Dialog Telekom customer service: got any positive experiences?

Bad customer service stories are universal ice breakers. They enable humans to overcome superficial differences (ethnicity, soft drink preference, religion) and acknowledge each other’s humanity. Dialog Telekom in Sri Lanka seems to have made the supply of such stories into an undocumented service. At practically every dinner and lunch I have been to during the holiday season (quite a few) I’ve been pummelled with customer service horror stories involving that company. All it takes is for one person to bring up the topic then everyone wants to chip in. After the first few stories I tune out.

Which is a pity. Had I recorded these stories, I would have enough material for a life’s work of absurdist theatre. The stories are essentially formulaic and involves a promise of a service that fails to deliver. Other constants are themes of technology amplifying the worst elements of a sprawling fractured bureaucracy.

There are two standard characters. The victim (the narrator) and the villain who is the slothful customer service goon. The horror starts when the victim/narrator contacts customer service or turns up at a Dialog office to obtain some sort of promised service/product. A futile battle of wills errupts with the villain whose office/department/unit has no information about these deals the narrator is talking about. Or demands some piece of paper when that information should be on the computer system. Then the hapless narrator is bounced around between offices on an inevitably futile quest. The worst stereotypes of government departments are brought up through endless paperwork and waiting. The only difference is that bribes can’t help a broken system. Naturally the story ends in tragedy with the narrator giving in to corporate might in the interests of sanity.

Before the next tale of woe begins, there are speculations as to whether the whole fiasco was due to incompetence or cynical manipulation by the company. Inevitably there is speculation that poor customer service is a symptom of bottom line obsessed financial frailties. The latest tea leaf readings are about Dialog going in to panic mode because of the Bharti Airtel invasion. The scared narrator/victim gets a back pat and everyone vows revenge by switching to some other provider (which never happens).

Sanjana has a readable comment in a post that spares me the task of giving a specific example. His analysis on the issue of promises vs service delivery lets me off the hook of having to do actual analysis ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

We live in the third world where the fact that any service (particularly involving technology) operates at all (let alone consistently) is a miracle. It is fashionable to market first world services (broadband, data delivering mobile services) with complex pricing schemes. Most of these are beyond the pockets of the grimy masses.

The delivery of these services will be spotty due to many factors – the major ones being structural (policy related) and rapid expansion. The telecom policy stuff must have an impact on organisational factors. Essentially the ability to deliver the hyped promises of marketing. Rapid expansion would not only gloss over the technical side of things but also things like staff training.

Customer service in technology services (particularly higher end computer/data related) is still an alien concept in Sri Lanka. This is not particular to Dialog. Access to technology is still a privilege. Most customer service personal can’t dream of affording these services and the requisite expensive first world gadgets to access them. Compounding the issue is that the quantifiable bottom line getz priority over the nebulous fog of “customer satisfaction”. If its not working, stop being an annoying high income prima dona and endure – like the masses sardined in busses during the commutes. Good consistent customer service DOES exists in unexpected places. Naturally this will eventually spread to the tech sector but not in a hurry (lets dream a little shall we?).

From my experience, what works is some sort of basic service. And even that shouldn’t be relied upon too much. I could go further to expound on this but I have digressed enough from the topic of this post.

Time for some disclaimers. I’m not, and never have been a consumer of any of Dialog Telekom’s services. I have no idea what their customer “care” is like. I’m certainly not being paid by them for anything – particularly to explain away any bad customer service experiences. So this post is NOT some sort of “viral” or “social media” marketing/PR campaign to make them look good. Like any large service provider they are bound to have their disappointments.

Its just that I’m a tired of hearing these stories and I wonder if there are any “positive” Dialog Telekom customer service experiences out there.

The problem is that satisfying customer service stories are alienating. Its sort of like listening to someone’s story of winning the lottery. There is no shared pain of barrier transcending ordeals. But if you are a lucky winner in the customer service lottery, I’d like to hear about ๐Ÿ™‚ Mainly because I try in this blog (and in life) to focus on the positive – however minute that is. Satisfied customers rarely bother to broadcast their joy. So if you got any happy Dialog Telekom customer service stories, the comment box is below is your easy way out. Failing that, feel free to rant if you want ๐Ÿ˜ˆ


34 thoughts on “Dialog Telekom customer service: got any positive experiences?

