December 23, 2009

Dear Foxtel

updated 31/12/09 following call received from Rihanna at Foxtel on 29/12
It was a pleasant experience to get the call and we had a good conversation. It was nice to get something positive out of this experience, however, Foxtel still need to go a way to, in my opinion, introduce value back into their offerings. Stopping discriminating between customers and focusing on the Customer Experience rather than Marketing would be a start.
See my understanding of their responses to my specific questions below. I hope what they appear to have committed to actually comes through

To: Shona Bishop
"Executive Director, Customer Service and Installations

Dear Shona,

A couple of weeks back you sent me a letter to tell me you were completely incapable of doing simple calculations and forgot I had a 'loyalty bonus' already before telling me the price cut I thought I had actually was an Increase in Price.

Actually I'm going to just quote what you wrote here, because I'm assuming what I wrote above is what you meant to get across. But as with Barnaby Joyce's recent effort at Blogging, it doesn't appear to be written in any kind of English I understand;

"...we had looked at your package and calculated by moving you onto our new discounted Value Pack, we could deliver you a saving of $3 per month off your current package price.
Unfortunately, when doing this we didn't take into account that you are currently receiving a $x discounted IQ offer and as a result, the price change we notified you of is incorrect.
Your price will actually increase by $2..."
Shona, you might have missed my recent blog post where I informed the world of my dissatisfaction with your service. Since then your organisation has introduced those 'fandangled' new (all caps required TM) FOXTEL EVEN MORE CRAP WITH A BIT OF CLEVER STUFF BUILT IN "Value Packs"and in that letter you sent me I completely ignored the verbosity and focused on the simple fact I was getting a $3 per month price cut!

So leaving aside all the crap no one really wants to read which the lawyers made you put in  this is how I read your most recent letter;
We changed our plans yet again because the marketing people, who  don't really get the complexity of the IT system we run and seem to have lost the ability to understand Customer Experience, said we should to keep the market 'fresh'. And anyway we have this (Windows Only so not for you) download service and all those new HD channels (which you don't seem to want anyway) to push on you.
So we thought we would change your plan to a 'Value Pack" which has the same level service, kind of we think, for $3 a month less!
We kind of sort of boo booed though. The bean counters told us those discretionary discounts applied to accounts couldn't be applied twice. Or maybe it was the IT people. Anyway, instead of the $3 a month price cut, we're going to slug you $2 a month more for FOXTEL EVEN MORE CRAP WITH A BIT OF CLEVER STUFF BUILT IN. It's alright though cos, if you weren't moved to the new plan, you'd be paying more.

So some questions for you Shona

  • Did you move me to the new "Value Pack" because it came across as a price cut or because you wanted to exit the older plans and wanted to push existing customers out?
Updated: The Answer to this was an emphatic; "we thought you were getting a price cut"
  • How do you figure my "discounted offer is not impacted and will remain in effect until the end of the offer period" if you appear to have disregarded my previous loyalty discount and I have no 'offer period' that I know of?
Updated: Foxtel claim I only had a the discount for 12 months. And accept they should have retained it on my new Pack, even with the supposed existing discounts. Outcome? They'll be checking the extent of the monthly discount to confirm my suspicion it had no end date - or provide me written evidence that it only lasted for 12 months. In the interim they'll be applying credits for the last two months and ensure the discount is applied to the bill on at least the next two.
  • Now that you admit the original letter you sent me back in September, or whenever it was, was a patent fabrication, can I please have the ability to review my plan so I can go back to the one I was on? And don't give me rubbish like "you will still be paying less than if you remained on your old package". That's a statement you'll have to prove.
Update: This will depend on the outcome of the review of monthly discount for the IQ2, i.e. when or if it ever ends. Either way, my monthly fee, as per the letter in October, is less - at least until February 2010 - than it was previously. As I originally wrote, they still need to prove the discount ends.
  • Why is it when I get 'loyalty offers' from you - like I did from the nice man on the phone this week - they always involve EXTRA COST for me. Another IQ box for free! Yay...oh there's monthly charges? Err no then. Winter Olympics? Discounted? How much is it? $50? To watch skiing and Australia? Not either. Anything else? No? Ah well, better try harder
  • If I can get a Christmas card to Ireland in 5 working days, how come it takes you longer to get a letter to me from Sydney. Or does Aussie Post deprioritise your marketing guff in the same way I do?
  • Why can't your organisation do simple arithmetic?
  • How many other customers are affected by this SFU?
  • Is it impossible for your organisation to write to your customers in plain English?
Update: My Feedback has been passed on to the Marketing Department. We'll see if that makes any difference
  • What about my 'loyalty discount' which I received 9 months ago which you now appear to have removed?
Update: Note the updates above. Foxtel claim it was only for 12 months, I disagree. They need to prove it.

