Another marketing lesson.
The Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Note2 mania hit our shores recently.
While my better half settled for the Samsung Galaxy S3, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the iPhone 5 which I had been waiting for over a year. And what better time to get it than when the service providers are all trying hard to outdo each other with their better plan? But here’s where my nightmarish experience began.
Initially I thought of changing from my current service provider to “M”, as my limited research seemed to indicate that M’s offer was better. Off I went to Sunway Pyramid and found long queues at M’s outlet there. This was more or less expected since apparently M was the more popular of the service providers. The staff asked, “Are you an existing M-customer? No, then please fill in the waiting list here.” I noticed that there was also a long list of existing customers as well. I figured that I’ll have a long, long wait coming. My fear was confirmed when the next day at IOI Mall, it was the same story at the M’s outlet there.
I resigned myself to the fact that I’ll have to stick to my service provider and so the next day I went to my current service provider’s branch in State New Town. First impression was very good. The receptionist there greeted me nicely and when I told her that I am an existing customer who wants to upgrade to the new iPhone 5 plan, she indicated that I was to go to the next available counter, apparently beating the queue like I was a VIP. Unfortunately it all went downhill after that. The girl at the counter attending to me had to hunt a bit for the special iPhone 5 plan to show me. Hey! This is supposed to be the latest, hottest deal for C this year…and no proper plan? I looked at it and enquired what data rates do I get for each of the plans in the list. She didn’t know and spent the next 10 minutes or so, hunting for the info. And there was no glossy brochure, just another photocopy. I asked a further question and realised that I’m better off studying the info myself. I then decided on a package and asked for a white 64GB unit. Another 5 minutes later….disappointment, no white 64GB unit; only black. OK, OK, I’ll take it. Then I spent the next 15 minutes twiddling my thumbs. She was running around talking to various people and then came to tell me that maybe she quoted me the wrong price. I protested and she checked again and finally told me the system was not updated to print the receipt at the offer price! So will I accept a manual receipt? Yes, yes, I will. All in all, it took about 1-hour to handle my new purchase! Am I the first iPhone 5 customer, I asked? Yes! Hmmm.. Next, I just assumed that my contacts list from my old Nokia will be transferred to the iPhone, but horrors, no! Sorry, we don’t have the equipment to do that, she said. What!? Such a simple value-added service should have been a given. What a disappointment! OK, when will my new phone’s SIM card be activated? Within 2 hours, she said. Sigh! Never mind, I was still feeling euphoric clutching my new iPhone 5 (finally!) in my hand with great anticipation, I left for home.
Guess what? After 24-hours, the new SIM card was still not activated. Off I went back to the branch the next day. Long queues again. The receptionist said that I’ll have to wait. I asked her why couldn’t she just take my phone and enquire from a technician inside what’s wrong? Sorry, she said, I must go back to the same counter where I registered the phone for them to check. OK, so can I have a queue number? Sorry, she said, the machine “rosak”. So how is the crowd to know whose turn is next? Anyway, I managed to get to a counter eventually (not exactly proud of how I got there) and told the girl there of my problem. She checked and said the system was down yesterday; another “Rosak”. Wow! OK, she then managed to finally activate my phone, after about 30 minutes of infuriating frustration. I couldn’t help wondering how this service provider will be able to cope if they had as long a waiting queue as the other Service provider. More than 1 hour to register a new purchase/plan? More than a day to activate the SIM card?
So what promo? What a shame! Why don’t the Marketing Folks look into the details before launching a campaign? Sad.