Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pardon me but your outsourcing is showing

I decided recently to change my cell (mobile) phone carrier. I've previously mentioned my dissatisfaction with my current carrier Verizon, but that wasn't the reason because I figure the other guys will be just as bad.

I travel extensively in other countries where they use a different standard (GSM) from the common US standard, so I wanted a handset and number that I could use for international roaming. That meant changing to a carrier that uses GSM.

What I got at the end of the process was "the credit department says you'll need to pay a $250 deposit." I could understand that because even though I now have a solid credit rating unlike two years ago when I basically didn't exist as far as the credit bureaus were concerned, you can quickly rack up a very big bill with international roaming and it's real money that your carrier owes the other carrier whether you pay your bill or not.

What floored me was the rest of the statement:

"...and we don't have any way to take a deposit."

Who the hell designs a business process that requires a deposit from a potential customer and then doesn't have a mechanism to actually, you know, collect the deposit? My guess is that either or both of the credit department and the call centre are outsourced. So to save say a buck fifty on the cost of handling the call, t-Mobile has lost a potentially very lucrative customer. Yes, I'm still with Verizon.

This one is close to the dumbest, most baffling business process I've ever seen. Ah, but they have Catherine Zeta-Jones on their ads, so I suppose that's OK.

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