Guest Post | Serve! Serve!

I invited Nigel to do a guest post on his experiences with customer service in Jamaica after seeing some his frustrated tweets. Unfortunately, his frustration is replicated daily both in my Twitter timeline and in private conversations.  The latest culprit I’m seeing in the fire is Digicel Jamaica, the nation’s largest mobile carrier. 3G Blackberry service…what’s that? And that’s to say nothing of the mythical 4G internet service.  Heck, I don’t live in Jamaica and the poor service is inconveniencing me! Many people are jumping ship to LIME (but are they any better?), while Digicel is either willfully oblivious or genuinely surprised and stumped about the recent poor quality of their network’s service.  Whatever the situation, their silence is deafening and, soon perhaps, will be costly.  Anyway, customer service woes in Jamaica are not new but they have been amplified by the use of Twitter.  That social media platform is showing up some companies’ poor service and customer interaction…but will that negative  exposure also lead to change for the better? Read on…comments and feedback are, as usual, welcome.


Need information on services? Sorry can't help. O you want to big us up, how can we help?

Imagine this: You’re walking down the road and you see someone who works for a company of which you’re a customer.  They’re singing the praises of the company, repeating word for word everything good that anyone says about it.  They’re giving away free stuff! You think, “Let me ask them about a problem I’m having, maybe they can help.”  You walk up to them and tell the the problem.  They ignore you.  Other people walk up and say good things and the company man repeats the comments at the top of his lungs. You think, “Maybe he didn’t hear me,” so you repeat your request for help.  He doesn’t even look at you.  You ask again, still no response.  You’d be pretty pissed wouldn’t you?

This is, unfortunately, what happens every day on Twitter, where some Jamaican companies spend all day retweeting positive comments and pushing promotions while ignoring requests from customers who have challenges. Both @LIME_Jamaica and @Digicel_Jamaica are notorious for this, and it’s just another example of the piss poor customer service I’ve come to expect from Jamaican companies in general and mobile providers in particular.  To be fair, there are companies which are responsive to customer problems brought to their attention through Twitter: @PalaceMovies@gowithflowja, and @JamaicaPegasus spring readily to mind as companies that not only promote their brands but make concerted efforts to address customer issues through social media.

The delinquent companies mentioned above – and others – need to get their asses in gear and either establish help accounts that can provide answers or give customers some guidance (as is the norm for most medium to large companies) or answer frigging questions.  Don’t tell someone who asks what your data package prices are like to go to the website (true story); at least give her an idea of the price range and then provide her with the link to the page with more detailed information.

It won’t happen though.  

Want to know why? Because Jamaicans are just as culpable for the lack of customer service.  We don’t care if the service is crappy.  As long as we get free credit from Digicel we’ll put up with constant BB outages and high prices.  As long as the Chinese-owned and run shop has lower prices we’ll ramjostle for postion at the counter while screaming our order.  We need to start demanding customer service at all our interactions.  In other countries, the customer is king.  In Jamaica, the customer is too often a peasant whose request for a solution to a problem is interrupting the more important task of making more money.

5 Responses to “Guest Post | Serve! Serve!”
  1. Nikks says:

    The problem w/ Jamaican customer service is that the managers and bosses are just as stink as their employees. Instead of being better than their underlings, they lack knowledge, patience, and kindness.

    They should all be sent oversees to train and see how order and customer service should be carried out. I saw folks jammed in digicel like sardines in a can, just yelling over each other for info. No lines, just madness.

    • What a picture of the Digicel store, but one that I can easily summon to my mind because I’ve seen it too. Like animals, sometimes. It really boggles my mind, the attitude that one is asking for tremendous things as a customer. However, I think that the training can be done in Jamaica and by Jamaicans. I know this because there are places were one can get quite good customer service…like the hotels. We can learn from overseas but that problem is something we can address and solve ourselves…we must begin to do that with other things as well.

  2. shumpynella says:

    Here here! I had to giggle at your intro because it is soooo true. I have questioned @jamaicaobserver before re:some information quoted in an article but all now. I honestly don’t even remember the question anymore.

    We get what we deserve so if we settle for the poor service we are used to, that’s all we’ll get

  3. DJ Autograph says:

    Reading this post reminds me of my experience with our national airline, oh wait our FORMER national airline (what does Jamaica own these days please tell me?) over this past Christmas season. Long story short my bags arrived from New York 4 days after I did. It was like pulling teeth to get information from staff members stationed at the airport. After 3 trips out to to NMI (on the second trip I had to raise all hell after being completely ignored for 30 minutes.I definitely made an impression as a few of the security agents recognized me when I returned 2 days later) my bags were finally located.

    Customer service is lacking in certain parts of the US as well but Jamaica has them beat by a long shot.

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