Mathew Lowry

Dear Proximus

Thank you, dear Proximus, for prompting me to re-suscitate my blog. I thought it was dead. You have brought it back to life. How?

Because You Suck

That’s right, dear Proximus, you suck. Your customer service (sic) is so poor you have filled me with enough irritation on this sunny afternoon to motivate me to put fingertips to keyboard for the first time since July.

I’m a Base customer myself, but my daughter is on one of your plans, and she lost her phone.

This is a problem – I need to block it.

So what do I do? I go to your website, where (eventually; I had to use site search) I find this FAQ, which says:

“Our customer service can have your handset blocked worldwide. Call the number 078 05 6030.”

I dutifully call. And enter the phone number. Only to be told, in essence:

Try calling this other number. Please fuck off

OK, so you didn’t use the F-word. But the result is the same. Why ask us long-suffering customers to call one number on your website, only to have an answering machine send us to another one?

So I call this other number. Guess what happened?

Yep, you sucked. Again.

After keying in an interminable number of options, I was told I was being transferred to the service to block the phone. And then:

Beeb beep beep – This number is not recognised

Yep, that’s right. The number to block a phone is dead.

Executive summary: you suck

So, let’s get this straight.

  • your website provides the wrong number to block a phone.
  • your answering machine sends users to another number to block the phone.
  • and that number sends them to another number which is dead.

You call yourself a telephone company? I’ve seen better organised riots.

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  1. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just in Belgium. I am having terrible problems with my UK phone on the 3 Network. In essence, I visited a UK 3 store and asked for an upgrade (I have been a client for roughly 3 years). “We don’t do that sir, you need to cancel your contract and take a new phone.” I wanted an iPhone 4, so I followed the instructions.

    It turns out that the real answer to my request should be, “Here sir, call this number and they will talk you through your options and post you a new phone.” That desire for a sale commission will cost me in the region of 300 pounds extra. Thanks.

    But now as I go through the aggro of keeping my old number for the new phone, it turns out that it will only work for the first time if switched on whilst in the UK. They knew I’d be abroad and so would face this problem. My next trip back? Currently unplanned. I’ll be paying for an upgraded phone for more than a month it seems and it won’t work. Brilliant. Just what I wanted to buy. Who wouldn’t want one of those???

    So is it actually phone contract providers that are the problem? Or the low wages? Or the fact that finding someone that cares in the modern world is like finding a needle in a haystack?

  2. God only knows what the problem is. All I know is that while competition is good at lowering prices, it just doesn’t seem to compensate by improving services.

    We probably have only ourselves to blame. We want to pay the lowest prices, and then complain that the service is rubbish.

    What’s needed? An effective way of rewarding good service. The problem is that people tend to complain when they’re unhappy, and stay silent when they’re satisfied.

    Which is why, for example, I tell people that Photoshop has a good customer record, as far as I’m concerned.

  3. I will soon post my experience with Mobistar recently 🙂 So far it only took them 4 months, 3 visits to the shop and 5 calls to *bill* my correctly.

    Mathew, to answer your second comment: I am for regulation (or at the minimum a very public name and shame)! Tough customer service restrictions for companies with more than 100.000 clients! I’d compare this with 2 years warranty for products. We need something similar for services, especially with contracts where you are often bound for 12 or 24 months to one supplier.

  4. Postscript: I tweeted this post, using the #proximus hashtag, in the hope that Proximus was monitoring Twitter and would this get this feedback.

    Although it was retweeted, introducing me to the innovative Barbarellle, no response from Proximus.

    So either their too Gormless to monitor Twitter, or they’re too Gutless to react. But which?

    Well, as the saying goes: “Ignoring Tweets with your hashtag is like ignoring a ringing phone in your call centre”.

    Given that’s exactly what Proximus does, I’m going for Gormless.

  5. I’ve found that proximus won’t ever help you in English unless you find a nice Flemish person. So Matthew, you’re right to complain, but that also mean’s they won’t be reading English tweets. Especially not on a Saturday!

  6. Could we just go bad to smoke signals?? We have a fleet of 35 phones, so imagine your pain * 35. Ive found that Base, Proximus are Mobistar are equally bad. Is there anything else?

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