Exacerbation of frustration

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Today’s post is going to be a LONG rant about one of Malaysia’s leading telecommunication providers.  Its name starts with a C, ends with an M, and has an ELCO in the middle.

Ever since I started using a cellphone, I have been a loyal Celcom subscriber, never once changing my number, and always a prompt bill payer.  Loyalty begets loyalty, and I had assumed my request to temporarily suspend my account for the period I will be in the States would be handled with perfect efficiency.

But how wrong my assumption was.

A few days before I left Malaysia, I walked into the nearby Celcom branch, and requested for a temporary suspension.  The man behind the desk told me that he could do so immediately, however the temporary suspension would only be for a total of FOUR months, after which I had to reactivate my account, if I want to keep my number.  I patiently explained my situation to him, and told him that I would like to extend my account suspension after the four months.  I was willing to email the Celcom Careline to provide them the authorization to do so.  After all, in this day and age, an email instruction is as good as a signed one.

But the Celcom guy behind the counter apparently was not empowered to make any decision, so I had to make do with the temporary suspension.

On that same day, I called up the Celcom Careline, and spoke to one of their consultants, who informed me that the request for an extension would only be accepted via FAX.  I told him that I would like to request for the extension via email, just like the arrangement my hubby had made with Maxis.  I told him I would not be able to fax in the request from the United States, and asked that he allow me to get the extension done via email.  Unfortunately, the consultant too could not confirm if this could be done, but all he could do was to put in a note to indicate my request.  He suggested that I email the Celcom Careline directly to request for it.

…which was exactly what I did when I reached the US.

Ten days went by without a reply from the Careline, so I resent my email requesting for a prompt reply.  And I got this five days later:

Huh?  Now the temporary suspension is for THREE months only??!!!  And I have to PAY to have it reconnected?  So, I calmed myself down and replied in as civil a manner as possible, and got an equally frustrating reply from the Careline.

Of course, I had to reply to that, right?

Now, as you can see, Celcom has not even answered my questions yet:

  • They have not told me if the reconnection and further suspension can be done via email.
  • They have not committed to a seamless extension of my account suspension.  As a customer, I expect that the extended suspension be executed as I have requested, never mind if you have to reactivate and suspend the account again.  It doesn’t matter what happens behind the scenes, as long as my account suspension is in place.  To me, if a rival telecommunications company can do the deed without any hassle to the customer, so can Celcom.
  • And I am still confused about whether the temporary suspension is FOUR months (as I was informed back in Malaysia) or THREE months (as the Careline has told me via email)

Is it any wonder why I am so very seriously considering switching to a different telecommunications provider?

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18 Responses to Exacerbation of frustration

  1. jemima says:

    MAXIS is the same. 3 months max.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yes, Maxis is 3 months max, but they were willing to extend the suspension for my husband after that if he emailed them to do so. No questions asked.

  2. jemima says:

    Looks like you should consider switching to MAXIS & at the same time you can still keep your old number. Hence, your contacts won’t lost touch with you.

    Btw, I’m not an employee or management of MAXIS.. but heck, my comments sounds like a MAXIS advert. 😆

    All the best, GT. 🙂

    The Giddy Tigress says: Oh yeah, I had wanted to do that a few days before I relocated to US, but apparently after the switch, I need to maintain an active line for a period of time first. So I decided to wait till I return.

  3. mistipurple says:

    their emails sound like canned replies.
    i hate canned replies.

    The Giddy Tigress says: That was the word I was looking for! CANNED. Yup, I hate those too.

  4. iamthewitch says:

    Oh yea, switch to Maxis and keep your number! Haha.. sounds like a tagline. 😛

    The Giddy Tigress says: I fully intend to do that when I get back to Malaysia.

  5. ehon says:

    they are just going around in circle! omg, i cannot believe how inefficient the email is, as if they don’t understand what’s being asked. i’d say just terminate it or switch service.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yeah, I almost pulled out what little hair I have in frustration.

