Opinion: past due payments

Payments due or payment over due?

As a call contact centre consultant, among the many things that have
bothered me in the course of my career, the most mind troubling one is how
client servicing companies handle customers’ due or overdue payment/ fraud
detection.

These companies are accessible at the time of purchase. They offer you the
needed services, right product, the payment options and even offer to
guide you through. The tides change when you do not get the right service
for the cost incurred. This is not only in Uganda but through out Africa.

I am always confused whether it is the banks that process the payments or
the telecom employees themselves but your money is stuck somewhere and you
are not getting the required service.

It also happens that When making another payment by EFT or TCC by the
client, the telecom will claim they don’t get the payment yet the
customer’s account has been debited already. They will ask you to send
them proof of payment. This time you have to go through your bank asking
for a bank reference and the same bank already debited you. It then sounds
like their systems and the people operating them are two straight lines
that can never meet.

To worsen the situation, the manner in which they ask you to prove that
you have paid is beyond believe:

1. They send you an alarming email or letter telling you how your lines
are going to be disconnected

2.They go ahead and implement the disconnection process as you are still
dealing with the bank to give you a reference.

3.If you call them, the call attendant shows no empathy and makes you feel
like a debtor. Meanwhile, Some of these clients have been loyal customers
of these telcoms and when you observe critically at their payment history,
they have no payment over due, then why treat your clients like this?

Eventually, when you manage to get a proof and send to them, there is no
apology for the delayed time and bad treatment, instead they will come up
with another development-  Oh i think moving forward, please indicate your
invoice number or company name properly. Really??

As we get closer to 2017, let’s treat our customers with dignity, do not
loose your customers because of your choice of words in demanding that due
or overdue payment, before you disconnect any client’s service look at the
payment history ,show empathy and be keen to know when you should expect
payment.

Always have the right people in credit control offices who understand how
important your clients are. This will improve your client relations for
the future.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2017.

The writer is: Ayub Kato Customer service and Call centre Consultant.
akato@smilingfaces.co.ug

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