  1. Actually I have been a Dialog GSM customer for 5 years. I have been a Dialog TV customer for more than a year. I am also planning to buy Dialog CDMA. I have experienced worse customer service from companies such a “Suntel” and “Mobitel”.

    I presently have a Suntel CDMA and their customer care sucks, so I am changing to Dialog CDMA. I got rid of a Mobitel GSM connection in 2 weeks because customer service was useless. If Dialog is panicking because of Airtel which will take some time to reach to challenge Dialogs position at the number one spot then the other companies below Dialog such a Tigo and Hutch must be going hysterical because are below Dialog in terms of market leadership.

    Dialog Customer Care is not perfect but whose is? Dialog for me is the best choice and has the best all round service.


  2. well, i’ve got mixed reviews about it… I asked for settings of mms and gprs to be sent about 2 weeks back and the settings that were supposed to come in 15 minutes came only after 3 days!! and by that time, i had gone to an arcade and gotten it done….

    I’m yet to experience more.. lets see how it goes.. but other than that, they’re trained and quite helpful alright..:-)
    And no one’s perfect…:-)


  3. Dialog has given me the worst customer service I have ever experienced.

    I now no longer bother with roaming, I buy a chip from the country that I am visiting and use that.

    Not sure how the other telecoms companies compare but they are infinitely worse than the Bank of Ceylon.


  4. my sole experience with them was good. my sim got fucked, i cant remember what was wrong exactly, so i took it to their setup at odel and the guy was very pleasant and efficient, and even followed up with a call the next day to see if everything was ok.
    maybe the trick is to go to the little booth places as opposed to the main buildings so they cant give you the runaround.


  5. Most of my issues with Dialog have been sorted as soon as I made the call. And I can’t recall a single instance of any of their agents being outright rude or impatient.

    SLT is the gold standard against which all horrible customer service should be measured. I can’t fathom how some of those idiots got hired.


  6. Never really had a problem with Dialog. Always been efficient. They were stroppy once with my father when his mobile stopped sending messages, but then the old man can be a difficult customer to deal with. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As it turned out, it was a changed setting, and once they’d gone through the rather condescending suggestions of checking if the sim worked (I’d already done that. We aren’t fools), they were quick to spot the problem.

    More importantly, the service they provide seems a cut above their rivals.


  7. Dialog is technically the best provider.
    It’s a Muslim – Malay Company which has invested more than the competition in Sri Lanka.
    That is why they managed to take away the lead “Celltell” had; 10 years ago or so.
    However Dialog is an utterly GREEDY Company!
    For example:
    Arugam Bay had no land line phones 26/12/2004 until mid 2005.
    Dialog was then the ONLY link to the outside world – from the without doubt worst affected area of Sri Lanka. Whilst Thailand zero rated all affected coastal stretches and made ALL calls free:
    Dialog made MILLIONS out of the misery of people. We, the Hotel Association of Arugam Bay paid Dialog more than 30,000$ at the time – with NO hint at any discounts!
    When we decided to cancel some of our contracts with Dialog:
    They asked for the receipts for the paid deposit.
    Lost in the waves, of course, as one can imagine.
    What a cheek! What an insult! And what an argument which followed at Duplication Rd. office! To get the numbers canceled and a refund from them. When it was in their computers all the time; it is just spiteful, delaying practice; nothing less.
    And..and …and so it continues with this greedy outfit.
    We have plenty stories to tell – customer service is not the real problem.
    How did they take over CBN Sat.? And what was the dirty trick campaign then? We don’t really know??
    It is time we have a real, maybe non- Muslim competitor; who is less greedy. That is how some of us feel.


