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Mobile Operator Spusu UK Commits Not to Use AI Chatbots

Monday, Mar 11th, 2024 (10:27 am) - Score 1,640

Mobile provider spusu, which hold a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement via BTWholesale to harness EE’s UK network, has committed to only “using human customer service agents“. The pledge follows in the wake of VOXI’s decision (here) to introduce a ChatGPT (LLM) based AI chatbot to help “transform its customer services“.

Currently, spusu’s customer service methods include WhatsApp, Signal, email and direct telephone – all supported by human customer service agents and that’s the way they intend it to stay. Spusu highlights a recent study from Forbes to support this, which claimed that after just one negative experience with a chatbot, 30% of customers would switch to another brand. But whether or not they actually did isn’t clarified.

The provider “guarantees its customers will only ever speak to one of its human agents“, who they say will aim to answer calls within ten seconds, in line with the company’s customer service standards. Its customer service team is based in-house, who respond to enquiries seven days a week, between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, and 9am until 5pm on weekends.

Christian Banhans, UK MD of spusu, said:

“There’s no denying that AI uptake has been profound in the customer service space. We understand that it’s a hugely valuable tool, helping businesses save money and time having to onboard agents. But right now, we believe spusu can deliver the most efficient and accurate customer service through traditional methods of human-to-human interaction.

To our current and future customers, we want to reaffirm that all enquiries are responded to and managed by spusu’s dedicated customer service team using your preferred contact channel. Our customer feedback shows that our current methods of communication and response are appreciated and well received. We don’t need to fix something that’s not broken”.

On the flip side, Vodafone’s sibling VOXI remains adamant that their new LLM generative AI chatbot “will improve the customer experience by engaging in human-like interactions and managing more sophisticated customer requests“. No doubt if it works it’ll also enable them to cut costs too, like jobs.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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9 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    Instead of AI chatbots, you just don’t receive OTPs, and occasionally get an international dial tone, with a complete mess of a voicemail system. I mean, at least the CS is good

    1. Avatar photo AD says:

      lol, yeah I think they need to get their priorities right first. I rather have a mobile network which uses AI chatbots to one that doesn’t have OTP working

  2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    can they commit to making volte and wifi calling work on android devices, and perhaps commit to improving the audio quality on calls

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      hehe….yeah…not just them either! Guess VoLTE must cost more…

  3. Avatar photo AndyK says:

    I think we’ll start seeing a lot more of this – there’s a growing population of people realising that chatbots are in no way ‘intelligent’ whatsoever and do nothing to improve the experience whatsoever.

    It certainly features in my decision making process – if it isn’t easy to get help from a real person, I am far less likely to want to be a customer of any company.

  4. Avatar photo bear says:

    imagine a world where chatbots are more intelligent than a person

    1. Avatar photo Hans says:

      Quite a low bar to surpass nowadays.

  5. Avatar photo anon says:

    thats a good thing. but perhaps they should concentrate on making things like SMS messages work properly first

  6. Avatar photo Jay says:

    I’m on an iPhone and everything works perfectly for me, I get all my messages, including SMS messages and FaceTime messages. FaceTime activate correctly. I haven’t use the voicemail service. I turned it off because I don’t need it and I’d rather people call me back because it put the owners on them to call me rather than me having to go through the effort, call them back, top network as far as I’m concerned

Comments are closed

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