04 December 2007

Selling is not marketing

Warning: Ranting ahead.

The past two weeks has been very frustrating time for us. As some of you may be aware, AOL cut off our broadband connection without any warning (but still billed us) and we have already signed up for the 'TalkTalk 2 International' plan, which comes with a free broadband connection.

The upgrade was quite smooth and the new plan came into effect on the 21st of November. The guy we talked to, promised us that we would have the installation CD and new modem by the 30th of November. Today's it's already the 2nd of December. We are hopping mad because we have already received the bill for last month WITH the new plan, which happens to be costlier, even though we still don't have any CD or modem in sight - meaning no broadband connection.

I am really pissed off because I missed a meeting with my supervisor yesterday because I only got to read her email quite late YESTERDAY. And then there is the loss of earnings from my blogs. It's only when we get cut off from the net, that we realise how dependent we are on it.

After a year here in the UK, I have come to realise that a lot of British companies are really good at "Selling" their products and services but very poor at retaining their customers. Take broadband service providers as an example. There are so many of them to choose from but according to what we have experienced and what our friends who have been staying here for several years, almost all of them are equally bad in their after sales service if not worse. They keep on changing service providers every year in the hope that the next might be better. Some of them have accepted it as a fact of life here in the UK which is wrong. We might accept this in some third World country with no infrastructure or the communications network is controlled by the Government but this is the UK.

It's no wonder because most of their marketing departments here are actually filled with sales people while technical complaints are handled by call centres in India. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't know of any which has a customer retention plan in place. And I am not only talking about the broadband providers but the entire private sector.

I sometimes can't believe I am learning marketing here. I pointed this out to one academic and according to her, that is one of the reason why a lot of British companies apart from a few, have not been able to compete globally.

On the other hand the Government offices are really efficient. That's quite funny because a lot of the former colonies of Britain, blame the British tradition for their own paperwork laden sluggish bureaucracies.

I remember an old post I made sometime back, "Malaysian Companies and Marketing". I think it applies here in the UK as well.


kljs said...

wow..... it is just as bad over there with so many companies. Over here it's screamyx from TMnutz only.....


BabyPink said...

ah, capitalism! don't we all just hate that!

keep your cool, bro! i hope all will be well and fixed!:)

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Feeling sorry for U. but don't worry.... things will be ok. there must have some mistake.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Watchdog programme once few months back with a report on this broadband issue. They are all bad!

Sorry to hear about your 'sufferings'. Hope it'll end soon.


Claybrook74 said...

I can certainly identify with the loss of earnings from blogs as I've been hit by the PR bug, if you will and I've also had continuous issues with AOL broadband. Maybe we should start a think tank? Hope things get better!

Dilip Mutum said...

Hi Guys, thanks for your comments. I finally got connected today.
Kljs: Surprising isn't it. I guess we think that the grass is always greener on the other side when it actually isn't.

Babypink: I don't really hate capitalism. However, there needs to be some check and balances.

Hardy: How's is broadband over there in Holland?

Jerry: I am quite happy as my PR for this blog went up to 5. Think tank? Hmmmm...


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