Friday, August 10, 2007
Remarkable Calm Despite TeleBlend Snafus
Given all the challenges new VoIP provider TeleBlend has faced since deciding to make a major play as a continuity provider for former SunRocket customers, including at least one significant service outage in the first couple of weeks, there isn't much squawking by disaffected customers in the blogosphere. It's somewhat odd. For an operation that jump started itself fast, and then had to transition customers from another provider, there were bound to be transition problems. Billing issues here and there, administration portals not displaying real time data, password issues or adapter resets were almost certainly to be expected.
Having worked at start up operations where we had to support Cisco networking gear, Nortel phone systems and the circuits to support them, I know what it is like when all the systems are not fully baked. And, in fairness, there is simply no way TeleBlend was going to have its back office fully baked before stepping right into the customer support morass.
I'll be willing to bet, however, that I've encountered more software problems setting up a new Vista PC than most SunRocket customers have had getting their transitioned services to work.
Maybe customers are more unhappy than they appear to be expressing. If so, we'd like to hear about it. But we aren't hearing all that much. Which might simply mean most users might have encountered a glitch here and there, but that service for the most part is working the way it was before.
The adage we are fond of repeating is simply that customer satisfaction and loyalty do not correspond all that well for mass market communication services. Happy customers will desert. Conversely, it is well worth noting, somewhat unhappy customers will not necessarily churn. I wouldn't say I am happy having to use Vista. Neither would I say I am ditching Windows for a Mac, though I have been considering it for at least a year.
Maybe I'm just not hearing what is going on in SunRocket land. But I am neither surprised there have been porting and support issues, nor concerned TeleBlend will fail to get its operational processes in enough order to support the services and price points it has chosen. How much support can a user really expect for a $12.95 a month service? That's no slam on TeleBlend; just a recognition that price points that low will not allow for much support infrastructure.
Still, I have been surprised at the relative calm, despite all the difficulties.
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