There is no such thing as customer service at Deutsche Telekom|Es gibt keinen Kundendienst bei der Deutschen Telekom


Although I usually don’t tend to generalize too much, it seems like some things remain true for all former state-owned enterprises. I already left a few words about Deutsche Bahn and today I need to talk bad about Deutsche Telekom. Both companies don’t seem to realize that the days when they were the only fish in the water are long gone. Granted, it’s not very likely that Deutsche Bahn will have to deal with another competitor in the near future, however, I don’t think these companies will have a future if they don’t learn about customer service. Especially in case of Deutsche Telekom, I’m hard pressed to actually call it “customer service”.

Here’s the case: I called Deutsche Telekom 1,5 or 2 months ago and asked them to lower the monthly rates. Even their most basic option is a lot more expensive than similar options of competitors (Alice, Kabel Deutschland, etc.). As I’m not interested in landline telephony at all, I would pick a service provider with an internet only option, however, I guess we’ll have to wait another 10 years before one of these companies finally understands the customers’ needs. I’m getting off track… Anyway, it appeared like the customer support was actually doing its job and my monthly rates were reduced by 5 Euros (remember: Always give the Telekom a call whenever they got a new deal running; claim that you’ve been a “customer for a long time” and from time to time, you’ll actually get what you wanted).

Now (yes, 1,5 months later), I received my order confirmation and as always, the Telekom tried to pull off its oldest trick: They did not change my existing contract, no, they set me up with a new contract. Although I did not call their customer support to get “a new and cheaper contract”; I did so to get something off my existing contract. I felt a little ripped off (although I’m more or less used to it by now, you constantly sign new contracts with Deutsche Telekom without knowing it), but that still wasn’t all there was to it. On top of that, they reduced my DSL connection.

It’s one thing to sell me a new contract without letting me know (like I said, you’re getting used to it when dealing with Deutsche Telekom), but it’s an entirely different thing to reduce the – already rather disappointing – services without letting me know. To sum it all up: They wanted to sell me a new contract for a little less money with a lot less power (the new DSL connection was only half as fast) which would mean I would be bound to them for another 2 years.

I shared my disappointment with the clerk at the hotline. I was calm, I made my point clear and it was obvious to him that I’m a person you can talk to. If you are willing to listen to my problem and do something about it, I will be a very pleasant customer. Heck, I even made his job easier and explained that I was rather pleased with the customer service of Deutsche Telekom so far, but the price is a problem.

His reaction was rather disappointing: He explained to me that I should have asked for more money off when I first talked about paying less with his colleague. Why I couldn’t do so with him was beyond me. He went on explaining me why the power of the DSL connection had to be reduced: As more of my neighbors have signed up for DSL and we all share a connection, the individual power of the DSL connection is becoming less impressive. As you can certainly imagine, it is beyond me why I need to suffer from my neighbors arrival in the 21st century…

I decided to pass on the 5,- Euro reduction per month as this means I can get out of the contract in another year. If I then switch providers, I will have made up for the extra 5 Euros per month after only 6 months. With a better DSL connection. The clerk on the hotline didn’t quite like this explanation. He was eager to point out the unique Telekom advantages. Such as the fact that I will be customer of the provider that actually owns the cables rather than simply renting them. I fail to understand how this is a convincing argument after my connection has just been reduced without explicitly telling me so. He also pointed out that I got a good landline connection instead of some crappy voice over IP service. I explained that I couldn’t care less as I only need my landline connection to give my mum a call every other week or talk to Deutsche Telekom.

Oh, did I mention that I had to explain when my contract actually started? I made use of the Entertain “Try & Buy” option. After I tested the offer, I ultimately decided against it (because, just as expected, the performance wasn’t any better than before), which should have resulted in me falling back to my old contract. However, Telekom was eager to sign me up with a new contract. Why call it “Try & Buy” when you’re not actually “trying” something is yet again beyond me, but I guess I’ll never quite understand this company. Naturally, I did not receive any form of compensation for this or the other reason for my complaint. Apparently, it’s not a big deal for Deutsche Telekom to sell their customers contracts they never agreed to. They don’t care if they’re losing customers, after all, they still have enough. This will only change after more people wake up and realize that Deutsche Telekom is actually doing nothing to keep their existing customers happy. Alternatively, the company will (understandably) file for bankruptcy.

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  1. #1 by soulwarrior on July 25, 2010 - 00:42

    Das passt auch noch ganz gut dazu: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,522766,00.html

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