  8. After making N- number of calls to the so called customer support at dialog, i am writing this feedback… I wouldn`t be surprised if i don`t get any response for this either. on the 5th saturday I called customer support asking assistance to fix my dialog tv. the customer support person (a lady) tried assiting me over the phone to solve the issue which didn`t help. then she gave me some reference number and promised to send a support (technical) team within two working days to fix the issue… two days past and not a cat showed up from dialog! so i called the support again on monday mentioning that its been 2 days and nobody showed up, then the new customer support person (a guy) told me the support team does not work on weekends and to be patient for two more days, so i wait. on wednesday I call again, another random person (customer support) speaks to me, i explain my issue he says it normally takes maximum three days for the support team to reach the area, i started to explain my situation to this person about what the other customer support people said, then this guys gives me another new reference number “66846” and mentioned that he has prioritized my query and told he’d make the support team act asap on the matter. so on thursday i call the support team, (being cut off 4+ times – forcing to call CS again and again) finally managing to get some CS guy i told him my issue and explained him how frustrated i am to get some service done, and this guy says i lodged the query on wednesday (based on the reference ID) i argued my point and told him that i made the query on the 5th! so he promised me to check with the Technical team and call me within 30 minutes, i believe he got frozen in time, right after i hung up. so on friday i spoke to a person at CS called ‘JAYAN’ he gave a number “0114606000” and told me to speak to them directly and explain them the scenario. so i dialed to the number given by the CS guy and what do i get? A pre-recorded voice instructing me to press buttons on the phone. tried doing it for some time, then i repeated the same for several times for that day, and all i got was the multi-lingual pre-recorded message. its saturday A week from my query requesting for customer support, again with some faith I spoke to a CS person called ‘SUPUN’ and explained him my situation, he finally mentions that what ever query he takes he can only pass it to the technical team – he too promised me to call me with in an hour. sadly he froze too!

    This is what dialog customer service is! at the end of the day what i gained is paying dialog GSM a huge telephone bill (becuase the CS service is NOT TOLL FREE!) for the poor service i’ve got so far, i believe they won`t waive off the DTV rent either, i am compelled to pay that as well! as for customer support SATHKARAYA MY FOOT!

    Trust me, last week i came across a person who’d bought a package from DishTV which has 150+ channels and cost 3000/- (annual) less than the full package provided by dialog tv… the only catch in this is there is no customer support of assistance, its a DIY thing, but at least they are pretty honest about there service unlike our rogues who give a name (SATHKARAYA) for the shit service they provide!
    The only reason i’m still hanging on to the screw ups is for the local channels i get through them, up until now NO SUPPORT REGARDING TO THE MATTER CAME UP!

    so am willing to take the risk and pay some dude to fix my dish, the advantage i get is, this guy is asking only 300 bucks which i consider is a good deal, i’m pretty sure dialog will rob me for such a service.. I wish CBN was owning it! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ



  9. The same thing that happened to Prem is happening to me. Does anybody know the procedure to cancel Dialog tv and redeem the money I paid?


  10. Prem: Yow that sounds nasty ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Makes me wonder if Satellite TV is worth the hassle

    Vindika: I personally don’t have any experience with that. Good luck with redeeming anything from a Telkom though ๐Ÿ˜ Hope some other reader might be able to be of assistance.

    This being Sri Lanka it helps to have someone who knows someone on the inside to fix things…


  11. ..i will not rate Dialog having the best customer service…but certainly they are a clear cut ahead of the rest of the others..i own four Dialog package mobile connections,5 card connections , a Dialog Tv connection with a supplementary free offer-that means 2 Dialog Tv, and most recently the dialog CDMA !…its certain that the tv and cdma is still to fall on par with mobile service standards—i have had my share of problems, but I work in the service industry and the most amazing fact is the the “never let go attitude” of the ones working inside…wot i have heard how much they are pressured internally to push standards…i ve tried donin internally in my organization and its tough…its not just the front line staff which can be termed in service, but the technology, systems, support division that need to work in uniform to delivery good customer service..
    Still i would rate a good pole position and hope they learn from the mistakes …cheers to the folks maintaining the blog


  12. still Dialog customer: Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€ – specially for the perspective from the inside!
    Do you think that customer service problems stem from the difficulty of juggling the complexity of different services and plans? Getting many complex different things to work together is a tough act to maintain every day.


  13. -precisely…wot i understand of Dialog id that when a tower goes down ,,,the 1st to get hit is the customer service since there will be a string of calls inquiring/blaming/ accusation and the its up to that individual at the hotline to handle —seems that they dont tell us wot they do internally…wot i head id the agent gets heavily penalized if a solution is not provided,while support divisions ,they channel every contact and ensure measures to avoid a repeat situation…being in banking,i ve tried to in introduce the process style dialog has…but damn..its hard to get the whole internal organization to actually work to a common thing..since each dont have either a resposiblity towards a problem or no claim for resposibility, or even worse any knowledge ….I still wonder how they do it!


