You were tone deaf, Telekom Malaysia (and a happy ending)

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Senior citizen at TMPoint

Update by the writer: Happy to let everyone know that the issue was quickly picked up and resolved by the TM leadership team. They didn’t just get the termination done but also called on my Dad personally to express their regret at the experience he had. There aren’t many corporate leaders who would take the trouble to meet with customers who had already said goodbye; kudos to Encik Imri Mokhtar and his team for doing it.

Thank you, everyone, for helping us make our voice heard; hopefully, we’ll see more customer-aware corporates in the future!

The original article:

Certain prominent Malaysian companies appear tone deaf to the needs of their senior citizen customers. Caroleena D’Cruz shares her frustrating experience with one such firm.

This is a picture (top) of my 88-year-old father at the TMPoint in Sunway today. Sad, isn’t it? He is tired, frustrated and in considerable pain.

Here’s why I blame you, Telekom Malaysia.

On 17 January 17, 2019, I contacted the TMPoint call centre to enquire about terminating an account. My parents had been living in Kuantan for well over 50 years and had been TM customers for about that long as well.

After my dad had a bad fall in Kuantan and subsequent surgery in PJ in October last year, my parents realised that they would have to make their move to PJ permanent. And they set about putting their affairs in order.

When I enquired about terminating their TM land line [09-5678548], the call centre informed me that I had to:

  • Give 30 days’ notice – which we did
  • Pay any outstanding payments due sometime between Day 16 and Day 30 – which we did
  • Within five days of those 30 days expiring, I had to take my dad, along with the original phone set [yes, from over 50 years ago!], along with his original identity card, to a TMPoint outlet, for him to inform them of the termination in person. This had to be done within five days – no delays permitted, otherwise, I was warned, the whole process would have to be repeated. And I would have to pay an additional RM66 for the missing phone set

I explained that he was 88, in a wheelchair and not mobile, and asked if I could bring a letter authorising me to act on his behalf, along with his original identity card. I was told this was not allowed.

I was instead asked to get a doctor’s letter to prove his situation. I explained that he wasn’t ill, merely immobile, and if I had to take him to a doctor to get a letter certifying the same, I might as well take him to TMPoint. But I was told, no, that’s the way it would have to be.

After the call, I wrote to your call centre to explain the issue and seek your help. I didn’t even get an acknowledgement, let alone a reply. (I can provide you with screen shots of the chat.)

You were tone deaf to our request for help, Telekom Malaysia.

Today: Monday, 18 February 2019

The window given to us to visit the TMPoint centre was Day 31-35 from the date of termination. Day 31 fell on Saturday, 16 February and Day 32 on Sunday, 17 February, which I assumed meant the outlets would be closed.

Today, Day 33 [Monday, 18 February 2019], I took my father, as instructed, to the nearest TMPoint. I had checked online, and the closest to our home in Jalan Gasing was TMPoint Bandar Sunway, so we went there.

We found the outlet without any difficulty, but then couldn’t get him in as there is a one-foot step up into the outlet, and no ramp for the wheelchair. We managed to lift him in after some difficulty.

There were no customers at the outlet. We tried to get a service number but the machine had run out of paper [at 9.30 am???].

There were two people on duty – a young woman and a young man, who was asleep at his desk.

The young woman asked what we needed, and when I explained, she said “Go to Taipan, we can’t do it here. We are a dealer.”

No sympathy, no offer to help, no proactive customer service attitude at all.

She was tone deaf to our request for help.

I explained that we were told to come at any TMPoint, that I had looked at the website, and it didn’t state anywhere on it that this was a dealership, rather than a TM retail centre.

She repeated, “Tak boleh buat sini, pergi Taipan.” She also mentioned that TM Customer Service had repeatedly been sending customers to do termination at this outlet, despite them being a mere dealership, and the outlet had repeatedly requested that TM Customer Service stop doing it, to no avail.

You were tone deaf to your own partner’s request for help.

