Customer Service is the KEY to SUCCESS

Following last week’s column, I had a surprising and very welcome email from Terry Layne, jetBlue’s man in charge of Barbados, who took the time to comment on my observations.


If I have learnt just one single thing about tourism over the last five decades, it is that a business which is seeking success, must apply a high level of attention to detail.

Looking back, certainly during my travels, whether working or on pleasure it is almost always the people who make a positive difference. And it’s often the little things that make the difference. Changing the subject, I will never understand when a company or organisation spends millions on re-branding, yet does not invest a commensurate amount into improving customer service, when clearly that is one of its biggest weaknesses over a prolonged period of time. And I will hasten to add that I am not describing any entity directly involved in travel or tourism here.

It should not be necessary to frequently approach the very head of a company (in this particular matter, located overseas) to obtain a response to a problem that in our case had been festering and not dealt with over a period of 30 months. Some may say, but there are Government agencies, like for instance, the Fair Trading Commission, that you can contact. But in the case of telecommunications, only certain services are ‘regulated’, so you are then thrown back to the mercy of the supplier.

Then there are the economic implications, which in our situation, means that the company has overcharged us almost $2,000, while waiting to have the requested correction made. Only they could perform this function, so why is the user forced to pay for this gross inefficiency?

What is especially irksome is listening to senior company personnel almost daily on the radio saying what they are planning to do and how fortunate Barbados is to be the ‘only’ place in the world to have total fibre-optic coverage. While in reality, our still copper connected phones have never been so unreliable and our two broadband services which are fed by the new multi-million infrastructure, continues to be painfully slow and sporadic, even during early morning hours when you could imagine, there is lower demand locally.

I firmly believe every ‘Manager’ in that company should experience a day as an aggrieved customer. Being given an individual’s name and direct contact number, which when tried, simply rings and rings and rings unanswered. And that from a provider who collects enormous additional revenue by charging for voicemail facilities, but does not apply the concept to their own firm.

We normally pay online and this month’s bills showed different amounts payable to the printed copies. So you call the 1- 800 ‘call us’ number shown on invoice and are given two options. After inserting the 7 digit phone number, it gives you two choices, press 1 for residential and 2 for business. Neither of them work and the line then disconnects after uttering ‘thank you for calling Flow – goodbye’.

These are just simple examples of how there appears to be no effective quality control or monitoring in place. Once again begging the question, what if a greater proportion of the re-branding monies had been spent on implementing and testing the ‘system’?


27 Comments on “Customer Service is the KEY to SUCCESS”

  1. John Everatt November 9, 2015 at 10:35 AM #

    I have experienced the same issues with LIME or FLOW or whatever they brand themselves these days. Their recorded messages may sound polite somewhere in the world but certainly not here in Barbados. The FTC certainly did Barbados a dis-service when they allowed that deal to proceed and now the gov’t is stuck with finding a buyer for there old outdated equipment. Geez.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Violet C Beckles November 9, 2015 at 10:35 AM #

    Business 101 ,,,,,,You mean to say at this time and place people Still not know that? No such thing in Barbados ,,,service WHAT!


  3. David November 9, 2015 at 12:26 PM #

    There was an email server problem last week where emails were suspended and a public notification not issued.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Violet C Beckles November 9, 2015 at 12:49 PM #

    David @ A lot of that is going around .


  5. robbarcruises November 9, 2015 at 2:11 PM #

    A thing about high speed fibre optic into a house is it comes over copper lines and every junction or splice in the house lowers the speed or provides a disruption at times
    One has to ensure a solid line with solid connectors
    Sea air can do a number
    Service by a human direct is the key
    I remember emailed a question to xn support
    3 weeks later I recd a response that said nothing
    In the interim went to mall SIM card outlet and got my answers


  6. David November 9, 2015 at 3:44 PM #

    Public Counsel is meant to serve the interest of the people but is the office performing in the role. Where can the consumer turn to, the Courts?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bush Tea November 9, 2015 at 6:08 PM #

    Look David…. Be reasonable.
    These people purchased these companies to MAKE MONEY. They don’t give a sh** about service – NOR DO THEY NEED TO……what the hell else wunna going to do but complain? …and that does NOT affect the profit line with a monopoly.

    You didn’t hear the funny sounding Flow MD saying that business is UP by NUFF percent?
    You hear that GROWTH in demand is outstanding?

    Service shiite!!

