Trying to contact KPN ‘Customer Service’ whilst abroad

KPN is a hard company to get hold of even when you are in the Netherlands. It is impossible to find a customer service email address on their website. So you have to phone their customer service uses a 0900 number (10 eurocents/minute) which costs over Eur 1-30/minute when using a prepaid mobile. It is not possible to use Skype to phone Dutch 0900 numbers.

So if you have no landline and only a prepaid mobile it will cost you a fortune for a simple five minute wait in the queue and a five minute conversation with a customer service agent.

It is worse from abroad. Not only can you not phone KPN using Skype you can’t phone KPN using a Norwegian prepaid mobile phone. Aha but you can use ‘Mijn KPN’ to do all sorts of useful things. Yes. Except you can’t change your address details to a foreign address*.

I’m obviously missing something here, but isn’t this against all those nice EU rules about freedom of movement of goods, services and people. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you might want to use a Dutch company’s services whilst not being a registered resident of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. So why on earth does the ‘Mijn KPN’ website not allow this**.

 I digress. The good news is that I have found a way to get to the KPN ‘Customer Service’ line from Norway. I phone the main switchboard phone number +31 70 3434343 (using Skype prepaid), explained my problem and was put through to ‘Customer Service’ straight away.

Not that it helped much but hey at least it was possible and didn’t cost a fortune***.

*It is not just the website. KPN Netherlands simply does not accept a foreign address from you for any reason.
**KPN is not the only company with this limitation, we had the same problem with ‘Mijn FBTO’ earlier in the year. At least FBTO will accept a foreign correspondence address although they will ignore it and still send letters to the Dutch address.
*** Actually most companies in Holland use 0900 for customer support. Even the dole office uses a phone line that you cannot use from Skype and costs Eur 1-30/minute from a mobile. That’s really useful when you are unemployed.

Customer service is so bad in the Netherlands that the present govenment has promised to ‘talk to companies’ about the problem. That’s a good example of swift and decisive action from the new government .

The article in Dutch
The article in Googleze-Dunglish (you don’t need to understand any Dutch to appreciate how badly Google Translate does with Dutch to English translations)

The article mentions a campaign by the Dutch comedian Youp van’ t Hek after his son had a rough deal from T-Mobile. Google translates “het ‘legaal naaien van klanten'” literally. It should read something like “the legalised screwing of customers” (-by companies)