A Bizarre Experience at a Gloworld Customer Outlet

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A few days ago, I was at a gloworld outlet around my house to file a complaint about my line not getting the free internet data bonus on recharge as GloMobile advertised.

Something intriguing happened while I was being attended to by a customer care agent whom I would like to call Miss Bo.

Miss Bo asked me what my complaint was then I told her that I don’t get my free internet data after recharging my line with N200 and above.


At first, she asked me to take a seat and wait for a few minutes so she could troubleshoot my line. I happily went and took a seat thinking my case would be resolved soon. Note that this was not the first time that I was trying to fix this very issue with my line.

After waiting for about ten minutes, Miss Bo asked me what APN and device I use my SIM with so I told her I use the normal gloflat access point and that I use my SIM both on my modem and phone. The expression shown on her face was quite clear to me that she was surprised at my response. She found it highly incredulous when I said I use my SIM to browse on my phone with prepaid internet bundles.

Miss Bo said it wasn’t possible for me to use these prepaid internet bundles because they were only meant for computers and smartphones like the iPhone, BlackBerry, as well as tablets. I was wondering how one could be so naïve as she was in the 21st century. I had to point it out to her that anyone can subscribe to any prepaid internet bundle regardless of the fact that that they were meant for computers and smartphones in general. I also told her my phone was a smartphone too so I’m qualified to use any data plan I prefer.

Our little chat was already turning into an argument which I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy. Fortunately for me, I had just finished my 3GB subscription the previous day. I told her about it and she went ahead to confirm it from their database. It now dawned on her that my little observation was correct.

Then she asked:

“How do you know your phone is a smartphone?”

I found this question so amusing that I couldn’t hide my laughter.

I then told her that my phone is a Symbian s60v5 device that can run multiple applications simultaneously, comes with Ovi maps navigation (now nokia maps), is 3G enabled, and has a capacitive touch screen.

Even while I was trying to explain why I think my phone’s a smartphone, the expression on her face told me that she didn’t understand a single bit of what I was saying. To her (a layman), what I was saying was all jargon. Anyway, I subscribed to another prepaid data bundle in her presence.

I’m not trying to be impertinent here but, I detest when people try to under-rate others. Because I look small physically, I guess that was why Miss Bo thought I knew nothing. Going the other way round, she was the ignorant one sitting on that that very important seat.

What do you make of this experience? Kindly relay your comments in the comment box.

Editor’s Note: While editing this article in preparation for publishing, I had to stop a number of times to roll on the floor laughing. Really hilarious stuff. Apparently nothing has changed at Glo customer care in several years. Long-time readers here will remember my articles, The legendary ineptitude of the average Glo Customer care agent (published 2011), and When Ignorance is Bliss (published 2009).

26 comments

  1. It’s not about the “layman”, and I wouldn’t insult them. What bugs me is the number of not very bright people working for our networks who are clueless when it comes to basic technology.

    I always wonder how they got the job.

  2. Glo’s an indigenous company. That suggests a lot of their (informal) employment policies.

    How do you know your phone is a smartphone?

    Oh boy! That beats the dumbest question i’ve heard this year! I wonder what happens when i take a Nokia s40 device to them for the same complaint, will she block my account for using it against their terms of use or something?

  3. These guys don’t understand anything about their company’s product and service, all they do is to carry a stereotyped mind whenever a customer calls and continue to argue endlessly. I’ve only encountered just a few of them that actually knows what they are doing.
    What a shame!

  4. Well, I’m not so worried that these people, despite their obvious lack of basic understanding of the field they are working in, were still employed by Glo. My only complaint is that Glo and people at the helm who knew the process of employment and qualifications of their Customer Service Agent, didn’t bother to give them basic education in the field they are going to be working in. Probably, the people that are in charge of Glo do not also understand what those they employing are supposed to be doing.

    If someone who is supposed to attend to the problems of people using smartphones doesn’t know what a smartphone is, I wonder how that same person is to handle the problems effectively. You can now imagine what would have happened if the customer is not knowledgeable in the field at all.

    Well these things are not peculiar to our shores. I could remember in the days of PCs, reading on PCWorld magazine where one of the PCWOrld members was told by a sales rep in one big PC store in the USA that the difference between Intel and AMD based processors is that Intel spends more money on adverts.

  5. This kind of experience is almost “everywhere you go”

    Just a manifestation of the decadence in this society.

    Presidents, and other public officials being obviously.(under / un)_qualified for the positions they occupy.

    It trickes down.

    Story of our lives!

  6. ..and it looks to me that its usually the females among them that argue with you as if you don’t know what they’re talking about

    Exactly!, and the worst part is that they will want to make it look like as if you are the one ignorant.

