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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Staff turnover @ telcos

Market Intelligence:

Remmy Nweke

Penultimate Friday, was the 30th session of the monthly Telecom Consumers Parliament for June.

Some of the parliamentarians have the course to smile because one of the Private Telecom Operators located at Ikoyi, had promised to look into their plights come the following Monday.

The promise was made through the telcos Customer Care Manager during the aforementioned session.

Basically the consumers plights here have been that their Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phone of Kyocera trimode 2255 mobile phones model, bought at the telcos’ roll out about two years ago, have gone bizarre with indefinite search for network.

Luckily for these consumers one of them had the chance of bringing the complaint to the floor of the house.

Consequently, a lady representative pleaded with the complainant to see her immediately after the session for an agreement to be reached on how to resolve it finally.

Eventually, the session ended and this complainant and others affected by the same problem approached the lady with complaints.

Further, she willingly distributed her business card with appointment for them to see her at the office come Monday. Still, disappointment was what follows as most of those consumers defied the down pour that morning to get to the operator’s office.

First they were told by a receptionist to wait or leave a note because the person who invited them had commenced on annual leave, therefore, would not be in office for the next one month.

On a second thought, the same receptionist directed that they take their case to the customer centre right in the premises, where it was learnt that the lady resigned that morning, hence stranding those consumers if not throwing them into more confusion.

However on inquiry, one of the consumer care officers after verifying the phones were up to date, except for the indefinite search for networks, informed who cares that the phones bought for about N13,000 could be replaced for N11,000 each, for what was not the fault of theirs.

Worrisome here is the sense behind some operators choosing to deploy their services on phone sets they do not have adequate human know-how to support or service. As explained by one of the victims, a Pastor, his has been in this comatose since February and had forced his purchasing of another CDMA phone, but this time from entirely a different network and could be a customer lost.

The questions begging for answers here are whether the lady was not aware of her plan to leave the telco finally as at Friday before making such a promise and dishing out her business cards? Was the invite to affected consumers to the office deliberate to mess-up the company? And finally, was the decision at the parliament to invite these people instrumental to the lady’s resignation?

Therefore, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), through its Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), should not take this laying low, because, apart from the episode being a slap on the parliament, it is disguising for the telco to lack technical skills to support its services, especially now Nigerians are increasingly dependent on phones for businesses, whether on warranty or not.

Just as most of these people preferred their Kyocera model than what is on offer now in the market by telcos, that is, Nokia 2115 services, either manufactured in China or Mexico, which as well have its own differences and is subject for another day.


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