Sun Hung Kai Properties

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PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 January, 2007, 12:00am

The column for anyone fed up with bureaucracy, frustrated with delays or furious with poor service. Tell us your complaint and we'll try to fix it...

Mr Master of Causeway Bay found the Nokia E61 handset, a smart phone he bought from SmarTone, was unable to send or receive e-mails.

After countless calls and visits to the telecommunications company, he was still stuck with the same mobile and the same problem.

'I bought a new Nokia E61 handset from the SmarTone on October 31 last year and subscribed for their Blackberry internet service package. But within a few days I realised the phone's e-mail service was malfunctioning.

'I started an endless number of visits to SmarTone shops to fix the problem, but to no avail.

'In frustration I took the phone to Nokia Service Causeway Bay in late November and they reinstalled the operating system, but the instrument was returned with exactly the same problem.

'On December 18 SmarTone customer care hotline agreed to take the phone in for inspection and testing.

'On January 3 and 7, they called me to say that the phone was ready and could be collected.

'But when I went to pick up the phone, the sales executive spent two hours trying to get the phone to work.

'It had the exact same problem again, and I had to leave the phone at SmarTone again.

'Clearly there is a problem with this instrument, which neither Nokia nor SmarTone have been able to fix. I have even offered that they give me a credit note for the cost of the phone and I buy a new handset.

'SmarTone have unhelpfully advised that had I returned the phone to them within seven days after purchase, they would have given me a new phone.

'My gentle advice to them is that it takes a non-technical person a bit more than seven days to fully understand the instrument and to realise that something is amiss!

'To date, SmarTone continues to keep me waiting on the line, with lots of apologies, but no concrete action on their part.'

SmarTone has offered Mr Master another mobile phone to replace the faulty one and Mr Master was satisfied with the settlement.

A spokeswoman with the company said the phone did work properly when the technician tested it in late December, but the problem appeared again when Mr Master tried to use it to send or receive e-mails through his own e-mail box.

'In addition, we also lent a new phone to Mr Master for temporary use during the period of repair,' the spokeswoman said.

'Since we have not yet been able to fix the fault, we would like to swap another one for him.'

Ms Ho and her friend were frustrated to learn that the Korean beginner class they enrolled in at the Hong Kong Communication Art Centre could not start on time due to a lack of students.

The centre told them they needed to wait for another eight weeks for a refund or the centre would cut the number of lessons, both of which were unacceptable results for Ms Ho.

'My friend and I enrolled in a Korean beginner class at the Hong Kong Communication Art Centre on December 15 last year, with the first lesson starting on January 15 at its Wan Chai branch,' she said.

'However, when my friend and I arrived at the school last Monday, the receptionist told us the class was postponed to January 29 because there were no other students than the two of us - less than the minimum requirement of five to start a class.

'I am very angry and disappointed because no one notified us about the postponement, although we had given them our contact details when enrolling in the course one month before.'

To make matters even worse, when Ms Ho tried to ask for a refund, she was told she had to wait for another eight weeks to get her money back.

'The receptionist said that there are only two choices for us now: we can get the refund in eight weeks if there are not enough people enrolling in the course within this period, or they will cut the number of lessons from 16 to eight to adapt to a class of two students instead of five.

'I feel that both options are very unfair to us. The first one will waste our time and restrict our opportunity to find other schools with our money held back.

'The second will force us to pay a higher charge per lesson, which is not what we wanted in the first place.

'To resolve the problem, I would appreciate an immediate refund and a formal apology from the school for its irresponsible and unprofessional behaviour.'

A spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Communication Art Centre made a formal apology to Ms Ho and promised to start the class on January 22, which will include four students.

'We would like to express our sincere apology to Ms Ho,' the spokeswoman said.

'In fact, the receptionist who talked to Ms Ho and her friend last Monday was a new colleague without much experience in dealing with such cases.

'She had some misunderstanding of our company's policy.'