So Thursday I was at my Grandpa’s place to setup his (mine really) “brand new” Original Aluminum iPhone.
After the setup, I called up Singtel as usual to cancel mobile data as after all, what my grandfather really wants is a nice looking phone with a super easy to use chinese input for SMS, not internet on the go.
I dialed 1626, selected the mobile menu, and for some reason, while I always select “0” for “all other enquiries” on other occasions, I decided to enter “1” for “iPhone Technical Support”.
It’s not really wrong I guess, the phone number I am calling about is now on an iPhone.
I dialed “1” and waited.
“Hello? Singtel Customer Service”, the CS Rep said.
The voice was not that of the usually professional sounding Singtel CS phone reps, but more like some random kid, but never mind for now.
Me: “Hi, I’m calling on behalf of my grandfather. I’ve just switched him to one of my old iPhones and I will like you to cancel mobile data on his line.”
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Ah? You mean the GPRS ah? Erm… Okay. Wait ah.”
I am not exaggerating the speech. He was really speaking like that. For a Singtel Customer Service Rep.
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Okay… I’ve checked, your line don’t have a mobile data package.”
Me: “Right, I know. I just switched him to an iPhone, so I want you to cancel the mobile data or rather GPRS, portion of it. You know how all 3G sim cards have data enabled so they can MMS?”
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Oh you mean you want to cancel GPRS.”
Me: “Yes, didn’t I say that just now?”
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Erm okay. You wait ah. Erm….”Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Okay you have your iPhone right now right? You go to Settings, then General, then Network, then Data Roaming. Turn off that Data Roaming.”
Me: “Huh? Are you sure? Data Roaming?”
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Yes. Turn off Data Roaming.”
I was pretty pissed off at this point.
Me: “Hello friend, Data Roaming is for mobile data when you are overseas. It’s not about local mobile data or GRPS at all. Do you know what you are talking about? I work at Epicenter. I know all about this kind of things.”
Okay so I lied. I’ve never worked at Epicenter before. I’ve temped for other resellers, and sent my resume to Epicenter for fun (they invited me to go for their interview and I “flew their airplane”). And quite a number of people who work at Epicenter don’t really know much about Apple stuff as well, but most kids don’t know that. They probably thought that “those people working at the “Apple Shop” knows everything about Macs and iPhones and iPods and iPads.”
Not really. But this is for another day.
Singtel iPhone Technical Customer Service Rep: “Huh? Erm okay ah you wait I transfer you to the Mobile department.”
And I waited for close to ten minutes before a professional Singtel CS rep got to me. But by then I was already pretty pissed off and my tone wasn’t as kind.
So I have no freaking idea what kind of people Singtel is employing to staff their iPhone Technical Helpline. The Singtel iPhone rep definitely sounds like a part-timer kid in his 10s. And untrained.
Imagine if an elderly person made the same call and asked for the same request. Or someone who don’t know better, who has no idea what mobile data is, or what Data Roaming is. If that poor someone listened to the same advice and just assumed that turning off Data Roaming means that mobile data is turned off, who will pay for the mobile data charges when the bills come? Will the part-timer kid who gave the wrong advice pay? Or will Singtel, who is trying to cut costs and didn’t ensure that proper personnel are staffed for the iPhone technical helpline, pay?
No. The poor elderly person will pay. And that’s how it always had been – the telco bullying the customer.
I encourage technical people who read this post to try and call up the same helpline to test the Singtel iPhone CS rep’s iPhone technical knowledge.
Who knows? Maybe I got a part-timer and everyone else didn’t. Maybe the only clueless guy was the kid who talked to me.
I really hope that’s the case.