Friday, May 27, 2005

Who is training these people?

The face of Bell Canada has changed so much in recent years. With the downsizing and the loss of many veterans they seem to be running around like chickens without heads as well established processes break down and the *new* people just are not trained. Worse, the new guys think they know it all too - and that is the scary part. I'm sure we all were at one point gun-ho and thought the world was our oyster, but I'm pretty sure I respected the elders. Now, with no elders left there to respect that is probably part of the problem.

As an example a client and I called in last week to Bell's Business Internet High Speed (BIHS) to try to open a repair ticket since the client was having trouble doing so. We called in together, the answering party asked a gamut of questions about the set up of the service (which has been working fine for the last year up unitl now) and he *REFUSED* to open a ticket because the base cord from the jack on the wall to the Slipstream DSL modem was 15 feet rather than 9 feet. I just about hit the roof!

What possible difference would an additional 9 ft of 24 AWG RJ-11 ended grey flat cable make when the inside wiring was already 100 feet or more to the inside demarcation and the cable from there back to the Bell DSLAM was another 6000-10,000 feet. This 15 ft cable has not been an issue for the last year, so why now?

I escalated - and escalated some more. They looked into it. The problem was indeed oustide the building and was exposed and broken wiring at an outside pesdestal. But this did not stop one green technical support person from taking a shot at my claim that the extra 9 feet issue was asinine. He wanted to go into a 1 hour lecture on the electrical characteristics of wiring but would "spare me since that would be boring".

To their defense - they probably get a lot of people that really do not know what they are talking about. But - should they not give a listen and then decide?

But aha! - That might be customer service.

Strikes are bad news for Carriers and Customers

If you have live in Ontario, Canada right now and have had any dealings with your Telecom (either a request for new service or a repair issue) you may have noticed things are not what they ought to be.

Entourage, Bell's outsourced technicians for small business and residential services, have been in a labour dispute for a while now and the backlog is really causing havoc as regular Bell techs and managers try to cope.

And coping well - they are not. Long install times - 7 weeks for a basic business line (with 2x week complaints and escalations) and 30 days for repair of noisy lines seem to be the norm.

The issue here is that Bell, after having ditched their employees and leaving them little choice but to take an offer with Entourage for less money and benefits, is now trying to buy back the lower cost company. Looks good for Bell. Looks like sour milk for the techs.

See what competition does? Apparently we all wanted cheap LD rates and that is what started this. So now we have cheap LD rates and poor service and grumpy phone employees. What is worse?

Can we compare CD quality music to MP3's here? We had great sound with CD's - but now we want cheap (or free) music and are willing to sacrifice quality. OK for the car, but not my cup of tea.

I'm not sure we made progress on this front or the Telecom front. What are your comments?