Thursday, 25 September 2008

Service Clientèle de Telenet

I feel a rant coming on...

And the title in French is on purpose, I aim to inform as many of Telenet's customers as possible about their really useless "Help desk" or "Service Clientèle".

My troubles started last Friday, turning on my PC to find no Internet connection.
I check the PC, I check the router and I check the modem. It's pretty obvious right away that the modem is the problem, it is not responding. The standby button doesn't work, however many times I push it. It seemed to have crashed. I remove the plug and start again. Then I remove the plug for a good 30 minutes and then try again. NADA.

Over the weekend, a more clued-in soul tries various possible solutions... NADA.

Come Monday, during a spare errr... hour at work, I search the Telenet website and it takes me a good 20 minutes surfing through endless page to actually find a phone number.
For those of you looking for it and who landed here:

Service clientèle général : 015/666 666. (hmm 2 x 666... that's has to be a bad start!!!)
Service clientèle TV : 015/33 42 76.
Service clientèle Internet : 015/ ... I would LOVE to give it to you, but I never managed to get that number, despite asking for it many times.

Anyway, 1st call; a relatively pleasant person, tells me I need to call them back when I can actually touch the modem. Ok Fair enough.
2nd call; About 17h50. After a good 10 minutes on hold with the TV people, I get transfered onto the Internet help desk. After once again giving them my client number, name and address, I am asked to switch my modem on and off and on and off again. The problem is remotely diagnosed as being an issue with the modem's power source. In short I need a replacement transformer for the modem.
I am offered two options by the voice on the other end of the phone.
1) Telenet can send me one, by Taxipost - This will take 5 days. HA
2) I can take my transformer to a partner store in my area (Vandenborre or Kreyfel, among others!) and they will exchange it for me.

I am delighted at option 2 and head over quickly to the Vandenborre at Woluwe Shopping center. I get there just before closing and am greeted with all smiles, until I explain the situation.
They have NO IDEA what I'm talking about and tell me they do not sell the modems there, have no agreement with Telenet and therefore don't have the right transformer.

Staying calm, it could just be a mistake, I dial the fateful 015 number again and prepare to hang around the shop for a good 15 minutes before getting someone on the phone. While wandering the aisles, phone to ear, I notice there are some really nice washing machines in the shop which reminds me that I really must put a load in when I get back home.

I manage to get someone on the phone and pass them through to the Vandenborre guy (who was very helpful even if he couldn't help.)
Nothing to be done, I won't get a new transformer here!
The lady on the phone then gives me 2 other shop names and tells me to go there.

Tuesday after work. I head over to the Vandenborre on Chaussée de Louvain with my problem transformer. Lots of wide eyes again as I mention Telenet's agreement. No modems here, and no knowledge of any exchange.
Me is starting to get a bit pissed off by now.
On the phone again, waiting, I head over to the next shop on my list, Kreyfel. I'm not feeling real hopeful at this point so I stay in the help desk queue trying to keep calm but fully intending to blow a fuse once some poor soul picks up my call.

Kreyfel... same story.

I am now getting annoying and I'm wondering whether Telenet is starting to take the piss.
When I finally get passed through to the Internet help desk, understandably my patience has run out and I'm fuming.
The poor guy, who I know has nothing to do with this, tries his best to keep me calm and offers once again the two solutions.
1) Send it by Taxipost - 5 days. To which I respond saying that had I not been given the other alternative on Friday, I would have agreed to this and would have the transformer by now. Having been sent to 3 different shops for crap all, I insist that it is time for Telenet to make a commercial gesture and send the effing thing by courier and I would get it in the morning.
(in my opinion, I'm not asking for the world here, but Belgian customer service is notoriously despicable, and because no one really makes a fuss, it doesn't change!)

2) Go to yet another shop and try again. Believe it or not, the guy recommends the bloody same shop I went to in the first place. I try to be nice when telling the guy I have already tried that and have also informed Telenet that giving this shop to other customers is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
However after hanging on the phone for another 20 minutes while the poor bloke looks for a solution that won't have me subsequently screaming down the phone at him, he finally comes through and suggests I go to a Telenet dealer about 5 minutes from where I am now. I ask him if he is positive this place will have the elusive transformer and I am assured it will. I then notice the time (18:05) and ask him what time the shop closes and after lots of searching, it turns out the shop closes at 17:00 and he suggests I go tomorrow. Thing is, and I point this out to him, I finish work at 17:15.
He then suggests another Telenet dealer, that one closes at 18:30. I ask him for a phone number to be able to call ahead, as I really don't fancy rushing like a mad woman to find a closed door or worse still, no transformer. Seeing the minutes pass on my car clock, I plug in my headset and get on the road while he searches desperately for a contact number.

Finally I am able to hang up and give the shop a call. They do have a transformer, and they will wait for me ... "As long as you get here before half past!!!"
err yeah, thanks!

End of this episode ...
I get there just in time, receive my new transformer and am told by the adorable Flemish guy behind the counter that help desk should have told me to come here in the first place (and I tend to agree, it's very close to where I live.

Traditional to Belgium, he asks me which help desk I called; the french speakers or the Flemish speakers... when I say that I called the french desk, he bursts out laughing and tells me it's no wonder I was sent all over the place for nothing.
Apparently the french speaking help desk people are useless.
Funny that - I found him to be correct.

So all of you Telenet customers out there.
If faced with a problem that requires you to venture into the world of help desks ... Avoid the French speaking desk like the plague and go for the Flemish or English version.
And for god's sake, don't bother with other shops, just head straight to a Telenet dealer.
(it is also much more satisfying to be able to scream at a Telenet employee directly!)

That said, My modem seems to be blinking and lighting up in all the right places, but still no Internet. I will call the English help desk later on tonight!

... to be continued.