Passing Wind: 10 Ways to Improve Wind Mobile

wind-mobile-biglogoOn the face of it, Wind is the best deal we have here in Toronto. For $45 I get unlimited everything: talk, text and data. But there’s a long list of deficiencies which need to be addressed. Hopefully this post will be one more incentive for Wind to actually do something about their execrable service. At the very least it should give prospective customers pause.

When I worked at Telus (previously known as Clearnet), George Cope, the tallest telco CEO in the world, would put out quarterly top-10 lists to help everyone focus on his priorities. It was a great tool, and helped Clearnet quickly become acquisition-worthy; which is why it’s now owned by Telus. Here’s my top-10 list for Wind Mobile. I hope Tony Lacavera is listening.

  1. Calls don’t come through You’d think this would be a pretty basic thing for a PHONE company to get right. But no. With Wind, not so much. I often get voicemail with messages left moments ago, but my phone didn’t ring, even though I’m in an area with bars to spare. Why is this? It’s a mystery. FAIL!
  2. Voicemail is garbled Yet another phone company basic item, and one which is sometimes used as a profit center: a complete FAIL. The recorded message volume goes up and down, and down and down, so you can barely hear, never mind understand, what’s being said.
  3. Texts can take up to 24hrs I regularly send and receive texts which take up to 24 hours to reach their destination. This is especially annoying when you’re relying on texts, rather than phone calls, to coordinate meetings and such. Very large FAIL.
  4. No network status page This one’s more on the CRTC than Wind. Though any company serious about customer service would let their customers know of outages and statuses; and even have a history of such on their website. But not Wind. Shame and FAIL.
  5. Timestamps on downloaded PDFs Wind doesn’t mail you your bill. They don’t even send it to you via email. I don’t have a problem with that. They do send you notifications, via email and text messages, and that’s fine. But when it comes time to download your bill from their site, it comes to you as WindBill.pdf. So, two things about this service: 1- Please put the date and month in the filename; it’s a small thing, but it shows you care about your customers. And 2- Don’t limit the Billing History. This last one should be legislated. Not just for telcos, but banks as well. For now, both Wind and the CRTC get a FAIL.
  6. Improve call centre call quality This is another one which should be legislated. When contacting Wind’s call centre, I often have difficulty understanding what the reps are saying because the bandwidth is so reduced, and the signal so compressed, that call quality goes down drastically. Wind and CRTC on this one: FAIL.
  7. Improve call centre employees’ English skills Many moons ago while on contract at a public utility, I met a secretary from Quebec. She told me she had come to Toronto in her twenties, and that’s when she learned English. And here’s the surprising part: she didn’t have a bit of an accent. She spoke perfect English. So it is possible, and there’s no reason to put up with indecipherable accents. Implement a program to help your call centre employees improve their English skills. And increase their pay as they get better, so they have tangible motivation. I’m thinking this should be a government program, but we can start with Wind.
  8. Allow end dates on add-ons We’ve been going back and forth between Florida and Toronto, and recently took advantage of Wind’s very reasonable Unlimited US Roaming package. At an additional $15/month, it’s a better service than we get in Canada: it’s all roaming, so there are no extra charges. The only drawback? You have to remember to turn it off, otherwise, they’ll happily continue charging you. How difficult would it be to allow users to set start and end dates for this service? Answer: Not very difficult at all.
  9. Be forthcoming with refunds So, about those end-dates on US Roaming? Yes, I recently got burned on that one. I wasn’t shy about asking for a refund for the unused time. You can see it right on your bill, which you have to rename when you download. But call centre reps have a hard limit of $20 on refunds. Anything above that and they have to pass it on to another department, which promises to call you back within 5 days. We’ve yet to see if they make good on that promise, but history would indicate otherwise. Why make it so hard? You’d be buying all kinds of goodwill if you greased the wheels a little on this one.
  10. Monitor and improve call quality My wife makes frequent trips to Newfoundland to visit her family. I don’t always join her on these excursions, so I call daily to get updates. The call quality is atrocious! There’s a disturbing echo which makes it difficult to carry on a conversation. Once again, the CRTC should make it their business to insure that telcos maintain a certain level of quality of service. FAIL.

This list has been growing (festering) over several years. I think if Wind addresses even a few of these issues, especially the first three, they’ll attract a lot more business.

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