Tuesday, June 23, 2009

“People First, Performance Now” Applies to Voters employed in Private Sector Too

I detail some of my recent experience with major service providers in the country.

Telekom Malaysia

Went to Telekom Malaysia to relocate telephone line (which has a Jaring Broadband jumper on) within the same area. Explained to the staff on the relocating highlighting clearly that the line has a broadband jumper on and that Telekom may need to liaise with Jaring to relocate both the phone line and broadband jumper together. The person on the counter says that it’s not a problem at all. Paid necessary fees, promised relocation will be done within 7 days.

After 7 days, there’s no news from Telekom. When called they promised to return call and as expected no calls received. When called, another promise of 3 days to complete the relocation. On the third day, at least they called, only to be told that due to the broadband connection, they have have to liaise with Jaring and do the necessary transfer. Finally when these technicalities were resolved, they called and informed that the job is contracted out and that another fee must be paid to their contractor. Fine with that (although it’s unfair as relocation fee was paid to telekom as well) and finally appointment was fixed for weekend. Two days later the contractor calls from the front of the house wanting to do the relocation. When explained that the appointment was for the weekend, he claims that he was wrongly advised by Telekom. Finally, the job was completed, one month after submitting relocation request.

Telekom Malaysia's stated mission is” To provide total customer satisfaction as we strive to become a world class telecommunications company” I am touched by their commitment to customers!!


Now it’s Jaring, Telekom’s partner in crime. Before phone line was relocated, enquiries made resulted in confusion whether I have to disconnect the wired account as they were unsure if they are able to get me connected at my new place. Finally they advised me to deactivate the account and reactivate once phone line is relocated. RM 100 was charged for relocation. Once phone line was relocated, informed Jaring with another promise of 3 days to complete the job. After 3 days, there were no news from them, so called in only to be informed the person in-charge is away and the personnel in the branch not sure what to do as they have never handled relocation. Had to make an official complaint and demand to be transferred to a senior person before someone actually took the initiative to solve the issue.

Jaring’s Mission and Core Values


One Community, One Station, One Number is JARING's vision which depicts our integrated net technology of unified communications utility; thus ultimately producing seamless internet connectivity riding on technology waves which are capable of changing a new generation of internet users.

One Community constitutes communication through JARING as One Station in which every community member will have One Number that is reachable by others. 

JARING's mission is to cross borders and change lives. This illustrates JARING's efforts to open up or detach the boundaries in order that more freedom of choices and innovation for a seamless communications may be created.

JARING's mission to shape the creation of global borderless unified community demonstrates its efforts to bring people from all walks of life as one, notwithstanding the different culture, language or ethnicity which co-exist in the virtual global community to communicate with one another.

My comment is ‘ just make things simple and deliver, and not talk about crossing borders and changing lives. 


Next, Courts Mamooth, ordered two simple chairs and a table. Was informed that they are able to deliver after 7pm, even on weekdays. They show up on delivered date only to deliver the table. When called, they explained that the table and chair is sourced from two different warehouse. I told them that’s none of my problem as they promised to deliver all items together. Complaint was escalated to a manager, who promised to deliver the item the next day. Rushed home to be there about 7pm, no one turned up. Called the branch (Mutiara Damansara) and got an apology from the manager who promised that the item will be delivered the next day. The ordeal continued as again there wasn’t any delivery. Called in again to speak to the manager, and was told that the manager was in a meeting. Asked the customer service staff to get the manager to return call. No calls received that day. Called again in the morning, again they are apparently in a meeting, asked to be referred to the store manager, was told that he was away.

Had no choice but to call group head office in setapak. The lady in charge informed that the store never have meetings during the operating hours. Now I released that the manager who handled my complaint was avoiding me. Finally the item was delivered, 5 days after the promised date. I demanded a written apology only to receive an e-mail apologizing but shifting the blame to the delivery company!. I gave up. No more Courts Mamooth ever.

From Courts Website, Their mission “ To be the most customer oriented, profit focused retailer making aspirational home products easily affordable”

Their Core Values

Intergrity – Doing what is right
Customer Focussed - Committed to delighting customers
Result Oriented - Committing to achieve defined goals for the company and yourself.
Innovation – Innovating through creative ideas
Leadership – Demonstrating ‘servant leadership’ through personal accountability.

I have not seen any element of their mission or core values with my experience with them except for the fact they made some profit out of pathetic service.


Had numerous run ins with this company. Have been a customer for 12 years now but always get shortchanged especially they improve their terms and lower their rates for their new plans in their competition to get new customers.

Post paid customers are like slaves, apart from a insignificant discount of being a loyal customer, the monthly line rental, clip, statement etc are still being charged, up to RM 100, excluding call charges. When asked whether can I move to a prepaid plan, the answer is no, when I asked if there are any other post paid plans, the answer is no. Later, when told that I want to move to Digi (with the same number) they promised to call back, and after two weeks, they introduced the post paid value plans. This is how telcos exploit their customer and they appear not to be ashamed of this at all.

I still had my RM 400 deposit paid for post paid plan in 1997, but my credit line has been increased to RM 1,600 over the years . What is the logic of having a RM 400 deposit for RM1,600 credit line, I have no clue when other Maxis plans do not have requirements for deposits.

When demanded that my deposit is returned, they say it is not the procedure. When asked if they would at least pay me the interest since I have been paying promptly for 12 years, again no answer. I had to fight my way, escalating the issue all the way up before they decided to return my deposit, but without any interest or regrets! This is from the so-called world class and No 1 telco in Malaysia.

