If you thought frustrations with inefficient service, was a preserve of Zamtel customers, you may take comfort that our national service provider may have an equal in the US. For the past two 2 weeks I have had problems with cable, phone and internet service at home. I have that bundled package that is meant to save me a lot money but sadly I have now discovered its hidden price - a lot of pain, inconvenience and possibly loss of money (in charges due to missed online bill payments).
I called the service phone number and was immediately challenged by their interactive voice system –
Please say or enter your phone or account number.
Because of my first language interference and that resultant special accent (having to first think in your mother tongue then mentally translate to English). I have long given up speaking to these systems; I just punch in the account through the telephone keypad then dial 0 for a live operator and pray they have patience and very good ears. This time however, my luck run out, the interactive system had more questions that did not have the option to punch in a number on the keypad –
Now how can I help? You can say trouble with service or …..
I tried to repeat trouble with service as best as I could but the system could not get it, after several attempts, a few torn nerves and increasing frustration on my part the system gave up and finally said –
Let me get someone to help you (a live human operator).
It’s not just Kashikulu having trouble with interactive systems; many native English speaking Americans have complained about these systems. They have also complained about having to talk to customer support staff in India that service some US service companies. Kashikulu however, finds Indian support easier to deal with - we are on the same footing language wise.
When the human operator came on the line after a 45 minute wait in queue, I explained my problem without difficult, I had great difficulty however with the time frame the operator proposed to begin addressing my service issue. She said the earliest available dispatch appointment was nine (9) days from that day - So you are telling me that, I will have to wait nine days before a technician can come round to look into the cause of ALL service disruption into my home?
Yes sir that is the earliest date I have available for your area and make sure someone is available at home when he calls or there will be another delay and a charge.
And so, yes my fellow countrymen complaining about Zamtel’s inefficiencies albeit on a different scale, I spent all in all eleven days without TV, telephone and internet service at my home in Chicago - in a country that has sent astronauts to space and back in less than 9 days.