Thursday, 09 July 2009 06:28

Telstra brings mobile memo back to Australia

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Six months ago Telstra outsourced operators for its mobile memo service to the Philippines. The telco has now announced it will be returning to native English-speaking operators.

In January I reported that Telstra customers were aggravated by the outsourced mobile memo provider – Teletech – offshoring to a Philippines call centre.

Immediately the service was abandoned by many business executives who depended on mobile memo to ensure professionally and personally answered calls at all times.

Complaints rose that the operators were not easy to understand and that similarly they did not understand the messages they were being given, even going so far as asking callers how to spell typical Australian names.

Some managers found that changing to Telstra’s voice-to-text service instead offered a reasonable compromise, with callers going instead to voicemail but the user still receiving a readable message.

Others discovered that, with sufficient complaining, they could be moved to a so-called priority list which was claimed to be always answered by operators in Brisbane and not the Philippines. Yet, in practice this did not always seem to be the case with complaints continuing that mobile memo calls were being answered by people with variable English fluency.

It appears Telstra has finally heard the message with satisfaction levels failing to improve.

Telstra spokesman Rod Bruem confirmed the service is being returned to Australia, saying “the change is being made because our customers asked for it.”

Mind you, the customers did ask for service quality to be restored almost immediately after the service transferred country but those who persevered with mobile memo and did not abandon it can finally be assured their messages will again make sense.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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