Sat, Jul 19, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Customers praise Chunghwa's progress

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

The public gave thumb ups to state-run Chunghwa Telecom Co's (中華電信) customer service over the past few years, but said the company must come up with more novel products and services or risk losing younger consumers.

"Chunghwa Telecom's customer service has improved after it incorporation in 1996," Lin Kun-sheng (林鯤生), a retired insurance agent said yesterday at one of phone company's outlets on Jenai Rd. Lin was queuing up to pay his bill.

Lin said the most obvious change in the state-run company is that its employees are more polite than before.

"They are not as bureaucratic as they they used to be," he said.

Another customer also said she was impressed by Chunghwa Telecom's customer service.

"Unlike the past, the company's call-service staff is now able to resolve my problems politely and quickly," said Jenny Yang (楊慧珍), a Taipei snack-bar owner.

One market watcher said Chunghwa's efforts in customer service are paying off.

"A survey released recently showed that customers' satisfaction with Chunghwa Telecom is rising as regards both the waiting times for call service and the attitude of its staff," said Nathan Lin (林宗賢), a telecom industry analyst at SinoPac Securities Corp (建華證券). "Its operation margin and profit margin look good, too."

Chunghwa reported NT$176 billion in sales with NT$43.2 billion net profit last year, and the company is expected to generate NT$177.4 billion in sales with NT$42.8 billion net profit this year.

In addition to improving customer service, Lin said Chunghwa Telecom's price-cuts on a variety of products also helped the company maintain a leading place in the market. Chunghwa Telecom last month cut prices for its asymmetrical digital signal line (ADSL) services by 16 percent, from NT$595 to NT$499, hoping to boost users number.

However, the company seems to be having difficulties in keeping up with the fashionable services provided by its rivals -- Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大哥大), Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) and KG Telecommunications Co (和信電訊), another customer said.

"Chunghwa Telecom is lagging behind private telecom carriers in developing novel devices or applications for cell phone systems, such as downloading graphics or ring tones," said Clare Yu (游馥慈), an art gallery operator in Taipei.

"I think Chunghwa Telecom needs to come up with more products and services that can lure younger consumers," said Yu.

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