She told me to hold … and then she hung up on me.

It wasn’t an accident, because before she hung up, she transferred me to another Customer Care representative. One minute we were talking, next thing it was adverts and music and then, ‘Please hold, you will be connected to the next available executive.’  Then the phone rung three times and somebody hung up.

I know I should be mad, but I’m just disappointed. Safaricom at least took the time to call me, and I have had civil conversations with Mr Manager since then, so I know he’s trying. He’s actually not such a bad guy.

Zain is superb. They stopped the silly texts when I asked them to, and their clarity is way above par. But it doesn’t work inside my house, so I’m stuck with Yu.

I was actually really fond of Yu until a few days ago. The whole hanging up on a  client is not cool. I expected more from them. But I guess I’ll just have to read all my texts and delete as appropriate, at least until I move into a house where Zain works. Hopefully, this post doesn’t become a Mgema akisifiwa moment.

I bumped into #MJReflections on Twitter, and it seems he had some clever things to say. He said Social Media allows people to behave inappropriately. They do things they wouldn’t normally do, because of anonymity. I write for a living, so I’m hardly anonymous. I stand by everything I say, partly because it pays the bills, and partly because it’s my nature.

I’d really like to find the girl who hung up on me, coz chick, that just wasn’t cool. I don’t want to fight her or anything. I just want her to stop the bloody text messages. Karma will get her for that other thing, and I have to say I don’t envy the lady, because Karma is one angry bitch when you’re on her bad side. She’s possibly even angrier than me!

I realise this rant won’t achieve anything. When your options are bad, worse, and worst, there really isn’t much you can do short of going off mobiles, and I still need my network. So I shall get off my soap box and accept that good Customer Care is impossible in Kenya, at least when it comes to cell phones.

As I was.

For more information on 3CB, click here.

4 thoughts on ““The Customer is Dead…” – Does Good Customer Care Exist?

  1. I guess some things you just have to live with. I have beef with safaricom. I never make calls but anytime I get airtime they deduct. Do they charge for receiving to the roaming customers?

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