Strangle the Yak Now!

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?

2 thoughts on “Strangle the Yak Now!

  1. It is January 6, 2009 and as of yesterday have become a Yak Home Phone/Internet user and after being on hold for 2.5 hours for 2 days straight, I finally was able to get the Voicemail Box Wizard setup going.
    You don’t have to wait for a bill to come in to get a number, all you need to do is dial *98 and when asked, enter you home phone number with area code (this is the temporary password). If that doesn’t work, just enter your 7-digit phone number and follow the instructions.
    Voila, you now have a Voicemail Box with no huge waiting period for a setup. So now people are now able to leave a message.

  2. Its April 27 2009 and I just found out that Yak changed its policy as of January 1, 2009 so that it is not possible for its home phone customers to accept collect calls.

    Of course, I found out about this service change when trying to call home from an airport payphone.

    We tell our children that if they ever have to contact us they can always call collect, but now…they can’t.

    When I asked a customer service rep why I was not notified about this change she said that Yak posts its terms of service (and changes) on its website. I have read the terms of service, and this change is not posted. Effectively, the company’s policy appears to be that it is the customer’s responsinility to check the Yak web-site for service change announcements.

    At the very least, an automated email notice informing Yak customers of this change on January 1st would have been a simple courtesy.

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