Each time I think that we are making progress in the telecoms sector (mobile technology especially), things keep springing up to confirm that not much has changed.
A few weeks back at Zain was a reminder that we are not yet out of the dark ages. I was told that if I obtained a full-internet data SIM, I would have only WAP access should I use the SIM on a smartphone instead of on a USB modem. Nothing I said could dissuade the customer care operators.
That very day, I proved them wrong by accessing full internet via a Zain SIM on a smartphone.
I remember sending someone to Gloworld at Opebi to have a Glo SIM activated for GPRS and 3G services months ago. I had requested GPRS activation by phone, and I was told it would be done within 48 hours. Of course, that never happened, so I had to send someone to them.
But we got the shock of our lives when the customer care lady that attended to my emissary said and insisted that the Sony Ericsson P990i which the SIM was in was not a 3G device! But the P990i is a 3G device.
This reminded me of an acquaintance who went to that same Gloworld a few years back to have his Sony Ericsson P910 configured for Glo GPRS, but was told that the smartphone would not work with Glo GPRS. I took the phone, and had it configured and browsing under 10 minutes!
It also reminds me of a call I made to Glo customer care back when I was using the Nokia 9500 Communicator as my primary phone. I had fax service activated on my Glo line. The customer care officer I spoke with asked me how I connected my phone to PC to send and receive fax. When I told her that I sent and received fax directly on the 9500, she responded, “That is not possible”. Nothing I said convinced her, though I had received and sent a couple of faxes directly on that device. But the 9500 was designed to do that. I didn’t even have to tweak it to do that; it sent and received faxes straight out of the box.
What is this infernal ignorance that pervades the customer care services of our telecoms operators? I have tales from MTN, Celtel, and Starcomms customer care people too.
Honestly, this general ignorance of their industry by customer services personnel is shameful and unpardonable. These operators seem to put in next to no resources in training and keeping their customer care officers up-to-date.
Netx time a customer care officer tells you something, please be sure to take it with a pinch of salt. In all probability, the hapless guy or gal has no idea what you are enquiring about.