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The Dark World..!!

Posted by Jitesh Kumar Singh
November 24, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Did you know that there were few advocates who were busy sleeping and snoring @ work(with the headsets on), while Velstra customers called to seek assistance with their orders/accounts?
Did you know that an advocate had continuously been disconnecting inbound calls made by Velstra customers for more than 6 consecutive months?
Did you know that there were advocates who enjoyed the liberty of lodging incorrect IT tickets as per their convenience going against the BAU process leading to a poor customer experience due to the delay and inconvenience caused?
Did you know why exactly a lot of Velstra customers ask for an Australian to speak with using statements like, “I don’t want to speak to an Indian” “R u calling from India?” “Are u guys based in India?” “I want to speak to someone in Australia”

An untold story of an organization where unethical practices were promoted with an intent to suggest corrective measures later, rather than preventing them in the 1st place.

It all started with an advocate who kept on disconnecting calls(31st March 14 – 30th Sep 14) made by Velstra customers to seek assistance about their accounts/orders. This behavior displayed by the respective advocate was caught and identified by the Quality Analyst(myself) while performing audits and was instantly highlighted to the Quality Lead and Operations Lead for prompt measures to be taken to stop such behavior. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much done and the advocate kept on disconnecting inbound the calls as per her convenience. Despite the same been highlighted to the Senior Leadership(both Ops & Quality) for some strict action to be taken to protect the interest of all those innocent Velstra customers who were been mistreated on a daily basis. It was in June 2014 when instead of taking a strict action or reprimanding the advocate for willful negligence @ work, she was shifted from Team A to a highly critical team(Team B) within Velstra. Surprisingly, there was no official communication sent about the same. The advocate was trained about the new process for Team B. Eventually this advocate was asked to switch between Team A & Team B @ work. This gave her the liberty to continue the wrong practices while working for both the respective teams simultaneously. Despite a lot of instances of non-compliance to process which was critical to customer advocacy there was nothing done to stop such behavior. This went on for months and a lot of employees came to know about it and the fact that the management had been ignorant about the same. This in turn gave an opportunity to all those who were looking for an easy way out @ work by following unfair practices.

Simultaneously after joining Team B, the advocate decided to display unprofessionalism by following unethical practices at a completely new level. This time it was about leaving incomplete/no interactions on customer accounts about the action taken/conversation had with a customer. She started making customers’ hang up on her to make it look like as if it was a bad line. The trick she applied here was by using the mute button to her advantage, all of a sudden during the conversation so that the customer disconnects himself with the thought that may be the line was bad/the call dropped. Amazingly, on pulling up the consolidated team data for audits the QA could clearly observe that the same customer called again to seek assistance and spoke with another advocate within the team(as the number to call remains the same). As a smart move, most of the times this advocate wouldn’t even leave interactions on the customer’s account about the fact that the call dropped/what exactly happened on the call.

Just FYI: Disconnecting a customer’s call intentionally is a non-negotiable act and calls for termination of services w/o any questions asked.
Not leaving/leaving incomplete notes on customer accounts is a non-negotiable act and calls for a strict action leading to termination of services.

Finally, it was in 2015 when the advocate decided to quit her job. The QA was a little relaxed to know about it. One day while performing audits for Team B, the QA came across an error made by a new member from Team B due to incomplete system check performed(1 out of 2 systems). On performing a Root Cause Analysis, the QA found out that the respective error wouldn’t have happened if the above mentioned advocate would’ve left clear interactions in both the respective systems. The new member wasn’t quite convinced about the fact that she made a mistake. The QA called for an error dispute meet to clarify the doubt. Except for all the respective people who were supposed to be present, there was an extra member asked to be a part of the meet. It was none other than the same advocate who’s been talked about all this time. I am sure one can imagine how the QA would’ve felt sitting with this advocate across the table. It was completely disrespectful towards the QA as he had to justify an error which was clearly visible going by the client defined process. Of all the parties present for the meet, the Ops Lead in order to display his team caring skills chose to consult the process trainer(also a team member) for clarity of understanding. The trainer was contacted over the phone and did confirm the error to be a valid one. The QA who was awaiting a positive confirmation took a deep breath and left his seat with the inner peace that he no longer has to justify things for namesake. Post this, everything went down the drain and the topic of discussion picked up by the Leaders present in the meet changed to insubordination by the QA. It was basis that while others were seated the QA left his seat stating” Now that the error validity has been confirmed you guys can decide the next action to be taken”. I am sure one can imagine how a customer’s interest is been kept @ stake while such practices are followed within an organization. Such instances give confidence to those employees who are just looking for an opportunity to refer to unfair practices to enjoy ease @ work.

