15 November 2005

Lost Mobile Phone II

So that evening when I lost the phone, I decided to call M1 Service Centre to get my SIM card suspended in case whoever pick up the phone starts chalking up my bill. Below is an extract of my conversation with this M1 Customer Service guy.

M1 Guy:
Thank you for verifying your identity. I will suspend your number immediately but short of a cancellation in case you managed to find your phone again.

JayWalk: Sound good. If I can't find it then I will just have to wait until middle of next month when I return to Singapore to get my replacement SIM.

M1 Guy: Next month? Er... sir, I think that is not possible as The System is set that when the suspension exceeds 14 days without reconnecting, the number will be canceled?

JayWalk: I hope you understand that I am presently stuck in Ch1na and won't be back until middle of next month.

M1 Guy: Yes, sir, I hear you but the System is set like that. I can't do anything to change it.

JayWalk: I need you to think carefully. I am an M1 customer for many years and would like to carry on my business with you. If you can't do anything about the System and my line gets canceled, I will take my business to Singtel. May I remind you that you are already fast losing market share with StarHub overtaking you already.

M1 Guy: Please hold the line sir while I speak with my manager.

(Minutes later.)

M1 Guy: Sir, this is what I will do. I will suspend the line for you and will monitor your number until the 14th day where I will reconnect and suspend it a second time to get another 14 days. That should tide us over to your return.

JayWalk: Good man. Thank you.

When it comes to customer service, the thing that riles me the most is "the system is like that one" or "the system keyed in already, so cannot undo the entry" etc.. Perhaps the timing of saying this is also quite crucial. If after trying for some time and the agent report to me of his failed attempt to override the system, that's fine. I really hate it when it simply rolls off the tongue of the customer service agent without even first attempt to give it a shot.

The last time a Cathay Pacific check-in agent pulled the "System" farce on me, I chewed his head off and escalated the whole matter to the manager.

Overall, I was still satisfied with the outcome of the customer service encounter but I felt, it could have been handled better.

Anyway, I called up M1 Customer Services again today and ....

M1 Gal: Thank you, Mr JayWalk. How may I be of assistance?

JayWalk: If you pull up my call log, you will see that I recently reported the loss of my mobile phone and my line is currently suspended.

M1 Gal: Yes sir. I see that too.

JayWalk: I need to know if there is a faster way to get my SIM card replacement rather than waiting for me to get back to Singapore?

M1 Gal: While we can't courier to you direct, I can arrange for the card to be sent to your family and have them courier it to you?

JayWalk: Hmm... now that is a good idea. Please do it.

M1 Gal: I will have it dispatch to you tomorrow. No... Wait... I will have it dispatch to your home this evening between 7 and 10pm. This is important and you would agree that it shouldn't wait until tomorrow morning.

JayWalk: Good thinking. Thank you.

It reminded me while I stuck to M1 all these years instead of Singtel Mobile when the latter has a far better cellular coverage when traveling in the US. It's the customer service. The episode with the M1 guy was just a small bump but the subsequent M1 Gal totally made up for it. My very first mobile in 1995 was with Singtel Mobile and customer service was so-so at best. M1 won me over with their friendly and proficient customer service and have been with them ever since.

Things are a little different over there in Ch1na. Surprisingly their mobile customer service here is also very good. Then again, it could be due to the fact that I chalk up about RMB 50,000 in phone bill each year.

Ch1na mobile has a personal customer service agent assigned to me and he had already sent me a replacement SIM card, last year, on standby in case of me losing my current one. All I needed to do is that pop the replacement SIM card into any mobile and get the first network registration i.e. turn the bladdy phone on, the misplaced SIM card will be canceled immediately and I can carry on using the replacement SIM card from thereon.

Anyway, I will getting in touch with Ch1na Mobile as they have a current promotion where I can get my replacement mobile phone for RMB 1.00 (that's about SGD 0.20). The down side is that the selection of phones in the promotion is limited but I guess at $0.20, we shouldn't make too much noise. From the range, I have my eye set on the Nokia 6670 and the catch to this promotion is that I will have to prepay RMB 3720 (about SGD 745) in advance which they will deduct to offset my phone bill over a period of the next 12 months. Ok lah, considering the fact that my phone bill one month will cover it liao.

Afternote: I am having second thoughts about getting the phone and has decided to give away my annual quota to my Mom who incidentally also needed a new phone. Besides, somebody already asked me out on a phone-shopping date when I get back. *grin*

- Voxeros

1. mihuatang left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 5:54 pm
i heard that there is such a sim card with dual numbers (in yr case, one ch1na number and one s1ngapore number on the same sim card). is this true?

2. Pam left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 6:35 pm
i am impressed with M1... probably first i've ever heard of good service in sg. wow. well, there has to be a first sometime. i've made an appt to speak with the phone shop on thursday. he's trying to persuade me to switch providers - i get a better deal, keep my phone number, get a new phone. all for free. what you think?

