Thursday, August 19, 2010

Starhub kept them waiting

When a company makes little changes to its way of doing things, it has a duty to inform its customers. Starhub failed to do so at its Tampines branch on August 7 and caused at least three of its customers inconvenience.

One of them, Shaharudin Abdul Karim, emailed Ms Diana Lee, a customer service officer at the telco, to ask why there was no reply to his complaint while at the same time giving me an account of his experience.

His email to me said: "I wish to lodge a complaint about the terrible service at Tampines branch on August 7, 2010 at about 1440 hours

"I arrived at the said branch at about 1400 hours to return my set top box. I queued up at the reception counter which already had a long curling queue stretching to the escalator.

"From my previous experience at VivoCity branch, to return the set top box there's a counter which handles solely this service. As such I asked my wife to walk ahead and approach any of the staff and enquire if there was such service.

"She was told by the cashier to queue up at the reception. After 30 minutes of queueing, (when I was) at the head of the queue I was told to go to a barricaded counter which has no queue at all.

"I wasted 30 minutes of my time only to be told to proceed to a counter WHICH HAD NO QUEUE AT ALL! When we expressed our unhappiness to the staff processing our cancellation, they seemed oblivious to our complaints and did not even express any apologies. In fact, the only words they muttered were to ask me to sign the form! "

Shaharudin is asking Starhub why it had asked its customers returning their set top boxes to queue at the reception only to be told 30 minutes later to proceed to another counter.

"Why aren't there any signage telling customerswhere to go to and why did the staff seem oblivious to the operation of the branch when a query is forwarded?" he added.

When he spoke to Ms Siti Kamilah, the duty manager, she explained that normally, the returning of the box was done at the reception counter.

"How would I as a customer know when is a normal situation and when is it not a normal situation?" Shaharudin asked. "A simple signage would have solved the problem and we would not have wasted so much of our time.

"Sad to say, I was not the only customer who was made to wait 30 minutes. There was a gentlemen who said he was late for work because of the waiting, and a lady behind me also experienced the same thing.

"Suffice to say, the three of us all expressed our extreme disgust and unhappiness with the utter lack of planning with regards to crowd management.

"We would have thought that with the constant crowd at your customer service centres, you would have had implemented certain plans and procedures to eliminate problems such as that I encountered but it seems not to be the case.

"If your intention is to purely make people queue, then well done, Starhub!"


  1. Diana Lee is the head of customer service and not just a CSO