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Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?
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Old 20-10-2017, 18:42   #1
RichardCoulter
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Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

Since Liberty Global took over VM, i've noticed that frontline staff seem very reluctant to escalate problems that they have been unable or unwilling to resolve at first contact level.

Has anyone experienced this? I'm beginning to wonder if LG are now somehow putting pressure on their staff not to escelate problems.

Examples are, some time ago, I had to raise a formal complaint when a CS person outright refused to do so (now sorted out).

The other day I was not happy with the amount offered for a total loss of TV & BB. The person I was speaking to tried to make out that her decision was final and nobody else could/would be able to help me, even when I pointed out that I could leave due to the forthcoming price rise.

It was only when I mentioned that one of her colleagues had recently been disciplined for doing exactly what she was attempting to do that she was able to do what she previously claimed was impossible/pointless.

Maybe it's just their bruised pride or ego at the suggestion that they've somehow failed that's causing this behaviour??

This news item posted by Mick does seem to suggest that CS is deteriorating since LG took over the company:

http://www.cableforum.co.uk/article/...t-virgin-media

Edit: On all occasions that I've experienced this, the staff were based in the UK. Anyone expecting any sense from the offshore call centre is on a hiding to nothing!

Last edited by RichardCoulter; 20-10-2017 at 18:45. Reason: More info.
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Old 20-10-2017, 19:08   #2
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

Speaking personally, I have always found Virgin Media customer services very helpful. I've certainly never had cause to want any issue escalated.
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Old 20-10-2017, 20:03   #3
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
Speaking personally, I have always found Virgin Media customer services very helpful. I've certainly never had cause to want any issue escalated.
Same here, although I do tend to be respectful to them.
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Old 20-10-2017, 20:13   #4
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by OLD BOY View Post
Speaking personally, I have always found Virgin Media customer services very helpful. I've certainly never had cause to want any issue escalated.
Same here OB.
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Old 20-10-2017, 20:27   #5
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by Mr Banana View Post
Same here, although I do tend to be respectful to them.
I should hope that you do!

However, as someone who has been involved with CS for most of my life, a professional should be able to handle all the different types of people that the public are.

The woman I was initially speaking to had to be corrected for her lack of respect/maturity as on two occasions she tutted and sighed.

The complaints team have said that they will deal with this and adequately compensated me for the various issues I encountered with both CS and loss of service. The man I subsequently spoke to couldn't have been nicer and more helpful.
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Old 20-10-2017, 20:30   #6
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by denphone View Post
Same here OB.
Absolutely- and people who don’t /shouldn’t/ get a thing!
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Old 20-10-2017, 20:47   #7
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by dilli-theclaw View Post
Absolutely- and people who don’t /shouldn’t/ get a thing!
Think you're getting posters and what they've said mixed up there Dilli.

Assuming that you meant to address the point about speaking to others with respect, obviously this should be what is aimed for.

However, as I said earlier a professional should be able to deal with all customers in a professional, non judgemental and non discriminatory way- in fact it's the law.

Why? Well, some people find it difficult to express themselves effectively for a variety of reasons.

As an example, there was a case where an autistic girl who could hardly speak was being encouraged to become more independent. She went into a shop whilst being observed by a carer and pointed to a carton and said "milk".

The shopkeeper subjected her to comments such as "try saying please and thank you", "were you dragged up" etc.

This knocked the girl back immensely and shattered her confidence and self esteem, simply because the shopkeeper was being egotistical. Thankfully, legal action was taken on her behalf to prevent him repeating his behaviour.

As you will be aware Dilli, some disabilities are invisible, especially at the other end of a telephone!

VM do have a duty to protect their staff from abuse, threats etc, but staff should never be treating customers less favourably or be being deliberately obstructive and difficult if the way that they are being spoken to meets with their displeasure.

I ensure that all new starters watch a recording that I have. It shows a rude, abrupt and angry woman arriving to check into a hotel after a bad journey. The first scenario is where the receptionist responds in the same manner. The situation escelates out of control, the management become involved and the receptionist is disciplined.

The second scenario is where the receptionist remains calm, polite and respectful. The guest eventually becomes embarrassed at her own behaviour and apologises to the receptionist, which is normal in most cases like this.

