Lousy customer service from Computershare. You be the judge!

In one of my earlier posts titled ‘It’s been a long time’ I mentioned that I had signed up for a new plan in February for Oneok Inc through Computershare. I highlighted Computershare in my very first post as one of few DSP administrators/transfer agents. I have had accounts with Computershare in the past, including Exxon Mobil, Aqua America, Pfizer, IStar Financial, and Equity Office Properties. My accounts with them go back to the year 2000 when I opened them with Equiserve. Equiserve was subsequently purchased by Computershare a few years back and all of my accounts were seamlessly transitioned to Computershare. I have had no complaints with Computershare since the transition until what has transpired the last few months. Let me highlight the key events that have occurred in the process of signing up for the Oneok Inc. DSP account.

Early February: Using existing online account, completed application for Oneok Inc. DSP plan. Initial Investment of $250 directly debited from checking account.

Mid February: Received W-9 form from Computershare to certify U.S. Tax Payer ID. Completed form and returned to Computershare

End of February: Monthly purchase cash debited from checking account directly to Computershare.

End of February: Completed W-9 form was returned to me, indicating that account could not be located. Mind you, this is a Computershare generated/initiated W-9 that was mailed to me.

Through out February I made several attempts to use Computershare’s online account access tool but to no avail.

Month of March: I have made 3 calls to customer service, once every week and during the first 2 calls I was told the same thing. My account ID has an invalid format and needs to be corrected. The customer service rep could not correct the ID format and needed to check with their supervisor. Each of the first 2 calls ended with a promise that a supervisor would call me back with a resolution. That did not happen after either of the first two calls.

End of March: Monthly purchase cash debited from checking account directly to Computershare.

End of March: When I called for the third time, the representative was about to get into the same routine of looking into the problem when I cut her off and asked to be connected to a supervisor.

I talked to her supervisor, who did remember reviewing my account from one of my previous calls. She promised to call me back with an update. She did call me back the same day to let me know that Help Desk is currently on the problem and is expected to fix the problem by the end of the day. She mentioned that several accounts have been affected by the problem.

April: It has been 3 weeks since that conversation with the supervisor. I have yet to receive an update on the status of my account. I called the supervisor on April 3 to find out the status my account but was only able to leave a voicemail. I have not heard back from the supervisor yet.

Out of curiosity I have been routinely accessing the online tool to update accounts and they still cannot locate my Oneok Inc. account.

I am to believe now that poor customer service is pervasive throughout the company. At least they are consistent in their methodology. Every customer service individual I have talked to has failed to communicate effectively to me. They have all failed to keep one of the most important tenets of customer service, fulfilling a promise to a customer. They all promised to call back with an update, but have never called back.

I am not expecting them to have perfect tools in managing their accounts. I work in IT and I know too well the occassionally glitches in account management tools. I do not doubt that Computershare is working towards a fix for the faulty account numbers so I am not questioning their attempts to fix the problem, just their ability to provide customer service.


MoneyEnergy said...

that's awful, I'm sorry you had to experience all of that. I hope it doesn't happen again and I hope I never experience such a mess up with Computershare.

So how many DSP plans are you up to now? I have about 12 or so.

investor09 said...

I couldn't agree more! The last time I sold some of my stock through Computershare, they sol my stock a day later (and a dollar shorter) than their trade policy indicated because "there were no brokers available that day". That is inexcuseable - and they were even too inept to try to make an excuse. From what I understand, there are some good people that work for the comapny and some good people that run it - largely in Australia. The US management structure is subpar and the CFO is quite insecure with her ability and this translates into horrendous management skills. This is a problem endemic to their structure. This translates to an unhappy workforce and unacceptable customer service levels. As in any other industry, if you treat your employees poorly and/or treat them like children, you are not encouraging them to present the best possible image for your company. Well, that's my $0.02.