Your data plan goes out in the middle of an important skype session, you rush out, buy cards, rush back in to load them and it tells you “service timeout”, you call customer service and you are placed on hold “for the next available agent” which could be hours away, you think of mailing customer service but you realize that chances are by the time they respond, it will be pointless, in frustration you pick up your phone and send a tweet cussing out the whole service provider and everyone associated with it. You try the card again…”service time out”.
Many can relate to the scenario above and many more similar scenarios where you have had an acute need to reach your service provider, even for the most mundane things and either not been able to or the response time was just too slow.
MTN apparently has gotten wind of such complaints and have responded via their Web Self Service Portal (WSS). How useful is it? Let’s find out.
From the MTN site an icon is conspicuously placed on the right hand side to access the Web Self Service Portal (WSS) by:
Clicking on the icon takes you to a login page with some of the WSS services displayed on the left and a textbox for your customer ID and another box with a virtual keyboard beneath it for your security key. The security number (which comprises of two numbers actually- a 12 digit customer ID and a 4 digit security key) is sent to customers by default, but you can request for it in any of the offices or over the phone (180).
When you log in you are presented with bright well designed page with a menu and two icons for all the services on the left On the right, there’s a mini table containing your basic details (Name, Phone number, PUK code,SIM serial and SIM status) and a grid layout of all the services with descriptive pictures right beneath and at the very bottom, buttons to provision ringback tunes and pay postpaid bills.
Navigating through all the services offered reveals a recurring simple, easy-to-use-yet-pleasing-on-the-eye theme, that should have even the barely computer literate breeze through what he or she needs to do in no time. The available services on the WSS right now are: SIM Replacement,View Call Details,Change Security Key, Share ‘N’ Sell,PUK Request, Balance Enquiry, Activate data bundle, Activate and deactivate call forwarding.
Navigation through the WSS is snappy and mostly smooth (at least on my connection) but not without bugs. On trying to change my security key, the system signed me out on every occassion. Also on clicking the “MTN loyalty” item, I got a pop-up saying ” This Number is not registered for the MTN Loyalty Program. Please click OK to continue to the Registration Form.” but the ok button does not respond and the only way to leave that page is via the back button of your browser.
All things considered, MTN’s WSS was well thought out and well designed. Most of the services provided work flawlessly too. It is also thoughtful that the site and portal are zero-rated (meaning browsing through it is free). It will however be nice to have the service fleshened to add access to more services (e.g activating blackberry service, sending service books, sending data configuration settings etc) but even as it is, it is certainly a win.
Have you given it a spin? What are your thoughts? sound off in the comments.