Thursday 22 January 2009

Ever been "yelled" at by a (Telus) "Customer Service" rep?

This post is in the midst of a "brewing and stewing" time after having one of the more surprising conversations with a "customer service" representative that I have had in a long time.

Please keep that in mind while reading this post.

I went out to the TelusMobility store where I purchased the HTC Touch Pro in mid-December to get this current bricked phone replaced.

Now, if you are keeping track, the phone in hand is phone #2 after phone #1 decided it was in a mid-seventies disco mode with the backlight pulsating.

Phone #2 was found locked up one morning. So, after soft resetting the phone, it proceeded to run a half-baked reinstall as though it was hard reset.

Today's phone, #3, was to replace #2.

But, phone #3 is all scratched up and most certainly used.

The dealer is unfortunately helpless in the way of being able to help me out here. So, in goes the call to Telus to try and get a new phone.

Asking for a new replacement phone is not out of line with my current experience with two bad units. Having replacement phone #3 come to me in the condition it was in was certainly quite surprising.

We operate our own business here. And, we strive to supply our clients with the best possible product experience. When things fall flat on their face, we do our best to make up for that experience, even if it means spending a lot of time and money to fix the problem (previous blog post).

When I called into Telus, the front line technician was not able to follow through on my request. I was transferred to a "Client Loyalty and Retention" manager by the name of Joe out of Calgary.

Now, keep in mind that I spent a couple of years collaborating and working with a TelusMobility dealer here in St. Albert just before Monique and I incorporated MPECS Inc. So, we got to see first hand what kind of struggles the dealer had to put up with along with the hoops they were forced to jump through by Telus.

The essence of my "conversation" with Joe:
  • "It is the dealer's responsibility as they sold you the phone." I purchased the phone from TelusMobility, whom the dealer represents. Joe's point did not wash.
  • "You purchased the phone outright, sign a 3 year contract and we will give you a new phone at a steeply discounted price". Now how about that! Stiff the dealer out of his sale (defective phone has to go back somewhere) and force me, the customer, into signing a contract I did not want to sign in the first place.
  • "It is HTC's problem, take it up with them". I proceeded to explain to him that, as a business owner myself, if my client went through what I was going through at this point with a defective product, our business would be replacing the problematic product without any questions.

By the last point that Joe had become quite exasperated with me and his voice had definitely stepped up a number of decibels during the latter part of the phone call. I was told by Joe, "I just can't understand how anyone can expect us, Telus, to give them another phone when they will not demonstrate any kind of commitment [by signing a contract I did not want to sign in the first place]".

When Joe was told that, "The customer is always right", I was essentially told to go take a flying leap and the call ended there.

My "business" relationship with Telus has been somewhat like/hate since I signed up for my first phone about eight years ago. Recently, my HTC PPC6700 (~2.5yrs old) was on its last legs, and no real offer was available short of $150 off for signing another 3 year contract. This was unacceptable to me.

So, where does this leave me? I need to go back to my friend, yes I have known him for a long time, that runs the TelusMobility store where the phone was originally purchased and see if we can obtain a suitable replacement for this phone ... again. If not, then where does that leave me? My contract with Telus is up in June.

The credit card used to purchase the phone has terms and conditions that are pretty clear when it comes to purchasing a product that does not work properly with no resolution. It allows us to refute the charge. Unfortunately, the store owner gets caught in the middle, but what are the choices?

Maybe BellMobility? At least I can pick up another HTC Touch Pro. I like the phone ... at this point the cell provider is less than stellar ... and, HTC seems to be having quality control issues. Though the bricking of phone #2 may very well be due to the carrier mucking about in the default Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro OS.

Perhaps it is time to look seriously at an iPhone 3G?!?

*Very Deep Breath*

Previous posts:
Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


stryqx said...

Samsung have some reasonable handsets. SonyEricsson has the new Xperia X1. There's always the Blackberrys. And there's always Nokia, but you'll want either Nokia Mail for Exchange or Dataviz's RoadSync if you want to hook up to your Exchange mailbox.

I'm extremely happy with my Nokia N95, which replaced a rebadged HTC TyTN which was utter rubbish.

Anonymous said...

We also had problems with the HTC phones from Telus. Just junk they are and it should be Telus's responsiblity to pull the phones off the shelf. Don't just keep selling them. Duhh.The crap that is on the market just astounds me.DLW