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Fibre – a Customers perspective

Ok, this is from the customer’s prospective only; twice I have been through this same experience, to face the same problems each time.

We decided to get Fibre installed; it’s about keeping up with technology and being ahead of the game. What we didn’t realise is the procedures you go through when Fibre goes down. Fibre is great when working and I mean when.

First we get Fibre installed 16 November 2017 then soon afterwards the most important light on the Fibre installed box is the ONT light and it began to flash red that is when the problems started (18 November 2017). It took till 3 December before we were back online again.

First you call your Service Provider (ISP), and then they can’t help you but will raise a ticket (reference number). So then you think who else to contact. You know it was installed by XXX (XXX is the various other companies involved, I am kind, I am not naming companies) so you contact them, to have them raise a ticket (this is all about raising tickets. You are down the whole day, when you are running your own business, this is a wee bit of a problem as you rely 100% on the Internet and email. So next day you ring again, mention your ticket number to get another ticket number, it’s all about the ticket number, these companies love to raise tickets, I am finding out, not that they mean anything at all, a bit of a pointless exercise, but hey its procedures. If the red ONT light is flashing it needs a technician from XXX or XXX, we find out, there is no urgency, nobody really cares, even though you the customer do. It’s phone call after phone call between companies to get assistance and to get someone active, they just tell you the well-worn out line, it’s in progress we are aware of the problem, yeh right. Using Private Message in Facebook, waste of time, put your problem onto Facebook post, waste of time, tweet it, go mad on social media, doesn’t work. We eventually find out from the technician, days later, that someone cut the cable. Its fixed you are back up and running, a month or two later same problem occurs, again the famous red ONT light flashing, not again.

Again contact ISP to be told it’s a XXX problem. Ring XXX to be told it’s the ISP’s problem, no I can’t give you a ticket because it’s not our problem its your ISP’s problem, so then who’s problem is it, I am down to no Fibre and nobody wants to take responsibility, working from home, stuck. My data is being used up very rapidly with each call, WhatsApp or SMS, XXX companies loves to eat your data. Now everyone in our complex who has Fibre is down.

My problem here is who do you contact when you have a problem with Fibre? Neither company are really interested in assisting, they just pass the buck, one company has a short service level agreement the other a long one, so you wonder how can this work, you both must have the same service level agreement for things to work and what is with the ticket system, we raise them but nothing seems to come of them and what about the disappearing Technicians who come and disappear apparently to solve the problem but don’t return. You can ring till you are blue in the face and still not get far or get your problem solved. When that red ONT light starts flashing then your Fibre problems begin. How to solve the problem, I don’t bloody know, they just keep saying reset ONT and router – which FYI does nothing J, and then because everyone works ever so slowly and nobody really cares about the customer, if they did they would jump and get this fixed and waive their service level agreement at the big guys but they don’t as they know they want lose money over this, you do if you are the customer as you are paying for a service you are not getting. You deal with the little people of the company and nothing happens. You get mightily frustrated and angry but it just brings you more frustration as you cannot get anywhere.

We have now been down since the evening of 21 February 2018 and no idea when we will be back up. Nobody wants to commit to a timeframe. We just get told a ticket is logged or a technician will come out as of 26 February 2018. The technician did come out on Saturday 24 February 2018, located the fault, exchanged the box outside our complex on the black pole, saying that we would be back online late Saturday or Sunday, they just have to serialise the serial numbers with the new box, then they disappeared, so we contact XXX to be told a technician will come out, (even though technicians have already been out) when, no idea. So we sit and wait.

Now at 28 February, still no Fibre but hey the company is under the impression it was fixed yesterday 27th… I am at a stage I don’t know what to say or how to solve this problem, been without Fibre now since 21 February. What has happened to providing customers with a service, there is no service, lots of phone calls but very little else when dealing with this company.

Update I am now at the 2 March and still no Fibre. Had the technicians out yesterday they checked everything then rang and set us up to be reconfigured, said it would take 3 hours, still no Fibre. Contacted XXX my contact, she has no idea and does not know what to do anymore as nobody is taking notice. Tried to contact technician, WhatsApp’d and rang, no answer. So do I let my business die, trying now to find other alternatives, have to go back to ADSL, I don’t have a choice as my business is suffering and I could very well loose it if I am offline for much longer. We have spent 9 days trying to get assistance from this company to get absolutely nowhere.  We are well over the SLA, but they take no notice of that anyway, what a way to run a company, completely no communication. Finally we have fibre on Monday 5 March.  A senior technician came out and said the fibre box had been configured wrong, so now up and running till next time.

Nobody really communicates with each other, so nobody seems to know what is happening. The whole issue with this problem is called COMMUNICATION, a big lack of it all around. Everyone needs to communicate in every step of the way to solve a problem, if this is not done confusion rules, which it did in this case. We eventually told everyone what the problem is and now it can be fixed, now everyone is on the same page.

The answer, bugger technology and go back to ADSL with your old ISP (taking a step backward in technology) at least you had a service and ADSL never goes down, it goes slow but never actually down for longer than a few hours over the many years that I had it.

Moral of the story, wait don’t jump on the Fibre bandwagon just yet.

There are many problems they need to fix, this is just my opinion of how I think the problems could be solved based on the service I have received when problems occur:

  1. Procedures and standards etc;
  2. Service level agreements that work with both parties being on the same wave level, meaning support and technicians etc. I find, A does not know what B is doing and C is totally confused and D the technicians just disappear, just from my experiences with Fibre;
  3. Raise one ticket and work from it, not raise many, the practice of raising ticket after ticket only delays the job further and gives the other party a longer repair time, increasing the SLA further;
  4. Employ the staff needed to install, fix and repair, up knowledge the employees;
  5. Fix the Fibre quicker, faster turnaround times;
  6. Provide proper feedback to the customer on an ongoing process, don’t leave the problem, forgetting about it and letting the customer phone you, you will have one very frustrated customer, as you are experiencing;
  7. Communication lacking between ISP and XXX, communication lacking with technicians, nobody knows what has been done so they keep sending out technicians, who come out, disappear and are never heard from again, so you have no idea if the problem is fixed or not etc.

 

Is Fibre great and what we thought it would be?

Yes it is, but not when the red ONT light starts to flash and Fibre goes down, then it’s a huge problem to get it fixed and it’s an even bigger problem if you work from home and depend on the Internet.

 

Written by Alison M Fourie 27 February 2018

#Fibre #FibreOptic #Cables #amftyping #VA #VAs #Time #Business #ISP

 

 

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