Hold on, everyone. I’m going to rant.
I’ve been using a company called Opex Communications for my phone needs for quite some time.
First, they were my long distance carrier. Then they provided my cell phone service. And when we moved two years ago, my voip phone system.
I no longer use a cell phone – found I could do without very nicely, just as I had for some 60-plus years.
I had great things to say about Opex – both price and service were top-notch.
Then something happened.
Suddenly on February 26 I began getting a “disconnect” beeping sound on and no service. I went to their web site and found that they had me not paying my bill for the past two months.
Now I’ve taken to paying many bills through my bank’s epay program. Saves stamps and gets my creditors on-time payments. That’s Wells Fargo bank: quite reputable with a good system for epayments.
Anyway, I checked with Wells Fargo and found the payments I made to Opex weren’t going through. So I paid Opex over their epay program with a credit card.
I then borrowed a friend’s phone and called Opex to get the phone re-connected.
An aside, Opex promotes its “Best in Class” Customer Service. And until last week, I would have agreed with them, even though I hadn’t had occasion to contact them for over two years.
Anyway, after about a 15-minute wait, I talked to a rep. He verified that I had made the payment. He also said they had moved from Illinois to California in 2007, and possibly that’s why my payments weren’t being processed. Sure enough, Wells Fargo was still using the old address. But no one had informed me or Wells Fargo of the change.
Anyway, the rep then said the service would be restored within 24-hours. That was last Wednesday. I still have no service.
I’ve emailed them four times. Each email received an automated response saying I would get a personal response within 48 hours. I did finally get an email last Friday stating they were sorry for the inconvenience and if it wasn’t restored by Monday to get back to them. Monday – no service. I sent another email. And another one today. No service, no response.
This is a company with “Best in Class” service? I wonder what class they’re operating in now.
Okay. End of rant. I’ll be without a phone now until I get Vonage as my voip carrier.
So, just what happened to the Opex brand? Their brand promise, Best in Class service, was broken, never to be rebuilt in my mind. They will not get a recommendation from me again. Yes, I had recommended them several times before.
How critical is customer service? Greatly critical to someone without a phone. When that happens, I would expect my phone company to be concerned. In the first place, I’d want them to see the problem from my point of view. I’d want them to set up a system where people without a phone could get better than 48-hour response to an email. It’s vital that a company look at customer service from the customer’s viewpoint. When they don’t, what they do can no longer be considered customer service.
The brand is every touch point, i.e., every encounter a customer or prospect has with a company, be it web site, email system, phone rep, packaging, service quality, aroma, or many other signals and messages and attributes of a brand. The brand may not be able to satisfy all customers through these touchpoints, but the most critical, like service delivery, need immediate attention.
I first went to Opex because of great dissatisfaction with Qwest. I won’t go back to Qwest – like most folks, my resentments are deep and long-lasting. I’ll just be adding Opex to the list of bad choices and move on.