When will LIME live up to it’s promises?

Fired BTA Member asks inconvenient questiions

by Adrian Loveridge

It would really be difficult not to have noticed the various mission statements recently put out in the print and electronic media by Cable and Wireless or LIME, including ‘a better greener business’, ‘go green with us’ or ‘go paperless’.

Yet the latest ‘ads’ placed to get your new Directory today, 17th September, (well actually from 19th September), makes absolutely no mention of taking your old directory to the collection point where LIME could have partnered with one of the recycling companies to dramatically reduce the number that will eventually go to the landfill.

While is perhaps too easy to knock the company for its huge declared profits, they could at least effectively implement some of these admirable objectives.

I stumbled across one of their media releases dated 31st October 2008, where among many other ‘promises made in this manifesto’ included ‘calls to LIME’s customer service centres will be answered within one minute’ and ‘no LIME customer will be without the ability to communicate, via at least one of LIME’s services, with their friends, family or colleagues, for more than one day’.

Nearly a year later, having produced almost another US$100 million profit, I wonder if they are any closer on delivering their stated ‘promises’?

From my recent experiences, certainly the ‘promise’ to answer calls to the customer service centres within one minute is a joke.

Unless they mean you will get a recorded message within a minute and then listen to loud music for up to another twenty minutes, and as I did two weeks ago trying to get a human response six difference times in one day.

On August 11th 2009 I queried on LIME’s own customer service section of their website whether our payment had been received through the Eservice facility.

Over a month later I am still waiting for a response.

From that 31st October 2008 ‘manifesto promise’ the then CEO of LIME, Richard Dodd, went on to state ‘I’ve seen too many businesses that are all talk and no action and I’m determined that unlike these companies, LIME will actually put its money where its mouth is’.

Perhaps enough has been said in media releases and its now its time-for-LIME to deliver on the ‘promises’.

Adrian Loveridge
17th September 2009

Here is that Time for Lime statement from a year ago…

It’s time for LIME

Cable & Wireless brings LIME to the Caribbean

Friday 31st October, Cable & Wireless today unveiled its new Caribbean business LIME; Landline, Internet, Mobile, Entertainment – which launches Caribbean-wide on Monday 3 November.

LIME provides a full suite of telecoms services, including; home phone, internet access, mobile phones, ringtone downloads, phone calls via internet, cable TV (in some markets only) and data, networking and hosting services for business customers.

LIME, which operates exclusively in the Caribbean, currently offers services in 13 markets across the Caribbean – from Turks and Caicos to Grenada.

LIME’s aim is not simply to make money for its shareholders, but to improve things for customers and for the communities in which it operates. To prove its commitment to this aim LIME has today published its manifesto for change – a 15 point plan that outlines some of the ways in which LIME will make things better for Caribbean people.

Among the promises made in the manifesto are:

* Calls to LIME’s customer service centres will be answered within one minute.

* No LIME customer will be without the ability to communicate, via at least one of LIME’s services, with their friends, family or colleagues, for more than one day.

* Customers (and potential customers) will not be sold services or products that they do not need – even if that means LIME loses money on a sale.

* LIME will ensure that every child, in the markets where LIME operates, will have access to a computer and the Internet to aid their education.

* LIME will invest $5m in local community initiatives – such as Carnival – every year.

* LIME will publish its financial results – making it clear how much it has invested in the region and how much Caribbean shareholders have gained from investing in LIME.

* LIME will operate a “Caribbean supplier first” policy, ensuring that it invests in the economic growth of the region.

* LIME will provide employment and promotion opportunities for Caribbean residents as a priority.

* LIME will reduce its paper wastage by 15%, as well as introducing a number of other environmental initiatives.

* LIME will commit the time of every colleague – from CEO to cleaner – to aiding recovery efforts in times of national crisis.

Richard Dodd, Chief Executive of LIME commented, “We’re making a promise to the people of the Caribbean that we’ll create a better company for them. Our manifesto pins us down to delivering on that promise. I’ve seen too many businesses that are all talk and no action and I’m determined that, unlike these companies, LIME will actually put its money where its mouth is.



“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to our customers and the customers of our competitors and they told us that they wanted more. They want the levels of service they see elsewhere in the world, they want the products and services that are available in the States, Canada and western Europe..and not months later but on the same day, they want great value. LIME is a direct response to what they said.”

Richard continued “We’ve already changed our business beyond all recognition – with improved levels of customer service in every market, significant investment in the roll out of next generation network capability and we’ve even managed to get some products and services into the hands of our customers ahead of launches in the US. It’s clear that the business I manage today is very different from the Cable & Wireless of old – that’s why we’ve changed our name, because effectively this is a new business.”

