Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sky Cable and Customer Service—Still Unclear on the Concept?

I recently came across an interesting article  in the "Philippine Daily Inquirer: "At Dell, key exec pulls off harmony in diversity."  What particularly caught my attention was a statement by the executive under discussion, Richard Teo. who is President of  Dell International Services Philippines,that "Filipinos are always eager to please their customers".

I documented in a previous post "Indifferent Strokes from Business Folks" why this contention is a stretch. I can't speak for or about Dell, as I don't own any of their products, but in the Philippines, it's a cultural norm for  merchants in general and especially customer service reps to tell you what you want to hear. Yet too often they don't deliver. Case in point is once again  Sky Destiny Cable, my cable TV and Internet provider   This time the problem is frequent Internet service outages, the latest of which was on Feb.5 and one of several hours duration.

There were also several such instances in January, so I first called Sky on Jan. 22 and asked for a prorated adjustment on my monthly statement for the days in that billing cycle in which there was lengthy downtime. The CS representative with whom I spoke agreed to issue a credit immediately, but when I subsequently received my statement dated Jan. 26, there was no such adjustment posted. This is what I mean about by businesses telling customers what they want to hear.

So I called Sky again on Feb. 5 and happened to reach the same agent with whom I originally spoke on Jan 22. She claimed that the adjustment was indeed approved and issued on that date but was at a loss to explain why it didn't show on my bill, but assured me that it would appear on my February statement. (I will be very surprised if that happens). Also on Feb 5, there was another protracted Internet service interruption, and I asked her for a credit for that outage as well. she said to call Sky back on Feb. 6 to get that adjustment. I did so and reached a different customer service representative who agreed to issue a deduction for this most recent outage. I happened to mention my experience about the problem with the missing January 22 credit to my bill. He confirmed that it had been approved, but on Feb. 3, not Jan. 22 after all(!)

Finally,as another example of Sky's misinformation campaign, in January, the company issued a notice of expanded payment options for Destiny Cable effective February, including online remittance availability through BDO, where I bank. This was welcome news as heretofore my only means of remittance to Destiny was over the counter at various facilities, which I consider to be an archaic nuisance and a waste of time inasmuch as I'm able to pay my other bills via the click of a mouse. But on Feb. 6 when I reviewed the BDO list of companies payable online Sky Destiny was still not included   When I relayed this issue to the agent with whom I spoke that day, he said that online payment service for Destiny  is accessible via BDO, notwithstanding my efforts to explain that unless a company is actually listed in the bank's website for this service, remittances can't be made that way. His insistence to the contrary reminded me of a line attributed to Groucho Marx,"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" Obviously, this company doesn't have its act together. With such disorganization, how do they stay in business?

Oh, and back to Dell. Mr Teo, I live across the street from the Dell Service Center in Eastwood City. As I mentioned above, I'm not familiar with Dell customer service quality and whether or not your call center staff give the customers what they want, but I hope that their performance on the job is better than their behavior on their their breaks outside the 1800 Building where they engage in boisterousness and littering into early morning hours. As a courtesy to your residential neighbors, we would appreciate your training your night shift
people into giving Dell's residential neighbors what we want: respect for others so that we can have late night peace and quiet along with cleaner surroundings. A little consideration goes a long way.


Kano said...

Hi Rick,

Sorry to hear that you had much problems with Sky Cable TV and their Internet service, including with the customer service department.

I agree that there were a few service outages of our Sky Cable TV, too, and there was once a very long one in January, I believe. It was about 1 or 2 days no cable TV access.

Just this morning, another outage for about a half hour or so.

Never thought, you could get a credit from the outages. I thought, the base fee is P500 per month, service or no service (outages), it does not matter, but as you said, they do give credits.
Thanks for the tip.

Yes, those customer service agents, and the company you deal with, they can't be perfect and it will never be, although, some companies are more organized than others.

I can't complain too much, knowing that I live in the Philippines, things do not seem to be a crisis yet.

I don't know if you have ever tried driving here with a car on the Manila roads. That, I find a crisis.

Last Sunday, my wife and I were driving along Chino Roces Avenue, Makati, and turned into Arnaiz Road where Don Bosco College is. There was a big manhole and I must have driven over the manhole that became a pothole. A bolt on my suspension carriage came undone and the right front wheel just collapsed. It just looked as though, the axle just broke.

There were luckily no Traffic Enforcers working that day, and a few good Samaritans (half jeepney drivers and half mechanics) helped us back on the road with the car by inserting a new bold and nut under the carriage. The whole thing happened in an intersection, labour and all. Talk about service at that moment. We were lucky. It cost us about P500 pesos, peanuts compared to what we would have paid towning the car away and getting it done in the garage, if it would have been done in North America.

Road quality is very bad in Metro-Manila.

It can certainly be a test on your patience in everyday life situation, from customer service help, company policies, buraucracies or just dealing with ordinary folks. It will always be a Filipino way.

There's a slogan though: "It's more fun in the Philippines."

I question this.


Secular Guy said...


Thanks much for your response and observations and for sharing your experiences.

Even if we could afford a car, I wouldn't have the nerve to drive here. Besides the matter of undisciplined drivers, there are other dangers lurking for motorists as you pointed out.

As for customer service issues, it never hurts to challenge company policy. You just might get lucky. And there's always the possible recourse of going further by taking the matter up a government agency like the DTI or DOCT.

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