Take Action!

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 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 ...

Peter Ball, who lives in a walk-up building in Mid-Levels, hopes to have Now broadband TV connected at his home. He complained to Take Action in March that his building was inaccessible to Now TV as, a staff member of the company said, the installation cost could be higher than the return the company might get.

Later on, PCCW promised in this column to upgrade the system and would have Mr Ball's building accessible to Now TV by July, but his flat has not been connected yet.

'As a result of my letter published in Take Action in March, I was told my apartment would be connected to Now broadband TV at the end of July.

'In late August I received a phone call saying my apartment was now ready to receive Now TV.

'I went and chose my channels, signed the contract and selected the connection time some eight days later.

'On the strength of PCCW promises and the contract signed, I even bought a new LCD TV.

'However, two days before the connection date, I received a phone call from the same person who arranged my contract, saying the connection was not possible ... because there was not enough cable in my building and the technicians needed another four weeks to do so.

'I 'politely' suggested the PCCW staff should have checked this before getting me to sign the contract.

'Two weeks later, I received a phone call at home from another PCCW staff member who assured me my apartment could be connected. I explained the recent disappointment. She assured me this was different.

'I then went through the process of choosing channels, chose the connection date, agreed to the contract verbally ... only to receive a phone call 20 minutes later saying there was not enough cable in my building and I would have to wait for a further four weeks.

'I rang the customer care department to complain. I explained my situation to two different people. I was promised a manager would definitely ring me back that evening. I received no phone call. There must be someone in PCCW who can make a promise and then honour it. I have yet to meet this person. For me, Now broadband TV is becoming 'Never' broadband TV.'

A spokeswoman for PCCW said it had finished the cable installation in July but, unfortunately, a technical problem had delayed the service provision to Mr Ball. She said work to remedy the problem was in good progress and Now TV would be provided for him this week.

Lai Wong Colgan paid HK$30,000 by credit card for 150 facials over three years at the Modern Beauty Salon, Miramar branch, in late June.

She said she had been coaxed into it as she had agreed to pay for the facial package in 24 instalments, HK$1,250 a month, by credit card, but had never expected the bank would settle the full amount with the salon right away. She is now paying the money back to the bank in instalments.

'After my free facial, which was in late June, I was subjected to a lengthy, tiring, high-pressure sales presentation. Sometimes there were three to four people in the cubicle with me. I was there for more than three hours.

'The manager at the Miramar branch, Joey Liu, eventually offered me a facial package for HK$30,000. I immediately refused and said I couldn't afford it and wouldn't pay that kind of money up front.

'Eventually, Ms Liu suggested a monthly instalment plan instead and a 'buy 75, get 75 free' package. I questioned whether I could use 150 facials within three years.

'After they wore me down, I finally agreed to a monthly instalment plan of HK$1,250 per month for 24 months for a total of HK$30,000. I never agreed to pay the full amount up front.

'When I called HSBC, I was told the bank had already settled the full amount of HK$30,000 to the Modern Beauty Salon.

'Ms Liu should have informed me of this from the beginning.

'If she had told me the full amount would be taken out of the credit card right away, I would have also rejected this offer.'

A spokesman for Modern Beauty Salon said it was just a service provider and was unfamiliar with how each bank operated. He said their company would not provide a refund as they had not misled her.