  7. ..LFFG….(Laff Fall For Ground…) …
    Hehehhehehe….
    Mo gbe… I tot I was the only one something like this has happened to.
    There was a time I had to give a quick Tutorial at the Airtel office… 4G, 3G, EDGE, HSDPA….
    Ummh…
    I am still laughing here…
    Mr. Mobility.. You too sef… U get time…

    Miss. Bo: “How do you know your phone is a smartphone?”
    Mr. Mobility: “Because Nokia called me and told me so”

    Simple!

  8. This post confirms my experience with customer care services in nearly all the networks. They are always so clueless. I find my self always trying to ‘dumb it down’ when speaking on their help lines. Their employers should organise regular trainings for them to keep them abreast of recent happenings. On the other the customer care representatives should be made aware of recent promotions and packages even before these promos start. I really don’t bother calling their lines because it is always so annoying.

  9. The average customer care rep for Nigeria GSM networks knows nothing about the technology their companies provide. Very few of them are very knowledgeable in tech matters so little wonder they end up arguing with you. I always hope I never have any reason to call the customer care line because I know what awaits me. The question is how did these people find them selves employed when they are more competent people out there?

  10. They are always so clueless. I find myself always trying to ‘dumb it down’ when speaking on their help lines.

    One annoying thing I noticed about calling most of these network operators. When the call finally gets through and they find out that your problem can’t be solved on phone, they’ll say; We’re currently undergoing systems upgrade at the moment. or Your account can’t be accessed at the moment, please call back later.

  11. @abimbola, etisalat geek square? Never head of it. Are they in all their outlets? the last time I visited their outlet the rep guy there pronounced Verizon ‘very sewn’. Immediately I knew I was in trouble.

    I have also been told by 2 glo reps before that I cannot use data plan meant for modems on my smartphone. I strongly believe that came about by a faulty training. I had to call one of their group heads in broad access for clarification. And it turned out to be false.

    What I do these days is to ensure I try every means available to resolved my problems before even thinking of calling any customer care personnel. They will most likely confuse you more than offer solution.

  12. thanks 4 dis thread, i subscribe 4 etisalat night and wicked plan since then i have been push 2 EDGE called CC 4 5hours when one bobo pick it and tell me that edge is the same a 3g,. i ask him what ll u now call 2g? he answered that small (edge) is 2g while big (EDGE)is 3g, I told thank,..
    i just thank God 4 one lady in their okota outlet that help me 2 fix it,..
    she is even trying 2 convince me it network failure, i said 2 her it can,t be that i have other eti. line with 3g…

    any body visiting any service provider outlet should be ready 2 argue his way out or

  13. @Saiddigge and Emmanuel, only the women? Don’t make me laugh, the average woman’s quarrelsomeness is marginally forgiveable, but I never cease to find a dearth of equally quarrelsome clueless men working for our telecomms customer service.

    God forbid you are a woman who knows more than the man you are talking to; that has happened a lot in my experience. And Naija men hate it when a woman knows more and corrects them :p

  14. @Chuks obviously you guys are still learning how to deal with these pancaked and mascara front desk warriors, lol.

    I have met women who actually know what they’re talking about and aren’t quarrelsome, though I suspect the majority of staff – both male and female – have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing.

    The said front desk scare staff are designed to keep the hordes i.e. people like you away. Do you think it’s a coincidence they are quarrelsome? 😀

  15. Noni…
    The said front desk scare staff are designed to keep the hordes i.e. people like you away.

    sorry to interupt, will any company employ staffs to the front desk to keep their extrem customer away, why are they call customer care?

  16. @Tornado of Nigeria – I guess you didn’t realise my comment was tongue in cheek (hint: the smilie was a giveaway)

    Nigerian companies don’t do customer service, so the hostility of those on the front line shouldn’t at all be surprising. But then they are no different to many in society.

  17. I am not suprised about your experience, most of these customer care representatives knows nothing about technology they support.
    I heard an experience calling etisalat customer care rep recently, my complaint was that i have a new samsung galaxy note 5.3 that ive just configured to for web access. It was browsing but i am finding it difficult subscribing for any data plan using all the codes on their website.
    The response from the customer care rep was that since its a new device (Galaxy note) i have to take it to any Etisalat friendship center for configuration.
    Please what does data package has to do with configuring a device.
    I think they need to re-train most of these customer care representatives.
    I have had interactions with customer care reps in UK before and their understanding in resolving customers problem was excellent.

  18. I am not suprised about your experience, most of these customer care representatives knows nothing about technology they support.
    I had an experience calling etisalat customer care rep recently, my complaint was that i have a new samsung galaxy note 5.3 that i just configured to for web access. It was browsing but i am finding it difficult subscribing to any data plan using all the codes on their website.
    The response from the customer care rep was that since it’s a new device (Galaxy note) i have to take it to any Etisalat friendship center for configuration.
    Please what does data package got to do with configuring a device.
    I think they need to re-train most of these customer care representatives.
    I have had interactions with customer care reps in UK before and their understanding in resolving customers problem was excellent.

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