After receiving the email yesterday and deciding to come down and check out the queue today I can say that this would have to be an absolute disaster in terms of Starhub’s organisation of the Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE registration process. If you have read Starhub’s Facebook page it would appear that a large number of people are agreeing with my assessment!
At first appearances it doesn’t look too bad. As you can see from the photo below there is a special Starhub area in the middle of Plaza Singapura at taxi stand end. To the right you can see the queue of people forming. Alas, that is just queue number 1!
Starhub has a couple of staff checking people’s paperwork and directing them towards the 2nd queue.
I went to get some supplies, which I wish included a chair because the floor is damn hard and I haven’t had to sit like this since I was in primary school! Anyway, this is the view of the registration area.
Supplies in hand (two bottles of water and some chocolate!) I joined the queue. I can’t believe I am doing this, but I guess at least I can tell the grand children that I queued up to get one of those devices when we are taking them around the museum!
The queue has of course grown massively since I joined. There is a pattern of the people slowly sitting down the longer they are in the queue, so most of the people you see in this photo are now sitting!
I just had to have “words” with a chap who decided to occupy the gap between where I am sitting and the lady standing in front of me. I think he got the hint from the glares of everyone else who was looking at him while I pointed him to the back of the line.
For some reason we are now all standing and starting to move in the queue. I can see the registration area now, but nothing is happening there. I think they are just rearranging the queue. Now I see queue 3! We have been rearranged with some extra helper staff to send people in the right directions.
15:45 – I’ll update this post as the day goes on.
17:00 – Not much to report. People are leaving the queue for toilet breaks and to get food, asking their queue neighbour to remember them when they return. The registration area is a flurry of activity with staff all at their laptops. The screens are on to display the queue numbers and allocated counter. Meanwhile we just wait for our chance to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE.
17:45 – The queue is moving!
18:05 – We have moved a couple of times now, but I can’t see where the people at the front have moved to. I guess they just joined queues one and two together. Here is an a photo I just took of everyone standing and waiting.
Cameras have been flashing at the registration area, but there isn’t much action on the screens showing the queue numbers.
Starhub did provide some simple snacks and water which was thoughtful.
18:10 – The queue numbers are filling up the screens slowly, so it looks like things are moving!
I am almost out of battery, so I’ll have to post again when I get home later tonight.
19:40 – Well I’m sitting in Gloria Jean’s cafe having a cup of tea and recharging my laptop without my new Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE from Starhub. That might sound like a disaster, but Starhub actually did something sensible finally and gave out queue numbers in advance. Thus, I had the time to grab a bite to eat at Thai Express and rush back to see that they had only processed around 25 people. I think they started at 8000 on the ticket numbers and mine is 8135. That means I have time to sit down, enjoy a cup of tea and admire the scenery.
The queue must have gone all the way outside the building, but I haven’t bothered to wander along it and see where it ends. I’m just thankful I’m not at the end of the queue!
Here are the Starhub staff hard at work!
I’d better go and check the queue numbers!
20 Oct, 11:50 am – I have my phone, but the experience to get it was totally unsatisfactory. Starhub have really annoyed a lot of customers with their inept planning and execution of the pre-launch event. I’m going to write another post specifically about what went wrong and how it could have been easily rectified.
I paid for my phone at 21:28 pm, which means my queue number must have come up at around 21:15. I must say that the lady at counter 13 was very professional, pleasant and deserves to be praised as a wonderful Starhub employee. Unfortunately I didn’t get her name. That 15 minutes of good customer service momentarily appeased my fuming anger and frustration at the worst planned event I’ve ever attended in my life.
Unfortunately that anger and frustration resurfaced as soon as I opened the letter explaining how to retrieve the accessory gift pack. I have to go to the Samsung Mobile Phone Customer Care Centre in Orchard Road between November 17 – December 16, 2012. That is nearly one month after I’ve purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note II!
In every communication it was implied that the accessory gift pack would be available at the pre-launch event and was the main point of even queueing to be the first 1,000 elligible customers. If they had made it clear that the accessory gift pack would not be available until the middle of November I simply would not have even bothered to turn up.
Here are some photos of the queue outside Plaza Singapura that I took while I was waiting for my queue number to appear on the screens.
The people in the queue had no communication of what was going on inside, or what the overall process would be. A complete and utter failure of customer service and communication.
I’m very happy with the phone so far, but I must say that I’m seriously considering my loyalty to Starhub after this fiasco. I believe my cable television and internet is now out of contract, but I am tied to this new phone and my wife’s Samsung Galaxy S III for another two years. I think I might re-contract my internet soon, so that in 2 years time I can move everything to another provider if Starhub doesn’t issue a formal apology and compensation for this ridiculous event.