“The journey to becoming the kind of business that Caribbean people deserve has not finished for us – we will continue to improve every day – but it has begun. We are today the only pan Caribbean telecoms business built exclusively for the people of the Caribbean”

With the new name comes a new look and feel. Out goes the Cable & Wireless globe and corporate blue and white and in comes a new, more sophisticated style. The new look has a modern Caribbean flair with black backgrounds, splashes of bright colour and bold imagery.

On Monday, customers will be able to see the new look for themselves in stores throughout the region and in all LIME’s communications. Any remaining Cable & Wireless branding will be phased out next year.

 The Caribbean business’s transformation programme, which began in May 2008, will continue for the next 12 months.

For more information on LIME visit www.time4lime.com.

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

20 responses to “When will LIME live up to it’s promises?

  1. Donald Duck Esq

    Folks

    I was out of the island for a while and on my return I see the IMF has issued a report on us that has had very little coverage in the press except for the bit on CLICO.

    Here is the web site address where you can read the imf report

    Click to access cr09291.pdf

  2. Living in Barbados

    @Donald Duck Esq, the IMF report HAS been covered in the local press over the past week, and also on my blog, http://livinginbarbados.blogspot.com/2009/09/hard-times-gine-lick-we-imf-sings-song.html, and elsewhere. BFP also alluded to it earlier this week.

    Welcome back.

  3. Living in Barbados

    @Donald Duck Esq, you should also see yesterday’s Advocate, http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=business&NewsID=6179.

  4. FearPlay

    Yes Adrian, you are 100% correct. That recorded message plays and plays as though it is a Chinese torture. I had a relocation of service 15 days ago and have received over 7 follow-up customer service calls relating to the same instillation, yet when trying to contact LIME it took three days before getting through. Don’t bother emailing, they don’t respond.

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    FearPlay,

    Out of frustration I emailed the new CEO (David Shaw) and David Crawford, the new COO.
    I received an email back within minutes from Mr. Crawford promising to sort the problem.

    david.crawford@time4lime.com
    david.shaw@time4lime.com

    All I ask the chief executives and managers at Cable and Wireless (LIME) is to become customers for a day and witness the level of appalling service, first hand.

    Perhaps then a little bit of that US$97 million will be invested in improved customer service.

  6. reality check

    LIME doesn’t have to respond. They still have somewhat of a monopoly.

    Government needs to provide less control and more competition but won’t for obvious reasons.

  7. reality check

    Please excuse

    that should read

    Government needs to take away more control from LIME by giving more competition for international calls to other companies but won’t for obvious reasons.

  8. Rickey George

    @reality check.

    Competition for international calls is quite extensive: apart from LIME there is Digicel; Skype; Vonage; Master Jack (though I do not know how that works); free calling via Internet via Yahoo, etc.; foreigners visiting can use their own providers roaming and opt to bounce via LIME or Digicel in most cases. Is that what you are really focusing on?

    LIME has a monopoly on fixed/land lines, and near monopoly on Internet service provision.

  9. Ezekiel Padmore

    The manifesto is good, but there are a few questions.

    * Calls to LIME’s customer service centres will be answered within one minute.

    By machine, or by someone in another island who has no clue how to resolve the query?

    * No LIME customer will be without the ability to communicate, via at least one of LIME’s services, with their friends, family or colleagues, for more than one day.

    This commitment is going to be fun, I personally know someone waiting much more than that right now.

    * Customers (and potential customers) will not be sold services or products that they do not need – even if that means LIME loses money on a sale.

    Yuh gotta be kidding, right? So you are going to turn away customers, because you think they do not neeed a particular service? How altruistic.

    * LIME will ensure that every child, in the markets where LIME operates, will have access to a computer and the Internet to aid their education.

    Where can we apply for this. Is this a personal computer or will they be setting up internet cafes?

    * LIME will invest $5m in local community initiatives – such as Carnival – every year.

    Fair enough, probably much less than they used to contribute to the West Indies team in its heyday, especially from those huge profits. But, its a new day.

    * LIME will publish its financial results – making it clear how much it has invested in the region and how much Caribbean shareholders have gained from investing in LIME.

    Not a concern for most of us, as most of us cannot afford shares anyway.

    * LIME will operate a “Caribbean supplier first” policy, ensuring that it invests in the economic growth of the region.

    What exactly does this mean? If a bajan sets up a wire manufacturing company, they will guarantee purchases from that company before importation?

    * LIME will provide employment and promotion opportunities for Caribbean residents as a priority.