  6. Pink Cotton says:

    it sounds as if they r replying u from a list of template messages…


    The Giddy Tigress says: Yes, I bet they have this list of template messages they just copy and paste from!

  7. beetrice says:

    I hate it when their replies sound like they just trawled through a mass of response templates and just cut-paste one at random. Doesn’t answer your questions, and irritates you further.

    With MNP, you’re no longer forced to stick to one provider…so by all means, go ahead and switch! 🙂

    The Giddy Tigress says: I will I will…once I get back.

  8. Tine says:

    It’s definitely a copy-and-paste response. Have you tried calling them to ask them to waive the RM10 fee? Which is, in my opinion, something they can definitely do seeing that you’ve been such a loyal customer!

    I’d say switch to a different network. Before giving them a piece of your mind that is 😉

    The Giddy Tigress says: Oh yes, I asked them to waive it when I called up the first time back in Malaysia, before I left. Of course they said no. Loyalty means nothing to these people, I tell ya!

  9. Patrick says:

    Problem is I think before you can even switch, celcom will claim back the number after 3 months and you don’t have ownership of the number anymore.

    The Giddy Tigress says: That’s the problem…and that is why it is so important that I keep the line suspended till I return. They just don’t understand it.

  10. simon says:

    “Its name starts with a C, ends with an M, and has an ELCO in the middle.”

    I *LIKE* the mystery and anonymity!!! 🙂 Actually i have used all three big telcos, but thankfully not bad exp with any of them. except maxis with their ad spamming.

    The Giddy Tigress says: So which is the lesser of the three evils?

  11. michelle says:

    Prepaid rules! No need to do any suspension.

    The Giddy Tigress says: But the trouble of getting the reload and topping up and keeping tab on how much you have…ahhh, I just can’t be bothered 😛

  12. bs says:

    You are not giving them business for very long time in the future. They have decided that you are as good as a loss in their account. So no need to spend time with you. They have decided. Have you?

    The Giddy Tigress says: Of course I have decided. In fact, I had already wanted to switch to Maxis before I left, but I couldn’t, because switching means I need to have an active number for a fixed duration before I can suspend. So I decided to wait.

  13. Adino says:

    It looks like the copy and paste their reply from somewhere. Anyway I suggest that you change providers. Time to change.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Of course of course….I can’t wait to change providers!

  14. Irene says:

    u can always switch to MAXIS & still keep your old 019 number 🙂

    The Giddy Tigress says: Yeah, but I will need to make sure I still HAVE the 019 number when I return and make the switch, and in order to do that, I must prevent Celcom from disowning that number from me during the suspension.

  15. rinnah says:

    Since you can now switch and keep your number, I’d say go for it! (And yes, I am a happy Maxis user. Heh.)

    The Giddy Tigress says: I can’t wait to switch…

  16. wen says:

    i understand how u feel with Celcom, when i disconnected my celcom line to switch to maxis, it took me at least 3 times to disconnect it even i have called them many times. and it took them 2 years to refund my deposit!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Why do they make it so hard to disconnect, and TWO years to refund your deposit???!!!

  17. PC says:

    well, at least the Celcom guy didn’t hang up on you in mid-sentence!!

    yup, had that nasty experience when I called their “Celcom Premier Customer Service” last Sunday as I was experiencing problem with my internet connection.

    To cut a long story short, I was in the middle of asking why I should be paying for “unlimited access charges” when I can’t even access, the guy had the gall to hang-up on me! When I called back immediately, he transferred my call to donno what department – poor guy at the other end got an earful from me!

    Up to today, they have yet to rectify the problem…..guess streamyx may be a better alternative!!

    The Giddy Tigress says: Well streamyx has its shortcomings too, but I guess what is important is the customer service and respect we get as a paying customer. I am definitely terminating my Celcom line. Serves them right for treating me that way!

  18. Pingback: Giddy Tigers » Stop calling, stop calling, I don’t wanna talk anymore…

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