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Raj Wadhwani 🍁 - Blog Page 14

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World Trip Update 5th Jan

Its been a tiring few days - left Canada on 2nd Jan in the am and arrived in Sydney on 4th Jan in the am. Lots of flights - some ok, others not. I am dissapointed by the quality of AA planes used to take business people from Chicago to LAX - in First class there was no entertainment apart from a 70's style TV in the ceiling with a poor quality picture. No powere to use my laptop and really uncomfortable seats. Plus all AA flights were delayed.

more to follow ...

Publish Date: January 4, 2011 5:56 PM

Round The World Trip

I am planning a trip to visit many of the world's best contact centers in 2011. So far my intinerary is as follows:

4th Jan: Sydney - Australia

9th Jan: Jakarta - Indonesia

11th Jan: Tokyo - Japan

14th Jan: Shanghai - China

18th Jan: Singapore

20th Jan: Kuala Lumpar - Malaysia

23rd Jan: Dublin - Ireland

26th Jan: London - England

1st Feb: Istanbul - Turkey

5th Feb: London - England

then flying back to Canada on 9th Feb

- these tours are part of a new project - details to follow!

If you know someone I should meet with when I am travelling on the above trip please use the Network Center and send me a message - love to hear from you!

Publish Date: December 9, 2010 7:44 AM

Buyers be aware of special interest free offers!

Today I was doing some banking and checked a statement I had from Sears Canada. I noticed they had charged me interest on items I had purchased on so called 'interest free' plans. I called and spoke to an agent in their contact center only to find that because i purchased another item on my card and carried this item ($100) as a charge and did not pay it off, Sears charge me interest on everything I have with them interest free or not! So lesson is read the small print and don't trust what the offers of interest free! - these guys will find a way to charge you 29.9% interest on interest free items you purchase if you owe them just $0.01 on your account! I am very dissapointed by these practices and the agent said it was in the terms of the interest free program - talk about bad business practices!

Lesson learnt. I will be paying off my card in full and cancelling my account - this is really bad practice. My advice is don't shop at Sears Canada folks unless you pay by another method than their cards or better still, don't shop there at all!  - not the sort of company I want to deal with! 


Publish Date: December 3, 2010 4:39 PM

Canadian Customs Getting Better

For years I have travelled in and out of Canada and had to endure  lots of short questions and sometimes rude canadian border staff but have to say for the last few occassions they have been more courteous than ever before. For the first time ever I was welcomed home by an officer - wow - maybe they have been on training, it was great! Keep it going

Publish Date: November 9, 2010 2:23 PM

Citi Financial Service Canada - Poor Service

I recently purchased some appliances for my home and opted for a 12 month interest free finance through Citi. When i got my first bill there was an error so I tried to call the toll free number and boy what a hassle - if you have a dispute you are advised to write in or send a fax and the company will write back! Why they can't take information over the phone or by email beats me. It would take much longer to deal with a query by letter when they no doubt will be chasing me for payment. Not a good example of customer service Citi!

Publish Date: September 23, 2010 1:44 PM

Reebok - Amazing Service

I recently purchased some new training shoes from Reebok on a trip to Orlando and never expected to have any issues so threw away the receipt. However they malfunctioned (sounds funny writing that for some trainers! - they started to fall apart!) So anyway, I contacted Reebok USA by email and the first thing they told me to do was to contact Reebok Canada as I live in Canada - they did not read the note I wrote about buying them in the US. Anyway, went back and forth probably 5-6 times and eventually they told me i could take them to any authorised Reebok store with the receipt. I was kinda stuck and thought a last resort would be to call the store in Orlando where I purchased them. I did call and spoke to Lucas who was very happy to help and very apologetic for my problems. He wanted to help quickly and said he knew it was costly to call him (my Brit accent suggested I was in the UK) - I reassured him I did not mind holding etc and was actually in Canada and gave him the date of purchase. I agreed to speak to him approx 1 hour later. He found my receipt and faxed it to me within minutes! I am so impressed with Lucas at the Orlando store - you were excellent - thanks. If the customer service support line listed on the website were only this efficient! Anyway, thanks to the store and Lucas I am impressed with Reebok.

Publish Date: August 7, 2010 9:25 PM

american express - frustrating me beyond belief

I am very in tune with my company credit cards and know where I am at all times. Today i had an issue with amex and called the canadian office. When I spoke to Mohammed who took my call he was courteous and apologised for any issues and then told me there was a hold on my card from a hotel in the UK - they had blocked out a certyain amount. he then told me there is no limit yet there is! I explained this block was released and after going back and forth I started to get frustrated. the oion he offered was for me to get the UK hotel to call them to release the block. I was not happy and asked to speak to the authorization department and so he put me though. With his authorization colleague on the line, he introduced me to Victoria. First thing she askes me to do is to repeat information i gave him to convince her who I was - I asked "why? i did this with him", Veronicas response was "well this is the first time you are talking to me so I have to verify who you are" - so frustrating!. after several minutes of discussion, I had to point out that a hold on my card was released by the hotel and eventually after some 'fighting' with her she said 'Oh yes, I see" and proceeded to release a block on my card. Come on Amex - why are your processes and systems so antiquated? I have had so many issues with amex i do not recommend them unless, like me you want the points from travel. Otherwise forget it - the company is a real pain to work with and so many outlets are starting to refuse the cards. Their idea of service is nothing like I would expect from a supposedly premium brand - far from it.  

Publish Date: June 28, 2010 3:14 PM

The Amazing and the not so good ... conference roundup

I am sitting in the BA lounge just about to board the plane back to Canada. The EMEA event concluded with a fantastic gala dinner at around 2am this morning so I am still a little tired :)

I met amazing people this week - absolutely amazing professionals who are so passionate about what they do. I will be writing more about these and many of them are travelling to Vegas in November to meet us again at the Best Practices Conference - Best in the World.

However, I have to say there were a few people who shocked me. One company was up for several awards and the lone person who came to the dinner to collect them resented having to come up several times - he actually told one of my staff members "This is too much, this really must be it now, we won't be entering next year" WOW - they enter awards win and this representative blasts us for giving his company some awards? Why enter then?!

Then there was anothe person who turned up and expected us to lay on 3 extra seats just like that at a plated dinner with assigned seating. The same person then complained that they were at the back. Not on I say - you can't please some people. Not even a thanks for bending over backwards to get it sorted and it caused delays in the event starting for which there was no apology.

Lastly, the real shocker from another exec - he raved about the event then when his company did not win, he openly told me as I was presenting him a winners (not GOLD) medal that he won't enter again and that he should have won because theye were the best. What could I say? I have zero influence - the audiance who sat through his presentation voted. I have to say that he and his team were in the company of amazing people and to get so frustrated by his ranking and suggesting we influenced the results is disrespectful to everyone. I accept not every one will be happy but its a tough competition and to be so angry is not good.  



Publish Date: June 27, 2010 9:44 AM

Update on Rogers

The day I posted my comments about Rogers I sent an email to several contacts (members of ours) with some suggestions they read my blog. Guess what happened? Absolutely nothing - is this is a company who does not seem to care about customers?  

Publish Date: May 27, 2010 7:28 PM

Telephone Scams


Today I got a call supposedly from my credit card company saying that my card may have been used fraudulently and asking me to confirm my details - I became suspicious when the caller asked me to confirm my number - he gave up when I refused and so I called Capital One my card issuer and told them - they were helpful but what concerned me was I had to insist they cancel my card and issue another one and they were not that interested in the number the fraudster was calling from. I was kinda shocked by their lack of interest! It's a crazy world!


Publish Date: May 27, 2010 7:26 PM

Rogers Canada - you should get an award!


I'd like to share with you my recent experiences with Rogers Canada. They make for a great lesson in customer care and how to make processes slick and convenient for the customer.

Don't think I am going to say nice things about Rogers, rather the opposite - talk about bad practices - these folks need some help. Here is my latest experience with them.

Dec 2 2009 I called about 2 phones I have and I wanted to ask about terminating one and downgrading another whilst I was out of the country. I got some information that would help me. The plan was to cancel one on 24th Dec and downgrade the other. The phone we were cancelling was playing up so we thought we would replace it when we were back in March 2010.

On 24th Dec 2009 I called Rogers again and asked to downgrade my phone and cancel the other. Seems I was not aware that i should have been transferred through to another dept to be cancelled - the agent I spoke to gave me the impression all was completed as planned.

I came back March 24th 2010 and on 26th purchased a new phone on the Rogers network so I would once again have 2. Little did I know they never cancelled one of them in December so now I had 3. When I found out I called in again and asked someone to find out if they could pull the phone recording and listen to what I asked for in December - they said they could not - I would have to speak to a manager. I asked for one to contact me - never happened.

Today I called again and spoke to an agent about adding some services and enquired about the phone that should have been cancelled and she confirmed it was still active! I asked for them to cancel and was told i would have to be transferred to another department and was duly put on hold. what seemed like ages later I had to hang up - I had a meeting and was now running late.

So as soon as my meeting finished I called Rogers again and when promoted by the IVR I said I want to cancel. the agent who took my call 'Bill' was very efficient and helpful - probably the best I have ever had from Rogers. I explained the call and he looked through notes and confirmed I had called in on 24th to downgrade one phone but that there were no notes about cancelling. he then explained that I should have been transferred to another department at that time to complete the process. i explained that as far as I was concerned I had done what I was supposed to and added that I am not aware of their procedures and that when I request a cancellation I should not have to know their processes - that’s for them and if I was not put through correctly that’s not my fault. He understood and we spoke about the calls I had made. I asked for the recorded call to be made available and he could see I had requested this earlier.

Eventually he told me that I would have to write in to request this. Now I was on my hands free kit driving so i asked if he could email me the address - he said they don’t have email. i then asked if he could text me and he told me they cannot text. I then suggested we hang up and he call me back, I let it go to VM and he leave a message - surprise surprise - he told me he cant make outbound calls. So I had to find a suitable place on the highway to stop to write down an address. Crazy! I then said can we at least make sure we cancel the phone and he advised me I would have to be transferred to another person. I asked why especially as that was the option I selected on the IVR - it did not make sense. he told me their job is to save customers and not cancel - that’s another dept. What a long drawn out process. 

So I was transferred to another agent eventually who then asked why I wanted to cancel and I explained again. She told me she would have to put me on hold whilst she does this - I asked if she could call me back because I had been on the phone for probably 30 mins. she said no, I was not one of the approved call back scenarios - seems f there is a systems failure, or we get disconnected they will call me back, but not if I request it! by now I was starting to get frustrated (I try hard to keep my cool because it's often not the agents fault - its what they are told to do). So I had to hold whilst she pressed a few buttons at her end. she then came back and told me it would take 30 days. I said 30 days for what? The phone was dead, no calls had been made/received since Dec 24th and I would have to wait another 30 days? Policy apparently. I said fine, i would be disputing the situation and I said thanks goodbye. She stopped me going and told me she had to give me more information and proceeded to reel off what must have been like 2 minutes of policy information. I asked if she could email me and, surprise surprise I got a 'No'. she could read it again and I could make notes. How crazy is this. Anyways I said look I have to go and confirmed that’s it. she said yes and I ended the call.

Come on Rogers - why do you u customers through all this pain and hassle? Do I really have to write to Toronto requesting my call recording to be made available? Why don't you equip well trained agents like Bill with the ability to cancel and give him tools like email and at least texting capabilities? Why can't a customer request a call back? Why is doing business with you so hard?? You are not creating loyal customers - you are torturing the customers you have by outdated and poorly thought through processes. I would love to hear why! We have a choice and I will never sign with you guys again when my cell phone is up for renewal.

If you want to comment email me at    

Publish Date: May 7, 2010 5:07 PM

Icon Fitness

Interesting story. I ordered a new treadmill - old one was toast after a flood damaged the motor. When I placed the order it was in stock - this was almost a week ago. I also ordered a small module for iFit Live - probably the size of a credit card. 3 days ago the iFit Live module was shipped and today i check the status of the treadmill. Online it showed me it was 'Open' - whatever that meant so I called the 1-800 number and got thru to a live agent quickly (that was good). I then explained what I was after and the agent asked me for the order number which I gave him. He read it back then said "it's not coming up" so I read it again and then he asked 'where are you based?"


I told him Canada and then he said "Well that makes all the difference" in a sarcastic voice. That annoyed me - how am I supposed to know this? and why he could not just ask me where I was calling from if he needed that info? The guy sounded bored and dis-interested and did not make me feel great about calling about the order. This is a fitness product and the agent should make me feel good that my nice new machine will be with me shortly - that’s what I expect. Is this reasonable or am I being critical? Please comment at this link


Publish Date: May 6, 2010 2:32 PM

Interesting discussion on contact rates

I am outsourcing some outbound calling to a 3rd party. Today I had a note from the owner asking me what contact rates should we be looking for to make this program a success. My response was simple, this is a sales campaign and they should know you don't look at contacts in a sales campaign as the key measure, you look at sales value to see if its viable. after all 100 contacts a day but no sales is far worse than 1 contact in a day and 1 sale valued in the $000's. Makes me wonder about the expertise of an outsourcer when they ask me for what no. of contacts I am looking for when I am looking for sales and $$$ to pay for the campaign!  

Publish Date: April 30, 2010 9:17 AM

verdict on the Verizon MifI

Wow - what a brilliant product. I love it. Travelling around the last 3 months I managed to get internet access everywhere I went throughout the Southern States. Its a very clever device for those of us who travel and need access to large amounts of email or data. Only downside is that if you go over your 5GB of data which i did a few times, its kinda costly. Service is great though - often I stayed in places where the internet provided by the hotel would drop, the Verizon would work though so I always had internet connection - even when I was in my car or at a remote destination. Nice product - recommend it. Big thumbs up to this product. 

Publish Date: March 24, 2010 6:36 PM

Verdict on the Kenwood 6140 in car system

I purchased and had installed a Kenwood 6140 in dash GPS/Sat Rad/hands free blue tooth system into my vehicle for my epic 3 month road trip around the States. Just got back and 17,000 km later I would like to report that overall, I am very disappointed in the system and I shall be passing my comments on to the dealer who installed it, Kenwood the manufacturer and Garmin who supplied the GPS. The unit has several flaws - for example you are looking for a place using the search tool (which by the way was very poor - many times the GPS directions were off - once by almost 6 miles!) and you find it - the GPS displays the tel number but even with a bluetooth phone hooked into the system you cannot dial it from the 6140 - you have to use the keypad on the phone itself which is illegal in many states and dangerous. Whats the point of having a bluetooth device which allows you receive calls and speak with the optional hands free kit I purchased, but makes you manually use a cell phone keypad to dial a number displayed on the system? Also, what was very annoying is that the GPS would display a turning in advance but announce it sometimes only 200ft away through the text to speech engine - imagine driving a vehicle with a large travel trailer in tow doing 70mph down a very busy interstate and then being told you have to turn off in 200ft? Absolutely ridiculous and very very dangerous. The whole idea is to get advance warning so you have time to change lanes etc and with a text to speech engine there should be no need to look at the screen most of the time. The GPS system bundled with the expensive 6140 was very very basic - the worst I have used since sat nav was introduced many years ago. I have a Navigon system that I purchased 2 years ago that is far superior and only cost a fraction of the Kenwood system. My advice to anyone looking at a Kenwood 6140 is don't bother, it's a waste of money. 

Publish Date: March 24, 2010 6:32 PM

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