Third-world ‘Telekom’ service

April 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here’s a tribute to Telekom Malaysia being the most inefficient telecommunications company in the history of telecommunications companies – especially for one with a fixed monopoly over fixed line services in Malaysia.

My home phone line became faulty sometime over the weekend. Ocassionally, we would get a dial tone, and then in other moments there would be an engaged tone and we couldn’t make outbound calls or receive calls. My mom and I thought it was just a weird phase due to the recent thunderstorms, but it became more of a permanent thing by Monday. Finally, on Monday evening, I called TM’s Customer Service at 100 to register a complaint. Their first question was whether or not I had Streamyx running on the same line. I said yes, and I told the person on the phone that my Streamyx  connection was still working fine; only the fixed line was having problems

On Monday, they told it me that my problem would be solved within 1 working day.

On Tuesday, they told me it would not be 1 working day, but 24 hours.

On Wednesday, I called them back and they told me that it would not be 24 hours, but 24 WORKING hours. That means, as they explained to me, since their technicians work only 8 hours a day, it might take 3 days.  (8×3= 24 – you need to know math to work at TM.)

On Thursday (April 22) – today – I called again. They told me that the technicians had logged in a report to fix/resolve our problem by April 22. (I said, “By April 22 this year?” but they didn’t get the joke.) It’s now 3:30 PM on April 22, and my problem is still not resolved. Presumably, as the technicians (who seem to command more power and clout in TM than the King does in all of Malaysia) will have to stop working at 5 PM  following their very strict 8-hour-a-day rule, I have 1.5 hours left to hope for the best that TM will solve my problem.

As I was told by the TM Customer Service, because I have Streamyx on my phone line, they need “extra time” to fix this matter. I consider this utterly shameful. Previously, whenever I had problems with my phone line, the technician would be sent to resolve it within a day. Now, I’m being given the runaround by TM’s Customer Service who don’t give me proper answers when asked about the expected timeline within which my problem would be resolved. So, because I give TM more money by subscribing to both their phone and internet service, I am made to wait LONGER for service. The more money I give them, the shoddier the treatment I’m meant to receive.

This is the kind of logic, on the whole, that Malaysia seems to run on these days.

They say that I can’t go to any TM Touch counters to report this – that I must call 100 each time, from my mobile phone, and waste more money by going through the whole rigmarole of “Key in 2 for English, key in your area code and number followed by the hash key” again and THEN wait some more for someone to pick up the call and answer the same questions and verify the same information, yadda yadda, that I had already given repeatedly during my previous 6 calls.

The best part is, they have a twitter page with a bio that says, “Connections make anything possible.” I have another one for them: “Complacency makes service impossible.” Or, “Greed makes for contemptible service.”

I have nothing against their Customer Service staff manning the phone lines, although they have, by nature of their unfortunate job, borne the brunt of my ire. My anger goes directly to the corporate management in TM, those fat cats in their suits and ties and whatnot – the ones who munch on nasi lemak for breakfast and steak for lunch and most likely fart in their sleep without doing an ounce of any productive work all day – who continue to provide Malaysians with deplorable service and treatment, and don’t seem to worry about having to improve themselves.

Maybe this is what we get for living in a third-world country where we have one leading and very corrupt telecommunications company with a monopoly on the fixed-line network. Clearly it is in the interests of the government that TM’s monopoly continues unabated; and as such, its management can allow itself to become complacent and offer the most deplorable service to its customers (who are, it must be said, its customers by the appalling lack of choice). It really doesn’t matter if I complain or not, because who gives a shit? If I want  fixed landline, I need Telekom Malaysia.

But most importantly, I live in Malaysia, right? What do I expect? I should just shut up and put up with it.


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