• Mon
  • Jul 14, 2014
  • Updated: 7:51pm

Take Action!

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 June, 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 ...


New mother Danielle Fong recalled her delivery at Queen Mary Hospital in January as 'a cruel punishment'. She refused to go back to the hospital to check her wound six weeks later. Apart from the labour pain, Ms Fong said she had to suffer insults from the assistants and rough handling by the doctor.


'I was told by my friend that an epidural can be administered throughout labour until you deliver. However, the assistants told me that is not their practice and there is no way a pregnant woman should deliver a child without any pain or pushing. I have put it in a very nice way how they told me because they were really mean and nasty ... calling me weak and useless and not a word of comfort from their mouths, and the doctor was nowhere to be seen. Finally, I gave in and let them switch off the epidural machine and I tried to push. The assistants again insulted me, saying that I couldn't even push out 's***'. Yes, 's***' was exactly the word they used.


'For someone who has not eaten or drunk for 24 hours, what kind of strength are you expected to have? When I wanted to cry, they scolded me and told me not to do so or I would block my nose which would make the process even harder.


'After almost three hours of struggle, the doctor finally came in and used the forceps to pull my child out. The doctor did a horrible job. She was rough and I could feel lots of pain. She stitched me up like an animal without anaesthetic and I was screaming so loud. She asked for non-dissolvable thread but I begged for dissolvable stitches and she ignored me.'


Lee Chin-peng of Queen Mary Hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology offered an apology to Ms Fong in a letter while pledging to improve patient care. 'The staff might have shouted at you in their efforts to encourage you to push, not realising that their wording was hurtful to you. We apologise for this,' Dr Lee said.


'We deeply apologise for the pain you suffered during the repair of the wound. Women on epidural analgesia usually do not require additional anaesthetic for repair of the wound.


'However, your epidural had probably worn off by then and local anaesthetics should have been given to you before stitching. The doctor had omitted that. We will remind all doctors and nurses about this.'


Many complaints have been lodged against Cable TV since it lost the rights to broadcast the English Premier League. Take Action has received complaints from four viewers about their frustration in trying to end their contracts with Cable TV.


Janet Wong Wai-chun made 20 calls to the company's hotline last month and reached its staff only five times.


'I can hardly talk to anyone through the hotline. Among those five times, my line was cut off twice. They cut your line to make you feel frustrated and give up calling. On May 18, I called again. They said I signed the contract on August 5, 2006. I checked my passport and found that I was in the UK and only arrived [in Hong Kong] very late that evening. I called the hotline and gave the officer this information. He said he would direct my line to the customer service department but soon my line was cut.'


Mrs Cheung encountered enormous difficulty in seeking a cancellation form required for ending her Cable TV service. 'Getting that form is difficult as the only way is to phone them for it. Their customer service hotline is so hard to get through to - it took half a day. When a representative eventually answered, he asked me to call another department. As i-Cable does not have any shops in Hong Kong, there's no way a customer can talk to them in person. They only have an office in the Cable TV building in Kwai Chung, but entry there is limited to their own staff.'


University lecturer Denis Odlin tried for eight weeks without success to disconnect his phone from i-Cable. The marketing lecturer said he would like to nominate the company for the 'worst customer service in Hong Kong'.


'Beyond the sheer incompetence of i-Cable, it is clear after all my efforts that i-Cable refuses to disconnect subscribers. I can't transfer my line, I can't disconnect my line. For almost eight weeks I have been trying. It's beyond the stupidity of one or two staff members. Clearly it's an i-Cable policy.'


A Cable TV spokesman said the delays experienced by customers calling its hotline were due to 'technical difficulties'. 'The delays are due mainly to the current refurbishment of the customer relations call centre and works to upgrade the customer hotline system. Unfortunately, these technical difficulties are exacerbated by the recent surge in calls inquiring about our new broad-based channel, Cable No 1 Channel,' he said.


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