Will Social Media Help Kill Bad Customer Service?
I just read this article (Will Social Media Help Kill Bad Customer Service?) on LinkedIn and it reminded me of the power of social network when it comes to shoddy customer support or bad service. In a country like India, customer service is practically non-existent and consumer harassment in rampant. Some of you may be aware of my history with Tikona Digital Network (Official). After my online onslaught on customer harassment from this sordid company, I finally got my way. They apologized and waved of the wrongful bills against me. And this article just reminded me of that incident.
Well, this is how the story goes. Last year I took a broadband internet connection from Tikona. It is one of the small time internet service providers, but as I stay on the outskirts of the city, none of the major telecom companies would give me a connection. So after I paid the fee which included installment and two months charge, the installation was delayed by a few days. And when it got done, the connection was not activated for another couple of days. To cut it short, it took a lot of phone calls and rude conversations to finally get the darned connection working.
I though I had overcome my worst obstacle, but could not have been more wrong. The speed was so bad that I had to repeated complain about it. And there customer support which is reportedly 24X7 does not in fact work after 6 in the evening. The service was so bad that with in 20 days I was fed up and could not take all that bullshit anymore. So I called and got the connection cancelled.
Even after that I kept getting call at all times of the day, to help them improve their service and resolution of some non-existent complaint that I had launched with them. If was after 5 or 6 such calls and repeated explanation that it was not a complaint but a cancellation request that I was finally told that there was a procedure to get the connection cancelled and could not be done just over the phone. Anyways, I followed the procedure and my connection was disconnected.
This cancellation was however not effective for billing purposes. I kept getting bills even after the company guys had come and uninstalled the device and removed company equipment from my property. They also gave me a slip to that effect. But…. I still kept getting those damned monthly rental bills for the next nine months or so.
After the billing stopped, I thought finally!! Relieved. Wow..
But, like a bad headache this company kept coming back with more and more. I started getting calls for bill payment and fines. That escalated to intimidating and threatening calls. Their company reps would call up and threatened to file a suit against me in a court of law if I didn’t pay. The payment amount also varied with each calls.
Tell you the truth; I feel so happy that I am a lawyer. I knew it was just a dirty tactic to extort money from innocent customers by a dirty company. When this started I got to know of similar experiences from a many other people in my network. And the calls were so upsetting that I finally decided to do something about it.
I analyzed my options. I could file a consumer court case against them. It is an alternative but takes up a lot of time and energy even when it’s supposed to be easy. And time is something I don’t have. Also the absurd, rude, infuriating threats for taking me to court made me want to do something more.
I thought if this continues, I’d file a criminal complaint against the company and its managers whom I was in touch with because of the in numerable complains and emails. It would take time, but the results would be rewarding enough to compensate for the anger that I felt against these shit heads.
So I finally drafted an email and sent them a notice. I also found a couple of online consumer complaint forums and registered this complaint. I went on Tikona Digital Networks Facebook page and posted my complaint on their page. Ridiculed their behavior and criticized this customer harassment on my Facebook page while tagging all tikona company pages in my posts.
Thanks to this era of social network and my good network. I got good support from all my family and friends and my online onslaught against this company was so effective that I not only got them to drop the wrong bills. But also got an apology from the company.
I would suggest all my friends to do the same thing when frustrated with bad service or customer support from a company. In addition sources like Grahak Seva & http://www.grahakseva.com/ are also very helpful for speedy addressal of consumer complaints.
If you have had bad customer service experiences, share them with me. Tell me what you did about it? Leave a comment or write to be at email@example.com
The opinions expressed are those of the author only and not of any organization with which the author is affiliated.