Avid tennis fan Irene Hoe was happily watching Starhub Channel 211's ATP 1000 Paris "live" on November 8 when she heard something annoying coming from the TV.
Almost immediately, she wrote to the telco's customer service to find out: "Why the hell is there LOUD background music being played during the match now?"
Four days later, Ms Hasda Yati of Starhub replied to thank her for the feeback. But what annoyed Irene was this sentence in her reply: "However, in order for us to feedback to the relevant department, we would appreciate if you would further elaborate on the incident such as the programme or time where the incident occured."
So, she shot back: "What can't you understand about Ch 211 and 'now'? And please note that 'feedback' is a noun and not a verb. Do NOT, I pray you, ask me to elaborate further."
Separately, the telco's Customer Care also sent Irene this standard reply on the same day: "We are currently experiencing higher than usual email volume and regret that we may take longer to attend to you. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused."
Without missing a beat, Irene countered: "You are NEVER going to experience anything but 'higher than usual email volume' since you keep NOT dealing with issues and instead keep the flow going with ridiculous requests for 'more information' so that you can 'feedback' some voracious feedback demon.
"And please do NOT call me to get 'more information' and 'more details' of the 'incident'."
Two days later, obviously realising the mistake it had made in its earlier reply, another customer officer Ms Mabel Lim wrote to Irene:
"Thank you for your email of 12 November 2011. Please accept our
sincere apologies on the delay of our reply due to the high volume of
"Rest assured that your feedback regarding Racquet Channel has been
shared with the relevant parties who will look into this. We
sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused you."
Irene's rejoinder: "I assure you that I am not assured by anything I am told by Starhub. I also assure you that I am in no need of any further assurance from Starhub. I am completely assured only of the certainty that absolutely nothing will be done."
This time, Irene sent a copy to its CEO, Neil Montefiore.
Let's hope he will be able to assure Irene that Starhub means action and not just words.