I asked if she could call the TM Call Centre for advice, which she did. They asked to speak to me and repeated the same instructions, ad infinitum – “Take him to Taipan, he has to go in person” etc.

I asked the call centre executive if I could speak to a supervisor, and was told I couldn’t.

Tone deaf, again.

I explained that I would be willing to send the required documentation to any outlet “Timbuktoo if required”, but could they just acknowledge that my father had come to the TMPoint outlet, as instructed, to inform them of his request for termination in person.

They absolutely refused, and the call centre refused to accept this as well.

Tone deaf, again.

I asked to speak to the TMPoint centre manager, but was told that he or she had not yet come to work. This was way past 10am at an outlet that starts operations at 8.30am, according to the website.

Tone deaf, again.

By this time, my father was already in considerable pain, so I told the call centre staff that I was taking him home, and I left my number with her with a request to call for a follow up.

I made clear that we had done what we were asked to do, and that TM had failed on its side; therefore the onus was on TM to take the next step.

I have not received any call from TM to follow up.

Tone deaf, you think?

I understand you have standard operating procedures, Telekom Malaysia. But surely, in serving 30 million Malaysians, and especially those who have been your customers for well over half a century, you can show a little empathy?

Shame on you.

Caroleena D’Cruz is disturbed by the lack of empathy shown by several major firms towards their senior citizen customers.

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Alan Hong
Alan Hong
24 Feb 2019 6.20pm

GLC nest of incompetent parasites.

farhan sha
farhan sha
15 May 2020 6.25pm
Reply to  Alan Hong

agreed. baik tolong [yang] rajin dari pemalas …

jach
jach
19 Feb 2019 4.31pm

could this be the result of … hiring by TM…ppl with family or ties with current employee easier to get hired by them…pffttt

Hazel
Hazel
19 Feb 2019 11.19am

Same with me.. I don’t really like ladies staff in tmpoint alamanda.. it seems they don’t have the customer service skills.. last two weeks the … girl … served at the payment counter, … her voice tone & facial expressions are not that kind of person should served at the front line.. the third time I was there, this male staff with brightest smile served me with pleasent & warming attitude, he so kind & explained the details.

I think, TM official should look at this , if they don’t want lose customer.

Wanrocks
Wanrocks
19 Feb 2019 10.17pm
Reply to  Hazel

Similar experience that I have.. the … girl has an
attitude problem I think.. she need to find a better job if she doesn’t like to served with customers!

Kudos to the male staffs there. Helpful & polite.

Wanrocks
Wanrocks
20 Feb 2019 9.07am
Reply to  Hazel

Agreed with Hazel opinion. I think the ladies staff doesn’t have the capability to served the customers. I had one bad experiences with the … girl, she doesnt really suitable to be there,looking always angry & her tone voice…

I don’t really want to choose between gender but, your guys are better than the girls. Please do train them before asked them to work.

Nair
Nair
19 Feb 2019 10.55am

TM need to seriously revamp the business methods. I have subscribed for UnFi TV & WiFi.
The TV channels keep on repeating & repeating the same old program / shows year after year. Nothing is every new. Its just a waste…….

Lavaniyan Nathan Jothy
19 Feb 2019 9.20am

This is the typical working culture of the majority Malaysia…when come to public services…unfortunate..I m sure Telekom would able to provide remedy for this…

minime
minime
5 Mar 2019 6.14am

its basically a personal attitude that they bring into their job that cause their company and also its customer. TM need to fix or replace their employee with a better sense of humanity.

farhan sha
farhan sha
15 May 2020 6.26pm
Reply to  minime

employees tend to follow their bosses. the problem is at the very top

Mate
Mate
19 Feb 2019 12.36am

Just terminate it. No need to bring your dad. Bring the authorize letter, the phone set. that’s it. And screw TM. Useless company

