Cogito, ergo sum... (I think, therefore I am)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Cellphone Call Centers in Pakistan... A sad state of affairs!

As I've already posted, I bought a 256MB MMC a week ago. Before using it, I formatted my cellphone, which resulted in me losing my GPRS and MMS settings from the phone. I had the GPRS settings in mind, and Ufone also sends you GPRS settings over the air if you SMS with SETGPRS in the a text to 120, so no problem there. Didn't remember the MMS settings though. At work, there was some issue with the telephone lines, so internet wasn't working. It occurred to me that I should call the call center and get my MMS configured.

First Attempt:
Me: Hello, Assalam-u-Aleikum.
Call Center Employee: Welcome to Ufone, how can I help you?
Me: I would like to configure MMS on my cellphone.
CCE: For that you would have to visit our customer service center and get your GPRS activated.
Me: I already had GPRS and MMS activated, and was using them. Now I've formatted my cellphone, so I've lost the settings. GPRS is now configured, can you help me configure MMS?
CCE: Sir, would you please hold?
Me: OK!
CCE goes off somewhere in la-la-land. returns 10 minutes later.
CCE: Thank you for holding, sir. Please send MMSSET to 120, and you will receive the settings.
Me: Is it MMSSET without spaces? Or with spaces?
CCE: Sir, it is without spaces, just like SETGPRS.
Me: Thank you, Allah Hafiz.
CCE: Thank you for calling Ufone call center, Allah hafiz!

Now I send MMSSET to 120. Message delivered! The response? Unknown command. wtf? I try again. Same result. I try with SETMMS, which is similar to SETGPRS, and that works, doesn't it? Same error :( I'm down 3 sms's, as well as the few minutes I took out to talk to the jerk. Next step? Why, call them AGAIN, of course! So that's what I do...

Second Attempt:
(after being on hold for about 15 minutes!)
Me: Hello, Assalam-u-Aleikum.
CCE: Welcome to Ufone, how can I help you? (This is some other guy, not the same one as above, obviously!)
Me: I called before, and jsut wanted to know the settings for MMS, as I already have GPRS and MMS activated, but lost the MMS settings when I formatted the phone.
CCE: I'm sorry sir, you would have to go to the customer service center for that request.
Me: But I can't go to the customer service center! It's too far, and besides it only opens from 9 to 5, which means no person with a job can hope to make it there.
CCE: Sir I'm sorry but we cannot do this over the phone.
Me: But it's just a matter of an IP address and an APN (Access Point Name). Surely you've got all that info handy?
CCE: Sir I'm sorry but you'll have to visit the customer service center.
Me: (Now I get angry) OK, if I'm supposed to go to the customer service center for such a little thing as getting my MMS settings, why the hell have you people opened a call center? And if you're competent enough to get a job in the call center, isn't it your responsibility to atleast know some of the things regarding your network?
CCE: I'm sorry sir, but I cannot help you (Now he's getting rude)
Me: OK fine!

I hung up the phone. If my net connection had been working, I would have been able to get the settings in a jiffy. But no, I ended up wasting around half an hour, and 3 sms's, and have nothing to show for it! It's a really sad state of affairs that some call centers in Pakistan have got themselves into. Ufone and Mobilink and Paktel in particular. I don't know whether Instaphone has the same problem or not, because I don't have their connection, but come on! I wonder why there are no people storming into their offices and dragging them out into the streets. My friend works in Standard Chartered Bank, and once he told me that one day, their total day's call volume was 4500 calls, and out of those 4500, 20 went unanswered because the customers hung up after waiting for 40 seconds. The rest of the calls, 4480 infact, were answered before 40 seconds. And still the bosses called the supervisors for a meeting, and asked them why 20 calls were dropped! Why can't we see such service quality in our local call centers? I mean 40 seconds might be a little pushing it for these companies, but having to hold 15 minutes? And even then, having the phone call dropped in the middle? I mean we're honest customers, treat us like that for God's sake! OK, enough of this rant! I feel better now (well, atleast until I need to call them again). :)


  • Hi, facing almost the same problem here. I have Nokia 6600 and need ufone settings for MMS. The GPRS otherwise is working fine, but MMS? no way! I am writing from a remote little town deep in the Punjab, so no question of visiting personally the Ufone centre for manual settings. HELP WANTED FOR MMS SETTINGS THAT SHOULD WORK. Anyone??


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:12 PM  

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