How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A bit on Astro customer service

I am relatively new to Astro, when compared with our part-time cleaner's more than 10 years' subscription. But because her son and daughter-in-law now work in Singapore, when her family was without Astro service for a few days, she felt helpless until she picked up courage to approach me for help.

Being new to calling their helpline, I had to learn as I go along. As usual, press 1 for Bahasa Malaysia, 2 for English and so on. Then I was stuck when asked for Astro account no. or subscriber's NRIC number. Anyway, from the information, I told her to try it out herself, pressing 3 for Mandarin and to be ready with the account number and to turn on the television and Astro decoder for further instructions.

The next day, she said those manning the Chinese section were busy and she had to deal with someone speaking BM. By the way, some of you might complain why there are Malaysians still unable to communicate in our national language. Let's not debate on this, and personally, I feel Astro plays a part in this segregation when they provide Chinese and Tamil channels which reinforce the almost exclusive use of Mandarin or Tamil even after those students left  their 'Jenis' (C) or (T) schools, almost to the exclusion of BM or English unless they have to.

As I was speaking to the customer service lady, I complained about the lack of service to take care of those subscribers who cannot communicate using the press button instructions. Why must I provide help to their customers? Can't they ask someone who speaks Chinese to ring them? So it was agreed that someone would call when she would be in after 1 pm.

Today, I wasn't optimistic when I asked her what happened. Did anyone from Astro called? Yes, someone called at 4 pm to ask if service has been restored. It seems when she got back, service was restored and she said it must be due to my complaint, this time with account number and name of subscriber. But like Tmnet, it could be restored without the presence of a technician.

This reminds me of the time when a friend's telephones in his shop and in his home were out of service. Since I had to walk past TM office, he asked if I could complain on his behalf. Just imagine: I was told to use their public phone in their premises, and I was stumped when asked for subscriber's name and so on. So I asked if they could help and they were caught unprepared for such a human approach to solve a problem! But recently, I was told someone would help if a complainant faces problem when reporting a fault.

Moral of the story: as customers, we must voice out whenever we are unhappy over certain service, otherwise they would not know their shortcomings.

Update on Nov 1: How Astro tries to improve earnings
If not mistaken, anyone who subscribes to Astro using their new decoder is required to subscribe for HD (High Definition) for a minimum period of 12 months, at Rm20 + 6% Govt tax monthly. I realized this high-tech facility had been unused, so I called up to cancel. I found out we have subscribed for almost 2 years already. Just imagine how many subscribers would have let it be since initial signing up. After giving my personal name and NRIC numbers (not necessary subscriber's), I was informed that it would cost Rm10 cancellation fee and that it would take effect within 24 hours, and I was reminded to switch the HDMI cable to the ordinary AV cables (red, white and yellow). Note that if you decide to upgrade, there is no extra charge!

When I checked our minimal package at channel 200, I found out that the following channels are excluded:

HD Learning
571 Discovery HD World
573 National Geograhic Channel HD
575 History HD
Astro Family
393 One HD
706 Astro Life Style HD: Food Network Asia HD & Life
720 be TV HD
721 AXN HD
726 FX HD

For those who are into the above channels (I suppose there are more HD channels which are affected if you subscribe to more comprehensive packages), rethink if you wish to cancel your HD service.



William Wang said...

I do not know when it started, must be a few years back(possibly 3), nowadays, you need to pay to complain. In earlier years, they used to have toll free lines which started with 1 800 xxx xxx but now you are asked to use 1 300 xxx xxx. I first noticed it with Anand K group of companies, now just about every service provider company does it. Just imagine it cost me Rm9 for a few calls on my handphone to restore my fixed line communication and it is charge at different fixed rate.

KoSong Cafe said...

Thanks William for your comment. I called 1300 82 3838 for this complaint, yet to know the cost.

Anonymous said...

they didnt ask your astro account no to solve your problem.. if you didnt give them the account no, how they want to detect who are you.. you are not working on customer careline, that's why you didnt know the function they ask you that question.. even maxis / celcom / tnb they will ask you the id first , so that they will know who are the caller..

funy meyh. i believe you wont approved this comment.. and i strongly believe, if you working on customer careline, you will know the suffering of being there to handle many customer..

it is not because astro is the only compnay that provide outsider channel, but it is because astro have too many customer with too many unrelevant request to attend, haha. poor you.

KoSong Cafe said...

I do have a prejudice against call centres because of the hassle in order to speak to a human. Many people (including educated ones) complained about it. A few days ago, a retired civil servant (old school, speaks excellent English and obviously Bahasa too) could not get past 'Key in your area code, telephone number and hash key' because instead of keying in, he called out the numbers and wonder what was the hash key!

As for Astro, they know how to make money from Chinese subscribers but does not make it user friendly for them to lodge a complaint as I have described.

KoSong Cafe said...

Sorry, I was referring to TM as an example (...area code...etc.) in my previous reply.