Monday, November 20, 2006

Reasons not to go on the internet....

Imagine you'd paid your phone bill on time, by direct debit for a couple of years. Then, one evening, you get home from work, to find that you could only access a recorded message, telling you that you had been cut off, and the only way to phone anyone would be to sign up for a more expensive package?

That's what's happened to the 9,500 customers of Internet Service Provider V21. On November 16th, all internet connections were lost, due to a dispute between business supplier Netservices, and V21, who resell their broadband.
V21's subscribers (Of which I was one) could only acess a single web page, which told them that they could sign up for a service by Ezzeedsl, at an increased cost, and be reconnected in a couple of hours.... or they could wait for Netservices to issue a cease order to their account on November 24th, and then wait for the BT process to end, which takes around 10 days. At which point they can then begin signing up for a new account with a new ISP, potentially regaining their broadband connection around Dec 11th onwards.
Netservices will not release MAC codes to allow a quicker transfer to individuals, as they claim it breaks their confidentiality with their business customers. They will, however, facilitate the switch to Ezzeedsl within hours...strange....
Ofcom previously issued a warning about netservices using this practice in the past to trap customers, but despite complaints, are powerless to act, leaving almost 10,000 people in the cold. And that includes people that pay their bill on time, people that use the internet for their main income, and basically anyone who has an account with V21.
To add insult to injury, this follows the recent buy-out of V21 by another ISP, Biscit, in the last couple of months, which have seen the service slow, and the Biscit helpdesk overwhelmed...

I can safely say there are several thousand people who will now make every effort to avoid Netservices, despite the hassle of waiting a month without a service they've paid for. And they'll continue to recommend avoidance of such shoddy dealings... In the event of legal action between Netservices and V21, there were several options, whether it was issuing MAC codes to V21 customers immediately, continuing the service and billing, or at the very least, giving more warning that this was to happen, or a free trial with the new service. By choosing none of these, Netservices has done itself no favours at all...

Right, I'm off to go adn post these details on several other blogs and forums. Now imagine 5000 other people doing the same, and you'll see how much a lack of thought about your customers can achieve....

FasterFuture.blogspot.com

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?