It’s a SUN UK-based story but the story hits home. I do hope CSRs are given more power and better tools to overcome rigid policies against consumers.
Consumers hate their telecom providers for many things, including contracts. See my earlier post on contracts here.
I am getting bombarded by one of my providers because my 3-year term (I will never lock-in for a contract again no matter what subsidy/discount/offer I am given) is coming to a end. Even though I opted out from all marketing via txt/sms, email and direct mail, I am being hit hard with offers to lock-in to free Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone) and Android Devices. Why would I shift to a new device (PLATFORM) when all my investment in the “app ecosystem” is with Apple’s iOS and further, when I am really happy with the phone itself.
Three strikes and you’re out!
The incumbent providers in Canada have a lot to deal with now. Loyalty across telecom providers has been tied to the bill and the quality of customer service response. If that’s any measure, then we all know what Canadian sentiment is like. The upstarts, like WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile are not immune from customer anger either. That said, the contracts that are coming to a close (especially, the 3 years like myself) do present a huge churn challenge for incumbents in Canada because these folks are going to be in a position to pay lower monthly fees and get access to new devices as well. If Apple does release a new iPhone in the Fall (Sept/October) that works with the TMobile network, this opens up the possibility for iPhones (iOS) smartphones appearing the upstart networks.
At the moment, I am also a WIND/Blackberry customer in addition to an iPhone-carrying customer with one of the incumbents. I won’t renew under a contract so I have full flexibility to leave when desired. This decision has been made largely because the incumbent provider kept me on the phone for two hours telling me that I couldn’t do this or that while they kept changing the goal post. Two hours later, they remembered the customer should have choices but that has never been forgotten.
For the record: The customer ISN’T always right. Sometimes, they deserve to be fired. (80-20 rule). That said, being such a good ARPU customer on costly smartphone plans, I was appalled by the difficulty to address a simple, obvious matter which turned into a difficult jousting match. Too much work. So I have decided to fire the provider by not locking into a new contract/phone plan.
I think the days of mobile phone contracts are coming to an end. It’s a very common part of the North American landscape. But in a post-paid and pre-paid world (prepaid, newer to Canadian customers), it’s game over. Amateur hour is over. And most consumers will be more open to paying for the cost of the device.
What do you think? Share the same opinion or do you think I am wrong in my comments. Let me know.