3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 9:58 pm :: 
mihuatang: Yes and No. Yes in the sense that you can have 2 numbers assigned to 1 SIM card. But they have to be from the same telco and so No in the sense that I can't merge my M1 and my Ch1na Telecom into a single SIM card.

4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 10:05 pm :: 
Pam: Sounds pretty good. How long do you have to be tied to them?

5. Lynne left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 10:05 pm
All mobile carriers suck big-time!!!!

6. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 10:10 pm ::
Lynne: I would agree in the context of USA. So are the internet service providers there.

7. Pam left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 10:27 pm
12 months apparently. apparently the sucky tariff that i'm on ties me in for 18 months?!! hm. didn't realise that. any mobile phones to recommend? excl the blackberry of course...:)

8. vanna left...
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 11:42 pm
there is always a trick in handling customer service. guess it's kind of sad to be fierce in order to get things done..

9. Jaslyn left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 12:32 am ::
Mobile phone shopping! I want to go! I want to go!!

10. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 9:04 am :: 
Pam: It very much depends on what bells and whistles do you expect to have on the phone? Camera? Web browser? Bluetooth? PDA? Radio? MP3 Player?
Personally, I think you should go for one with Bluetooth connectivity.
As far as brands are concerned, I am more inclined to use Nokia, having gone through a full circle with all the brands, including sucky Ch1nese ones.

Vanna: I can't agree more. I do understand that the person at the other end of the customer service hotline is also a fellow person who is only doing this because it's his/her job/livelihood.
As such, I make it point to be nice first before switching to Bulldozer as Plan B.

Jaslyn: Sure. Why not? Question is where can I find a slot in my timesheet to put this shopping trip in? Hmm....

11. akk left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 10:13 am
I agree that M1 has a great customer care service....but Starhub is getting better too! I think it's time for me to change! :) Update on the HP hunt.

12. milktea left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 10:24 am
this is where I appreciate companies who implement strict rules when it comes to hiring. They should at least choose the smarter ones.

13. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 5:44 pm ::
Akk: I agree StarHub's pretty good too and the fact that free incoming calls is a plus.
However, I am still skeptical about StarHub coverage both at home and overseas (esp USA).

milktea: But sometimes when HR themselves are dumb, this rule is difficult to enforced. Haiz...

14. Pam left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 6:22 pm
ok - i think we need to have a lesson on bluetooth soon...:( where are you when i need you!!!!!!!!!!

15. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 9:06 pm :: 
Pam: There is nothing to it with bluetooth lah. Skype me with you are free lor.

16. Jaslyn left...
Thursday, 17 November 2005 3:50 am ::
I dont care! I also want to go! I'm also long time m1 user :p
Baby said wanna buy me a new hp. Hahaa.. Lets go take a look together :p

17. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 17 November 2005 7:39 am :: 
Jaslyn: Sure. Good idea to go jalan jalan anyway. (",)

18. FF left...
Thursday, 17 November 2005 1:46 pm
Mmmm. M1 has the best customer service, but I switched over to Starhub because I thought it would be cheaper and I get free IDD calls, but it's not cheaper and the customer service sucks.

19. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 17 November 2005 3:12 pm :: 
FF: Starhub not cheaper meh? I thot free incoming calls should save you a bundle right?

20. Pam left...
Friday, 18 November 2005 12:45 am
can't skype you leh from work. maybe sat AM my time.... if i'm awake!

21. Pam left...
Friday, 18 November 2005 1:12 am
actually - my uncle's told me all i need to know about bluetooth.... thanks for the offer.

22. Jaslyn left...
Friday, 18 November 2005 1:46 am ::
Papa.. u know now m1, singtel also got free incoming? i just changed my plan to free incoming also. maybe u shd too, when u go buy hp :)

23. JayWalk left...
Friday, 18 November 2005 7:34 am :: 
Pam: Skype anytime lah. I have my Skype forwarded to my mobile and so even if I am not logged on or at my laptop, you can still reach me.

Jaslyn: M1 got free incoming also? What's the catch? More expensive monthly charge? More expensive per minute charge?

24. Jaslyn left...
Saturday, 19 November 2005 3:06 am ::
Err.. Got a few plans. Mine's the most expensive one, monthly subscription is $70.40(but this is corporate rate cos mine stil under HIS name). For the public, it called SunTalk 800(mine's 700), its $71.40 per mth, free incoming calls all day, 800mins free outgoing calls and 500 free sms. U can check it out on their website :)

25. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 19 November 2005 8:41 am :: 
Jaslyn: Will do that. Thanks for the tip. I will go check it out. Granted that I only stay in Singapore for like only 20 days per year, I think I should be looking at the cheapest plan and hopefully got free incoming calls.

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