analysis of gaps model for service quality

Review of the GAPS model of Service Quality using a personal example: Service Name: Bell Essential Plus Internet Service Existence of a Gap: Yes Expected Service (description of expectation): The expectation was (without reading the fine print, which is obscure and not indicative of essential information for new customers) that upon subscribing to Bell Essential Plus I’d be able to download media content and browse the internet at a speed of “5mbps”. Perceived Service (description of how the service fell short): The widely dvertised “5mbps” is not actually 5 MB (megabyte) per second but 5 mb (megabits) per second. 1 MB is equal to 8 mb. Therefore downloading at 5 megabits is equivalent to downloading at 625 kilobytes per second. For example, 1 song is equal to 5MB or 5000 kilobytes, which is equal to 40000 kilobits or 40 megabits. Therefore to download a 5MB song in one second one would require a 40mbps connection. I was further piqued when I realised that my download speed was not even the full 5mbps (625 kbps) I was paying for. After repeated calls to the Bell customer service

I was told that because of the wiring in my area and the great distance between my building and Bell’s nodal office I could not receive a speed of more than 500 kilobits per second. I was flabbergasted and immediately shifted the service to an alternate service provider. Provider Gap No. 1: In my opinion there is no gap here. Bell very well knows what the customer wants (high speed internet) and their knowledge of this fact is evident through their advertisements and their high speed plans. They advantage from the general ignorance of a majority of their customer base.

Most of the internet users do not know the real potential of their internet plan. Provider Gap No. 2: There is a big gap between the company perceptions of consumer expectations and their service designs and standards. In my opinion, this gap is the widest as far as this case is concerned. Major factors adding to this gap are – • Bell is still working with a 15 years old delivery technology in several areas, i. e. copper wiring (which is inferior in terms of data carriage in comparison to fibre optic cable). • There are too few routing nodes or nodal offices.

This inferiority of the infrastructure results in some customers like me not being fully satisfied with their service. Provider Gap No. 3: Since in this specific case there are no intermediaries (employees, franchisees etc) and the service is delivered directly through company’s infrastructure (already covered in gap 2) I did not find a big gap here. When I initially complained about slow speed of my internet, the customer service representatives did not know what I was talking about. After some research and fact finding when I tried confronting them they tried to skirt the issue as much as ossible. Provider Gap No. 4: I sincerely believe they should not be advertising what they are not giving. They are misleading by omitting. They insert a small asterisked “upto” just before the 5mbps and get away with the legal complications of misleading customers. Ideas to fix the gaps: 1) Of the several things that come to my mind, first & foremost they should moderate their advertising and let the people know the real truth. A few customers may shy away from them but they will probably not lose a customer permanently. ) Apart from the communication bit, they should invest some of their earnings in to the infrastructure and update all the copper-wired connections to fibre-optic connections. They can work out an arrangement with property managers to upgrade the phone lines in order to set up a modern infrastructure in place. Most of the copper-wired connections are in rental complexes where the building management has not upgraded the phone lines. 3) They should increase the number of nodal offices to an optimum level, so that their Customers get the speed they pay for.

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