IM2 Rant #3: would you trust their awards

Have you ever wondered about those customer service awards, branding awards and management awards that companies who stiff their customers seem to get with ease? How many of these awards are given quid pro quo for some donation, contribution or  for being their awarding institution’s clients?

And aren’t these companies just so rich bragging about these awards as if the customer doesn’t know that they are a pile of horseshit?

Below are two takes on IM2 from the IM2 website and an article from Jakarta Globe (Unspun’s complaint is why the paper did not ask the IM2 guy why the company continued to greedily acquire new subscribers when it knew it didn’t have the capacity to serve them?) . Which version of IM2 are we to believe?  



IM2 Rant #2: Now watch them get into trouble

One of the things Unspun teachs clients and students in his classes on crisis management is that not everything is a crisis.

In the beginning, you have an incident, which is something that is a departure from best practice.

If you pay attention to the incident and solve it in a timely manner it usually goes away. But if you don’t then there is a good chance that it turns into an emergency situation.

An emergency is something that rquires timely involvement from senior management. It has become a serious matter and unless you resulve it in good time it would likelu turn into a crisis-like situation.

A crisis is an emergency out of control. It is out of control because the media would have gotten involved and focussed public scrutiny on your company’s every action and word uttered. At this stage everyone is watching how you handle the event. They are quick to judge and judge you they will based on how your respond to the situation at hand.

One thing worth noting, I usually tell clients, is that a crisis is a man-made situation and like anything man-made it has lots of early warning signals. It is when these signals are ignored, not acted on or dismissed without basis that the situation turns ugly for the corporation and they have a business crisis in their hands.

By this reckoning Indosat’s IM2, the so-called HSDPA service, is on the cusp between an emergency and crisis-like situation. Why?

In spite of all the warnings that IM2 has had about how bad their service has become (see Unspun‘s postings here, here, here here and here, plus do a Google search yourself, or a Twitter search and you’ll see what I mean) they’ve ignored all early warning signals. So far they have been lucky. Apart from a small article or two about customer dissatisfaction they’ve escaped media scrutiny.

But their streak of good luck may just be running out. Why?im2

If you are on Twitter you would know that The Jakarta Globe is about to write either an investigative piece or at least an in depth piece about customer dissatisfaction over IM@s service. This would spill the issue out ofthe net and blogosphere onto the tradition media. If IM@’s streak of bad luck holds, then other papers will pick up on the story and before you know it IM2 directors would have to answer to their shareholders and other stakeholders on why they have allowed this issue to simmer and make its way from an incident to and emergency and finally to a crisis-like situation. (You have to ask yourself whether a supposedly established and large corporation like Indosat/ IM2 monitors what goes on in the net and blogosphere at all. If they did they would have known how many unhappy customers are out there, the extent of their unhappiness and the fact that a newspaper has been soliciting views from Twitters on who’s unhappy about IM2 – this includes Unspun who will sing like a bird about his sufferings as a narrowband user of IM2)

Personally, Unspun hopes that some high-powered and highly-paid person in Indosat/IM2 will be held accountable for all those senseless minutes that we users have had to endure because of how slow the service has become lately, and for thrashing IM@’s brand.

When Unspun’s contract with them runs out in May, guess who they’ll be losing as a customer forever?

IM2 Rant #2: Why aren’t competitors moving?

You’d think that with thousands of their customers pissed off by their bad and slow connection on their HSDPA, competitors of IM2 would see an opportunity for the quick kill.

Here’s what Unspun would do if he was a telco and a competitor to IM2: Get one of my IT people to write a script for the Huawei E220 modem that IM2 uses so that it is compatible with thier SIM cards. Provide reliable, reasonably priced data services.

The only thing stopping IM2 customers from junking thier IM@ service is the investment they’ve made in purchasing the modem. If th modem can be used with other telco users they, like Unspun, would gleefully junk IM2 to repay them for the contempt they show to their customers.

If anyone has figured out a way to make a SIM card from another phone provider work with the Huawei E220 modem please let Unspun know. He, together with his blogger and offline network of friends will help spread the word so fast that IM2’s broadband will never be able to match them.

So what’s stopping competing telcos? Surely there’s a huge opportunity here to take market share from IM2?

IM2 Rant: #1

Starting a series here as IM2 are either too uncaring or too dumb to spot an occasional posting about their bad service.

A friend of Unspun met with some IM2 directors today and she complained about how slow the service is. Their reply?

Yes they know that the service is slow but that’s because they have too many new customers. They also offered to waive her monthly fees because they know her.

Is this any way to serve customers? By screwing your already loyal customers in favor of acquiring new ones?