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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

For Vodacom, a lost customer

Market Intelligence:

Last quarter of 2006, a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Dimkpa Ogele, visited South Africa for the 3GSM conference in Cape Town, and had a course to buy a Vodacom’s Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card to easily communication with his family in Lagos.

Unfortunately, he could not send any successful Short Messaging Service (SMS), which he found to be cheaper down making voice calls.

He endured it for the five-day duration that the event lasted.

But recently, Mr. Ogele had another reason to be in South Africa and this time, the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth.

Unfortunately too, he could not make use of his SMS, even the free SMS’ on recharging his phone’s credit were not used.

Efforts to engage the customer service was not fruitful because the first contact resulting in the customer care specialist directing him to check his SMS account set up in his Sony Ericsson M6001.

Mr. Ogele followed religiously the instructions and tried out all the directives given to him, but all to no avail.

At a stage he was told that his model of Sony Ericsson was not programmed on their network for SMS and later, he was asked to contact any Vodashop nearest to him.

Mr. Ogele also complained of having sent an electronic mail, which he got response three days later.

Incidentally, 48 hours later, Mr. Ogele was on his way to Nigeria and decided to get this corrected at a VodaShop at the international wing of the J’bourg Airport, so that when next in South Africa it would be an easy ride, only to be informed by the attendant that they were at the airport to sell Vodacom products among other telecommunications gadgets, but not to peep into customers phones.

At this moment, Mr. Ogele simply declared that its high time he checked out another network.

Definitely with this kind of service to a subscriber in need, Vodacom has lost a customer.

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