Friday, May 6, 2011

The Vodafone Experience

Since I am on a "customer providing feedback" spree, let me recount my experience with Vodafone. Now, there have been several experiences but I will limit myself to the latest experience.
Vodafone, and I am sure this will be true of other operators also, does not care about pre-paid customers.The ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) in the prepaid category would not be more than 15% of that of the post paid category. I would hazard a guess that Vodafone is in fact making losses on the prepaid category. I arrive at this conclusion since it charges 50 paise for three minutes when you talk to a customer care executive. This is free for post paid customers. Also, 9 out of 10 times, a pre paid customer will never be able to connect to the customer care executive. When you press the number which, as the IVRS tells you, will connect to the customer care executive, you are merely sent back to the original menu!
Now, last week the operator did not activate my internet services. I was forced to call the customer service guys from my Dad's phone (which is a post paid connection) and tell them about the non-activation of the service. A week and several calls later, they were as clueless as I was. The standard answer I got was "It will start tonight". So I finally forced them to register a complaint and give me a docket number. Now, the executive will try his level best not to give you a docket number. Not by trying to resolve the issue but merely frustating you. The main weapon is keeping you on hold for more than half an hour.
After receiving the docket number, I shot off a mail to the nodal officer. Now the minute you write to the nodal officer, these guys suddenly start treating you like a valuable customer. A series of calls later, they fixed my problem and sent me a mail stating the same.
So, it is not necessary to believe that multi nationals are a cut above the rest when providing customer services. Imagine what would have happened if I did not have access to a post paid connection and I did not have the free time to pursue this issue with them.
A neo-classical economist would obviously tell me that I would rationally move onto another operator. And more so now, since switching costs are relatively low given the introduction of MNP (Mobile Number Portability). But, I will not as I believe that "the known devil is better than the unknown devil"

1 comment:

  1. They are not activating my internet service, cutting charges and not registering my complaint either....... What to do