Home / Mobile Operators / 5 Reasons why Consumers Hate the Mobile Telcos – Commentary

5 Reasons why Consumers Hate the Mobile Telcos – Commentary

There many reasons why you would love or hate your mobile service provider. Some people pick their mobile service provider based on the cheapest plans, the most Internet quota plan, best coverage they experience and some people choose to sign up because Telcos are really good at their marketing.

Telecommunication companies (Telcos) plays an importantly role in our daily lives. There are 6 major mobile Telcos in Malaysia, namely: Maxis, Celcom, Digi, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia (unifi Mobile) and Yes (Yes 4G).

These 6 Telecom networks enable us to communicate and stay in touch with each other over a distance, surf the Internet, access social media networks, among others.

There are many reasons why we hate and love our mobile Telcos, but here are 5 reasons why we hate our mobile Telcos:

unhappy-5-reason-hate-telco-customer

  1. Poor Customer Service
  2. Bad Network
  3. Billing Issues
  4. Misleading Advertisement
  5. Spamming

Poor Customer Service

One major task of a customer service team is to resolve problems. These frontliners are the “eyes and ears” of the Telcos and they are supposedly people with positive attitude, helpful and friendly. They also set a good impression, so that you end up a Happy customer, who feels being appreciated.

poor-telco-customer-service-malaysia

Unfortunately, that’s not what you get with the Malaysia Telcos. Just open up any of the Telco’s Facebook page and you could read the complaints of the day, hundreds of them.

Below are some of the issues faced by customers:

  • If you call the Telco helpline to speak to a human, you will have to go through different option, press a few numbers. 10 years ago, you could easily press ‘0’ and speak to a representative quickly.
  • Long waiting time for a customer service representative to pick up your call. In the mean time, customers who are already annoyed due to waiting time must also listen to the announcement or marketing messages.
  • If the call gets disconnected during a transfer to the technical team or while you are talking to them, don’t expect them to call back even if the call was terminated due to their system issues.
  • If the Telco is experiencing a nationwide outage, don’t expect your call to the customer service hotline to be answered. Telcos also take their own long sweet time to notify customers on network disruptions (but quick to spam customers on promotions and marketing messages via multiple channels)
  • Issue of poorly trained customer service employees with poor knowledge on billing, product and services – leading to inaccurate information to customers.
  • Complaint- If a customer makes a complaint, they will have to wait 3 working days for an update. After 3 working days, a number of these complaints are closed automatically without resolving the issue, especially network related matters. During and after the 3 days waiting period, some customers also don’t get any updates on their complaint. So the whole cycle repeats again until the customer gets tired of making a complaint.
  • Feels like communicating with a robot, copy/paste answers and lazy employees – Sometimes, even for a simple question like, “What is the validity of a RM100 prepaid top up for a specific Y prepaid plan?” – The customer service team needs all the details about you before they can answer the question. In the end, a simple question may take a few days to be answered and a simple issue may take a month because the customer service team don’t work efficiently. Also, Telcos don’t respond to all the comments/questions on their own social media platforms (Facebook/Twitter), why?
  • Telcos have enabled chat features as part of customer support but certain Telco customers don’t get to chat with a human and end up communicating with a ‘dumb’ chat bot that lacks information or don’t understand a question. Obviously the customers are trying to get information or require some help but they end up chatting with a bot? This only infuriates their customers

Due to these issues, a lot of people are tired of contacting customer service because they aren’t helpful. Yet, Telcos take pride of the lower number of calls they get every month and making assumption that customers are happy with their services. This is why social media platforms are flooded with thousands of complaints on Malaysia Telcos, throughout the year, every day.

Bad Network

base station tower

One of the major issue faced by consumers in Malaysia are the poor mobile networks in Malaysia.

If you make a complaint related to slow Internet speeds or poor coverage, its likely your complaint will be closed in 3 days, but not resolved immediately – because its impossible to achieve a true 100% mobile coverage nationwide and fix every network complaints immediately.

