Business News of Saturday, 1 December 2012
Vodafone Ghana said it has introduced a system called ‘remedy’ to provide better response to its fixed broadband customers in times of faults.
CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Kyle Whitehill told journalists Vodafone inherited “a very poor fault reporting system” from Ghana Telecom, under which some customers had to go shout at GT staff before they got an engineer to visit their homes and fix the problem.
He said under that regime, a greater majority of customers who did not know that it took shouting at GT staff to get problems solves, lived with the faults for very long periods.
Whitehill said under the new fault management system, when customers report a fault at the Vodafone Customer Care stores, the details would be typed into ‘Remedy’, which functions like a work allocation system and sends the information to a core data team which then distributes them to the respective departments and persons supposed to deal with each problem.
“Earlier this year we discovered that Remedy has misallocated 2,600 faults into a bin and those complaints had been sitting in the bin without my staff knowing they were there – and that explains why lots of people claim they have reported a fault several times but no response,” he said.
The Vodafone Ghana Boss said those faults in the bin have been discovered and dealt with, and the company have refined Remedy into a sleeker system that allows for better and quicker response to reported faults.
He said with the introduction of the refined Remedy, Vodafone is now able to deal with 94% of the 3,000 weekly reported problems within a matter of four to five days, and the remaining 6% are resolved between eight and a maximum of 14 days.
Some customers attested to the 14-day maximum turnaround time for dealing with faults, which is an improvement from 28 days formerly.
Whitehill also noted that formerly it took 21 days to get a new service installed, but now it take 14 days; and it used to take 10 days to get a survey request completed for a fault, but now it takes only three days.
He said 50% of the complaints from customers are usually because those customers had run out of credit without knowing, and there is another 25% which are because the system is slow due to huge number of activity on the system, and not because there is a fault as reported.
The Vodafone Boss observed that lots the faults reported are from customers who had reported previously and had been given appropriate responses but were still not satisfied, so it looks like Vodafone receives lots of complaints but are not dealing with them.
“So a lot of the complaints are actually rubbish because if you call and you are told the system has slowed down because of huge amount of activity and it gets better later on in the night, when you call again the next day and complain about the same problem it does not make sense because we will give you the same answer,” he said.
He said Vodafone is therefore working on educating customers to understand the implications of the various packages they buy, be it a browser, streamer, or downloader package to ensure that customers are clear in their minds what kind of service they would get as per what they pay.
Whitehill however noted that some problems are due to cable cut or theft, and those one’s usually take up to 30 days to fix because each cable has at least 2,400 smaller pairs, which are actually phone lines and when the cut occurs, all the pairs need to be painstakingly joined one after the other before the system can be switched on.
He assured customers that unless the fault is due to cable theft or cut, it would be fixed expeditiously, and the ones which are due to finished credit or peak period activity, should also be seen in that light and not be reported as faults.