Sunday, June 27, 2010

Are you listening Aliant?

If you've ever lived in the Maritime Provinces you probably already know that Aliant sucks. I won't bother to sugar coat it, they are incompetent as all get out. Call them NBTel, Aliant or Bell Aliant; it doesn't matter, they still suck. In fact, a google search for "Aliant sucks" comes back with 95,400 results while a search for "Bell Aliant" comes back with 223,000. Those are obviously not numbers to be proud of.

So, why do I personally believe know that Aliant is a poor excuse for a communications company? Do you have all day? No, neither do I. I'll just go with the latest and greatest. Dave and I moved about a month ago and as soon as we set our moving day we called Aliant to have our phone (billed to us) and our internet (billed to my employer) switched over to the new place. We anticipated possible issues with having the business internet connection moved but when we called we were assured that there were no problems at all and it was all set up and it would be X amount of dollars. That was easy! Fast forward to moving day and Dave is sitting at the new place waiting for them to show up. When they arrive they have a work order in hand to set up the phone, but no internet. He gets on his cell phone with Aliant to see if he can straighten things out while the employee was at our place but of course he was on hold too long for this to happen. When he finally did get through he was told that there was never a work order for the internet, it wouldn't be X amount of dollars, it would be $Z and that they couldn't do it until several days later. He was on hold for quite awhile and had to be put through to the business department but eventually he yelled his way into having it hooked up the next day. Aside from the service person repeatedly calling me Nicole, things were hooked up the next day without a hitch.

When the time passed that we would normally receive our phone bill I assumed that maybe because we had moved, so too had our billing period. A little more time passes and I began to question if we'd get one. And then I tracked the bill down online on Friday afternoon and the first thing I did was check the address. Yes, of course they are still sending our bill to our old address, you know, the one we don't live at anymore. Yes, the bill has hook-up fees for moving our services to a new address. Silly Aliant, you know we moved; you were among the first we called to let know and you were the FIRST to come visit us! Aside from that embarrassment, they were now billing us for the internet, late fees for the bill we did not pay because they did not send it to us and some questionable service fees. A $35.00 equipment charge? What equipment? Dave called to begin the process of straightening things out (because obviously it could never take just one phone call) and he managed to get the address changed (he had to give it to them again as they had no record of it whatsoever) and learned that we will have to have someone authorized to make changes on my workplace account call and have the internet switched back over to their bill (where it belongs and always was before). Dave said he would wait until next week while he was on vacation and at home (and able to yell) to finish straightening things out and since I was on my way into the office, I said I would get that part done. When I went into work I did as such and my nice co-worker who was to make the call said she'd do it after break. I left and later got an email from her saying that she did call but the person that she talked to said that I would have to be sitting beside her when she made the call to verify that I indeed want the internet billed to their account (as it was and always has been). Wait a minute, didn't we JUST DO THAT? So Monday or Tuesday I will drive across the river and stand beside my co-worker while she calls the worst phone company in the world to tell them that we want our billing back to exactly how it has been for the last nearly two years.

As I said, If you've ever lived in the Maritime Provinces you've surely experienced first hand just how terrible Aliant really is. And people are obviously talking about it, so my question is: what are they doing about it? If you know me even a little, you probably know that any time I'm considerably pleased or displeased about a product or service, I'll write a letter. Generally they are online feedback forms or emails but I've also been known to write my fair share of handwritten letters (and no, I don't mean hand-typed). Since Dave began working for a social media monitoring and engagement company I've had the pleasure of learning a bit about how the software works and how companies can (and do) use it to monitor what people are saying about them, and more importantly to do something about it. In the time since I've learned how Radian6 and other listening software companies work, it has made me consider new avenues of making myself heard as a consumer and wonder if there are times that my voice is being heard without my realizing it. And for the clients taking advantage of these softwares, it is a huge step in finding out what people are saying about your brand and using that information accordingly. The big catch is that the corporation actually has to take advantage of these tools in order for this all to work. And they have to care to know what their customers think. And they have to do something about all of it. And for a company like Aliant, my guess is that it may be awhile. Because after all, if you aren't listening, you'll never hear a thing. 


Bryan Raydio said...

i didn't actually read the post because it was too long but i agree, Aliant sucks... but so does Rogers... so there

Anonymous said...

Funny you mentioned radian6. I typed 'nbtel' in SocialMention just to see what came back.