Friday, 15 July 2016

Not a valid response from Foxtel

I'm having a problem with my subscription television service, Foxtel. Specifically, my recorded programs are being compromised by the intrusion of pixellation, frozen moments and jumps through scenes. Live television service is not affected. I suspect there is a problem with the personal recording  unit.

I first reported this problem back in April and it appeared to be remedied at that time by a system reset.

However the same problems returned gradually a few weeks later and have increased in frequency ever since.

Today I called the technical support call centre which by the accent of the operator handling my call and the voices I could hear in the background is located in India. I wasn't happy with the service I received.

The operator asked for my account number and when I failed to provide it immediately - I was scanning my documentation to locate that information - she repeated 'account number, account number, account number' perhaps a dozen times without a moment's pause. Once I had provided the number she excused herself for a conversation with a colleague in a local language which I could hear before returning to my call and then asking - as though for the first time - for the number again.

This sent her into bursts of laughter which continued for about a minute. Then followed a number of questions one of which didn't seem relevant to me. When I queried the question the operator offered no explanation for it and just moved on to other questions.

By this time I lost patience and asked several times to be transferred to another operator. This request was ignored totally. I didn't bother asking for a supervisor as from previous experience I know the answer always is that there isn't one available.

This was one occasion when I held on for the follow up call asking me to rate the service. To each rating my response was 'not satisfied'. Each of these was met with the automated system informing me that mine was 'not a valid response'. (A number system of ratings is used.)

I did comply with the numbered ratings at each prompt but Foxtel, I can tell you your call centre service is not a valid response to customer expectations.


  1. I suppose our behemoth telecommunications must use call centres in more than one country and I always seem to go to a call centre in the Philippines. I can't really complain about the call centres there at all. I don't expect the one you were directed to will keep their contract for very long. Funnily, the other day I came across an unfinished and unpublished post that began with, Our friend Victor in Sydney has been having telecommunication issues and great difficulties with overseas call centres... I can't remember what it was about though, maybe difficult to understand accents.

    1. I don't think accents would have been the problem Andrew. I'm used to all manner of accents from my working life in various forms of customer service not to mention my own upbringing as the child of East European refugees..

  2. Hmmm...I guess making the negative option an invalid response is one way to generate skewed positive data.

  3. Basically you have to answer with numbers rather than the more damning words.