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Lecturer upset with FLOW’s ‘poor customer service’

Lecturer upset with FLOW’s ‘poor customer service’

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A lecturer at the American University of St Vincent is calling on customer service agents of telecommunications company Flow to communicate with their customers in a more professional manner.

In an interview last week, Phani Kathari, told SEARCHLIGHT that on Good Friday, April 14, he was experiencing difficulties with Flow’s Internet service and on April 18, he called the communications company and was told that someone would contact him within the next 24 hours by phone. However, when the company called the following morning, the university lecturer said he missed the call and there was no response when he called back.

Kathari said he went into Flow’s main office on Saturday, April 22 and explained his dilemma to a customer service agent, but she was very disrespectful and pointed out that someone had contacted him in the week.

“I told her I called back, but no one answered. I told her you only called one time, ma’am, you should have called several times… it was more than three days, almost,” he recalled.

“She said how many times do you expect a call from us.”

Kathari said he immediately felt bad because of her response and told the agent she is not talking to him in the right way.

“So, she kept on interrupting me when I’m talking, so I raised my voice. I raised my voice a little louder and she got upset and said she is not going to answer.”

The university lecturer said the company’s security guard then asked him to step outside because he is talking too loud.

“I said this not right, because you have to let customers talk first then you answer; then when you answer, I listen to you.”

Kathari said the guard asked him to leave, but he (Kathari) explained what was happening and reminded the guard that he has not used any expletives.

At this point the university lecturer demanded to speak to the manager and the security guard took him just in front of the office’s main entrance and told him that the manager was not in and to come back the following Monday.

“Then again, I felt bad because you should have told me the same thing when I was inside,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

Kathari said he wanted to speak to someone and when he tried going back inside, he was stopped by the guard and told that he was not supposed to go inside.

“I said why, I’m the customer… I’m paying the money and I have interruption of service… I want to talk to someone.”

Kathari said the guard told him he was not supposed to go inside, despite threats he (Kathari) made to file a police report.

As a result, the university lecturer went to the police station and an officer advised him to return on Monday, April 24, because the communications company would have already been closed at the time of the report.

However, when April 24 arrived, Kathari said a friend encouraged him to speak to the manager directly and to only file a complaint if he does not respond.

He said that that morning, the manager apologized to him and assured him that he would look into the matter.

During the interview, a slightly annoyed Kathari said he felt very disrespected and when he relayed the story to his colleagues, he found out that a lot of persons have a problem with the response time of the technical department.

Kathari maintained that he was not physically or verbally abusive, so there was no justification for escorting him out of the store.

However, when SEARCHLIGHT contacted Flow’s Marketing and Corporate Communications officer Nikala Williams, the story she related differed slightly from Kathari’s.

Williams said that when the university lecturer came to the office, he was loud, verbally abusive and used expletives.

She added that when he came to the office complaining that his service was not fixed, it was because the technicians could not reach him during the 24-hour period.

Williams said, “After the security told him to leave, he tried to go up the other side, because he was demanding to see the manager, but none of the managers are here on a Saturday, so they tried to tell him that the manager was not available and he became very abusive and was adamant that he had to get inside, so the security told him ‘no you cannot come in because the manager is not available, there’s nobody upstairs’.

“He felt embarrassed and went to the police and he came back over and because he did not get any satisfaction, he wanted the security’s name etc.”

Williams said the manager compensated and apologized to Kathari for loss of service for 10 days, although he told the manager that he was loud and the agent was offended.

Williams, who spoke on behalf of the company, said that Kathari left without ill feelings, so they are surprised to hear that he is disgruntled, embarrassed and felt like the agent did not deal with him in the manner he wanted to be dealt with. (AS)

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