Business in Ghana

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The Battle Is Raging. Critical News, 17th April 2016

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 18, 2016

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I am struggling with the inefficiency and rudeness in the public and private sectors. It is not that the service is poor, it is more that neither persons working for companies in the private sector nor the public sector care too much about you when they respond to questions over the phone. Warranted every once in a while you will get someone who thinks clearly and sensibly and is willing to bend over backwards to keep a customer satisfied.

I was at a very popular hotel over the weekend. Stressed out and very irritated by poor refereeing in the Leceister City v West Ham match, I settled into a quick meal to take off my accumulated stress. It took a while for the food to show up and I was pretty irritated and hungry by the time it hit my table.

My first forkful of chicken tasted off, slightly spoilt and I thought well what to do? Enough time spent waiting, I pushed all the pieces of chicken to one side and ate what I could of the rest of the meal. I am choosing to keep the name of the hotel out of it, it is somewhere I spend a bit of time and the end result was very good, when the chef came out and apologied and made amends with a complimentary bowl of fruit.

She was nice and prepared to admit something had gone wrong when she tasted the food and pleasantly went the extra mile to retain me as a customer. I appreciated that.

Part two. I have been a customer of GLO mobile ever since they arrived in Ghana. Despite all the complaints of poor quality service and terrible customer care, I have stuck with GLO through think and thin.

Then starting this month I started having more than the average issues with the service. Especially when it failed to give me full credit for the recharge I make. It has happened a few times in the past and as much as it has inconvenienced me, I kind of let things slide and took a loss.

But this time I lost twenty cedis worth of recharge and I am thinking, well, it can’t go on unsaid for this long. So I tried to resolve it over the phone.

I spoke to at least four customer reps in a morning, two hours on the phone each time explaining to a different rep after the call dropped off and wasting abundant time going over the same thing I had just explained to the last one. Despite my request each time to speak to the previous rep I had engaged and pleading that they call me so I could carry on where I left of, I never got to the bottom of the issue until I finally spoke to Bertha.

So after two hours I had done Selina, ploughed through Elizabeth, discoursed with Dora and then at long last the mighty Bertha breathed through my phone line.

Had to repeat my name, Sydney four times before she kind of clued to it. I have long given up introducing myself as Sydney Casely-Hayford, it just creates problems for the semi-literate types they recruit for the position.

I have complained similarly to Vodafone and MTN before so I was on familiar turf.

So Bertha, “vulgar” Bertha, champion of the GLO customer service came o the phone to put me in my place. Not a sentence could I get in without interruption and not a reason situation I explained without being cit off mid-stream and told I did not understand how GLO data bundling works. And I have been with GLO probably for longer than she.

So when I eventually told her I did not like her tone of voice and I think I will discontinue my service, she discontinued the customer service and our phone call with a click of her finger.

And so ended my relationship with GLO. Way I look at it, I have been with GLO for at least five years, I spend at least ghc55 a month buying data, sometimes twice a month depending on use and that calculates to ghc3,300 over the period. Chop change for a company like GLO. Sure they have better fish to fry.

I am going to try a spell with BUSY. New kids on the block, they might have something better on offer. The internet market in the country is a waste of service and customer time anyway, so we shop around. And this time the end result is the same. I have to switch to another service and I am running out of options.

I don’t have enough space to recant public service experiences, but you are all familiar with what you can get there.

But lets not leave it there, lets talk Electoral Commission and this useless idea of a logo that they must at all costs relaunch. Yet I am hoping there is something clever going on with it. What if the new logo is meant to throw out all the old voter cards and EC intends to use it as a replacement for all voters? That will be a novelty if it turns out that way. Then again, it could easily be a ruse to give a certain party an advantage because they could have wind of the new logo and go round making new cards ahead of the game and none of us can stop it. We just can’t trust anybody anymore and I am becoming paranoid.

But here is the main “boffrot” in the mix. Eric Opoku, Regional Minister of the Brong Ahafo Region who should not be there still, gets up and misdirects those of us ignorant about Islam and its teachings, to dissociate ourselves from anything associated with an elephant (a clear slant at the NPP party, whose symbol is an elephant), because the Prophet said so.

First, the man is not a Moslem, doesn’t understand the faith, has no belief in the principles of Islam, and in a country such us ours where religion can easily flare up into electoral violence and in an election year; mounts a stage because someone gave him a chair and he goes on to make such an ignorant statement, I wonder.

And my President is comatose, not willing to take swift and decisive action. But I hope he proves me wrong and relieves the man from the backlash on voting day. So good luck Sydney; dream on. Even the “tweaa” DCE is back in place, Elvis Afriyie is swagging around town and Agbesi Woyome is still feeding fat off his gains, we can well in pride that we simply carry the Africa germ. Corruption and ABAKS (you need to look this one up)

So we carry on this battle. It transcends beyond belief. How can we still in all this mess, continue to postulate in “accounting to the people” that everything is fine, the economy continues to do well and beyond the borders of our country just about everyone else believes Ghana will move the Africa renaissance forward.

The IMF is still plucking numbers out of the air, the President is floating on some fictitious monetary policy and appointing cronies wherever he finds an opportunity and we the people of Ghana still buoyant in desperation that there is a battle up there that we are fighting in someone’s name and an oversight lord and master will come to our rescue and fix us.

This fight for economic improvement has nothing to do with GOD, ALLAH of any other being that we look up to. If you believe in what has been given to you as a talent, it is already there. Take it, use it and redefine your future. Turning our eyes up to the sky at every least opportunity and then sleeping it away is not what this battle is all about.

It’s a human solution, created by black humans whose destiny is till elusive. And we are more black than any other I know of.

Ghana, Aha a yε din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

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