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Poor Customer Service
June 14, 2011
11:19 pm
timmytom
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After referring several people to the Speakout service, I've come to realize that their customer service is horrible. I've had problems in the past with receiving conflicting information from different agents, which has cost me money and time. Most recently, Speakout again made a mistake... which cost me money. Customer service was poor, dragged on and ultimately was a sheer waste of my time. The company was unwilling to respond in a reasonable way, despite the fact the fact that I have been a long time customer. One customer service agent even referred me to a different company's website! The bottom line is Speakout customer service is horrible, and I won't be recommending the service any longer.

June 14, 2011
11:57 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
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can you share some detail ? otherwise, it is hard to judge if their service is good or bad.

June 17, 2011
1:04 am
dennismiller
BC
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I personally don't believe a newbie with one post, but that's just me. I have had good customer service!

November 23, 2011
1:49 pm
SSmyth
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I don't post on forums much (yes a 'newbie'), but after the terrible Speakout customer service I experienced on two separate unrelated calls within a week of each other I felt something must be said. I too had conflicting policy and price statements with one call and then was belittled by a rep on another call for using the wrong terminology when inquiring about 'porting' a number from another provider. It was like we were talking two different languages and having been in the Call Centre industry myself I know how to spot customer service arrogance. After the call I rechecked Speakout's FAQ and verified that I had in fact used the right terms for my request and that the rep was the one misinformed. This does not give me, an existing customer considering to give Speakout more of my business any sense of confidence in their ability to provide quality customer service. The network and price points may be OK, but buyer beware with the call-in support.

January 4, 2012
10:59 am
tstorzuk
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Ssmyth,

I know exactly what you are talking about. I just had a similar experience a few minutes ago.

I called customer service. Told them that I was having trouble with getting my phone to browse the internet. She told me that I had no internet service in my plan. I know what I signed up for. I signed up for one of the value plans "ANYTIME MINUTES (100) + UNLIMITED BROWSING & TEXTING" and I told her that. She then again told me exactly the same way, that I had no internet service in my plan......like she was reading from a prepared script. I told her I know what I signed up for, and again she said the exact same thing. Like a mentally deficient zombie.

So I decided to find out how much it would cost to get the value plan that I had already signed up for. She said it would be $30. I asked her if that was on top of my existing plan. She said the EXACT SAME THING, that it would be $30. I then asked her which amount of minutes that would give me. She didn't answer but only said the EXACT SAME THING, that it would be $30.

She then went on a speal about how much everything was costing me, spitting out numbers faster than I could have possibly written down (on purpose). Which was inaccurate, since I was on a value plan ever since I signed up.

So I asked her how I could find a list of all the phone calls and texts that I had made on the web site, so that I could work out how much they were charging me. Especially since I wasn't getting the pricing I should have been. She said that she didn't work for the web site, and couldn't help me out. No alternatives to try to help me out at any step of the way.

So not only did it feel like she didn't speak english, it seemed to me that the service rep was intentionally answering my questions incorrectly. For what reason I could only guess at being getting more money from me. Completely filled with arrogance in everything she said. I'll have to ask the next time for the service rep's employee number or whatever identification so that I can post that information here as well.

I fully intend on switching to a different cell provider once my pre-paid money has dried out. There is no way I deserve to be treated like that from anyone. Nor does anyone else deserve that kind of belittlement.

January 4, 2012
12:04 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
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That's really unfortunate. I can assure you though. SpeakOut reps are not all the same. I have spoken with some great reps, and unfortunately like you, a couple that had no idea what they were talking about. Customer service can be bad from any wireless provider.

I still consider SpeakOut the best value in Canada (by far), even if they employ a few bad apples.

January 4, 2012
12:24 pm
tstorzuk
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iamdrumming,

Thanks for taking the time to let me know that it might have been a "twit" that I got at Customer service. I had asked to talk to anyone else, and after waiting on hold for 15 minutes I had to hang up.

I'll give them another try some time.

January 4, 2012
1:23 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
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No problem. I wouldn't let a bad experience from a rep deter you from using their service. It is still a great company. Customer service reps can be bad for any company, at any time. They are human, and prone to bad moods as well. There is no excuse for bad customer service, but it does happen. I have found their customer service MUCH better than Rogers though, and especially Bell's, which is horrible. I hope you give SpeakOut another shot, and not let one bad rep tarnish your image of a great company.

