Last week, we complained that we couldn’t connect to the Econet websites unless we used an Econet Internet connection. We don’t use Econet for Internet at the office and we write about the mobile operator regularly so you can understand how it affected us. We were also not happy that this had gone on for months despite notifying Econet about it.
It was fixed, within 48 hours. We complained loud about it so we felt it’s only fair to acknowledge this.
The article got the attention of Liquid Telecom group technical director, Ben Roberts, who immediately assured us with the comment “I will make sure it is fixed. Nobody has brought it to my teams attention.”
Our article also received comments from ZOL CEO, David Behr who took the opportunity to explain how the Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX) works. ZOL is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest Internet Service Providers. We all learnt something from the numerous comments by people affected by the issue.
Yes, it took an article to get the issue fixed. And it’s not Econet that made the move to fix it; it’s a technical director from Econet’s upstream bandwidth provider. Indeed Liquid Telecom is an Econet company but this shows you how unresponsive the local Econet support/tech people are; a director at Liquid had to “Hey Econet buddies, please fix that for your customers?”
Econet has a customer care issue. It’s not just a perception we, Techzim readers, or the general subscribers have. It’s real.
The unavailability of the Econet call center for example is widely known and talked about around. Personally, the times I have needed Econet to fix something with my mobile service, I have had to call the call center about 5 times before anyone is available to help. And each time I’m put on hold until the line terminates some several minutes later. The few lucky times an agent attends the call, they say something like “Let me look at the problem and call you back”. I have never been lucky enough to get the call back. And because of this, I never the call the Econet call center unless it’s to do with overcharging my account.
And no, we’re not saying Telecel, or NetOne, or the new entrants are any better. The truth is we don’t know. Econet is the largest telecoms provider in Zimbabwe and has about 70% of the mobile phone market right now. When Econet does something wrong, it’s noticed by 70% of Zimbabwe’s mobile phone users. Some 5.5 million subscribers get mad.
We wonder sometimes if this is an issue Econet is aware of. We were convinced the large ‘state of the art’ call center launched last year would help but it clearly didn’t. The situation just seems to go on like that with little acknowledgement from Econet that they at least know about the problems and would like to fixed them.
Shareholders are happy though, that certainly matters more, right? At the end of the day, it’s a business.
Please share your thoughts on this (and your experience with your mobile provider) in the comments below.
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