Here’s the basic storyline. I purchased an additional, higher speed, ADSL Internet service from my ISP (Bell Aliant), but was not able to get the advertised speed. I called customer & technical service and checked the hardware and firmware at my own end. I posted my situation on my blog, and over the course of a year I received some good information in the comments. This caused me to push harder and finally, after two technical interventions, confirmed what the problem was – the switch had never been set by the ISP.
Two months after my speed had been correctly adjusted, I still had not heard from the company, nor received a rebate. I contacted customer service, but they were not authorised to give me a full rebate, and had no record of my July 2005 experiences.
A little bit of searching and I found the e-mail of one of Bell Aliant’s VP’s and sent my story, with links to my blog. Within 24 hours, Aliant had delivered:
- an apology directly from a VP
- a rebate on the High Speed Ultra service for which I paid
- a year’s worth of free Ultra service
I am satisfied with this situation, and am particularly glad when the company tells me that they have learned from the situation:
We have made some changes to our processes and done some coaching with our representatives to ensure we improve the customer experience.
Here are my personal reflections on this experience:
My problem was a result of customer service not being able to level with me and treat me as an individual – I was a protocol to be followed. In spite of my insistence that I had checked all wires and connections, I was initially told that the problem was at my end.
Even though customer service stated that they had no record of my July 2005 experience, I was able to show the date-stamped public record of my experience on my blog, thus giving my case more credibility.
The highly trained technical service staff are professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Customer service staff, who have the first contact with any problems, should be treated and trained in a similar manner as the technical staff.
Had there been a forum, such as a blog, to discuss these issues and concerns, the situation would have been rectified much quicker.
Once senior management understood the problem they were able to take action very quickly, and I greatly appreciated this. It took little effort to keep me as a customer.
Finally, it’s very difficult to understand the differences in Internet and telephony services. For instance, during this past year, I’ve learned:
- If you have telephone service with Eastlink, you only have 30 minutes of local stand-by battery power in the event of an outage. Aliant’s telephone service has a separate power supply for the system.
- It’s next to impossible to compare one company’s bundle of services with another, and this is done on purpose by the respective marketing departments.
- Aliant’s ADSL gives you a dedicated pair of wires, whereas Eastlink’s cable service, which has higher speeds, is shared and may decrease with additional users in your area.
Anyway, after 11 years as a customer, Aliant is still my best choice, especially since my issues are all resolved. Hopefully, this is the end of the story.