Now I don’t know how to measure a company that is dying, but I can guess. OK, I admit it, more clever people than me (even the CDMA operators themselves) have talked about the difficult situations these CDMA mobile operators are experiencing. Was it not Multilinks that recently became an orphan when its parent company in South Africa refused to finance it anymore? Anyhow, Starcomms is in the same boat but that is not my point here. My point is about my personal unsatisfactory experience with them on occasions.
I have had cause to write about them in the past:
Here: http://writingpad.com.ng/?p=225 (Corruption in Starcomms Nigeria)
here: http://writingpad.com.ng/?p=612 (Starcomms CDMA steps up support)
Now it is very curious. I wrote the last one just in March this year and here I am today making a complete volte farce because I wish to lambast (to the best of my ability) their service, including customer service.
If they are doing badly as a mobile telephone company, they ought to do their best to recover revenue from selling more data. I used to boast that Starcomms Internet was one of the most reliable. To be fair to them, it still is, but every time I have to deal closely with them either to pay a bill, renew a service or make a complaint, I go away with a worse and worse impression each time.
I’m making this short so I skip some complaints to go straight to my contact with customer service today. Call their customer service number and you are greeted with an annoying, lengthy diatribe from the voice of a lady whom unfortunately you cannot interrupt because it is a machine. You must needs hear her out, talking crap to me when all I want is to make a complaint about something. Bla, bla, bla and bla, on and on and finally she tells you that you are welcome and that you are going to receive a wonderful service today and that you should go ahead to tell what you want and that they were going to attend to you after you speak…. O my! Shut up!!!!
And when she finally shuts her crap, you get to wait some more. After the second level wait today the phone was picked by a real person, another lady, speaking from A VERY NOISY BACKGROUND (I exaggerate not!). Do you remember those gsm calls you make and you have to beg the person on the other end to allow you to call back another time when the background was less noisy? Today was like that. How can starcomms set up its customer service unit in Tejuosho market? Thankfully she soon transfers me to another guy who spent the better part of the time apologizing for making me wait, while making me wait, coming back to take some data, etc, etc,etc. At a point I had to tell him to please take down my number in case my call credits run out so he can call me back. “Oh, you’re calling from a starcomms line so your credit will not run out. This call is toll free”. OK sir, but my time is not toll free.
And don’t even let me get going on their online “self-service” portal? It has taken them the better part of two years to get that part of their site starting to “crawl” to existence, and even now, you cannot do anything useful on it.
An analysis of Starcomms financial health. Read it here: http://www.businessdayonline.com/NG/index.php/markets/companies-and-market/21462-starcomms-financial-situation-deteriorates-further-in-2010-full-year-financials