January 5, 2012
12:54 pm
Brian
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January 5, 2012
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Worst customer "care" I have ever witnessed in a company in my life. Called on December 28th, asked to speak to a manager because my issue was unresolved. Told me that Karen would get back to me later that day. After not receiving a call .. phoned back each day for several days. Then found out that the manager had been on vacation (during busiest time of year with no suitable replacement?) Finally on January 5th (8 days later!) got a hold of Karen. This was despite several tickets written to her and at least 10 phone calls - and only after threatening to speak with her manager
. (Even then she decided to take a break first before calling me back). My expiry date was on Dec 27th and went to top up my account on the 28th. $40 was lost and I was trying to see if she would reinstate it due to extenuating circumstances. She would not - instead risking losing me, my wife, and my sister-in-law as long term customers. The customer service 'team' is very hesitant to provide managers' names, positions, or phone numbers. I am finally awaiting to hear from Amanda who is the Director of Customer Service to complain about the poor service I have received. Karen would not provide me with her telephone number - offering only to transfer me. This company is unwilling to take care of existing customers which is stupid since it costs 10 times as much to get 1 new customer than to keep a current customer. I'll post the results of my new conversation with Amanda - if she ever returns my call.

January 5, 2012
1:44 pm
c.ferguson23@hotmail.com
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Dude, you had a full year to top up your account. There is no extenuating circumstances about that and it is your fault. If you want to waste managers time with boohooing about that type of crap, take your business else where.

January 5, 2012
3:26 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
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You should never try to top up AFTER your expiry date. That's why SpeakOut has a generous 365 day top-up. I can't fault SpeakOut customer service. If you think they are the worst, try dealing with Rogers customer "service", or even worse, Bell's.

February 15, 2012
8:13 pm
jchen778
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Hi Brian,

I sent you a PM, please check your e-mail.

Thank you,

James.

March 13, 2012
9:15 pm
jchen778
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I filed a complaint to Ztar Mobile via bbb.org in regards to poor customer service and technical difficulties I received recently. It has been more than 14 days and still no response from Ztar to clarify anything.

If you're receiving positive experience when calling helpdesk then that's great, but dealing with bad CSRs (I totally agree they exist in every wireless provider) were nightmare on top of conflicting policies and inconsistent practices. And yes I already expressed my frustrations to Karen's attention without resolution.

So buyers beware.

James.

March 14, 2012
12:57 am
fefrie
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Having worked in the serving industry, one thing that all customers should know is that poor customers get poor service.

Poor customers get 'the script' because honestly, it's exhausting dealing with these people and to reason or explain things is just too time consuming.

I used to complain to fido about losing my balance every 30 days. They stopped giving me credits for losing my balance after the expiry date. Guess what… I'm not with fido anymore. Losing your balance after a year? Your problem. Extenuating circumstances? Super curious, please do tell. Forgot about Christmas. Snowstorm kept you housebound? What was it?

SO doesn't do monthly statements. Says so in their terms and services. And to waste time with you to tell you all your calls and texts? Excruciating.

Rest assured, your call is being recorded for quality service. It's only a couple of MB to do so, and if you're a problem customer, you get flagged on your account for sure. They have a breakdown on all your account details, how often you call CSR, and how often you have 'problems'.

Sure, threaten them with the 'customer is always right' dogma. I'm pretty sure though that your wife won't let you switch her so easily.

Something that all new potential customers of SO should know is:

SO is primarily a voice and text messaging company. That is where SO is mostly allowed to operate. It is a no frills company. Asides from the 365 day expiry feature, it has no cost benefit for regular users. If you spend more than $20/month, then you should really be with a different company.

I don't expect much from customer service, not for the $5/month I spend. Although the interactions with CSRs have always been excellent, although I understand what they can and cannot do for me, and ask accoordingly.

March 14, 2012
1:13 am
fefrie
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They should really call it 335 day expiry in the marketing plan for those who have extenuating circumstances.

March 22, 2012
8:30 pm
luck
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I can't agree at this stage with those that are saying service is poor. About a month ago I called up (after recently activating my SIM a week before) to change my phone number because I had moved to a different location (different province even)*. First attempt to do this, I was told I had to ring from a different phone because I can't have them make the change whilst talking to them on the mobile that I want its number changed. Fair enough, so I ring them from the landline, but the line was extremely poor – it took several "pardons please repeat" and listens to actually get everything sorted (this happened throughout the conversation). However, the CSR was very patient and understanding throughout.

The first initial hurdle I encountered (once I made out what they were saying) was that I forgot my pin number from when I first activated the SIM (not off to a great start). So the CSR used a different method of checking am the account owner and helped me reset my PIN after.

Then I told her that I wanted to change my phone number over to a local number in BC. She asked why and I told her that I was travelling and now planned to stay here much longer than expected (I was staying with local friend and wanted to be able to keep in touch with cheaply). After that she explained that it will take a little while for the change to come through and reminded me that I needed to switch my phone off and then on again to complete the process.

I wouldn't consider her attitude completely friendly (IMO it was slightly bordering on polite roboticness), but still not as bad as some of you make them out to be. Obviously some of you had very unhelpful/robotic CSRs, but as someone was saying it's not all of them.

*Kudos to the person that started this thread: https://www.speakoutwireless.ca/speak/technical-service-details/can-i-buy-a-phone-in-alberta-and-activate-it-with-an-ontario-number/