Autopage / No customer service

South Africa

I am writing this complaint as I am unable find a contact other then the call center to assist me with the customer services issue. I did try to contact a Mr Sean Pretorius, who I was told was your customer services manager but he refused to take my call, as I was told that he did not take calls from customers. Which is rather strange for a customer services manager. I have unfortunately suffered a series service issues at the hands of Autopage Cellular over the past month, but what is more frustrating is that there is no channel to which to direct this feedback to.

1. I took out at contract with Autopage at the end of September 2010. I waited more then 24hrs and the sim was not activated. I called the call center, by they didn’t know what was going on, eventually they did manage to figure it out. The store in Vodaworld FORGOT TO PROCESS THE CONTRACT!!! Wait here is more, they said that someone from the store would call me, but big surprise no one did, I had to call them! I thought that that was appalling customer service, but wait there is more.
2. This was my second contract Autopage, I have had another one for the last 10 years. When I took out the new contract I took my old sim along to RICA, obviously because when you take out a new contract you need to RICA at the same time. It was all under my old account. Then I got an SMS on my old sim a few weeks later requesting me to RICA!!! They managed to stuff that up as well! So now I have to go back to a store to RICA the old SIM again! I thought that this was unbelievable, but wait there is more.
3. When I took my new contract out I took out the Blackberry BIS, instead of BES. Reason being that I was not sure if my organisation supported BES, therefore I asked the sales agent. I was told you can always change from BIS to BES, no hassles, will take 24hrs. When the time came a few weeks later to change from BIS to BES, then the story changed! Now I was told that I had to complete a migration request form and pay migration fees as well! I was flabbergasted, especially given the previous service issues already encountered, but wait there is more.
4. So I completed the migration form, before the cut off date as requested by Auto page. I had to send it about 3 times because they could not find it, which was not surprising. In any event I received confirmation that the migration would go through on the 1 November 2010. Guess what, it didn’t!!! At this point I was lost for words, not to mention extremely upset, however not very surprised but wait there is more.
5. On the 2nd Nov 2010 I called the Autopage “Customer Care” services. I spoke to a women, whose name I cannot recall. I explained the problem to her, and gave her my number. She then place me on hold…. FOR THE NEXT 30MINS !!! Realising that she was not going to pick, probably gone on her lunch break, I hung up and called back.
6. I then spoke to a women named Angela, I explained the problem to her, and gave her my number. She to put me on hold, but only for a few minutes. She informed me that the service has been activated on the Autopage system as BES but was still reflected as BIS on the Network. Probably some sort of failure node to node between Autopage and VC network provisioning interface. She said that she would log it with VC and this would be fixed in 24hrs. I asked to speak to a supervisor but was told that “all the managers are in meetings”, How convenient. It was however not fixed the next day.
7. I called and spoke to another agent, named Godfrey, he initially insisted that the service was activated correctly, evidently he was not able to distinguish between BIS & BES, but finally caught on after I explained it to him a few times. To which he gave me the same reply as Angela did the previous day, that he was going log it with the network. He went further to tell me that he did not think it will be activated this month!!! He also said that there was nothing that they (Autopage) could do other then send an e-mail. I asked him to escalate the matter, but he said there was nothing more that could be done. I asked if I could speak to a manager, to which I was asked as to why I wanted to speak to a manager as there is nothing that they can do. After some argument, guess what, he told me “all the managers are in meetings” . . . what an unbelievable coincidence.
8. That was when I called the Head office and asked for the customer services manager, whom I was told was Sean Pretorius. I was transferred, but go through to someone else who told me that he was not available and gave me a phone number and e-mail address, both of which turned out to be false. This was not surprising, by this point this was the kind behaviour that fitted the Autopage culture.
9. Not wanting to give up, I tried to call again, eventually getting through to a women who informed me that Mr Pretorius did not wish to take my call, as he does not take calls from customers. Which I found rather strange and odd, that the customer services manager is not interested in customer services issue. I think that that peace of information actually summed up quiet nicely the organisation that I was dealing with.


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