And try calling them 3 times with the same technical problem, you are likely to be placed on hold for at least 10-15 minutes and guess what, you will get 3 different answers.

And this is what they say (or rather brag) about themselves

Maxis is about life enablement

Part of our job at Maxis is to make sure that technology is never scary. Or even, remote from your daily activity. Our challenge is to answer successfully the question "how human can the technology become?" 

We have three words to describe the spirit of Maxis, the things that should come across in every single thing that we do, for customers and for everyone who works together in the company. 

By focusing on just three words we define ourselves. 

This is what Maxis stands for.

We aim to keep everything we do as simple as possible. For example, customers understand what it is we are telling them because we do it in a way that is straightforward and easy to understand.

We make things simple for everyone, including ourselves. Keeping things simple also means that everything we say is said in a clear direct tone of voice that is friendly and human.


Trust is crucial in every successful relationship and this is true between customers and Maxis, just as it is true between the company and its employees. All good relationships are built on trust which inspires confidence, and, assurance, conviction and reliance.

To be trustworthy is a way of life. 


Creativity defines us and therefore differentiates us from our competition. It inspires not only our communication style, but also how we answer the phone, design our stores, and deal with challenges. 

Creative runs through everything we do and everything we say, it's in our DNA.

Now, Simple, Trustworthy and Creative, hmm… the last few words are really a sham. They should have started with Maxis is all about making easy money, squeezing loyal customers and confusing customers (Mr Iswar of Maxis can testify to my statement) . Technology is never scary, their services are.


The same happened when I wanted to change my addresses, three out of 4 banks did not update my address on time promised while some asked me to fill different forms for different products (at this cyber age) and even with that, one of the address was not updated and the bank staff did not express regrets whatsoever.

And all of the above incidents happened in a span of two months.
It’s fine to make mistakes at times, but to under deliver repeatedly, like the above organisations, they deserves no loyalty. But the problem in Malaysia is that, there are no viable competitors for all these services as they are equally pathetic, untrustworthy and certainly profit oriented with no long term sustainability in mind. 

 Even when I take the trouble to complain and speak to someone in authority, they appear to take complains lightly with no sense of urgency to resolve it.

Almost nothing gets done on time in Malaysia and we have to demand for good service. I have so far, yet to experience delightful service, can’t recall of any in Malaysia in the past.  

And the best part is that Malaysians in general equate poor service to Government’s services and I can bet that some government departments are far more efficient than these so-called world class conglomerates.

And to think that they are world class and branching out worldwide is certainly scary, while local customers continue to be shortchanged. What makes them think that locals will not dump them one day, if services continue to be pathetic?

Or when government start liberalizing all sectors one day. For local companies, “we will cross the bridge when we come to it” applies. They are not worried that when the time comes, the bridge may not be there anymore for them to cross. What is more important to the leaders of these companies are current bottom lines. 

And Malaysians also voted for the opposition partly due to the same reason, inefficient government and its services which makes me wonder why is that so. If we think about it logically, only about slightly more than a million people of the total approximate 12 million labour force work for the government. Therefore, indirectly the Prime Minister and government leaders are only responsible for actions of less than 10% of the workforce. 

And yet we think government services, provided free most of the time (despite claims that tax payers are paying their salary when in reality majority individuals in Malaysia do NOT pay tax) are pathetic. Actually the private sector is worse as we don’t even get decent service for the money paid.

Majority voters themselves are employed in the services sector and they should stop complaining of government’s efficiency and focus on improving their services to their customers, who actually pay their salaries but yet continue to be shortchanged.

I did come in contact with someone from one of the organisation, well known for poor service, who made fun of Najib’s “People First, Performance now”. I have no doubt that this nothing more than a slogan engineered to boost confidence of his government, Haven’t we heard many of these before!.

What this man did not realise is that, the same applies to him and millions of staff/voters (Opposition and BN supporters) who runs businesses and those who work for other service providers as well, not just BN or government!


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Rakesh Kumar said...

Ain't that the truth.

Yesterday, I lost my wallet briefly. Went down to the building (Wisma UOA)management office, and the security manager was out for lunch. I left details of what happened and my number for him to call. We immediately pasted notice on our floor and distributed them to the other offices in the same floor. Went to Police Station, made report (they were efficient and friendly at Dang Wangi) and crossed the road to the first bank to report lost of ATM card when office called back to say my wallet was returned by the cleaner albeit the cash. I was happy at least the rest of the important things were in.

About one hour before the close of office, the security manager called, and immediately started whining about how its difficult to find the wallet being there are so many tenants in and about. I had to tell him that I found the wallet.

I mean, come on, it came back on our initiative. And first thing he did was to whine about how difficult without even making a single effort, or even say that he will make an effort. Give me a break!!!

Anonymous said...

what a long DAM BORED story

Anonymous said...

"Majority voters themselves are employed in the services sector and they should stop complaining of government’s efficiency and focus on improving their services to their customers, who actually pay their salaries but yet continue to be shortchanged."-cool..this ayat i like!

Anonymous said...

Bro what happen to ur FLIP FLOP govt?? NO more sci n maths in ENGLISH???? goooodddddddd.......
oni BN can do certain ting which is IMPLEMENT certain policy thn plan.. same goes to PPSMI..
shame on BN n hard core supporters like u!

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