In October 2011 we were persuaded to switch our Australian Yellow Pages advertising from print to on-line media, based on a shift in sensis’ overall direction. The package and price offered was good.
The process of sensis staff creating the advertisement took several weeks rather than several days despite me supplying a complete set of text for the advertisement (but I was assured there would be no bills from senses until the work was done). Delays in completing the work and publishing the advertisement cut out all sales opportunities pre Christmas 2011.
Before the advertisement was live, we had received a bill for the work that at the time had not been done contrary to earlier promises. A written objection was lodged in early December. To date no action has been taken on this written complaint by senses apparently ‘the complaint is in the queue….’ But this has not stopped their credit department following up on monies that were billed for work not done – a potential breach of the Trade Practices Act.
Dozens of phone calls later, in mid January 2012 the situation remains:
- No one from senses has contacted me (apart from the credit people)
- The advertisement as created by senses is incorrect and inaccurate and has not been corrected despite numerous telephone calls
- I’m now being billed monthly for an advertisement that is wrong and does not reach our specific market – we are refusing to pay this bill as well
- No information has been provided on how to manage the advertisement and its on-line content
- Telstra/sensis management continue to hide behind call centre staff who have generally been more then helpful as individuals but are helpless when faced with internal bureaucracy and indifference
To add insult to injury, the on-line form for contacting sensis in writing has been defective since December 2011 and every telephone call takes over 30 minutes ‘on-hold’ before contact is made with the call centre staff, who listen to the complaint, log the call and escalate the problem again so that nothing happens.
My strong recommendation to any small/medium business operator is to do almost anything with your on-line marketing budget other than wasting your time with the incompetent systems created by sensis. You may be lucky to get things 100% right first time otherwise forget any notion of customer services – based on my experience, as far as sensis is concerned anything they do is good enough and you should be grateful, even if as a small project management training company, you get listed as a miner.
Maybe in 2 to 3 years time the glacial bureaucracy within sensis may have worked out how to implement on-line systems that are responsive to their customer’s needs, until then the cost of the time you will wast trying to deal with their processes will be 5 to 10 times the cost of any bill for the actual advertising.