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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Swift Networks: No Longer so swift

I once read a joke of a man who entered one of those taxis that is billed by their meters. The man having just returned from Japan kept complaining about everything in the taxi and in that country (I forget which country now). At every opportunity, he would say;
so so and so is so slow, Japanese equivalent is very fast
, much to the irritation of the taxi driver. At the end of the journey when he called for his fare and the driver told him, he exclaimed that it was too expensive and it was the turn of the driver to smile when he said well,
meter is Japanese!

I am beefing swift networks very seriously right now. I have thought so many times of how to deal with them other than of course to stop using them. The only way I could come up with is to expose their non-existent online customer care (!). Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds somewhat lame, and perhaps it is. But just think about it, this is a company whose business is all about the internet. It provides internet services for fees depending on the plan you purchase, it has one or two e-mail addresses that you are supposed to channel your enquiries or complaints to. You send the mails or even mails like in my case and...well, er, nothing happens! For all you know, they didn't get the mail(s).

Now, what is an internet provider doing if it cannot check its mails? Over the years, I had noticed the same problem with our telecommunication companies as well. They provide you with email addresses to channel your customer care complaints to. But guess what? Unless and until you make calls to customer care via your phone, even if you had left a thousand messages on the on-line customer care platform, your complaints will not be attended to. This is true of Airtel and Globacom, I haven't tried it with others yet.

With swift networks, while their refusal or neglect to reply my mails may be one of the reasons why I am contemplating getting another internet connection, it is by no means the only reason. In fact, the reason that led to the emails is the fact that since I got swift networks at home, the 10 gigabyte plan which is supposed to last me for a month has so far in a period of well over 6 months lasted at best for only three weeks in any given month. I have had cause too many times to keep count to call them to complain about their data calculation to no avail. Every new month is the same or worse. Once, when I complained at their office, one of the workers replied that three weeks is ok because the connection is fast! Now, remembering the joke above, I think whatever Swift is using to determine data usage has got to be Japanese and its calculation is obviously not in tandem with the actual data used.

It also seems to me that no matter what you do or do not do, once it's three weeks, Swift will automatically cut you off with the excuse that you've exhausted your data limit. And when you call the customer care, you are kept on hold for such a long time that you wonder whether they remember at all if the call you are making is not toll-free. I have on a number of occasions been kept on hold for about an hour only for the machine to tell me that I had dialled a wrong number or some such thing that I couldn't make any sense of.

Of course after this happened a number of times, I decided I would only complain through their email thenceforth.

I was however forced to renew my subscription with swift after going for a month with another internet provider which had by the way increased its speed since I last used it and is in fact now considerably faster than swift networks which is, at least in my area no longer so fast.

When I first got my 4G Swift networks internet, I was so excited about it because I felt it was superfast. I thought, finally, a real internet connection! Sadly, just last week, I tried to watch a 2-minute video clip on it and it was really painful for me to watch my "super fast Swift internet connection struggle much like a rat trapped on a super glue attempting to free itself without success. After about 20 minutes of failure, I had to stop the attempt to watch the video clip. And so, sadly, my super-fast Swift networks internet connection is no longer er,