Warning: this is a rant…
I have been a (mostly happy) customer of Telfort for the last few years. The provided phone (and 3G) access over the (good) KPN network, I paid their bills; everybody happy. Over the last few years I have paid them well over €7.000.
Until last week.
I woke up to a text I missed a payment, and they disconnected me. I looked into my bank statements, and it seemed they (automatic) bill for oktober failed. The bill for November did work. I immediately made the payment I missed, and give them a call. There they explained that getting reconnected will take 5 days. 5 Days?!
- Why couldn’t they warn me by SMS there was an open bill? They did send me one when I was disconnected. Why no last warning a day before? (yes, they did send me a letter, which I must have missed).
- Why didn’t they retry their automatic bill? Their next bill worked, they could have just added the outstanding amount to it.
- Why, in this realtime age, does it take 5 days to look up a bank statement and reconnect a phone? Isn’t this an ongoing process?
- Why don’t they do any risk calculation? I understand from their perspective providing service to non-paying customers is expensive. But I’m not a new pre-paid account: I have paid them well over €7K over the years, and never not paid a penny. It’s not like I’m a high-risk customer: They should have made that calculation, and understood I would pay.
- Don’t they do automatic cost/benefit analysis? On average I pay them €5/day, so they have about €25 in missed income. Also, I have been talking to their call-center about this, which must have high costs on their eind. All in all their direct costs will be at least € 50,-. And since I’m planning to look for another telco, their indirect costs will be a lot higher.
I keep on thinking this is stupid from both a short-time financial perspective (today I’m costing them direct money, instead of making them any), and a long time perspective: I’m losing my interest in them, and wouldn’t advocate them to my friends.
The most frustrating thing is this whole mess could have been prevented with one text message (or call). Something like “You have missed a payment, if you don’t pay in the next 2 days, you will be disconnected”.