    Besides, what ‘service’ is it that we brass bowls are talking about? If we wanted ‘service’ would we have sold off BARTEL…? … when EVERYONE and their cousins could see the phenomenal growth potential for telecom…?

    Any bets that NONE of these problems exists back in the HOME countries of the absentee owners….
    …because THOSE people deserve good service….. THEY ARE OWNERS…. not bowls…

    We should be damn grateful that we are able to get cellphones yuh… and that we are being used as guinea pigs in this 100% fibre shiite…. with some of the UGLIEST overhead wire systems located ANYWHERE on this Earth yuh…. and in a Tourism island yuh….!

    When that long-overdue storm finally hits our asses …and blow down all those ugly, over-loaded, leaning poles with fibre ….we will ALL see how long it will take to sort the unholy mess out…
    …and even to get basic services like power back on…..

    We CANNOT have it both ways.
    We CANNOT sell off our birthrights AND expect royal treatment (quality service) too….
    People who are foolish enough to sell off their inheritances cheaply – for a meal and a good time ….must expect to be treated like the bowls that they must surely be.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David November 9, 2015 at 6:47 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    Should we blame the utility or the local regulator and consumer organization (none).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bush Tea November 9, 2015 at 7:13 PM #

    None of the above.
    We can only blame OURSELVES ..and those whom WE elected to represent, negotiate and legislate our interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. millertheanunnaki November 9, 2015 at 7:21 PM #

    @ Bush Tea November 9, 2015 at 6:08 PM
    “When that long-overdue storm finally hits our asses …and blow down all those ugly, over-loaded, leaning poles with fibre ….we will ALL see how long it will take to sort the unholy mess out…
    …and even to get basic services like power back on”

    That would be a cataclysmic event in the making for Bajans. What is so ‘wrong’ with putting underground those utilities vital for the functioning of a modern Barbados. How come these poles are not seen on Broad Street.

    Can you imagine modern Bajan brass bowls having to go without electricity or telephone/internet service for weeks?

    Karma can be a bitch but she can also be a blessing in disguise.


  11. David November 9, 2015 at 7:27 PM #

    The integrity of the pole plant is left to BL&P?


  12. pieceuhderockyeahright November 9, 2015 at 7:33 PM #

    Let us see if our man Jeff Cumberbatch will make Mrs Griffith relinquish the twenty six S6 Galaxy cell phones that she, her family and a few of her office staff have sold out Barbados for and bring the FTC from “Full of Traitorous Cvnts” into a real real Fair Trading Commission


  13. Bush Tea November 9, 2015 at 7:53 PM #

    @ Miller
    LOL …ha ha ha – ‘weeks’ shiite!!! …mean MONTHS….

    @ David
    The integrity of the pole plant is left to BL&P?
    …Did we not sell that? ….you mean Emera?
    You think the Canadian owners give two hoots – probably just collecting rents?
    When the shit hits a big wind (fan) their asses will be in Ottawa with Lawson and Hants…

    There is NO WAY that the old Bajans who ran BL&P would have had such shoddy poles all over the damn place OR allowed such a MESS as we now have…

    @ Piece
    What can Jeff do nuh…?
    All one of those ‘absentee owner’ white fellows will do is instruct Stinkliar to get a new (more compliant) chairman… Ownership is POWER…
    It happened already …and that EX-chairman has not yet even said WHY he resigned…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. David November 10, 2015 at 6:11 AM #

    Customer Service is an always on attitude and it must come from all the players in Barbados. Checkout what happens when Barbadians go looking for customer service from the Office of Public Counsel.


  15. Wily Coyote November 10, 2015 at 6:41 PM #

    Customer Service is taking a back seat to the following ……..


  16. Colonel Buggy November 11, 2015 at 2:59 PM #

    Wily Coyote November 10, 2015 at 6:41 PM
    “………………..the message that should be sent out there is that Barbados is a safe place. When I leave here I am driving myself to Karaoke in Jackmans, and then from there home……..” (or words to that effect)
    The Attorney-General of Barbados.


  17. Wily Coyote November 11, 2015 at 5:31 PM #

    @Colonel Buggy

    SAFE PLACE Hugh, just how many murders is Barbados up to so far this year ?, I know do you know. When compared to other Caribbean Murder Capitals T&T, Jamaica, St Kitts etc. Barbados is not lacking far behind. Now lets talk robberies, muggings etc.

