Consistency is one of the driver to Customer Satisfaction Matrix

Just before I start my ranting, I find the following article is very useful and interesting by McKinsey. It can be found here.

I was browsing SingTel website and something chanced upon my eyes! Please see below:

Capture

If for any reason, you can’t see the image, it reads “$80 OFF with more data“. Feeling happy at first sight because I am really looking at SingTel DataX add-ons plan that is accompanied with one of the Combo plan. An example of the offerings can be found below or the link above.

Capture1

So from as low as $5.90/month, you will get two times your bundled data that you have associated with the respective Combo plans that you signed up with. With my usage which is on the high side (I uses around 10GB of local data) from the 13.5GB (base 12GB from Combo 12 plan and 0.5GB for each MobileShare line that I signed up for) of data that I have in my bucket. It does make sense that I go for the Data X Infinity which gives me a whopping 50GB (as per advertised, it is “unlimited“) of 4G data on top of the data that I have as part of my Combo plan.

I ring up SingTel Customer Care (via 1688) and have a chat with the Customer Services Officer (CSO) with regards to the plans that I have and the following is what I have gathered.

Conversation with Customer Services Officer (CSO)

  • The $80 OFF with more data is for selected customers and it is totally up to the Sales Team to decide who are entitled to it.
  • As my contract ends only on Feb 2018, I have to pay a penalty of approximately $178 for the downgrade/early re-contract.
  • I have $500 voucher that can be used to offset the purchase of the iPhone 8.

Feeling happy and also sceptical at times with how big organization like Singapore Telecommunications work, so I decided to swing by the main shop at ComCentre to check out more

I have to admit that the sale of iPhone 8 is kind of terrible this time round likely because:

  1. It is because more and more people are moving to the SIM-only plans which forces them to get phones off the shelf which is directed at Apple Store.
  2. It is because people are still waiting for the arrival of iPhone X before deciding whether to stick back to iPhone 8 instead.
  3. Everyone does the purchase online and have the phones delivered to their doorstep instead.

So it was pretty quick till my turn to speak to one of the Sales Executive over the counter. I explained the same as per what I have told over the phone with the CSO and out to my surprise I get responses from them as such:

Conversation with Sales Executive over at ComCentre

  • The $80 OFF with more data is for all NEW customers. (SORRY to those being loyal. It doesn’t pay to be loyal!) – We all know this are just marketing strategies, but look, there are 3 other telcos out there for consumer to choose. 🙂
  • Based on the monthly subscription of $239.90 and with 4 months left over to the end of the contract, the penalty would be over $900. (I went “WUUTTT” the moment that was broken out from the Sales Executive mouth without double checking through the system).
  • After double checking, the fee that I have to bear will be $200.63 (instead of ~$178) due to GST charges.
  • I will have to bear another $200 charges before GST due to early renewal or wait till November 2017 where I am 3 months before the expiry of the contract.

So what is the conclusion?

Isn’t SingTel employees using one single system (single source of truth) to manage all customers request? Why do customer get bits and pieces of information from different sources?

Where is the consistency?

No doubt each of us will have to be tied down to a Mobile provider but since SingTel can’t manages such an incident, how do people entrust another 24 months contract with them? I am not siding any other telcos as I have consumed services from StarHub and MobileOne before in the past and I felt that SingTel does have it standards there.

I am not ranting this because I am demanding for an explanation, but all I want is the awareness to organisations who does the same thing as how SingTel is treating the customers, then you are out at not keeping customer and at the same time degrading the value marked by the customers.

Hope things will change for the better and I would stay put with my mobile lines for now or even explore Circles.Life with their contract-less plans.

Cheers,
Milton

Consistency is one of the driver to Customer Satisfaction Matrix

Hey #ASUS–I hope you know this…

I don’t know how to start this blog entry as even till the time I am writing this blog entry, my disappointment still heavily felt.

 

Disclaimer #1

I have always been an avid lover/fan of ASUS networking products because the team have really engineered their networking router to be so fantastic that I ditched those router that was given by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). I have to admit that most of visits from searches in Singapore is generated through related searches on ASUS router or SingTel fibre. I have always been a strong supporter in advocating people around me to take on the ASUS networking products bandwagon.

 

Disclaimer #2

This time round, I am not writing any negative with regards to the networking side of things about ASUS. Although this may be a negative post, it will not discourage me in still supporting the networking side of business for ASUS.

 

Background

It all started couple of months ago when I chanced upon an advertisement on ASUS soon-to-be launched ZenFone 2. The advertisement was hitting almost everywhere in the social media where ASUS claims to be the first smartphone that is equip with 4 gigabytes of RAM. At the point of time, “Wow, 4GB is so godly!”

Before I decided to use this phone, I was lugging onto two mobile phones. One of it is Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (personal device) and another one is Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (corporate device). I have two SIM card with two different numbers which I need to have it with me all (most) of the time.

The reason why I would step onto the ASUS platform is because:

  1. It is LTE-enabled phone (although it is only for SIM #1, but it doesn’t really matter to me because most of the time it should only utilize data from one number).
  2. It is dual-SIM and dual-active! (this is amazing! if you still don’t know why Dual-Active is better, check out this link here).
  3. It has 4GB of RAM. 4GB is more than 3GB on each of my Note-series of Samsung device, so it is an upgrade right?

