Like an orange
Everything here is my opinion. I do not speak for your employer.
November 2006
December 2006

2006-11-24 »

I made the Fido lady cry

This evening I got a "customer satisfaction survey" call from Fido. She assured me that the call wasn't going to use any of my cell phone minutes, and then asked a simple leading question:

"On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank your current satisfaction with Fido?"

"Current? As in, not historically?"

"Right. How do you feel about the service you're getting right now?"

"Well, about a 6."

"Err... well, that's pretty low. Can I ask you why?"

So I got it all off my chest. The ever-increasing fees (increasing? What kind of technology is this?). The annoying people who phone me when I'm a few days late on a payment because I've been travelling and haven't picked up my bill. (I mean, charge me a late fee if you must, but phoning me for being three days behind? Yeesh.) The lately incessant calls to sign onto a multi-year contract, which shows they no longer care about "real" customer loyalty (I've been a customer for about 10 years, no contract required). The way their ads aren't so innocent anymore: they used to be just cute dogs while everybody else would use salamanders (what?) or cute girls; now they're cute dogs with cute girls, and it's only a matter of time until the dogs won't even get equal billing. And of course, my actual problem, which is that I'm out of town so much lately that I pay long distance charges for almost every incoming call minute.

In short, I used to recommend Fido to all my friends because of its awesomeness compared to other cell phone companies. But since Rogers bought them, they've been in steady decline. The lady on the phone rightly pointed out that they're still "better and less expensive than all the other companies!" Well, fine. It's not like I'm saying I'm planning to switch because I found a better deal elsewhere, because I didn't. I just don't care about you anymore. So if I did find a better deal elsewhere, then I suppose I'd probably switch.

And this is where the whole conversation got kind of weird, because she was totally horrified by this attitude. She asked if she could put me on hold to check with everyone else to see if there's a plan I could be on to fix my long distance problems (there wasn't). She checked to see if signing onto a multi-year contract would help me somehow (it wouldn't). She checked all over to see if I could adjust anything to save money given my admittedly weird calling and travel patterns (there wasn't). She discovered that I was currently entitled to a free new handset (I don't need one).

But here's the thing. She kept me on the phone for 20+ minutes as she went through everything she could think of to try to solve my problems, even after I assured her I wasn't planning to switch or cancel my service. That can't have been part of her job description. She was taking her "customer satisfaction" job really personally, to the point where she thought of it as a personal failure if I wasn't happy with my Fido service.

Which is silly, of course, because it's not her fault Fido's recent policy changes suck. It's Rogers' fault, and perhaps the fault of the almighty dollar (rumour has it that Fido was losing money at the time they were bought; I don't know if that's true).

It seems to me I've talked to this particular lady before when I've called Fido support. I think she might have been working for Fido almost as long as I've been a customer. That means that she's been through the days of rave reviews, successful word of mouth marketing, and sensible management. The management was indeed sensible to hire all those great, loyal, dedicated people in customer service. Strangely, those loyal people are still there, and still really care just as much as they used to. They just don't have the power to make the customers happy anymore.

I didn't really make her cry. Only almost. But I think she will if I ever cancel.

I'm CEO at Tailscale, where we make network problems disappear.

Why would you follow me on twitter? Use RSS.

apenwarr on gmail.com