Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An apology to Edmund Reddy, and a thank you to Virgin Mobile South Africa

Hi Edmund...

Thank you very much for meeting me in Sandton this afternoon. It was
really good to connect with you as one human being to another.

I apologise for my incorrect evaluation of your gesture yesterday.
Thanks for letting me know the reality behind it.

I'm blogging this letter at the same time as sending it to you, so I
just want to fill in the blanks for anyone reading this.

The loan phone Edmund secured for me yesterday was in fact a
top-of-the-range new Nokia N81. I mistook it for an old one. Pretty
much because I was seeing things from a warped and negative

Edmund has basically made a huge breakthrough in the way customer
service issues in the cellular phone industry might be dealt with in
future. He says that in all his years in the cellphone business, he's
only once seen a network give out a loan phone. And that was

When I sent my dissatisfied email to his boss, the Virgin Mobile CEO,
Peter Boyd, it must have come across really horribly.

Here I was, this whiney chihuahua, who actually took the phone, and
now was claiming incorrectly that it was old and broken. I must have
looked and sounded like a complete petty despot with a crap attitude.

I'm really glad we met today. Edmund was able to fill me in on his
side of things. And I was able to be heard.

If I've understood Edmund correctly, this is what's happening...

o Recently, there was a change in management at the call centre, which
has adversely affected staff performance and morale. This is being
addressed, and should stabilise soon.

o In addition, a new data system is being installed to make it
possible for call centre staff to engage with customers much more

o The staff members who have dealt with me in this situation are being
chatted to.

o Edmund has listened to the tapes, and will quite possibly come to
find them funny once everyone's senses of humour have returned.

From Peter Boyd's comments on two of my blog posts about this, it's
clear that learnings are being applied...

o They're changing the way customer retention will be handled in
future. The company is two years old, and the first renewals are now
happening. So it's a matter of adjusting something that's not working
brilliantly. It seems that I'm not the only person who wants to just
walk into a store and get my upgrade there.

o And they are paying attention to what people are saying.
Particularly the bloggers and social media networkers. So thanks to
everyone who responded on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog.

o The Virgin website is being revamped. (In my twitchiness and
trigger-happy condition, I pounced on the email address as something
to be reviled: notsohappy@virginmobile.com. Actually, it's pretty
funny, and very cheeky. But yeah. Things do need to change. On the UK
website, mobile numbers and email addresses are freely available.)

I feel very relieved that I've been heard. And I'm more than happy at
the outcome of this whole blowup.

I'm typing this email/blog post on the unbearably gorgeous Nokia E71.
It's brand new, out of the box, and is on loan to me until Nokia
releases the N96 later this year. If I weren't so commited to my
multimedia needs, I'd be offering to buy this baby right now. And I'm
tempted, I can assure you.

Edmund Reddy is the guy I have to thank for solving this. He thought
out of the box. And came up with a way of demonstrating that my needs
had been heard.

Peter Boyd is the guy who allows Virgin to be the fast moving
giant-killer I think it is.

And I'm back to my comfortable role as a volunteer Virgin Mobile
evangelist. My bill is between 30% and 50% lower every month than my
Vodacom Talk 500 package was. And I use my phone more now than I used

And the only time I have ever had bad service was in this upgrade process.

And the reasons for that are being dealt with. I'm happy to remain a
Virgin user.

Thank you, Eddie. I'm sorry I misunderstood you. And I'm sorry I
berated you on my blog and to your boss. I was wrong.

Thank you Peter.

Blue skies

Visual Facilitator, Illustrator, Writer, Director

Professional member of the Professional Speakers Association of
Southern Africa: http://snipurl.com/psasa-profile

Mobile: +27 74 104 6386
Fax: 086 512 2580 (South African calls only)

Email: royblumenthal@gmail.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/royblumenthal
Blog: http://schmucknews.blogspot.com

Visual Facilitation: http://snipurl.com/visualfacilitation
Illustrations: http://snipurl.com/SchmuckGallery


  1. Dude, I have gadget envy, I far prefer the e71 to the n96...!

  2. Dude...

    I'm giving MYSELF gadget envy with this phone! It's fiercely awesome. Even though it's got a mere 3 megapixel camera, it's one awe-inspiring piece of optics.

    Blue skies


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