Business are in the game to sell their products, not pander to any individual employees pride or to stroke their ego.

Anyway, we're drifting off topic from the salient point of the thread.

Last edited by RichardCoulter; 20-10-2017 at 21:34.
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:06   #8
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

The fault affecting my connection has been unsolved after over TWO Years.

I have reported it to VM via the forums for all that time.

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/...2917052#M47374

The response from Vm was not what I wanted to hear...

Quote:
11-04-2017

I've just had a long chat with a colleague regarding the complaint, I've been told that this is completely out of our hands, and if I'm being honest, I shouldn't really be as involved as I already am as when a complaint is raised, it's owned by the person who responds and no one else. I'm really sorry I can't help further with this, I know your situation is difficult and I really wish there was more I could do to help, but it's really out of my hands
VM has advised me to take it up with CISAS!!!!!!
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:13   #9
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

That's a ridiculous situation Taf and is also at odds with CISAS policy. They won't take on a case until it's been escalated and all VM complaints processes have been exhausted.

This is another reason why I can't fathom why frontline staff are so reluctant to escelate matters.

Sounds like VM are now adopting the same attitude as banks ie we won't help you and you can like, lump it or go to the regulator, whilst knowing full well that lots of people won't do so for various reasons.

I'd urge you to go CISAS to force VM to act (I believe this costs VM money, whatever the outcome, but is free for you to use) and consider leaving them.

Last edited by RichardCoulter; 20-10-2017 at 21:47.
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:14   #10
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
The woman I was initially speaking to had to be corrected for her lack of respect/maturity as on two occasions she tutted and sighed.
Seriously ?

I'm amazed anyone helps you tbh, if you tried to "correct" me you would be told where to go.
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:15   #11
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
The fault affecting my connection has been unsolved after over TWO Years.

I have reported it to VM via the forums for all that time.

http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/...2917052#M47374

The response from Vm was not what I wanted to hear...

VM has advised me to take it up with CISAS!!!!!!
tell them paying your monthly bill is 'out of your hands'
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:29   #12
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
Sounds like VM are now adopting the same attitude as banks ie We won't help you and you can like, lump it or go to the regulator, whilst knowing full well that lots of people won't do so for various reasons.
I am worried that if I do take it to CISAS, VM will use it as an excuse to cut me off.
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:40   #13
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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Originally Posted by Paul M View Post
Seriously ?

I'm amazed anyone helps you tbh, if you tried to "correct" me you would be told where to go.
Well, it's your absolute right to put up with staff being rude/disrespectful/immature towards you for a service that you pay a lot of money for each month.

Whilst, in the most serious incident, he didn't "tell me where to go", he might as well have done. I wouldn't have accepted this from my own staff, let alone someone else's!

I escelated this to senior level and invited them to form their own judgement after listening to the recording. They agreed that the agent behaved inappropriately, took action to deal with him and compensated me accordingly.

---------- Post added at 19:40 ---------- Previous post was at 19:31 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr K View Post
tell them paying your monthly bill is 'out of your hands'
LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
I am worried that if I do take it to CISAS, VM will use it as an excuse to cut me off.
They can't do anything vindictive to 'punish' you for complaining, although I do believe that your account becomes frozen which prevents any changes to up/downgrades until the dispute is resolved.

Any VM staff reading this will probably be able to provide more info. than I can. If not, I'm happy to contact a friend who works for VM, without mentioning any names etc to him, to ascertain the correct position
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:43   #14
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

You do seem to have a lot of conflicts with VM CS staff...
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Old 20-10-2017, 21:56   #15
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Re: Are VM frontline staff now discouraged from escalating customer issues?

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You do seem to have a lot of conflicts with VM CS staff...
Not really, I couldn't count the number of times on one hand that I've had to escelate matters to senior management and I've been a personal and business customer for nearly two decades.

It just seems odd that staff appear to have become so reluctant to escelate matters since Malone bought the company. Are staff being threatened with penalisation or being incentivised not to do so?

Nobody from VM has confirmed that this is the case*, but there again Jobcentre staff have effectively been told by the Government to keep their mouths shut about targets to sanction jobless, sick and disabled people, but that's for another thread.

* Please don't respond to my question if you think this could cause problems for you at work; nobody wants that.
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