It is good to see Bulldog are appearing to attempt to address some of their customer service based issues, as detailed in an article over on The Register. The provider opened two new call centres last week, and has plans to double the number of customer support staff by the end of the month. Also they are working with BT to improve the provisioning processes to try and reduce the level of errors on the BT side.
We hope that Bulldog are recruiting staff capable of handling a fairly technical service for their call centres. We have seen in the past that consumers, particularly early adopters of technologies. do not like call centres that are 'script' led. We believe consumers want support services, that will take ownership of a problem, rather than try to blame their suppliers, and ensure that where a callback is required that this happens promptly, or at the time agreed.
Bulldog does face a number of challenges beyond the normal type of ADSL faults. Such as by pushing ADSL to its full 8Mbps limit, they are asking a lot performance wise from the copper local loop, and it seems for some customers it can take several calls to support before the line is settled down onto a stable speed. These sort of issues are one reason we believe BT Wholesale is slow in its release of the Home/Office Max products, since it is testing and developing the systems that will cope with this problem with the minimum of human intervention.
If as the C&W spokesman asserts the number of customers with complaints is just a small proportion who are very vocal, we would not like to see what would happen if there was a bigger problem with the service. In terms of the number of customers Bulldog has, the UK only has around 70,000 LLU lines, around half of which are potentially fully unbundled as Bulldog currently use. The total of new LLU lines connected each week is around 3,000. If Bulldog are to grow at the rate some expect LLU to grow at, they need to ensure their customer service is well ahead of the growth curve, and able to resolve issues swiftly.
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