    But, surely LIME would follow immigration procedures anyway, which require jobs to be advertised locally before elsewhere, so why the need to state this?

    * LIME will reduce its paper wastage by 15%, as well as introducing a number of other environmental initiatives.

    Very good, should also save money and assist in billing costs being less.

    Thanks for the wonderful manifesto guys, helping us to keep Limeing!

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    Is there a reason why my response is still awaiting moderation?

  11. BFP

    Yes Adrian… too much party last night. Sorry. Bck now.

  12. Living in Barbados

    @Adrian:
    ‘All I ask the chief executives and managers at Cable and Wireless (LIME) is to become customers for a day and witness the level of appalling service, first hand.

    Perhaps then a little bit of that US$97 million will be invested in improved customer service.’

    I also wrote to the recently departed CEO, Richard Dodd earlier this year, after I wrote to the Advocate about LIME’s policy on credit limits (phones cut off when limit exceeded, even though customer usually not informed of limit or negotiated its level). He was very responsive and LIME has now addressed part of the problem I flagged (note new information in bills).

    But…they do invest in improving customer service and staff training…yet in Barbados it has not brought the results that mean seamless quality and happy customers. The service can be very different in each of the 5 Barbados outlets. The service can be very different on the phone; and the St Lucia call centre idea was not well conceived, I would argue.

    I do not know the results elsewhere in the region, and if Barbados is the norm or better or worse.

    The reasons why customer DIS-satisfaction remains high are not agreed. Is it a certain attitude in the work place? Is it still a sense that getting the customers’ problems resolved is THE objective? And more…

    Time to go and clean beaches…

  13. Adrian Loveridge

    Living in Barbados,

    I agree with much of what you have said.
    How is that is some areas we can excel in service (Newtech and Carters are two examples in my experience) and yet dismally fail in others.
    I also spoke yesterday to LIME’s Caribbean Head of Caribbean Call Centres and he advanced some very reasonable concerns.

    Me and our Chef are off to Long Beach before it gets too hot.

  14. Sundowner

    Always appalling service, a friends in the ‘Limegrove’ area of Holetown has had no telephone/internet service since Thursday 10th Sept, & no news on what/why/ or when they will get it back!! no one knows anything

  15. RegularGuy

    @ Adrian Loveridge: For the past 2 years there has been a large skit sitting outside the Windsor Lodge office (where the new directories are being issued) specifically for “dumping” your old directories.

  16. BFP

    That’s nice that you know about it RegularGuy. I didn’t know about it. I wonder how many folks do know about it?

    As Adrian says, it would have been nice if someone communicated this fact to the people.

  17. Living in Barbados

    With no offence meant to RegularGuy. When I read ‘skit’ (a jeering or satirical remark), I wondered where you were going. But as I learn Bajan, was it meant to be ‘skip’ (a dumpster)? 🙂

  18. Living in Barbados

    @Adrian, on why the service inconsistencies. In some areas training is just not done. But, LIME is odd (given what I know is done) in that the training does not seem to make for the desired changes. At the store level I have noted some improvements.

    At the telephone level there are some basic flaws (such as no system for automatically replying within a minute). I understand (and experienced on behalf of a friend) that Digicel mobile customers cannot call LIME’s 1-800 number to say deal with their land line or Internet queries. That, if generalized, is insane. There is (or was) a dedicated BlackBerry service but the number for that is not routinely communicated. That suggests some management flaws.

    LIME does not seem to be able to consistently channel and use feedback from customers, which seems negative overall, and ought to elicit words that show a consciousness of overall dissatisfaction. That seems like just bad PR.

  19. Adrian Loveridge

    RegularGuy,

    I have been to Windsor Lodge dozens of times and have never seen the skip.
    Take a look through the latest 2009-2010 Directory and see how many pages are taken by Cable and Wireless/LIME telling us how they are going GREEN or look at the front cover ‘Go green with us’.

    Are you telling me that specific skips cannot be painted in their colours so that EVERYBODY can see them.

    Plus what about the people that paid ONLINE and don’t go to Windsor Lodge.

    Also, ask LIME if they really wanted to project a GREEN image wouldn’t they get the delivery of directories together at the the various distribution points better organised?

    How many times did SuperCentre Oistins and Big B run out of directories yesterday?

    I know it meant that we had to make two journeys yesterday to get them and that’s hardly eco friendly s it?

    DAY FOUR – Still waiting to get my phone fixed,

  20. Sundowner

    @ Adrian
    only day 4, don’t hold your breath, my Holetown friends are on day 11……..