Wednesday, 24 April 2013

From GRRRRR! to WOW! with Telefónica

JIMENA When things are wrong we can't rush fast enough to write about it. So we should do the same when things are right. Here goes: a story with a nice ending about the world's largest telecommunications - yes, it's Telefónica, all of whose services in Spain are sold under the Movistar banner. Alberto, Prospero's alter ego, wearing his TranslationHELP hat, was asked to help someone who couldn't get online but who felt he didn't have enough Spanish to deal with it.  Alberto is no IT expert (very far from it), but a certain amount of experience told him that the problem was the router. Experience also told him that, rather than sit through all kinds of useless tests dictated by tech geeks over the phone, it would be easier just to order a new router, which is (or should be) free to Movistar customers. So he called 1004, where he was redirected to somewhere else after the usual, long, tiresome 'press 1-2-3' dance. Somewhere else was probably Colombia or some other cheap-labour country in South America (judging by the accents).>>>
Yes, no problem, we will send one straight away ... one moment please ... another moment ... 'we really do want to talk to you, please hold' ... dreadful music, bad sound... another moment or ten or twenty ...  'the system tells me that we have to send you a bill for the postage. That will be €6,03, which you have to pay before we can send the router' ... OUTRAGE, blood pressure sky high ... 'that's ridiculous! Can't you just put it onto the next near €70 bill, for goodness sake???' ... 'sorry, the system says' ...'put me on to your supervisor' ... more OUTRAGE (on client's behalf, Alberto having been to drama school briefly) ... 'if you continue with your abuse, I will have to cut you off,' says supervisor understandably ... oops, line dead, now what?

Client/friend looks at Alberto with puzzlement and resignation. TranslationHELP hat looks decidedly manky on A's head.

Decision: Try again, attach confident smile (drama school again).

1-2-3 dance once more, but not 'somewhere else'. A Spanish accent, a man who offers name and surname without being asked (could be fictitious, says an increasingly sceptical hat). There is hope, though.

Alberto does not tell the OUTRAGEeous story of just a few minutes before. He proceeds as gently, politely, having calmed down ... yes, sir, no problem, we can deliver it on Wednesday (That's today! This happened last Monday!) would you prefer the morning or the afternoon? (WHAT??) ... certainly, sir, no problem, Wednesday morning then (WHAT??) ... 'please give the delivery person the old router and the black power cable' ... breathlessness ... skepticism abounds ... patience is required.

Yesterday, Tuesday, midday, client/friend calls Alberto to tell him that the router has been delivered AND INSTALLED, the old one removed and the friend/client is back online ... MIRACLE, or has Telefónica finally learned the meaning of the word service? No matter, good on them!

(One small, niggling question, though: Why is there such an enormous difference in service to an exact same enquiry made within five minutes of each other? Strange.)

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