They were both in their 20s, armed with fibre optic cables and tools.
The two gentlemen, Telekom Malaysia contractors who install Unifi in homes and offices, were generous with their smiles and knowledge.
And they had interesting tales to tell.
One of them shared his experience:
“There was this customer who insisted that we did not drill a single hole in his home. He said the fibre optic cable could go through the windows instead. We explained to him that the fibre optic cables are sensitive and could be damaged easily if it was not wired properly. We even communicated the matter with our superior and he too told us to not install the devices.
The customer got angry as we told him we could not entertain his request. He took the modem, router, and other equipment which was initially supposed to be installed in his home. He refused to return them to us and scolded us instead.
I had no choice but to lodge a police report as the customer took our things.”
These contractors belong to companies hired by Telekom Malaysia to carry out such works. And they are the ones (not those from sales) who interact with customers during installation.
If only customers were told of how the installation of Unifi was carried out and the work involved.
Those involved in sales (those behind the counters, agents and those at the call centre who will repeatedly call you) have no clue how installation work is done. All they know are the packages offered and the ultimate goal of scoring a “Yes” to ensure they hit their target sales to keep their bosses happy.
They should instead have one who is well versed with the wiring work to ensure customers are informed that:
a. The modem, router, cordless phone and HyppTV box has to be located near the end terminal. So if you decide that the terminal ends in your room, you will have to put all the gadgets in your room.
b. This also means you will need four socket plugs for those items alone (Remember: You have your desktop, television, Astro decoder, etc).
c. Standard wiring work is free but if don’t like holes in your walls and prefer them to run the fibre optic cable on the top of your roof, there is an additional charge of RM170 which is paid to the contractor and is not listed in your Unifi bill. Any additional wiring work would see additional charges (eg placing the end terminal in the living room but the HyppTV box in a bedroom).
d. If you had Streamyx and had just installed Unifi, you would have to go to a Telekom Malaysia branch (not be confused with an agent who runs a TM Point outlet) to cancel your Streamyx account.
The contractors must be a frustrated lot. Customers are not told about all these things by the sales team and as such we do see problems occur.
But this is beyond Telekom Malaysia.
Inter-department communication (and I’m not referring to the constant bitching or whining sessions) is non-existent in most organisations.
The heads make decisions but they aren’t the ones dealing with the customers. They need to ensure their subordinates are knowledgeable in addressing, dealing or at least taking an effort to connect clients with representatives familiar with the issues raised.
The “tidak apa” or "not part of my job scope" attitude must be eliminated.
Sadly, many are very territorial – both in mindset and behaviour. Due to such a culture, we see many who do not understand their product or service well and fail to inform their customers of what is required and what is expected.
Back to the Unifi episode, if their sales representatives are well aware of how the wiring work is done, they would be able to explain in detail to their customers to avoid any heated arguments or confrontations during installation work.
By the way, I just realised I have used the word ‘Unifi’ five times, in this posting.
Now that’s publicity Telekom Malaysia shouldn’t be complaining.