The Future is not green specifically for Wateen
With all of the interesting products and services adventures I have been through; picking a first for my blog was quite tricky. But I have to thank the Guys from Wateen’s customer services and billing department. As any new customer I was very excited to find that Wateen had decided to start its services in my neighborhood. The magical world of digital TV was calling out to me. I even forgot to notice the 6 months they took just to start the service (although promised to do it in 1 month). Just to make it clear, the quality of their cable TV is awesome. It’s very clear and crisp and apart from few glitches (in the first few weeks after installation), the quality of cable reception has been impressive.
My story actually starts after two months; being the good consumer that I am, I felt worried that after almost 3 months of use I still did not receive any bill. At time of installation I had paid one moth’s advance as part of the deal Wateen had offered to Eden society. So I called their customer support and after a long wait got hold of a CSR. I told the CSR that wateen hadn’t billed me. The CSR immediately told me to go to their Customer Service center located in the outskirts of defense. Even after mentioning that I am not calling for a billing issue, I am only asking you to send me the bill. I was rewarded 2 weeks later with a bill including the first month that I had already paid for. So I called their help line again and asked them to fix the bill. The reply was same, “please visit our customer service centre”. I think that’s their universal reply to every query. I actually called them with different problem scenarios and they all had the same answer “Please visit our customer service centre”, like it was a heaven for customers. So I decided to visit it and see what the hype is about.
I reached at 4.30 pm at their Customer service centre located on the back of LUMS. As I entered I was greeted with loud rap music. I went to their help counter and the customer service officer sitting there was busy Multitasking. Not the productive sort, it was his laptop from which the loud Rap Music was emerging and he was also busy in merrily chatting on his cell. When standing in front of him for several seconds didn’t get any response, I had to wave my hand in front of him. After noticing me he gave me a look of disagreement because I had disturbed his quality talk with his gal friend. You might think,”Ok how does this guy know that he the CS guy was busy with his gal?” well I know that for a fact , because after looking at me he first turned his music off than he said ” jan will call u back”. Following is a brief description of what conversation followed. Wateen CS Guy: What’s your problem?
Me: I have been over billed.
Wateen CS Guy: Well it will be fixed sir in next month, thank you.
Me: looking at him with amazement, “don’t you need my customer id and login to your system and check my status”
Wateen CS Guy: “yes, your service is active”. He said looking at the screen without punching any keys like he could control the system with his mind.
Me: Well I know it is because my cable is working, can you give me a receipt.
To get rid of me he took my bill and wrote something on it and then handed it back to me saying “Your bill will be fixed and I will email you, personally.”
I walked out still in disbelief from the worst Customer service experience in recorded history. The next bill came with the same mistake. I called the sales manager who made the deal with our society; he was bit better and apologized for the bad experience. He told me that due to layoffs the staff is not working with full heart. Aren’t people supposed to work harder during layoffs to prove their productivity? Moreover the CS in my case was working with heart, only it was in the wrong place. The sales manager assured me that the problem will be fixed and I don’t have to worry about disconnection.Two months later and still the same over charged bill. 2 weeks back a team came to my house to cut the connection, I called the sales manager again and he said that for the moment I have to pay 2 months bill of rs.700. I did so and in a follow up call another CS person assured me that my bill would be fixed. Yesterday I got October’s bill, yeah u guessed it right. Not only the bill was wrong but it also included the Rs.700 that I had paid them.
I still can’t decide whether to sue them or kill the connection. My consumer horror story is not to make Wateen look bad, but only to make them realize that customers have rights too and we pay for a service so to avoid problems. This can be only done with your help. Spread the word and see your own strength.
In wireless internet Wateen is and will be facing stringent competition from Witribe, Worldcall and PTCL’s EVO. There will be other competition in the market of wireless Internet. So I don’t see a big future for Wateen’s wimax. But with the impressive quality of cable TV they have I can say they won’t face any problems in creating a big market share if not a monopoly. But in order to do so they have to improve on certain areas, specifically in customer services and billing. Here are a few suggestions I have for Wateen.
1. Improve your customer service by hiring at least 2 permanent customer service people in every customer care centre so they are serious about their work.
2. Improve your billing procedures and make it more flexible as regards to dates and customer ids.
3. Have regular service quality checks and reward good performance.
4. Take customer comments and actually act on them.
5. Give easy access to at least middle level managers to customers.
Cable TV: Excellent .
Cable Internet: Poor .
Wimax: Poor .
Customer Service and Billing: Worst .