as if it wasn’t clear

According to Computerworld, Allan Freeth, CEO of TelstraClear has advised ‘a forecast pre-tax profit of close to $15 million is set to become a $7 million loss as the company is “slowly and gradually losing customers“.’

Now, I’m old enough to remember when Clear opened up a salvo on the arch-villan, Telecom. We had to dial a gateway number to get out of the Telecom network, and then later, to get back into the network. I can recall using a Clear calling card to open a line from Guangzhou, PRC, back home to Mum in Wanganui. I can remember how Clear was a civilised and civil alternative and it felt good to be giving the finger to Smellycom.

Ah. The good old days.

Like, not this week, when after three days of unexplained inability to connect to the net, using our TelstraClear ‘you have to hire it cable modem’ – with not so much as an email – nothing – I rang the company and asked what the intention was about compensation for the absence of service.

The call centre lass assured me they do their best to give a good service. I explained that was undoubted – that’s what businesses do. She said it wasn’t their fault a truck drove into the cable and took out the connection. Again, no doubt. None of this is a concern, I explained, I just wondered if a credit would be passed for the time we couldn’t access the net. We do our best to provide a good service… etc. Yes, I get that, but we pay by the month, and we haven’t had a month’s worth of connection. We do our best to provide a good service … oh good grief – here’s the nub of the issue.

TelstraClear – you don’t empower your staff to make meaningful decisions. You have become what we hated in Telecom. Your call centre person had to ask a supervisor if there was any options – and then – only after I put on my best solicitor voice and explained to her that the company was delinquent under the Fair Trading and the Consumer Guarantees Acts.

Allan, let me be a $2k/day consultant to your ailing company. Your service has become shite. The arrogance and ignorance that were once the hallmark of Telecom have become the prevailing stench associated with any transaction with your company. And – of wow – you’re losing customers. I wonder where they’re going… – as an aside – according to a colleague of mine, if xtra fails to deliver service for any significant time they are emailed and credits passed immediately – along the lines of a day lost is equal to a week’s credit. Seems uncomplicated and rather tempting, I must say. Allan, get it on – you’re right – your customer service is “indifferent at best, rubbish at worst”. It’s not as though your service is provided at anything like bargain basement prices. How did you get, how do you keep, your job?

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