ACT Fibernet / Broadband, fix your tech support first!

Dear ACT Fibernet (née Broadband),

I have a few not very pleasant things to say to you.

But if I did, this blog post would be so full of profanity that your ears would be on fire. That’s why I’m going to take a deep breath, shout it all out in my room, and then continue.

I am sitting at my desk suffering through yet another of your infamous day-long broadband outages, using my backup connection till your engineers get around to once again fixing the supposedly “resolved” issue that actually wasn’t. Yes, I have a backup Internet connection, for which I pay too much money, and it’s because I cannot count on you to provide me stable, reliable Internet connectivity that doesn’t go down once every month or two for days on end.

So it angers me when in the middle of enduring this outage, I get an email from a sales manager in your company, touting the wonders of your “Enterprise” Internet connectivity. No doubt it’s a mass mailing, since I do not own any “enterprise”, but the poor sod’s email caught me in a very bad mood and I dashed off an email to him about why I would never, ever, recommend you to anyone for home broadband, let alone the “Enterprise”. (I did, however, resist the urge to tell him to stick it where the sun don’t shine.)

Here’s the problem, ACT. You’re busy launching high-publicity “60 Mbps plans” when you don’t even have the basic requirements for a decent ISP down. Let me give you an idea.

1) My connection goes down at least once every 45 days. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that it’s almost never an outage for just 30-60 minutes. It usually lasts at least a day and often many days. I’m not alone on this. Numerous broadband forum posts (you can google “ACT Broadband sucks” and find them) and friends on Twitter have the same issue.

2) Your “standard response time” is ridiculous. When I was with Airtel, they would promise to resolve the issue within 8 hours. With ACT, it’s an unacceptable 24 hours. And I thought it was unacceptable before I found out that you say “24 business hours”, which for you is three days! You’re an ISP; you don’t stop working! Are you freaking kidding me? Three days is 10% of a month. I need my connection restored within hours, not days.

3) If that’s not bad enough, you supposedly don’t have technicians working on Sundays (as per your tech support staff), so if my broadband gets hosed on a Saturday night (as it has before), I am royally screwed. The last time this happened, your support staff solemnly promised to have my connection fixed by Wednesday. This would be comical if I weren’t serious. Again, you’re an ISP. You don’t get to take Sundays off. How about I don’t pay for connectivity on Sundays, eh? Have a smaller group of technicians around on Sundays, but they need to be there. Not everyone works Monday to Friday any more, ACT. It’s 2014, not the 1990s.

To add salt to the wound, you send daily @%#$ing reminders by SMS about my pending bill till the day I pay it. And these aren’t even overdue payments. You generate my bill on the 1st and then send me SMSs every damn day till I make the payment, even though my due date is on 15th of every month. It’s bloody annoying, ACT. Stop doing it. I really wish I could call you every hour for my connection that’s down, asking when it’s going to be fixed. Bet you wouldn’t like that, would you?

4) After all this, when I do make a complaint, I don’t know what the hell is going on till I call again the next day and have to listen to the same nonsense from your tech support staff. For instance, I was told yesterday that “I can’t connect to the junction box at your premises, Sir. I’ll have to get a technician to look at it.” Guess what I had to listen to when I called back again today to enquire? Yep, same shit: “I am not able to connect to the junction box. My technician will visit and check it out.” Did this technician visit? What did he see? Did he fix it? Clearly not. How much longer do I have to wait now? There’s just total silence till the problem gets resolved. I don’t mind not hearing from you if you get the problem fixed in a few hours, but when it stretches to days, I feel like coming to your office and throwing people around.

The result of your shortcomings? I have a backup Airtel DSL connection for which I pay Rs. 800 per month just so that I can have guaranteed connectivity. This is what you are costing me. (I would have happily stayed with Airtel as I did for many years before switching to ACT. Unfortunately, the dunderheads over there don’t have 16 Mbps plans in my area despite my being in Frazer Town, a mere 3 Km from MG Road. So, Airtel people, if you’re reading this, do something about it!) Are you going to discount this money on my bill? Shouldn’t there be some reasonable service uptime guarantee when you take money from a customer? My work needs me to be connected constantly and you, ACT Fibernet, are severely lacking in this area.

So how about instead of spending loads of money on hoardings and ads proclaiming the awesomeness of your crippled, low-FUP 60 Mbps plans (that’s a topic for another rant), you spend a part of that money on tech support that’s responsive, eh?



The earthquake

Dear Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India
Merry Christmas!
Early this morning, I woke up because I felt something. It was as if my bed was shaking mildly. To make sure I wasn’t dreaming this, I got up and walked around the room. I checked the time on my watch – 6:41 AM. Since I was now sure I was fully awake, I sat on the bed. There it was again. There was a definite tremor in my bed. It went on for another two minutes. Later that morning, I checked Google News for “earthquake bangalore” and it came up with nothing. When I checked the regular news sources, however, I found out about the Indonesia earthquake and the resulting damage.
All through the day, the death tolls kept rising. I expected casualties in Indonesia, but the deaths in India and Sri Lanka were a more unpleasant shock.
At times like these, I’m glad I’m an atheist. I’d find it very difficult to accept that a “God” would cause something like this.
I feel the need to rant about a few things:

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