On Monday I got a call from one of our Techzim readers. They were distraught because they had purchased a data bundle on Econet but their bundle was not reflecting.
Usually when people reach out like this we try to help them by directing them to officers of the service provider who can help. We don’t want to take on the role of a militant activist and this is especially so because we understand that sometimes things go wrong. No need to embarrass anyone, we just try to help.
Customer care wasn’t helping
The customer kept trying to get help using multiple Econet Customer Care channels. Lastly, because she still had a bit of data she tried online chat. The first agent she chatted with seemed helpful. The agent acknowledged that indeed she had bought a data bundle and so advised her to restart her phone and check her balance again. She thanked the agent and went on to try the hack.
It didn’t work. Customer went back to online chat but it was a different agent who responded this time. She asked if it was possible to get assistance from the first agent so she wouldn’t have to explain things all over again. That seemed to offend the new agent because they then just left the conversation without a word and no agent came to their help.
Tried to help
The reader kept coming back to me so I tired to help. I took the issue to two different people at Econet. Sure that wasn’t their job description but I just explained that perhaps they could nudge people who could help to do it. Nothing happened.
More people affected
As the day wore on, the customer in trying to get help started discovering that there were a number of Econet customers who had the same problem and were not getting resolution too. She discovered online forums and social media groups of disgruntled Econet customers who did not receive their purchased data bundles.
When she shared this with me it was already end of day on Monday. I reached out to the folks at Econet I had asked to help. I told them that we discovered this was not an isolated case and so we were picking this as a story. At that point the reader I was trying to assist got a call from someone at Econet promising to help. She was happy.
That was Monday evening. Up to now she hasn’t got a thing. Her issue obviously long forgotten. She has texted Econet, emailed Econet, called Econet, chatted to Econet, reached out to Econet on social media. She is not getting any response anymore.
It happens again
Yesterday, Wednesday, the same lady tried to buy a data bundle again. The same thing happened! Her bundle was not credited! She has and still is trying to get this resolved.
Econet used to be excellent at customer care
Do glitches happen when you are operating at the scale of Econet? Yes they do. The problem is Econet customer care seems to have decayed. This was really Econet’s strong point. You always got your problems resolved almost immediately.
Now, it seems the order of the day is to ignore complaints. Almost daily, on Twitter you find someone tweeting at Econet that they had sent them a DM of such and such a complaint and haven’t received any help. Always, Econet then responds and says ‘Hi customer please DM us your number.’ Huh? But the customer had DM’d already. Is it customer care or is it about saving face in public?
This issue of disappearing data has been reported by Econet customers for several weeks now. Is anything being done?
And Econet is doing customer service for other companies
The irony is that Econet launched Omni Contact a few months ago. The business exists to take on customers (other businesses) and provide contact centre services for them. Makes you wonder.