Bredbandsbolaget and FöreningsSparbanken - prime examples of lousy customer service
This one is mostly relevant to fellow Swedes, so the rest of you may want to skip it. Or if you’d like to hear about how two of Sweden’s largest companies in their respective industries treat their loyal customers, read on.
FöreningsSparbanken and online banking
First there’s my bank, FöreningsSparbanken (no link love from me to you), which I have used since the day I was born. So far the bank has been good enough to stop me from looking at other options. Now, I’m not so sure anymore. It doesn’t really have much to do with the bank itself. I’m quite happy with the help I’ve been getting from my contact person, and when I recently bought a house, FöreningsSparbanken was the bank that could offer the best loan terms.
The problem is with their so-called web developers. A new version of FöreningsSparbanken’s online banking services has been rolled out gradually for the past several months. I have read on various discussion forums that this new version does not work with Apple’s Safari web browser.
I have contacted the bank’s customer support, trying to get a straight answer about the problems people were reporting with Safari. All I got back were canned answers. I asked just exactly what the problem was, and offered to do whatever I can to help fix it. Still just canned replies.
Well, last week I was switched to the new version, and just as reported, it does not work with Safari. Why that is, I can’t tell. I am not even allowed to login. I called the customer support and was asked to use Firefox instead. Sure, after clicking past the message that informs that there is a newer version of Firefox available (I am using Firefox 18.104.22.168, the very latest version at the time of this writing - how’s that for a broken browser detection script) I am actually allowed to use the service. But that is the entirely wrong approach. The bank has been aware of this problem for months and have apparently done nothing to fix it.
So if anyone can point me towards a bank that does take the web seriously, I am all ears. How does one go about to move house loans from one bank to another, by the way?
Bredbandsbolaget and moving
Then there is my ISP, Bredbandsbolaget (again, no Google juice from me). I didn’t choose Bredbandsbolaget, but when they bought my excellent ISP BoStream I chose to stay. Maybe I should have looked for another provider instead.
A month or so before I moved house I called Bredbandsbolaget’s customer service to ask what I needed to do to make my move as seamless as possible. Their answer was basically that it will not be seamless and there is nothing I or they can do about it. I would have to wait for 3 to 5 weeks for them to move my Internet connection to my new house.
Completely absurd, but again I decided to stay with them and accept being without a proper Internet connection for that long. I am starting to regret that now.
I recently called their customer service to check on the status of my move and learned that they had entered the wrong phone number into their system, and it took them two and a half weeks to realise that. So now they have to start over. A new 3-5 weeks of waiting. And they claim that there is nothing they can do to speed things up. So now you know why there hasn’t been much activity here lately.
But wait, you haven’t heard the best yet. Guess how they communicate with you during the move? That’s right - by e-mail. Hello? And how do you find out what your IP address will be after the move? By ordering one from their website. Really, how stupid can you get? Just how am I supposed to read me e-mail or access their website when I can’t connect to the Internet? It’s like the famous DOS error message “Keyboard not found, press F1 to continue.”
So now I’ve had it with Bredbandsbolaget. I want to get connected again so I can get back to writing articles for this site. What are my options here in Sweden? Anyone have any nice success stories to share?
Update (2006-03-09): Back online! I cancelled Bredbandsbolaget and called Telia, who got me hooked up only 7 days after Bredbandsbolaget finally let go of me (yes, they refused to release my phone number to Telia for two weeks after I cancelled). Seems to work fine so far. The only downside I have noticed is that I have to use Telia’s SMTP server when sending email.
As for online banking… well, I have called FöreningsSparbanken’s support a couple of times, asking when their outdated web developers are going to fix their broken site. The answers indicate more or less complete ignorance. No surprise there, really.
Update (2006-03-16): As of yesterday, FöreningsSparbanken’s online banking works with Safari again. It’ll be interesting to see how long that lasts.
Update (2006-03-18): Well, that didn’t last long. FöreningsSparbanken still works with Safari, but not unless you allow the site to open a popup window for the online banking site. *Sigh.* And the code is still a horrible mess. But I guess they decided that it’s more important to support antique browsers like Netscape 4 than browsers released in 2006.