Due to a schedule mix up, I had to go to the office early morning to cover for a colleague who had an unfortunate emergency. It turned out that the training class that he was supposed to facilitate was not until next week. With extra time on hand, I decided to call PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telecommunication) Customer Care to report an issue with our landline, which directly affects our Internet services. Coincidentally, another teammate called the same company just a few minutes before I did, to report their issue.
We called the hotline with different demeanors. I listened in on her conversation with the representative she spoke to, and she was frustrated, clearly. I feel bad for the representative. To think that we work in the same field, and that my teammate and I are Trainers / Managers, who preach “patience” to our trainees. I found out that she does not practice it, making me think that maybe majority of us do not practice it. I waited for her to finish, and true enough, even after the conversation, she was ranting about how the representative “did not have the listening skills” and should“talk a little more eloquently”.
I strongly felt that she could have been nicer to the representative, considering that we work on the same field. We have been on the other side of the phones. We took calls before, and worked our way up to where we are at right now. I have sympathy to all representatives who make a living talking over the phone. I have felt and went through every possible thing that they may have gone through, or may have experienced. I use that as my reason to be nice to them, even if I feel very frustrated with the issues I experience with their product (if any).
I called the same hotline to report the issue in our services, and I got a female representative. I honestly forgot her name, but she was okay, and although she did sound nervous, I did not feel like our conversation was affected by it. I understand, maybe she was the same rep that my teammate talked to, and after hearing that I also had an issue to report, maybe she was expecting me to berate her too. She apologized profusely, and asked me if it was okay for me to be transferred to the Tech Department. I confirmed, and told her that she was doing fine, and I wished her a good shift. She gave me a surprised laugh, and then thanked me. I was hoping that she calmed down after that.
After a few minutes waiting on hold, another female representative answered the phone. I was humming the hold tune when she called my attention. I missed her first “Hello?” so she had to say it twice. I forgot her name too, unfortunately. Our conversation went normally, ended with her sending the report, and she advised me to check both connections every now and then to see if the connection would return to normal. I said ok, thanked her, and greeted her a good morning before we ended the call.
I have heard a few stories about PLDT being slow with resolving issues, but my past issue (same problems as what I currently have) has been resolved quickly (within the day). I am patient, I hope that they will be able to resolve the issue and prevent this in the future.
I just can’t help but look back at a time when I was also taking in calls: receiving commendations, getting happy customers. But on the flip side, I also had my fill of F-Bombs, curses, racist remarks and the like. Just remember that if the rep sounds lethargic, he/she might be sick and was still asked to go to work, or that he/she has a family emergency that he/she was not able to attend to. Maybe they have been asked to go to work 6 straight days or more. Maybe their manager is one big asshole who keeps on putting them down. Maybe they missed their lunch break and were hungry. Maybe they did not get paid the right amount, or worse, on time. Sometimes, the “slow” service that they give you is because they too, are limited to “company policies”. I’ve been there, and it does not feel nice to have to break out the bad news to customers, even if you really wanted to help them out. Not every rep is callous, heartless, stupid or lazy. Sure there are a few who really are murder-worthy. But majority of the are humans too, and I can relate to whatever they feel.
**Update: I checked our internet services when I got home and it’s up and running! The land line still does not work though. Maybe it’s the wires or something. I will surely call back tomorrow to maybe get someone sent over to check on the hardware.
** Update (9/4/2012): The land line service is back online. A technician even called to check up on us. All is well and good.