Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Bigger Better Network?

Or is it? Jamaica has been blessed with a very liberal and harshly competitive mobile phone market and some say that this benefits the consumers, or does it? I've been a customer of Jamaica's Bigger Better Network for the past 10 years at least, had a few numbers over the years, was happy to get very good service in comparison to the other option at the time. Remember the days when you paid astronomical bills for unreliable crappy service and dropped calls and poor customer care and then came our beloved saviour from high prices and terrible services - the bigger better one. Now, eleven years have passed, numerous millions have gone both ways customers to service provider and vice versa (more one way than the next). So much so that our tiny little island nation with what is among the highest Debt to GDP ratios in the world, widespread poverty and leaders who lack leadership is responsible for the changes in fortune for the bigger better network's chief principal for the better, he now jet-sets and rubs shoulders with the best of them. That is not a problem, he seems to be one to hold giving back to the community and the country that literally made him in very high regard as we can see from the numerous sponsorships and charities his company is so involved in, he has also blessed us with the auspices of his worldwide head office on the Kingston waterfront that is in terrible need of some significant facelift that we hope was set off with the second coming of the bigger better network, and we love that, so much so that we are enamoured by the presence of the "chosen company" that we plunk down millions everyday in tithes and offerings, but hey, we are giving back. The listless leadership of losers (the Government) has nothing but picked up on this love that we have for chatter that it too has seen the possibility of extra income from the customers and applied the usual taxes as it thinks seems to be the solution for years of mismanagement perpetrated by previous incarnations of itself. 

Now, eleven years later, what can happen after the golden age of cellular technology in Jamaica? The advent of cutting-edge technology, relatively fast internet speeds, widespread almost island wide cellular coverage and what is one of the highest cell phone penetrations on the planet, where better to go than down? Down in quality of service, market ingenuity and concern for the very fabric of its existence - its customers. It has to be one of the worst companies in Jamaica as far as concern for its customers is (for want of a better word) concerned. It has adopted the approach of a Customer Service/Care Centre that ironically is a disservice to the customers. There is a literal disconnect between the customers and the policymakers of the company with the adoption of the Customer Care Centre. Customer Service Reps are, with the least bit of disrespect intended the least valuable and least useful employees in any organisation from the perspective of truly serving the customer and this I can conclude from working for some time as one in another company. The Customer Care Centre is a buffer between the higher-ups who are responsible for "make or break" decisions in a company and the very reason the company exists. This obviously does more harm than good, of all the information that comes into the Customer Care Centre, at least the vast majority of this information including customer suggestions is lost in this buffer zone, as a result, very valuable information that cannot be gathered from even the best Market Surveys is lost, and seriously, does that make sense? Similarly, the unsavoury or ineffective aspects of the company's service delivery are also lost which cannot be good news for any company. I've been slavishly paying for what this company calls "4G" which is truly a sophisticated "Wi-Fi" Network and not true 4G for some time and the service has been horrible at best. Each time I call "Customer Care" I am met with the usual facade of Customer Service which truly turns out to be a disservice to me, a loyal paying customer. The experience serves to only lead one down the proverbial garden path, distract me from the problem by literally lying and in actuality not in any way addressing the concern that I - a loyal customer have. The service in my area is horrible and I believe that this bit of information is valuable to any company if true customer satisfaction is the intention, yet I have made numerous calls to its Customer Care Centre and after at least two years the issue of horrible internet is yet to be resolved, guess what, because I am not in anyway indebted to this company (because as a consumer I have choices, thank God), I will exercise my right to choose and the minute I move from this house I am living at which is by the end of this year, I am going to get the competitions internet and cell phone as my way of exercising my freedom to choose, call me retarded but that is my way of standing up for myself and letting them know that i will not stand for it. I know my little $3,200 less every month is really chicken feed, I feel good within myself that I did in fact stand up for myself and not taken bullshit.

Over the years, sadly businesses have taken on an approach of profit at all costs and even if that means making money from immoral, misleading or illicit methods. The consumers are the idiots for falling for it, picking up the ruse yet still handing over their money religiously despite not getting what is paid for, its as if we are paying for a disservice, the bigger, better one is exactly that as a result of the same blunders made by the previous big and only network, it doesn't pay to be arrogant and in the end things will work themselves out and nothing that is based in ill-intent, greed or solely to make money really lasts, So, Digicel needs to look into its practices lest the cash cows move to greener pastures, regardless of the lavish prizes that are given away yearly like clockwork to consumers to make us feel special, we at times do get the feeling of being robbed and will move to better prospects or greener pastures because we can and our loyalty is not set in stone or ordained by God if that were so, then it would not be loyalty, it would be our duty and it clearly is not our duty to continue like moths to a flame to spend our money regardless the source to be treated with the disrespect and disregard that is on the increase in companies over the years.