 

The Preview

So it started with me getting an invite to the launch of ASUS ZenFone 2 in Singapore way back in April (to be exact, 14th April 2015 @ Suntec City Convention Centre). During the show, practically all the partners and invited popular bloggers are given one set of the ASUS ZenFone 2 for them to do the preview and trial of the mobile device. On the other hand, attendees who was invited to the event is able to make purchase of the monster device (and how it was market was being the first in country or region to be the first batch that uses this godly device!). So at the price of SGD 429, attendees is able to walk home with a happy mood and anxious moments to rip the box up to unveil the inner beauty of the little monster!

 

The Course

Overall, the user-experience of the phone and the overall impression that I get from this phone is really awesome. Although it is slightly heavy but it is so much better for me where I do not need to lug two devices with me all the time.

When ASUS announced that they are all ready to release the rest of the devices (lower-end models where it comes with 5 inch or 5.5 inch with approximately 2GB of RAM), I totally do not even consider about it and quickly placed an order for the 5 inch one as a present to my dad. At that point of time, my dad was using the XiaoMi 1s where it is his first smart phone that he has been using for awhile until it decided to be a little cranky. So, without even considering that it will be hard for him to adopt, I persuaded him that it is the best choice because I have been a happy user for weeks.

 

Half-Time (Summary)

At this point of time, we already have two devices under the hood right now where the father and son are both using it.

 

Let the action roll…

Well, after a couple of days into using the device, my dad suddenly feedback to me on the first issue he had with the phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5 inch – Dad’s Phone): The phone loses connectivity to the network all of a sudden. No calls can be received and no data can go through too.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Restart the device: Did this so many times until we can’t remember exactly how many times we did it in order to have the network recovered.
  2. Change of SIM Card: Well, naturally such problem scenario could be problem lead by the failure on the network but it seems like it is not because none of us within the family is using any other telecom except for Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel). Therefore, this problem is definitely ruled out. So I realized that the SIM card in the phone may be faulty because my dad has been using it for years so I went to the SingTel shop to get it replaced.
  3. Hard reset the device: We could barely remember how many times we did a factory reset on the phone!

Before I continue with part two of the ranting, let’s look into problem scenario for my own phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5.5 inch, 4GB RAM – my phone): This is one weird problem with the phone. So the sequence is as followed:

  1. Out of the sudden, the phone will get heated up by itself.
  2. The screen will display the round image where it appears only when you uses the ASUS ZenFone flip cover. (The smart screen)
  3. Nothing you do will wake the phone up non shut it down.
  4. Do note that for this series, the battery is embedded and is not able to be removed.
  5. So it will drain the battery up by itself within a couple of minutes.
  6. Then it will just be dead, just dead.

There is simply nothing I can do to troubleshoot this device as it is beyond my level. So I headed over to the service centre at 313 Orchard to get it fix.

 

Where the frustrations lies…

Here we go:

Have been to the ASUS Service Centre on the following dates:

    • 21st May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) to repair
    • 23rd May 2015 – Sent in my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB) to repair and to collect my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB).
    • 24th May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) AGAIN and collected my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB).
    • 26th May 2015 – Collected my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB)

And what’s the result till now? Both device still doesn’t work at all.

 

  1. Look at the frequency that I have been visiting the service centre although it is for two devices.
  2. Every time I collected my device, I asked the customer service officer (CSO) on what was fixed but all they could tell me is that some parts has been replaced and tested. This is not good enough in my opinion.

Let’s take a look at some of the screen shot I have in terms of the receipt for the repair:

Dad’s ZenFone 2 (2GB)

So the engineer within ASUS Singapore have determined it is the motherboard that is faulty, therefore they have replaced it. However, problem still persists after changing the heart of the device.

 

My ZenFone 2 (4GB)

So, all the ASUS engineer could do is to change the motherboard. Now, I wonder, is it changing from someone else reported set to my device and shit just goes round and round.

Patience level getting thinner and thinner.

Where I think the problem lies…

So let’s summarize on my thoughts on where the problem actually lies:

  1. The product actually sucks. Well, someone elsewhere may/would defer my statement as they may be enjoying their own set right now. It is ok, this is just my personal perspective or rather a perspective at least from a family of two out of fives putting our pledge and trust on ASUS mobile devices.
  2. The service centre that ASUS Headquarter has contracted to sucks. It is because they are the only contact person I ever spoke to during my whole period of getting my mobile device working fine all over again. No matter how much unhappiness I pour onto them, all they can do is to accept it and forget about it. I couldn’t explain more than enough my frustrations, the first time ever in my life after using the LG brand many years back where I have so much problem with the mobile phone.
  3. The engineer who are doing the actual fixing sucks. Well, all I could say they are the king behind the scene because whatever action they do, they either made one customer a happy person or a simple tweak on the phone could potentially just pissed another customer away. So, I am the lucky one.
  4. There is simply no clear communications between the service centre and the technical team that is doing the fixing. Look at the image below:

You saw? +Serv is the authorized service centre where it is part of ASUS job to outsource as much process as possible in order to make life easier for everywhere especially ASUS has been trying to lower the responsibility on customer support.

What’s next?

Well, all I could say is:

  1. ASUS, I have given up on your mobile phone device business. I shall not be contributing to the success of your BU anymore.
  2. Now the two devices are sitting in the drawer potentially being another paperweight (really an expensive one with no unique design).

I had my fair share of ranting, if you think you could regain my confidence level in you, please feel free to reach out to me. Else, let’s bid farewell and hope buyers out there who are thinking of getting a ZenFone 2 device, please do enough research before jumping into action!

Cheers,
Milton

Hey #ASUS–I hope you know this…