HAREEZ
HAREEZ
19 Feb 2019 12.26am

Pardon Me. Do they e.g TM listen or are still in Deaf Tone Mode

Ravinder Singh
18 Feb 2019 10.28pm

I had a complete Streamyx breakdown for at least two weeks in December 2017. For about six months before that service had been intermittent, and often very, very slow. The technicians who came to fix the problem found no problem with my internal wiring. I went to TM’s main office in Burmah Road, Penang to find out actual cause and a technician, after checking their reports, found that there was an underground cable breakdown in my area. I wrote to TM HQ and enquired why there was no co-ordination between the breakdown teams and the technicians who are sent to customers’ premises. I also asked for a pro-rated waiver of charges for the period service was totally out and intermittent. Two or three times I received calls from TM customer service asking for the period of the service outage as they wanted to work out the rebate to be given. Till today, I haven’t got the rebate yet! And Streamyx is still not stable yet, sometimes being very slow.

Cheah Swee Kuan
Cheah Swee Kuan
18 Feb 2019 11.50pm
Reply to  Ravinder Singh

you will be shocked if you are able to see the number of complaints I made to TM. I dont have to tell you the stories of my pent-up frustrations .Suffice to say, this TM is full of incompetent ppl. I think it is the collective karma of the malaysian people to suffer in the hands of TM. One word to describe them- Buta gaji and a cancer to the country. It has been going one for the last 20 years.

Sue Chan
18 Feb 2019 9.51pm

I know many senior citizens having difficulty coz TM is no longer sending the monthly physical bill. Some are computer illiterate and find it difficult to pay their bills online. They are not able to retrieve their bills. TM, pl reconsider to send these senior citizens their original bills to facilitate them to pay at the post offices. Many seniors that I know are now having this problem with soft copies. TM, pl look into this.

Hazel
Hazel
19 Feb 2019 11.21am
Reply to  Sue Chan

So true..

Chan
Chan
18 Feb 2019 8.51pm

Same here… asked if we can terminate P1. The firm.no longer exist.. they say can. But the bills keeps coming and now they wanna take legal action.

I said see you IN COURT!!!

Rizman
Rizman
18 Feb 2019 8.31pm

sometimes you have to sue them or else they would not change the SOP

DarkSlayer
DarkSlayer
18 Feb 2019 8.19pm

I think Google Map and TM is to blame here. TM Point and TM Authorised Dealer (TAD) are named the same in Google Map which is TM Point. That’s why when this person search the nearest TM Point it give Bandar Sunway although in Unifi web page, Bandar Sunway only has a TAD and not a TM Point.

But it makes me wonder, why hasn’t TM notice this already. The workers at Bandar Sunway said that they had tell TM several time and TM didn’t notice what was happening yet. It only took me half an hour to know what was happening. And please TM, fix the map in your page. It only show the TM shop at that place only rather than show TM shop near and at that place. This would make most people go to Google Map, which has the wrong name for some of the shop.

Hazel
Hazel
19 Feb 2019 11.23am
Reply to  DarkSlayer

Not Google map to blame for this one..it was from TM actually, not properly explained the differences TMPoint Centre & TAD. So many times complaint made but no action taken!

Vel
Vel
18 Feb 2019 8.12pm

Can you send to malaysiakini so they can oublic there so mr gobind can made aware of tm grbage service n outdated termination policy. So many deadwood working there… all this deadwood should be removed fromTM

SP Won
18 Feb 2019 7.38pm

Telekom Malaysia pls answer to this

Mate
Mate
19 Feb 2019 12.41am
Reply to  SP Won

Lol. Good luck. Those … in there are all sleeping. Try searching if you can get their HQ phone number. I tried and it all leads back to customer service. You just can’t find their HQ phone number anywhere at all. I was actually looking to speak to their technical director. Chicken was nowhere to be found.

Yeow Lee Soon
18 Feb 2019 7.42pm

Go to their FB page and see the mostly negative feedbacks with no reply, no action – deaf. Termination takes 2-3 hours at Damansara Utama and is always packed

Theres Chin
18 Feb 2019 7.46pm

Thank you for writing. Sorry for what you and dad went through though. Napoleonic attitude at its worse.. If it’s any consolation, know that most of us, the ordinary folks have gone through the same frustration..in my case, it took three visits to settled. That outdated phone? It is TM’s way to make money. No, they are NOT friendly and not professional.

