Fax Machine

in Considerations, Design

Send us a fax…

August ended, and holidays are already a pale memory.

My main credit card expired, and I had to update the payment details for a bunch of services such as broadband connectivity, cable service, paypal, etc. etc.

Needless to say I was able to update everything online, even my mobile plan. Everything but one service, my broadband connectivity service with Fastweb.

I updated the payment method online on their self care and everything looked fine since when I was hit by an email from their customer service stating: to make your change effective please sign the attached document and fax it back to us?

No, really? We are in 2014, more or less 46 year A.I. (After Internet) and you still need a fax to confirm the change of credit card details?

Well, of course I did send the fax or my service would be terminated, but I tweeted this:

 Below their reply.

That translates to: We will forward this to our social care account.

First mistake. This is a comment from a client, not something you have to deal with. And that’s exactly what I said in my reply: “This is not an incident you have to deal with. It’s just a bad example of Service Design. Irritating. ”

  A few minutes and I received a notification from their social care Twitter account: “Hello, If you need help send us a DM with you client ID and social security number. Thank you and have a good day”

Sad, isn’t it?

My last tweet can you can read above is: “Do you read what people write or you just send canned responses? Missing service design”. Now, every company has it’s own processes and I understand that, but I see at least two big problems here:

    • I just made a comment about the craziness of  a process, and you should focus on that. You allow me to update my payment information online, but you ask me to fax a signed document to make it effective. My take is that legals or regulatory affairs guys are asking that. Fine. Instead of talking with you Legal and Regulatory Affairs department and making them notice that the entire world does not behave like that, you just implement the process as they ask. The final result is that you deliver to your client a painful user experience (not to talk about the fact that I had to deal with a fax machine).
    • On Twitter you don’t read what a client write, but you just fire a couple of canned responses giving evidence that you are not reading what I write.

      Once again. You should design for real clients, not for clients form inside the company. Final point? I am completely happy about the service Fastweb delivers. It’s fast and reliable. Just what I need. Today I am a little bit less happy with them and how they deal with their customers. Their brand has lost something to me.

Original photo by Abhisek Sarda – Original Photo

[UPDATE on Sep 1st, 2014 – 15.15] Funny evolution of the story.   They insisted: “@baloss, how can Social Care help you?”

To which I finally replied: “I give up. Each time you behave like that a Service Designer dies.”

So, my main point that was to let them know about a completely wrong process treated like a customer incident failed.

I thought that was the end.

My phone rang. I answered that call and it was Fastweb customer care asking how they could help me. They noticed my rant, and possibly this post, and found my customer data and phone number on their own.

I just said that I was trying to let them know how terrible the process and that I already sent the fax in the morning before my first tweet. Everything is already fixed. At least at my level.

Somehow this makes things even worse. They have spent time looking for my data and a poor guy, love your commitment though, had to call me trying to understand what was wrong.

Well I hope they have a process to make this comment go through a product manager, at least.

Yes, Fastweb, somehow you gained some points with the call. But it’s still wrong.