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25.1.07

seeing red [sim]

it's not often i vent about the problems with the world on this blog. i usually save that for the privacy of my blog on myspace (isn't that where everyone vents?). but, today, considering that the culprit, i thought it was fitting that i share it with you guys.

some of you may know that i have an interest in branding, marketing, promotion and how the trends in those areas fit into the structure of human communication. and if not, well, you do now.

and today's lesson is on telecommunications.

in australian telecommunications, vodafone were one of the pioneers of marketing their new product specifically to a younger audience: a market with more expendable income, who were tech savvy, didn't mind taking risks, and didn't want all the trimmings of a phone account. you all saw the ads - gorgeous girls with tattoos and that guy from wolfmother before they become the most annoying band on the planet - they did away with images of families and animals and took the pre-paid market by storm. and introduced a colour-based telco brand way better than telstra or optus ever did.




introducing the red sim.

the red sim is pitched to represent freedom (hence the youth pitch), flexibility and value for money. and in real terms, compared to the other 2 major mobile companies (i'm ignoring 3 and virgin for specific reasons - they're late bloomers), they're a lot cheaper for someone who doesn't want the committment of a contract, but still wants to keep in touch.





introducing lauren brown.

[and no, the colour thing didn't really sway me, but it sure justifies my rant on this blog.]

i decided that i was going to transfer my mobile from optus to vodaphone because i didn't want to be in a contract anymore, wanted to save some money before heading overseas and after weighing up options (and getting a little sick of the optus runaround), i decided to go with vodafone, knowing that i could transfer my number over and get a pretty basic pre-paid deal, keep in touch with friends and family before i left - keep it simple.




introducing case 498746: lauren vs vodafone and the red sim.

i bought my red sim on monday. it is now thursday and still not ported over (which i know is a very simple process, as i've done it a few times in the 10 years i've had a mobile for). but according to the 15 (YES 15!!) different people i've spoken to since monday, it should be connected in an hour, there have been problems, it should be connected by the end of the day, there have been problems, i don't know what you're talking about, it should be connected within 3 hours, it should be connected within 24 hours and finally,'i'll text you when it's done. BUT IT'S STILL NOT CONNECTED!

for as long as i can remember, customer service has largely been based on 'the customer is always right' and the idea that having good customer service is vital to keeping customers, business, reputation, etc. and then there's that whole addage about a happy customer will tell 3 friends, an unhappy customer, 10.
considering i get a few hits on this blog per day, there's a particular communications company that are probably wishing they taught their staff a few communications skills.

the thing is, that no matter how much technology changes, what trends rise and fall in marketing and the level of value we expect from products, consumers still expect to be treated like people when they're in trouble and that includes making us feel like we're being taken care of - not shunted between people and having to ring up a hundred times. i'm not of the generation that expects silver service for all my capitalist needs - hell, i'm quite self-sufficient. But no matter how big, tech-savvy, gen XYZ focused your company is, keeping the customer happy with a quality product is still the bottom line.

now, vodafone, from one red brand to another - connect my goddamn phone!

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2 Comments:

At 26 January, 2007 07:01, Anonymous Rob @ Cynic said...

Brilliant rant - love it and given I am seeing a Vodafone 'exec' soon, I was wondering if I can bring your story up - just to make the smug bastard feel uncomfortable.

Let me know - love the blog.

 
At 27 January, 2007 08:26, Blogger lauren said...

thanks rob! glad you dig it - feel free to take it to the top... finally got it connected this morning, 5, yes 5 days after the fact :)

 

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