Spark! This Is A Totally Unworkable Situation for Anyone

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The service standards at “Spark” – New Zealand’s not-so-aptly named national telecommunications provider – continue their downward spiral.

Last week I received an account showing an overdue amount . . . an amount I’d already, in fact, paid.

At the same time, I received another account from Spark . . . an account saying, “no need to pay anything”, and showing a credit for the amount I’d paid.

Two invoices: One showing an overdue amount, and one in credit for the same amount.

So today I bite the bullet at what I expect will be the normal unnecessarily lengthy and frustrating exercise New Zealanders have come to expect from their not overly sparky telco.

On my first attempt, after the usual round of ads for phone apps etc, I was directed by an automated voice message to “request a call back”. I did, and was mechanically advised that I would “receive a call back later today”. No indication of whether said call-back might be within five minutes or five hours.

So – let’s think about this. That means I have to stay within earshot of the phone, and stay off it, for the rest of the day, in hopeful wait for the “call back”.

Not an option, as far as I’m concerned. So I decided to see what would happen if I tried the 123 “customer service” (the broadest possible definition thereof) again.

This time, as you’ll hear from the recording, there was no call-back option offered. I was just put straight on hold. But . . . this time, an expected timeframe was given: “Current hold time is greater than two hours.”

So . . . let’s get this right: Spark’s management thinks Spark’s customers have nothing better to do than sit on hold for “more than two hours” (and, precisely how much longer than two hours would that be?) in the hope that someone will finally answer their call.

Is it just me, or do other phone users have something better to do with their Monday afternoon than sit with their phone to their ear listening to banal on-hold music for some period “greater than two hours”?

Spark Management, What Gives?

What gives, Spark top brass? Would it be perfectly OK in your world, if you were made to sit for a period “greater than two hours” in your offices, with your phone to your ear, able to do nothing with the rest of your work day than listen to someone else’s choice of music? To say nothing of the fact that – for a cell phone user – there are health implications associated with sitting with a microwave-emitting device stuck to the side of one’s head for 2+ hours?

PS:  I finally got a “call-back” from the first exercise. It came approximately six hours after the request.

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