A Vodacom customer recently contacted MyBroadband with a story about how he was banned from the mobile operator’s customer call centre.
The customer had purchased a new phone and SIM from Vodacom, and tried to activate his new contract by calling the company’s call centre.
He was told his SIM would be activated after 5 hours, but this did not happen. He then phoned the call centre several times over the coming days in an attempt to have his contract activated.
When he phoned the call centre on the sixth day of his attempt to resolve the issue, he was greeted by the following message: “Sorry, you’ve exceeded your monthly access limit to our call centres.”
When Vodacom blocks customers from its call centre
MyBroadband spoke to Tshepo Ramodibe, Executive Head: Corporate Affairs at Vodacom, about what call centre limits the operator has in place before a customer is blocked from using the service.
“In select instances, some customers have had to make repeated calls to resolve challenges. Such incidents rarely exceed the set monthly customer limits,” said Ramodibe. The limits are:
- 20 calls per contract
- 20 calls per TopUp
- 10 calls per prepaid
“Once a caller has exceeded their limit, an automated message is sent advising them of this and giving several alternative methods of contacting us.”
“Where customers incur costs associated with a legitimate query, we will reimburse them.”
The limits are imposed on a monthly basis from the 2nd of each month. On the 2nd of the following month, the limits are reset.
It’s not only call limits that will see a subscriber being blocked from the call centre – verbally abusing Vodacom staff can also result in a ban.
“While we fully appreciate caller frustrations in select cases, callers who insult and abuse staff members can be flagged and potentially disqualified, limiting them to self-help tools.”
Why Vodacom blocks customers from its call centre
Vodacom said to ensure that its call centre agents are available to address customer queries, they cannot be tied up by repeat calls which can also be dealt with through alternative channels.
“In the last year alone we have seen an increase in the number of customers engaging in our self-service channels, which has led to a 15% reduction in calls to the call centre,” said Ramodibe.
“For any company, repeat calls come at a direct cost – as such, we have a vested interest in reducing this through first-call resolution.”
Vodacom encouraged customers to use its self-help service or free interactive voice response service if possible, as this helped reduce call centre volumes.