  •  Can I have a Bill sent regularly please which outlines the charges and discounts on my account - and NO I'm not going to pay extra for that privilege?
Allegedly, they have a 'My Account' Section online in 'My Foxtel' (You knew that? I didn't!) I explained every other service I have either sends me Email or Paper Bills, so why couldn't they? I got the impression they were thinking of it, but Rihanna made no commitment as to when or if they would introduce it.
Using the My Foxtel service is painful. I hadn't used it for a while and when I used the Password I had stored in 1Password, it rejected it. The feedback when entering a password which must be wrong is woeful and the forgot password screen - either in Camino 2.01 or Safari 4.0 - took a ridiculously long time to work. Worse. Three times I reset the password and each time the passwords they sent me didn't work. So it'll be locked the next time I get it wrong. Perhaps I'll pass for now

And Finally, when will you introduce simple cable plans which allow me to either;

  • choose the shows I want to watch without having to commit to any particular channels or
  • let me choose the channels I wish to put in "My Value Pack'?
Because right now my feed is 80% rubbish which I don't ever flick through, never mind watch an actual show on. Like you know we can do on the internet...or even with iView?

Update: So we spoke about this, but I understood that she wasn't in a position to do anything about this, however noted the feedback.

Sorry, I was trying to not say this here, but why not seeing as we are giving feedback. A final, FINAL point. This new fancy UI you claim to have introduced still looks like something from 1984. And "iSuggest"? Don't make me laugh, has anyone in your organisation ever actually used the iTunes Genius feature?

Not sure how long you've been in your job, Shona. But I assume you are the former head of Customer Service at Bank NZ where you apparently had some wins. Be nice to see the same over here.

Best Wishes

1 comment:

  1. Foxtel customer service ? HAH !

    We've been billed for a number of events and movies recently THAT WE WOULD NEVER WATCH.

    Initial call
    F You ordered through the remote control.
    Us Now isnt that funny as we have NEVER been able to order through the remote control.
    F You ordered by phone.
    Us No we didnt... and these are not things we would EVER watch...
    F We'll investigate and get back in touch

    Second call
    US Phone records gathered - no calls as indicated to order things WE WOULD NEVER WATCH.
    US Emailed phone information and records to Foxtel to
    F Someone will be back in touch

    Third call
    F You ordered online
    Us Oh, isnt that funny as we only setup the online account yesterday after disputing these charges....

    NOW, doesnt this all sound like a load of bollocks !!!

    When mentioned that if someone else is accessing our online account, which we only setup yesterday in a means of identifying incorrect charges, this must be fraud, we are told to contact our ISP !!!! HELLO !!!! We only setup the online account yesterday !!!!!!


    Foxtel, your monopoly over the pay TV market in Sydney is NOT reason to treat your customers as we have been treated.


    Right now we are filthy with Foxtel for suggesting that we are liars, changing their story regarding ordering method, not offering any means of resolving this, apart from to tell us, 'if its on your bill you must have ordered it'.

    Waiting on a call from another manager now... and time is up...

    Foxtel billing needs a good shaking up ! Or a punch in the face!

    TIO - here we come !!!