Friday, November 18, 2011

Feedback demon at Starhub

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
emails received.

"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.


  1. seriously, irene hoe is an absolute pain...

  2. I disagree with you about Irene being an absolute pain. I think she just expects a minimum standard of service which Starhub unfortunately was not able to deliver. And she is not afraid to voice her unhappiness in order to get the telco to shape up. I wish more people would do the same so that consumers will not be taken for granted.

  3. Why should anyone start an email with "Why the hell..."?

  4. I also wrote an email on feedback and complaint to Starhub and guess what? This CSO called Nora assumed I was going to do a contract extension and escalated to someone to help me with the extension.

    Seriously, Starhub staffs seem to have issues understanding English!!!

  5. Irene, it is obvious you are someone who expects a very high level of customer service. It is also abundantly clear that you are a highly intelligent person; since only intelligent people would refer to themselves in the third person, of course.

    That being said, how is it then, that you expect Starhub customer service to be monitoring EVERY single channel, and reply to your email "NOW?"

    You want your complaint to be dealt with and handled promptly and accurately, yet you decline to give more information to facilitate investigation into the matter at hand.

    It seems clear to me that you are someone who just enjoys complaining and wants to do nothing more than maintain the status quo, so you can continue to complain about it. I sincerely hope you find another hobby to better occupy your time; maybe you should consider taking up a sport? This could perhaps channel your frustrations along a more useful vein, rather than sounding a lot like an empty vessel.