Cell-phone DUDS (Dumb Unilateral Decisions by big companies)

“No Service.” At SaskTel, it doesn’t just refer to the signal strength. Apparently, it’s their way of doing business.

My niece, Kristyn, is a talented musician and busy nursing student, and was legitimately complaining about the repeated lack of service, indifference, waste of time, lack of accountability and frustration from dealing with our local phone supplier, SaskTel, whose vision is “To improve the lives of everyone we serve each and every time.” They’ve cut her cell service off – twice – despite her repeated attempts to throw money at them.

Now, I’ve dealt with SaskTel for years (and years) and have always had great service from them. We run our house phone, my business lines and a couple of cell phones with SaskTel, so I’m a pretty good customer. I’m just not sure they know my niece is a customer.

A customer is someone who buys a product (cell phone) or service (cell phone plan) and pays money – in this case, monthly – that pays the wages of the SaskTel employees, managers and executives. The residual income stream in the cell phone business is fantastic.

Kristyn tried – twice – to set up her account on automatic debit from her bank account. Now, a technology communications company like SaskTel should love auto-debit as this converts dollars and cents into bits and bytes and then back in to dollars and cents. Pure magic!

But SaskTel has dropped the ball – a couple of times (this is called double-dribbling in basketball and is a penalty) and failed to withdraw the money on the date specified. Then, they cut her off…twice! I’m calling a penalty on SaskTel for “indifferent customer non-service.”

Have I mentioned they cut her off twice! I’m repeating this because some large organizations like things in triplicate.

I bet if someone stopped a SaskTel executive’s paycheque from being deposited…twice…that things would be fixed, quickly.

Do you think the symphony patrons would waste four hours of their time waiting for my niece and the rest of the symphony to start their performance because the symphony is getting a ‘no service’ signal? Do you want your surgery held up for four hours because the OR nurse is wasting her time in line at SaskTel to try and get her cell phone account cleared up, again.

It’s too bad that a reputable company like SaskTel, which has a huge competitive advantage in Saskatchewan due to its geographic presence, historically great service, expanding technology and loyal customer base, is letting things like this repeatedly happen. Likely cause: management complacency. They’re disconnected from their customers.

One mistake, promptly resolved, is acceptable from anyone. Repeated mistakes are not tolerable.

Apparently, management is either asleep at the switch, or getting a busy signal. Maybe they’re in the ‘no service’ zone. They’re definitely not receiving or reviewing their management reports. And, employees aren’t empowered to offer an apology, resolve a problem, or follow-up to ensure the problem is fixed.

I wonder if the employees know their own vision?

So, as the caring uncle, I offered my niece some well-intended advice: Get an iPhone on Rogers! I love mine!

Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych.


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