Acceptable Level of Service

In this day and age of high Internet usage, superb online connectivity, instant messenging, etc, I wonder what is considered an acceptable level of service by customer/tech support staff.  If there’s one thing I don’t understand, it’s why I always have to be a bitchy customer in Singapore to get things done.  Take the latest gripe I have with Singtel.  I’m a subscriber of its Colour-Me-Tones which is a service that allows your callers to hear music instead of the usual ringing tone when they call you.

Subscribers can select the tunes they want to be played via Singtel’s IDEAS website and there’s also a function for users to request for tunes.  I’ve been a subscriber of this service for over a year now and I realised that either the Tune Request function is buggy, or Singtel is just sloppy in their customer service.  Because everytime I request for a tune that’s not in the database, it takes me 2 requests before the tune gets loaded – I request for the tune, the request stays there for 2-3 weeks, then it disappears, I request a 2nd time, wait another 2-3 weeks, then the tune appears.

I’ve gotten used to this sloppy service and I actually tolerated it over the entire time I’ve been a subscriber of this service.  However, it just got worse because 2 tunes I’ve been requesting for – Jack Johnson’s Better Together and Jason Mraz’s Lucky – got ignored repeatedly.  I must’ve waited for over 6 months now (re-requesting repeatedly) for Jack John’s Better Together but after 2-3 weeks, my request simply disappears. 

There’s no explanation from Singtel on why my request is dropped.  Is it because of copyright issues they could not sort out?  Or perhaps they could not find this particular tune?  I don’t know… but I did find out yesterday that this song is available for download via Singtel’s website.  So is Singtel just getting even sloppier in its service?

On 27 July 2008, I sent a complaint via the online feedback form regarding this problem.  On 30 July 2008, I got a reply from that my complaint will be channeled to the relevant department for handling.  Well, my tune requests got dropped AGAIN so that leads me to conclude that the "appropriate action" taken by Singtel is to sweep my complaint under the carpet.

On 27 August 2008, I sent another email complaint to Singtel (this time, a harshly worded one)… to date, there has been no response.  Not even a cursory "we are looking into it now" reply.  Just silence.  I wonder if Singtel knows that silence is not golden for a telecommunications company.  Annoyed, I just sent an email to their CEO enquiring on what does Singtel consider as "acceptable level of service".

Am I being bitchy?  I think I am.  Unfortunately, that’s the only way to communicate to Singtel it seems.

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September 2008