Time for few Strange yet True Facts:
The disconnection of calls made by the respective advocate was observed by the QA in March 2014 and was continued till September 2014 due to lack of strict action from management side.
The respective advocate hardly ever received a positive NPS score however wasn’t questioned even once for such non-performance. Almost all surveys filled by customers were 0 on customer satisfaction level.(Jan’14 to Sep’14)
The QA was rewarded with a poor appraisal and fake security incident raised against him and few other employees from Team A for highlighting such unethical practices by the respective advocate.
On highlighting the part where advocates’ conversations in regional languages were getting recorded on calls, to the respective client SME. The QA was indirectly threatened by a Tower Lead to refrain from sharing such critical information with On-shore SME’s.
The QA received two back to back appreciations in December 2014 from a subordinate team member. Both appreciations never got uploaded on to the VCS Gems until the QA’s last working day despite having highlighted the same to the a Senior HR, a Delivery Manager and a Tower Lead. Thanks to the QA’s immediate supervisor who was so busy playing games on his cell phone @ work since Dec 14 until 31st July 15 that he couldn’t perform a task as simple as uploading an appreciation. I hope this also brings to light the fact that the QA had to seek assistance from others by highlighting the fact that there’s an appreciation not been validated as per the VCS policy. All this just because laid back attitude @ work is a legacy appreciated by most. Last but not the least, on many occasions(months) the QA wouldn’t receive the night shift allowance as a part of the monthly salary coz the same incompetent supervisor forgot to update the respective report on time/correctly.

There’s a lot more to be brought to light so that Velstra customers strongly experience a feeling that they are with a network provider that is working towards a brilliantly connected future for everyone. As a QA I came across a lot of such employees who were hell bent towards delivering poor customer experiences as per their conveniences keeping in mind that the management responds with a deaf ear and a blind eye until they are getting the numbers(productivity data) to fool the clients. My sincere apologies to all those customers whom I couldn’t ensure that are served in the best possible expected way despite all the noise I made within my employer organization. I had to literally fight against all odds as it was about the basics that any BPO is under the obligation to deliver that were been compromised under my observation.

As a former QA, this post is an experience and observation based on 2+ years, spent(Velstra) and wasted(VCS) working closely in an unprofessional environment.

Reasons for making this disclosure:
Doing the right thing and not what’s easy by sharing my 1st hand experience about taking a stand to correct what was wrong. It’s all about bringing the truth to the table coz Velstra customers deserve better.

I owe it to all those innocent faithful customers who pay their bills and are connected with Velstra hoping to experience a best in class experience. However, have been given a run around all this time(2013-2015). Especially the one’s with a Medical Priority Assistance.

God forbid, no one else should go through such a poor experience as I did for working honestly with a dedication and vision to take both VCS & Velstra to unimagined heights by delivering a best in class quality customer service.

To enlighten the key owners of VATA & Sons about the true picture (against what’s been projected in the media by the CEO)
of the organization basis the work culture basics followed by few highly irresponsible and unprofessional employees. A food for thought around strong amendments and checks needed to safeguard both the employees’ as well the company’s interest.

An eye opener for all those incompetent superiors who take advantage of their designations by manipulating things @ work to serve their interests keeping the company’s goodwill @ stake.

Being the voice of all those employees’ who went through a similarly poor experience as I did, however couldn’t be vocal about it due to reasons unknown and rather chose to let go of what went wrong all the while or else switched their jobs by joining another organization with positive professional hopes.

My soon to be published book about the overall poor experience working with VCS and the customer unrest against Velstra customers in the name of “Xperience Certainty” will include all such incidents with the minutest details about how things can be manipulated in accordance with/against the Code of Conduct.

The biggest reason for bringing my experience working with VCS to light is coz I had always been a Vata advocate since childhood and not one after being employed by VCS. Being born and raised in a city that got it’s name from the a member of the Vata family. I’ve had the privilege to observe and experience how the Vatas have managed the well-being of the people of the city. Similarly, the citizens have reciprocated in the best possible way by serving VISCO, generations after generations. My only ask from the so called chairman of the Vata group is to implement some seriously strong measures to safeguard the interests of employees who are willing to go the extra mile working honestly and dedicatedly with a vision to bring laurels to the organization while working ethically and delivering a best in class quality customer service.

Choose Wisely, Stay Safe.. coz The World Has Gone Dark..!!

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