  14. Why there arent any topics on Mobitel / Tigo/Hutch…..????? Is it bcZ there is no one to bench mark the service provided by Dialog….. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can relate whole bunce of desperate & lethragic service


  15. Why there arent any topics on Mobitel / Tigo/Hutchโ€ฆ..????? Is it bcZ there is no one to bench mark the service provided by Dialogโ€ฆ..
    I can relate whole bunce of desperate & lethragic service stories provided by other service providerZ


  16. in my case, the worst customer care experience i have is from Mobitel. however, dialog is good for taking down the complaints and giving a reference number. they never look into the real issues. in my area, it is impossible to make a call or even sms after 5 pm until 11pm using the dialog network. it is always busy or there’ s this mysterious network error. not only me, many of the residents in the area have been complaining the company about the issue for about two years. but still no solution.

    i hate dialog, they just try to strengthen the customer base. but no improvements in the service…


  17. I have to say that once i moved took on dialogs full package, including international roaming and the dialog broadband dongle etc, the service has worked seamlessly. In fact i would even go to say that their tariffs are very reasonable for roaming compared to friends in other countries. I travel once a month to singapore on work and have a local pre-paid sim in singapore which i used to use for calls back home but actually find that dialog’s call-back service works out cheaper
    than using my singapore number. SMS are still costly when roaming but otherwise i find it works.

    I have not been a fan of dialog’s in the past and i wrote a blog back in may 07 (http://muffywonderdog.blogspot.com/2007/05/dialog-sucks_22.html) and somebody hijacked the image and setup dialogsucks as a blog. Anyway just wanted to share with you how i am willing to change my opinion from the negative to the positive.


  18. maf: Good to get a calmer analysis ๐Ÿ™‚ than the shrill complaints I have heard. I wonder if it was airtel sneakingly setting up the “dialogsucks” blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Conspiracies: they are everywhere)


  19. i had been as a call center agent for 2 & 1\2 years at dialog and that was my worse period on ma life. implementing rules and regulations and squeezing at all. if some 1 wants to suicide himself can join as CCA at dialog. you all CCAs are some sort of slaves. I dint tell. told by customers directly and management indirectly. my voice will talk with proofs. now see u.


  20. Disagree with Ahmed. because i have been working there too. i Dont think CCA is a bad place. every company has their own rukes and regulations so as employees we had to admit them. thats our duty. its a challenge. i dnt think its a way of suicide as u mentioned.


  21. I fully agree with Prem’s comments on Dialog. Dialog is called a “Blue chip” company, but in reality its a “Blue shit” company and nothing good ever comes out of it. It should be sent back home to its Malaysian pig masters.
    This writer is an extremely dissatisfied customer of Dialog TV. I pay a thumping amount each month only to receive an endless repetition of programs (Same program is repeated thirty, forty times) and very frequent and over long commercial breaks.


  22. Dialog doesn’t keep me d secrecy as well,They gave up all of my phone enquiry details to unwanted person,who is the friend of the person working in the dialog company.So harrasment to listen this……..so much dissapoint the service…why these head of the departments shouldn’t listen this………….damn


  23. I don’t even talk about the Dialog TV. I asked my transfer on 03rd January. Today 13th March. Still I didn’t get the connection. STUPID customer care people, they just bla bla bla like parrots. I hate and never recommend dialog for anyone. Now almost 3 months. ???????
    Not “Future Today”, Their “Future 70’s”.


  24. dialog per day tv is very useless service.do not get that facility any person.that service is lie.dont get it please.pls contact me more information 0773867764


  25. dialog per day tv is very useless service.do not get that facility any person.that service is lie.dont get it please.pls contact me more information 0773867764 bad service


  26. dialog per day tv is very bad service.not a support to customer.dont get it.bad service.this is my perday tv acct number 80068506. my contact number 0773867764 dialog call conection is best.but dialog perday tv is very bad.dont get it.very bad service dialog perday tv


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