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Impressive customer service exhibited by Telenor - a case study for business management - when customer told to "burn in hell"

Tuesday, 10 July 2012
We have heard often - those of us who attended business school that good customer service is the key to growing and improving a business and its brand. Some small businesses try to give in all they have along this lines but once they have grown big, arrogance comes in. But the case of Telenor is not that it grew from a small business to a big one as seen today.

It is a company created by the Norwegian government which is now behaving as a profit making venture. This means that managers employed here are done based on their  connections with the establishment rather that their pure business acumen. This is why, though costumer services is not an attractive business area for most Scandinavian companies, as a whole, Telenor continues to lead the way when it comes creating resentment among customers.
A pure case in point that students of business should note is this case which Telenor actually flopped in recently.

A 16 years old Norwegian, Maiken Fredriksen Iversen, contacted the company via telephone and  to complain that  she received a higher bill and wanted some explanation. She received text from the  customer service official that "go burn in hell." 

The general expected from  Fredriksen Iversen was that  Telenor will send her a warning that she had used all her talk allowance and that any addition will cost her more. So when she received her bill she observed that she had been charge more due to her going above her limit. But she was not informed about that she had gone over her limit.

So when she contacted the company she was give a show down, asked to download an app to see how much she had spent and told off.

"I replied that this should not be necessary, and that I want to get a text message," she said to the Norwegian paper, VG. Then she added that "He (customer service official) then told me to be "a bit helpful." I replied that this was not good enough and then said goodbye and hung up the phone," says Maiken Fredriksen Iversen to the Norwegian newspaper, VG

Shortly thereafter, answer from Telenor came in the forms of a text message to Mette Frederiksen Iversen's cell phone. It read: "The husband of audacity. I hope you burn in hell."

"I was flabbergasted and run a little frightened," said Mette Frederiksen Iversen.
After the press received the text and the story, Telenor took the situation seriously as they observed how  a PR failure this has brought them.

"This is rough. No one should be treated this way," says Telenor Communications manager, Tor Odland who have expressed an unqualified apology to Mette Iversen Fredriksen.
The family has decided that as soon as possible to end their longstanding subscription from Telenor.

This is not the first time Telenor has come short when it comes to customer services. Survey after survey conducted since the past years have shown the company coming down hard hit but nothing is changing.

A lesson for business school students and the specially selected bright people at Telenor.
By Team

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