Broadband Customer Experience: Twenty-eight minutes of life lost

With people relying on fast internet access for home working, one would expect the broadband providers would have upped their game in terms of customer support. New data from Ofcom covering complaints to broadband operators, has found that 31% of complaints were due to the complaints handling process.

From a recent call made to Virgin Media to disconnect Virgin Media’s broadband service, Computer Weekly believes its contact centre system is seriously flawed. It is fair enough to ask the customer to enter their account number and area code and a letter from a passphrase using their telephone’s keypad, but then to be asked again for further verification from a call centre operator, pushes one’s patience. Yes, this happens elsewhere, but it is not good CX.

On the plus side, the call to the call centre operator did go through pretty quickly. Then there is the inevitable “soft sell”, where the call centre operator looks at your account and plucks a figure from the script being read. Lo and behold, your bill is now a little bit less.
No surprises here. It’s what we’ve come to expect. You called to disconnect and no matter how hard you try, Virgin Media is going to try to keep you. They’ll say: “Let me see if I can find a better deal.”

Finally, and it is hard to determine if this is actually part of the script Virgin Media provides for its call centre staff, or the system simply is not set up to fulfil customer disconnection requests, the call handler passes you over to someone else.

Beyond the point where discounts matter

The next call handler then asks those pointless security questions (again) and when you complain, their excuse is that you probably chose the wrong option on the telephone keypad. Out of exasperation, you listen to one last attempt at selling you a new, “best deal ever” broadband service. Amazing, for the same price as your already discounted M100 package, you are now being offered M200 (ie twice as fast). Wait a sec: why wasn’t this deal offered right at the start, in the online My Virgin Media portal?

It’s not the operator’s fault that the script he or she needs to read means there is no alternative but to keep asking the customer to listen to a better deal offer. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll say: “is it ok if I call you back in a few days?” But it’s too late anyway and no matter how good a deal is on the table, the customer experience is not something you would ever wish to experience again. Goodbye Virgin Media.

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