The idea for this month’s editor’s blog came from one of our readers, Scott, who expressed frustration over the fact that he has been waiting four long weeks to get a broadband connection from his internet service provider. Despite repeated phone calls and requests to speak to a manager, Scott has gotten absolutely nowhere with his ISP, and has been told multiple times that the issue is "out of their hands.”
This struck a chord with me, as I too have had countless problems with phone, internet and mobile service providers both in New Zealand and back home in Canada. It seems to be a universal rule that some of these companies be as difficult and unreliable as possible! Considering the nature of today’s technology dependent society, I hardly think that efficient service and a quick response time is too much to ask.
When I first moved to New Zealand, I, like Scott, had to wait an extraordinarily long time for an internet connection. As a writer working in the internet/technology industry (not to mention someone coming from the other side of the world, who relies on the internet to stay in touch with friends and family) four weeks is an unacceptable and infuriating amount of time to wait for an internet connection. While waiting for my connection to be set up, I was forced to log on to unsecure networks, which left my computer riddled with viruses.
And if you think that’s bad, let me share with you the ultimate service provider horror story, coming from my cell phone provider back in Canada. My contract was based around a plan that would allow me unlimited calls and texts to 10 of my friends anywhere in North America, and this was perfect for me since I was in the midst of moving cities. After signing up, I did not receive the plan I was promised and month after month had to call in asking them to correct the issue. One month I called in and was informed that I could not make changes to the account since it was not my account. Apparently, my phone account had inexplicably (and without my knowledge or consent) been transferred to some random person on the other side of the country. For the next month and a half, I had to deal with angry phone calls and emails from this person asking me to stop sending them my bills!
Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that there are so few phone and internet providers available in countries like New Zealand and Canada (as opposed to somewhere like the United States, where there is an abundance of choices) so the ones that are out there have a total oligopoly on the market, and some of them take advantage of that fact.
So to all you internet and phone service providers out there who have let customer service slide down your list of priorities (you know who you are!) we are here to inform you that it still counts!