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MM Hotline: Not answering the question

(Wondering what this is doing in this post? Read further down – photo from The Malay Mail)

Probably it is a part of the lessons learned from “The Apprentice”.

Anyone read the hotline in the Malay Mail dated 2nd July 2006? The one that was titled “32 tones of rubbish collected after two months”?

Before I comment on it, let’s have a look at what’s the problem all about:-

Bala (well, it is not me) from Sentul gets really exasperated seeing tones of uncollected rubbish near his office at Jalan Sentul Pasar Dalam. He claims the garbage has not been collected for two months. “Just look at the mess. The area stinks. It is disgusting. Where are the Alam Flora workers? Are they doing their jobs or not?” he asks.

He says the rubbish is not only from the average household but includes carcasses. “You can imagine how terrible the stench is here,” says Bala, wanting immediate action from Alam Flora. The situation is getting worse as people are burning the rubbish themselves. Bala fears the neighborhood will soon be covered in black smoke.

You are clear on the stinking problem, so far?

Often large corporations like Alam Flora have corporate communication or public relationship department to handle customers’ complaints like the one above. Except for a brilliant few, most of the so called PR or Customer Support managers does not have a clue of what was the cause and what steps been taken to solve the problem.

Well I can’t blame them – in the first place they are not in operations, the problem of answering an angry customer falls on their shoulder at the very last minute and they have very little time to really investigate and respond well. Most of the time, they will forward the “mail” to the operations and in return gets a very standard answer. It may not be the answer that everyone is looking for but hey, there is nothing much they can do also.

What bothers me is when this PR or Customer Support people have no clue what is the problem and start to bull-shitting the “response”, it is quite glaring on their “quality” of work. Worst is when they starts to give “advice” to the supposedly stupid, uneducated consumer (ya right!).

Have a look at the “answer” from Alam Flora:-

ALAM Flora corporate communications manager, Yang Latiffa Ahmad Kamily, says more than 32 tones of waste was cleared on Wednesday night. She apologizes for the delay. She urges the residents to be more responsible and place their domestic waste in the bins provided. “We urge the public to co-operate to keep the area clean. Please do not place them on the ground outside the bins,” she says. She advises the public to forward any complaint or enquiry to Alam Flora’s toll free number 1800-880-880.

I don’t know about you but I still don’t see an answer as to why there was a delay of 2 months to collect! Yes, the waste has been cleared now and fine, she apologized for the delay but again, what’s the reason for the delay? 2 months is a very long time. So, what are the steps that Alam Flora has taken to avoid similar incidents? Opps there is none in the reply but wait, let me read the response again – yes, she asked “residents to be more responsible and place their domestic waste in the bins provided”.

It’s kind of a stupid answer, don’t you think? And no,we don’t need the “free advice” either. Tag: Ideals

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