Perspectives from the *other side* on Software, Management and Life

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Want a root canal with that?

You must have heard "want french fries with that", if you didnt then you must have been living under the rock! I think it was McDonnalds who introduced this famous quote thats used as the defacto lingo for cross-selling products. In simple terms, just through a simple statement a salesperson can increase a company's revenue by selling additional items related to the primary sale.

Since this blog is about me and my experiences, here's whats gotten me all worked up. Recently I had the opposite experience of being sold something. I am a LinkDotNet ISP subscriber. It has the ugliest looking website for one, but hey the internet was fairly decent for the past year. It had its hiccups every now and then but I was fairly satisfied.

Then came the odd event, my phone line tone goes dead (those who live in Pakistan and have DSL know this to be a common occurrence). For some reason, some moron engineer in the exchange swaps out the phone line/configuration which causes the data/DSL to continue to work, but causes the voice service to go dead. FYI - Pakistan's phone lines are run by a monopoly called PTCL. It went through "privatization" a few years ago, which was marred by under hand deals and was sold to Etisalat, a UAE based telco. Lets just say, ME based firms arent really known for good governance, and selling a white elephant to a firm with weak governance background is a disaster recipe. Thank you Musharraf, you continue to haunt us!

Back to my story, I called up PTCL (the land line provider) and asked that they fix the dead tone, which they did pretty promptly. However my DSL stopped working as soon as they "fixed" my voice service. I then called up LinkDotNet assuming these guys would be able to get my DSL working even faster, after all they're a private company with lots of competition........ I was wrong. After a few days of following up, I was told to "go to the exchange, and get a written statement that your line needs to be shifted to our (LinkDotNet) switch". Hello? Are you in the 21st century. Me going to a telephone exchange, wasting my day trying to figure out who to speak to (PTCL probably has the highest ratio of employees to consumers - which happens when brain dead politicians rule and state owned monopolies exist).
I politely stated that hell would have to turn cold before I go to an exchange just for getting my Internet to work, after all I didnt have to go to an exchange when I signed up for LinkDotNet. They said its a PTA (regulatory body) regulation, to which I responded that the regulation (similar to how its in the US) is to ensure consumer rights. And its so that the DSL providers cannot be changed without getting the consumers consent. Since I've been on LinkDotNet for over a year, why should I be required to submit this paperwork - to the contrary they ought to complain to PTA about PTCL not providing them access to their consumer's telephone line.
I even went to the extent of emailing a C level officer at LinkDotNet, but havent heard back. I've tried my best to "educate" the CSR's at LinkDotNet about how they should facilitate their consumers by working with the telephone exchange directly and if any paperwork is needed, they should do so on their consumers behalf. All to no avail.

The subject of this post may make sense now, if McDonnalds introduced a great cross selling technique, LinkDotNet knows all about loosing consumers. I've decided to move on ...... to PTCL DSL! Yes, its bad of me to go to a monopoly, but hey they dont require me to visit any exchange. Just call 0800 80800 and you're done! Let this be a lesson to LinkDotNet, dont act like a monopoly if you're not!


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