Wed, 02 Apr 2008

Goodbye People Telecom.

I don't want to be accused of blogorrhea but I really need to get this off my chest.

I've been a customer of People Telecom since they took over Swiftel in 2004. Since this connection is paid for by revenue generated by SecretRabbitCode I have been on one of their most expensive and highest bandwidth plans. I have been a good customer; my bills were paid by direct debit from an account that always had sufficient funds, I rarely go anywhere near my download limits and as a moderately advanced Linux user rarely, if ever, call their technical support.

However, I am about to end my relationship with People Telecom and this is what led up to it:

  1. My father needed a new ISP so I suggested that he ring People Telecom. He made the call on the morning of Tuesday, March 25th and signed up. He was told that someone would contact him within 4 days to finalize things.
  2. On Monday March 30th, over 4 working days after the initial call he rang them again and was told that they had determined him to be a bad credit risk. Now firstly, it was just plain rude for them to have decided this and not told him and stupid for not informing him and trying to find an alternative payment solution. Secondly, my father is not a bad credit risk. He's a self funded retiree, paid off his mortgage over 15 years ago and has never had a credit card. As a credit risk, you don't get much better than this.
  3. After hearing about this, I rang People Telecom at about 10am to see if there was some way to get my father connected. After negotiating their phone robot and listening to their on-hold music I finally spoke to someone and explained the situation. They said I needed to talk the credit department and switched me though, first to listen to the on-hold music and then to voice mail. I left my details and a message asking them to call me.
  4. By 6pm that day I still hadn't received a call from the credit department so I called again, negotiated the phone robot, got transferred to the credit department, listened to the on-hold music and then got put through to voice mail. I left a second message.
  5. At around 8pm I thought I might try and contact them via their web site to try and get this sorted out. Unfortunately, their web site was down and giving SQL errors.
  6. On Tuesday April 1st at about 9:30 am, I rang again, negotiate the phone robot and got put on hold, but this time there is no music. Thinking their phone system was broken I hung up.
  7. I try again at about 10am, negotiate the phone robot and got put on hold, but again, no music so again, I hung up. I then tried again to contact them via their web site and this time it worked. Since the web mail form only allowed a limited number of characters I just asked for them to contact me and left my mobile number.
  8. By lunch time I still hadn't been contacted so I tried to ring again. I negotiated the phone robot, got put on hold, ignored the fact that there was nothing to indicate that I actually was on hold and finally got through to a person.
  9. I explained the situation briefly and the tech support guy on the other end told me I need to talk to the credit department. I explained that I've tried to talk to the credit department and they didn't return my calls. The tech support guy suggested I talk to the billing department, promises I won't get put on hold, puts me though and I go on hold. Silence.
  10. After a short period of time a woman picked up the phone and says she has read the case notes but there's not a lot she can do because its a issue with the credit department. I explain my problems with their credit department and ask to be put through to her manager. She agreed and I got put on hold again. Silence.
  11. I finally got to talk to a manager named Eric. I explain the situation, explain that I have now spent over an hour of my very valuable time and suggest that its time for People Telecom to get this sorted out.
  12. Eric, the manager suggests I put my fathers connection on my bill. I reply that this is not a good solution because my bill is a company bill, not my personal bill and having my father's bill on my company's bill would complicate accounting.
  13. I asked if it was possible to direct debit my father's account and if for some reason his account isn't paid, they bill my personal credit card as a fallback. The manager responds that their system isn't able to do this.
  14. Finally, I suggest that they need to come up with a decent solution to this or they lose me as a customer.
  15. No solution followed so I told Eric the manager that some time over the next couple of months I will be changing ISPs and then I said goodbye.
  16. Late Tuesday afternoon I received an email stating that the issue had been escalated to the Manager of the Credit Department and that I should receive a call tomorrow. By the end of Wednesday that call still hadn't come.

I am dumbfounded. I simply cannot remember ever having this kind of run-around and pig-headed intransigence from any other company ever.

I am now searching for a new ISP; one with something like my current 8000k down, 384k up link, about 10 gigs a month with a static IP address and reverse DNS.

Posted at: 20:09 | Category: Tech | Permalink