NOT MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Finweek English Edition - - BUSINESSTRENDS CALL CENTRES - DEIRDRE DU PREEZ Deirdre.dupreez@fin24.com

WITH RU­MOURS FLY­ING around about be­ing cut off by ser­vice providers for not Rica-ing cell­phones in time, I de­cided it wise to give Vo­da­com a quick call to con­firm my Rica sta­tus. Au­to­mated call cen­tres are the bane of my life: none of the voice prompt op­tions were rel­e­vant to my query. So one minute into the call I was still wait­ing for the op­tion to speak to a con­sul­tant. Mind you, if you hap­pen to know you need to dial “0” for a con­sul­tant you can’t speed up the process by di­alling 0 straight away: no, they make you wait...

While wait­ing for the il­lu­sive con­sul­tant I needed to tell the ma­chine my name and rea­son for my call. Af­ter seven min­utes my call was fi­nally an­swered and the con­sul­tant took my de­tails (again). Vo­da­com’s sys­tems were down, so the con­sul­tant help­fully sug­gested I text to the Rica num­ber to re­ceive SMS con­fir­ma­tion of my Rica sta­tus. Magic! Two SMSs sent. Six hours later – I re­ceived two gib­ber­ish mes­sages in re­turn. Mmm… time to phone Vo­da­com and speak to the ma­chine (again).

An­other seven min­utes and I fi­nally got con­fir­ma­tion I was Rica’d. A sim­ple phone call turned into a seven-hour process. Not my worst call cen­tre ex­pe­ri­ence, but cer­tainly not an im­pres­sive one.

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