    Barbados is only safe if you are carrying a personal side arm, have armed guards, bullet proof vehicle or large doberman trained to kill on site on command.

    Wake up and smell the roses, anarchy has arrived.


  18. Colonel Buggy November 11, 2015 at 6:07 PM #

    Wily Coyote November 11, 2015 at 5:31 PM
    That last quote is from the Attorney -General,heard on CBC News recently.


  19. Bush Tea November 11, 2015 at 6:10 PM #

    @ Wily
    You must understand the thinking of a bowl….

    Something like…
    If you pretend not to be aware of the danger…
    If everyone else is also pretending…
    If you keep telling yourself that it will not happen to you…
    …then everything will somehow work out…
    …cause it always has…

    Now if those North Americans would just stop being so observant….
    ..and nosey…
    ..and honest…


  20. Hants November 11, 2015 at 6:37 PM #

    Another one.

    Guess the building code will have to be revised and enforced.

    Earthquake between Barbados and St Vincent


  21. David November 12, 2015 at 5:07 PM #

    Good to hear tourist arrivals have surpassed all targets set, we also look forward to the economy rebounding. It is a reasonable expectation if there is good tourism spend it lifts the economy if not what is the point.


  22. ac November 13, 2015 at 5:54 AM #

    Sure good news and thanks to the efforts and hard work by govt
    The arrivals can only be a plus for the economy cascading into different areas of spend for the economy from the hotel to the taxi driver


  23. millertheanunnaki November 13, 2015 at 10:13 AM #

    @ ac November 13, 2015 at 5:54 AM
    “Sure good news and thanks to the efforts and hard work by govt”

    Good news indeed!
    So you do have the in-house intellectual and managerial resources to resuscitate the Bajan economy. So why depend on poor twist-mouth OSA with his paro economic policies to save your sorry ass?

    The Caribbean and by extension could have an exceedingly good (bumper) upcoming winter season. Cuba would be the major recipient of those pending pennies from tourism heaven with Barbados benefiting from some of the crumbs to fall off the table. The ongoing events in the Middle East and the spillover to North Africa could see tour companies especially in the UK diverting traffic to the ‘safer’ Caribbean destinations.
    Now ac, are your brilliant proactive managers prepared for the possible influx of ‘new’ snowbirds? Here are a few pointers to create a good impression to the first time visitors:

    Clean up the beaches and picnic spots especially those frequented by those looking to rest and relax in the sun.
    Remove the mounds of garbage that have been piling up for months especially at the famous Miami beach and at Brandons catering for those first time visitors from the cruise ships. The NCC is cutting of fits financial nose to spite its economic face. Why get rid of the maid instead of the chauffeur?

    Give Bridgetown a good ‘spring cleaning’ by removing the garbage and filth from the alleys and abandon rundown buildings.

    Improve the existing washroom facilities at the Oistins Bay Garden. There is a crying need for additional toilet facilities given the astronomical increase in visitors (both overseas and local) to that food and entertainment attraction that have taken place over the last 8 years.
    The place is in dire need of a sprucing up and a general facelift.
    This facility has become a national cash cow whose financial milk finds its way directly into the local economy with tremendous multiplier effect. Please do not kill this local duck that lays the golden economic egg.

    Now ac & co (especially I S-G), you can either attack the miller and call him a Mia pimp and an unpatriotic BLP foot soldier on BU or you can have a Damascene moment and do a volte-face as you have done with OSA by taking on board these constructive proposals to make Barbados a more attractive, clean, healthy and “environmentally sound” destination.

    Remember First impressions count!


  24. Colonel Buggy November 13, 2015 at 12:54 PM #

    A fellow who owned a Skoda car and wanted to sell it ,asked the agency what could be done to double the resale value of the car. The agent replied Fill up the gas tank. Without doubt , a common old low-tech clean up will drastically increase the tourism value of Barbados.


  25. ac November 13, 2015 at 6:34 PM #

    ok Miller will heed your advice and clean up the bridgetown mess left behind by the past blp govt bearing in mind that come 2018 all the above mention would have been fully address and become a nonissue which means the blp would be left empty hand and clueless as with the case of Agard


  26. David November 16, 2015 at 7:11 PM #

    MoT announced ground breaking ceremonial at Sam Lords next week.This will coincide with the transfer of Gall Hill Polyclinic to St. John Polyclinic. A lot of activity!


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