So why are Telcos setting the expectations high by claiming 5G-ready network, Best network, Widest network, Fastest network, Premium network – but in the end of the day, their social media pages are flooded with network related complaints – isn’t this embarrassing?

Among the network related issue that mobile users face today include:

  • Slow network speeds but Telco customer service representative tries to delay the issue by putting the blame on smartphone. “Sir, can you try the SIM on a different phone?”. Its not like we have many phones around.
  • Misleading Network Coverage Map – The mobile operators indicate over 90% 4G LTE coverage across Malaysia but in reality there are so many places, especially indoor and rural areas that don’t even have basic coverage. Why can’t the Telcos be truthful about their coverage map?
  • Network related complaints – Customers take the effort to make a complaint because they want the Telco to resolve the issue. Unfortunately network complaints are not taken seriously. In a lot of cases, the Telcos don’t even contact the customer but mark the case as closed. So why should these customers continue paying their bill if they are not happy with the service provided? At least, the best Telcos could do is inform the customer that the issue will be fixed and by when. It is also the customer’s right to keep the complaint open (Telcos can mark it as pending until the network complaint is resolved). The worst case is to advice the customer to port to a different network, unless they want an unhappy customer?
  • Poor 4G experience – Some customers want super high speed Internet and the best coverage but they are only willing to get a budget smartphone or not willing to sign up for a high speed Internet plan. A certain smartphone brands don’t support a 4G feature called Carrier Aggregation (CA) that is compatible with Malaysia’s mobile networks. With CA, consumers can enjoy faster Internet speeds and better network experience. To manage customer’s expectation on the mobile networks, Telcos should disclose the list of smartphones that works best or does not offer the best experience with their 4G networks. This should resolve a lot complaints related to slow network speeds.
  • Repeated network disruptions – consumers hate network outages and nobody wants to pay for a lousy network. In such event, customers should be notified and updated from time to time until the issue is resolved. Telcos should also automatically compensate affected customers for network outages.

Billing Issues

Just like network issues, billing is a major problem as well.

Some of the billing issues are as below:

  • wrongly charged for SMS contents that customers never subscribe and then customers must go through a hard time to unsubscribe, get a refund.
  • excessive roaming cost – bill shock
  • complicated bills (a rebate is charged and then discounted again, data usage calculated in MB (only) despite the plan quota is in GB)
  • Blacklisted – Due to billing dispute, some customers choose not to pay their bills, and this results into blacklist among the Telcos and in CTOS database. Other customers may be blacklisted because they were not aware of a pending bill. Telco should use multiple channels such as email, SMS, calls, mail to inform customers about their pending bills, before blacklisting them.

Misleading Advertisement

In June 2020, one of the Telco launched a “truly unlimited plan” with no quota limit. However two days later, it quietly updated the plan’s T&C with a 50GB quota limit. Many consumers were not happy about it yet no action were taken on that Telco.

Similarly, some Telcos shout about widest coverage and premium network, but there’s a lot of catch and most these claims are not up to consumer expectation.

Why can’t the Telcos be honest in their advertising?

Spam

sms-spam-Telco-spamming-malaysia

SMS spamming has been a headache for decades now. Why would a Telco or MKN send you a SMS at 2.30am in the morning? Its super annoying and disrespectful.

On top of these, you also get bombarded with push notification via the official Telco apps (at least you can disable this). But when it comes to network outage or a disruption, you will never hear from your Telco directly.

Any notification from the Telco should be on an opt-in basis. If the customer didn’t sign up for those promotional messages, they shouldn’t be receiving it. Isn’t it an offense to spam customers?

Below are some comments from our readers on why they love and hate their mobile service provider – MalaysianWireless Facebook page:

 

Disclaimer: Not all customers will experience or feel the same. This is a commentary and opinion.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy