Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Onesuite Pre-Paid Long Distance - How to Lose a Customer

Poor customer service will kill any company.  Onesuite is a pre-paid long distance provider who I have relied on for at least 10 years, probably more.  I urged friends and family to open accounts with them and many of them did, among them my Mother and brother.

November 18:  Onesuite also has a VOIP service which I used when I was in Malaysia to call my credit union in Anchorage, Alaska.  I understand that Onesuite charges a higher rate for calls to Alaska than they do on calls that terminate in the continental US.  I called my credit union to inform them that I'd be using my ATM card in the Philippines and hung up.  This call took no more than 5 minutes, most likely less.

For this Onesuite completely drained the money in my account, more than $7 for a call they said lasted 136 minutes.  That's over 2 hours to tell my credit union that I've added a country to my vacation itinerary.  Since they had drained my account I was unable to call Onesuite to point out their error or to call anyone else.  Onesuite left me high and dry overseas.

November 19:  But I could send them an email to explain what happened and I did.  On November 19th I got a robo-reply which said, "Dear Customer, We received your message. We will reply to your e-mail in 24 to 48 hours."  24-48 hours took 5 days.

November 24:  Onesuite finally got back to me and asked for the details of the call, which they already had since I had already told them and they processed the call so they certainly had a record of it.  I replied on November 24th with all of the details that they had requested.  Meanwhile, I was still overseas without the phone service that I had already paid for.

November 25: Onesuite sent me an email stating that my balance was $0 and urged me to add money.  Fat chance.

November 27: Onesuite responded to my email from November 24th, "We do apologize for any inconvenience. We have forwarded your connection problem to our Technical Department. The reference number is XXXXX.  Kindly give us 24 to 48 hours to have the problem fixed. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding.  There's that 24 to 48 hours promise again.  It's now 10 days and counting that I am without the service that I have already paid for due to their error compounded by Onesuite's poor customer service.

December 4:  I'm back home in the USA.  24-48 hours had finally elapsed from November 24th and I heard from Onsuite again with a result that I could sense was coming all along,
"Our Technical Department already checked on the exact duration of the call you have made on 11/18/2013 15:59:00. They have confirmed that it lasted for 136minutes".
Holiday weekend delay? Not likely, Onesuite's customer service people are in the Philippines and after visiting Manila for myself recently I assure you that there is no American Thanksgiving holiday in the Philippines and unfortunately very little to be thankful for there.

This is outright theft but hey, I only lost $7 and change.  But if I had more money in my account I am sure that Onesuite would've run the clock out to drain whatever I had given them.  In a world of GoogleVoice and cell phones there is little need for a company like Onesuite and I'm sure that their business has suffered.

I retained them for calls from overseas but the joke was on me.  Onesuite cannot be depended upon.  Even if their customer service people kept their own promises (24-48 hour turn around) Onesuite certainly can't be depended upon when I'm out of the country.  When I'm overseas I have many alternatives and I certainly wouldn't advance Onesuite another penny for such incompetent, awful service.

Poor service compounded by poor customer service, a company I have long depended upon and recommended to friends and family has crashed and burned.  I'm sorry to see Onesuite go this way.  Let the buyer of pre-paid telephone service beware.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A Few Words About Freedom

Freedom is euphoric. This has been a great trip, even considering the crowded and late flights, the questionable hotel, the dehydration and jet lagged lack of sleep. Manila was absolute anarchy marinated in diesel exhaust and feral children in squatter camps but the people we met in Manila had hearts of gold. In Manila we were treated like family, maybe better.

I loved the freedom of the experience and the open ended nature of this trip, how the this trip was planned out through Dubai and Kuala Lumpur with the rest of the time to be made up as we went along through research and inspiration. I loved the breakfasts of simple drip coffee in the hotel room or Nescafe instant, cheese roti, laksa, kwey teow, breakfast at a Pakistani restaurant where I couldn't read the menu or tell you what we ate (but it was good) even Camelicious camel milk. This time we ate tiger prawns, next time I will attempt to find and eat the pissing shrimp.

Have a Camel!
I don't know what I'm eating...
Without freedom none of this would be possible, being off the leash for 3 weeks makes me want more. But first we need to put our leashes back on and slide the rings through our noses. We have a 16 hour time change to slowly digest, to wade though and pay bills and to back to our jobs which makes all of the above and the previous dispatches which you can read below possible.

To some extent my age is making a trip of this nature less possible, it was harder this time to deal with the jet lag and the tropical heat. I didn't sleep much for 5 days and allowed myself to get dehydrated resulting in one day on the DL in the hotel.  I wanted more time to kick back but maybe it's not such a bad idea to stop pushing myself so hard and to act my age.