I was talking to some T-Mo reps at an event in Cambridge MA
last weekend, where they were staffing one of the roving
display trucks. One of the reps and I got into a bit of
technical discussion about wi-fi calling compatibility, and
as an aside I expressed the difficulty of reaching truly
technical support people when I had questions that only
they would be qualified to answer. He went into a fairly
long and apologetic description insisting that many beneficial
changes are afoot regarding T-Mo customer service overall.
First, he said, calls to 611 or the 800 number(s) are going
to stay domestic, routed primarily to US call centers, and that
it's been in effect like that for two or three months. However,
that has *not* been my experience only within the last couple of
weeks -- I've consistently landed at offshore callcenters where
reps clearly work from canned scripts and cannot seem to think
a problem through, are difficult to understand due to heavy
accents, and the more I encounter that the less appreciative
I am of it. The people in the Phillipines, I think it is, are
the most annoying because they spend far too much time apologizing
for every "inconvenience" they can think of rather than actually
listening to and dealing with whatever problem I'm trying to
describe. It may be a cultural thing with them, but it does
no useful good in a customer-service context -- expecially after
you've sat through 20+ minutes on hold in a queue that keeps
issuing canned excuses about "due to high call volume".
You could probably say this about almost any company's customer
service facility nowadays. Here's T-Mo's chance to take a true
lead in reversing that trend.
Cut the excuses, and STAFF UP those US callcenters to meet
the actual, day-to-day real life DEMAND you're getting on them.
Staff them with well trained and technically-adept people who know
the difference between an app and an APN. Give them the right
information to forward calls to genuine engineering staff, to
answer deep technical questions. Get them to be unafraid of
escalating calls when their own knowledge is exceeded, and to
not try and stonewall customers in the process. Remind them
that "service" is something that they can't necessarily provide
directly all the time, but should know when and how to point to good
resources to achieve. Remember that you're a "*team* of experts",
not individuals who feel some face-saving need to sound authoritative
for what they don't know. That just wastes everybody's time.
Some of us NEED a short path to engineering-level personnel,
because we have hard questions. It's time to accomodate that.
By the way, it is disingenuous to keep suggesting to contact
"T-Force" only via facebook or twitter. Some of us don't *do*
FB or twitter and aren't about to, and denying access to
additional resources just because of that is discriminatory.