Why do we put up with bad service?

I didn’t really want to blog about this but it’s bugging me and I hate that one of my suppliers is really holding back my business.

Back in July I leased a great office space on the North Shore which I love and its location fits perfectly with our needs as a new business.

I decided to go with Spark for my mobiles, phone and internet as I used to work for them way back when they were called Telecom, and I guess I feel some kind of loyalty.

They assigned me an account manager through their local business hub and I was excited about the future relationship – I liked the idea of having someone friendly to call to meet the needs of my growing business.

I got the impression this was going to give me fantastic, hassle-free customer service. I was so wrong.

The sales process was great, I felt valued as a customer. Then I guess once the sales guy banked his commission it all went down hill from there.

Here’s three examples but there are more…

How about a free upgrade?

I was told I was eligible for a free phone upgrade. I was happy with my current iPhone but you can’t beat free so I said thank you very much. Months later I started getting overdue bills for a mysterious account number – I queried this multiple times with the Spark call centre and all said it’s an error and to ignore it.

So I did, but the amounts grew. I finally spoke to my account manager again asking him to get rid of it and he said it was for my new phone and that I needed to pay it. That sucked, had to pay $800 for my “free” phone at Christmas time – wish I kept my old one, I would have sent this one back.

Can I have Fibre please?

The building my office is in has Fibre, well half of it anyway. No idea why Chorus only ever did half the install back in the day but I’m the lucky person who leased an office that doesn’t have it yet.

Was happy to go on the waiting list and the Chorus technician that visited in August said it would be an easy install, just need body corp permission to drill a hole.

Long story short but in between the guy asking permission to drill a hole and today (5 months later) nothing has happened. At all. At one point they told me they were going to cancel my order due to lack of progress.

I know Chorus are slow but Spark Business doesn’t even want to help push it forward which is so frustrating. My lease is only for 2 years and I’m beginning to think I’ll move before it happens.

Would you like faster internet while you wait?

Before Christmas I got assigned a new Spark account person and he sympathised with my slow internet issues (we use our phones as hotspots when everyone is in the office as broadband is too slow), he suggested a new wireless modem to speed things up while we wait.

Great, all installed. Works well. Went to cancel my broadband as he promised, only to be told I can’t as there’s a current fibre order. So now it looks like I’ll have to pay for both. Oh and he told me he’s leaving on Friday as he’s found a better opportunity.

[Yep I’m looking for that better opportunity too Spark].

Now what?

I’ve had good service from Spark whenever I needed something new, they seemed to drop everything and visit me. The minute I had a billing query or wanted someone to chase my Fibre install or anything else at all I was told to call 126 and wait in the queue like everyone else and you go round and round and round.

This isn’t customer service and in fact they are missing out on my future business. I have more phones I need but I’m fairly confident I’ll take my business elsewhere, I just don’t trust them anymore. My big regret is that I’ve waited this long, I should have left ages ago.

Guess I’ll have to wait and see if Fibre is installed first?

Why do we put up with bad service and just accept it? If anything it’s given me even more motivation to make sure I treat my own customers right all of the time, not just in the sales process.

Rant over. Anyone out there want my business? I could be a decent sized business one day, hopefully soon…