Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Last week my Internet connection was not working, so I called the helpdesk of my ISP (internet service provider).  This ISP has a brand image of providing high quality services and they are #1 in customer satisfaction survey for many years. When I called they already had a message recorded which said that due to maintenance problems some of the servers were not working. It also said that the waiting time in the queue is 12 minutes. So, I was happy that it was at least a known problem.
After 25 minutes I finally got through and the person checked my zip code and could see that I was also impacted. Well, it is always nice that they confirm what you already experienced… Then he said that he would send a request to the telecoms department to put me on another server. My problem should be fixed within 1,5 hours, al least that was his guess.
After 1,5 hours I tried again, but no Internet connection. I waited and tried again and again, but no results. This experience did no good for my customer satisfaction. The next day I did call again and the prerecorded message was still there. However it stated that the waiting time was 1 minute. Wow, that was fast………. But I had to wait 35 minutes to get someone on the line.
He denied that there was a problem with the servers of the telecoms department….. “I was not right about that”. And he could not see that I called the day before as well because his colleague did not log the call. He said that he just had to reset my connection and everything should be okay after one hour. I asked whether he knew that for sure and he said no.
So, after an hour my Internet was back up and finally running again. I also became aware how dependent we have become on our Internet connections.
After this negative customer experience I am starting to have a serious look at having an Internet connection by cable. This is something I would not have done if I hadn’t had this experience.
What can be learned form a customer service perspective?
·     Only mention real waiting times, otherwise don’t mention them at all.
·     Never tell the customer that his experience is wrong. Remember the customer is always king.
·     Never say that what your colleague did was not correct. Always support each other.
·     Tell the customer when the problem is fixed, when the connection is restored. Customer are not interested in the effort, but in the results.
This experience damaged their brand, as I don’t perceive them to be a high quality service provider anymore. And of course I will share my experience with others using social media. Professional service is really at the heart of any operation!