The spectrum auction is over, and from all accounts, the big winner of the new entrants is Globalive, which runs the “I can’t believe it’s a phone company!” Yak Communications.
Myself, I can’t believe they’ve survived this long! These buffoons are so massively incompetent it staggers the imagination.
I signed up with Yak for home phone service a few months ago. As soon as the service switched over to them from Bell, my answering machine wouldn’t receive messages. This was because their voicemail service was catching calls first. Fine. Except they’d neglected to give me instructions on how to setup my voicemail access.
Calling their customer service was downright painful: you had to wait at least 30 minutes to get to speak to someone. And, more often than not, they’d ask you to call back the next day because the person who handles that aspect of the service wasn’t available. I was given multiple, and conflicting, ways to setup the voicemail; none of which seemed to work.
When I finally connected with the “right” person, I was told it would take 5 business days to put the change through. That meant a week without phone messages. Thanks a lot.
Five days later, the Yak voicemail was still in effect. I called back; waited a half hour; and eventually was told the change request had been improperly filed. They’d have to start over: another 5 business days.
See? When I say incompetence, I’m not kidding.
It actually took about a month to get this straightened out. When I had the temerity to ask for a credit to compensate me for my troubles, I was informed that a change order like this usually cost the subscriber $15. But they’d waived that in my case. Lucky me.
Frankly, incompetence is what we see. But when you think about it, this is all engineered to maximize profits. Long wait times aren’t the fault of the people answering the phones. This is a deliberate decision by management to reduce costs: less customer service employees, means less wages. So what if it inconveniences the customers? They’ll just hang up and call back. Sure we’ll lose a few to the competition, but our prices are so low we’ll pick up more along the way.
Same thing with the lack of training, and frustratingly inconvenient processes: wear the customers down. They’ll learn not to complain.
About a week ago my parents announced they were leaving Bell behind, and moving their phone and Internet business to Yak. I told them of the rampant incompetence, but it was too late: they’d already set the wheels in motion.
So one thing I can say about Yak: they didn’t let me down. It turns out someone mistyped my parents’ phone number into the system, and now they’re without Internet access. Dad called; waited the requisite half hour; and was told it would take 8 business days to correct the situation. Brilliant!
Meanwhile, Industry Minister Jim Prentice tells us these are the chuckleheads who are going to save us from the big telcos. Fine. Now who’ll save us from Industry Minister Jim Prentice?