By the way, with such limited english knowledge, they don’t know words like manager nor supervisor. They know only, “team leader”! I wouldn’t been surprised if team leader had told you, “I don’t know”.

ronnie teo
ronnie teo
19 Feb 2019 9.07pm
Reply to  Theres Chin

101% agreed.

San
San
18 Feb 2019 7.38pm

Actually, there’s an easier way of doing this. Just stop paying their bills and I’m sure they will come and terminate it without all the fuss…

Yii
Yii
19 Feb 2019 2.08am
Reply to  San

You are wrong. TM Point never terminate your account. Once they call to chase you and u pay, your account comes back ALIVE again. (You thought it was over?) Your bills start accumulating again for 6 months ,they cut your services and then u have to pay more bills regardless of whether u use or not..

San
San
19 Feb 2019 7.25pm
Reply to  Yii

Then don’t pay even if they called. Just tell them to go ahead and terminate it during the call. Ignore the bills if it keep accumulating. The point here is not to pay them…

Mcwong
Mcwong
18 Feb 2019 7.36pm

What can we expect? It’s privatised but still run like a govt department

Antony Nelson
18 Feb 2019 7.09pm

TM has no clue as to what customer service is.My own experience with TM is that some of their employees believe that a “lepak” attitude to work is enough.

Pablo Kronos
18 Feb 2019 5.58pm

same goes with Astro

Stella Perera
18 Feb 2019 10.24pm
Reply to  Pablo Kronos

Exactly very arrogant and no empathy for its customers. MP Gobind please hurry up, take action against these haughty and deaf companies. The customers are never right, as far as they are concerned.

Mate
Mate
19 Feb 2019 12.42am
Reply to  Stella Perera

Sorry to say but Mr Gobind is very quiet lately.

P.W. Wong
18 Feb 2019 5.24pm

no doubt….TM sucks ….big time.
I have terminated my land line years ago !!

Zulkafli Adam
18 Feb 2019 8.12pm
Reply to  P.W. Wong

P.W. Wong agreed..

Mei Liew
Mei Liew
27 Feb 2019 5.38pm
Reply to  P.W. Wong

each and every customer experiences differently with tm customer service. whatever bad experience happened you not necessarily happening to others. and those customer service can be improved by their management when issue like this raised. so far ive been using tm services i never had any bad experience with the customer services.

Ajim Taiping
Ajim Taiping
28 Feb 2019 5.37pm
Reply to  P.W. Wong

What the reason you terminate? I staying at taiping and tm the only one having stable connection here. Even their customer assist very responsive here.

lucy
lucy
5 Mar 2019 6.20am
Reply to  P.W. Wong

i understand yr frustration but to be honest not everywhere is the same. i mean in big city like KL, Tm and their customer service is quite pack all the time. they cant attend all at once, might can but need a lot of manpower as well. while in some designated city like penang, ipoh etc the service is quite good.

Daniel Tan
18 Feb 2019 4.55pm

YB Gobind Sing, please investigate

Keat Lee
18 Feb 2019 4.27pm

Not surprised by the customer service of Telekoms, a GLC. As for the telephone set I am utterly surprised that we need to return the telephone set when we want to terminate their service! They have been charging monthly rental for the set and yet they have the audacity to charge RM 66 if a subscriber fails to return the telephone set. Does anyone bother to keep the original set if and when you have to buy a new telephone to replace a faulty set supplied by Telekoms???

Gregory R Warrier
18 Feb 2019 4.12pm

YB Gobind Singh what are you doing about this?

Joon
Joon
18 Feb 2019 8.31pm

I find the most effective means to deal with situations such as these is by reporting to MCMC. Here is the link you could use https://www.mcmc.gov.my/make-a-complaint/mcmc-complaint-portal

Mate
Mate
19 Feb 2019 12.44am
Reply to  Joon

Mcmc is useless…