The Adrian Loveridge Column – Going With the FLOW
It would seemingly appear that one of our major telecommunications companies, only relatively recently exposed to real competition and after decades of a virtual monopoly, has finally woken-up to the reality that most successful businesses are service driven and orientated.
Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we live in the hope that this is a real and genuine attempt to address and remedy, what is in any overall and fair consideration, has been long periods of what only can be described as delivering appalling customer ‘service’. Despite the many challenges we have had with the company, endless series of trading names they operate under and numerous management changes, we have remained loyal and faithful for almost 30 years.
Looking back through our accounting records, I recently found the initial deposit request of a $1,000 demanded and paid on the 28th November 1989 before phone connection would even be considered. Unlike other utility entities, not a cent in interest has been paid on this amount for the entire duration. Nowadays that deposit represents around three times our monthly billings.
In my humble opinion they have a long way to go. In our case three accounts and two companies requiring differently addressed cheques if you chose that method of payment. Opt to pay online and one account does not allow you to print out a receipt, where another does.
If, as frequently happens, you wish to report faults, then you succumb to the mercy of call centres, often finding answering staff who can barely speak English and where repetitive conversation to get the point across, is the norm.
I could go on, but these annoying and time wasting obstacles would easily be identified if senior managers within the organisation became customers for a day. It’s really as simple as that. Then for those at the top to ensure staff, at lower pay scales actually do the job they are being paid.
Another monumental dereliction of duty, at least to me, is that as the leading communications company, they have not played a greater role in our national economic recovery. Yes! I am aware of some of the philanthropic works and partnerships they have supported, but there is a massive void, especially in placing the emphasis of helping small business start-ups and growth.
So many more entrepreneurs could build their business by being able to accept online payments, as the marketing officer of one of our credit unions so eloquently pointed out in this publication recently. Again, this is not rocket science and it greatly concerns me that during our current fiscal challenges, that such obvious opportunities are not being better exploited, when it is clearly a win-win scenario for everyone.
As any small business expands, they use more communication options, resulting almost always in higher revenue generation, more taxes and increased employment. Purely from a tourism perspective, why don’t they have a SIM card issuing office in airport arrivals area and ensure visitors are made fully aware of this facility?
They could easily partner with the Barbados Tourism office.
Let us all hope that the full page ‘ads’ in the press (at the consumers expense) are not again lip service and we will witness a true transformation of this very privileged company, whatever its current name is.