Paul St Quintin’s article refers (“If a call centre says ‘try again later’, it might be too late”, October 8). This year is my 42nd as a financial planner, dealing with financial product providers such as insurance companies on a daily basis. I have experienced a breakdown in service over the past number of years, especially where I have to deal with call centres.

The problem is that when I have recommended a particular brand to my client (because the product may be the best fit for that particular client’s need), I have to in effect prevent the client from having direct dealings with that brand owner because of what I know my client is going to experience.

Like many others, I have to act as a shock absorber between the product provider and the client. Everything St Quintin says in his piece is on the button. I suggest all senior managers and company CEOs should phone their own call centres at least once a week acting as a client calling from outside the company.

This will allow them to hear some of the dreadful, depressing and worn-out music, as well as the “XXX is a registered financial services provider, please note that your call may be recorded for quality and security purposes” over and over for the duration of the 25 minutes or more that you have to hold on. Then when you hear the voice “for so and so, press 1, for so and so, press 2”, and you press 2, your call could well be cut off.

The first step should be to get rid of their old noncompatible systems.

John Johnston, Via e-mail

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an e-mail with your comments. Letters of more than 300 words will be edited for length. Send your letter by e-mail to letters@businesslive.co.za. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime telephone number.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.