Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

Buying Broadband

I'm ready to switch. Currently I'm using cable with a nominal speed of 3 Mbit. However the international gateways of my ISP are under dimensioned (they do some basic blocking by law here - no playboy.com for me) my effective speed is way lower. Now the main competitor introduced a ADSL based service with the same nominal speed. I'm ready to switch, especially since they sweeten the deal with free unlimited wireless access at my office Starbucks.
Knowing how much ADSL depends on the quality of the copper cables (and the worrying state of the wires in our block) I went to the shop and asked. OK I not really expected an answer, so getting an URL was OK. When filling in the feedback form I had to decide between sales enquiries and technical support. Since technical support extended the form with a lot of categories to fill in to describe your ACTUAL problem, rather then enquiry the availability of a service I opted for sales enquires. I wrote:
" Hi there. I'm very pleased, that you offer new speedy broadband connections. I'm very interested in the new 3.5k plan. However I wasn't able to find any information if my landed phone line could support that speed and how the testing would work. My phone number is 6xxxx... Could you
a) Provide information on the process
b) Test my line

I go a nice reply:
" Dear Mr Wissel,
Thank you for your email. We seek your kind understanding that for technical enquiries, please use the online form at  <same URL I used before> to email to our Technical Team. To access the Technical Support form, enter your contact information in the Personal Details section and choose the following in
the Feedback section:
Nature of Feedback: Comments/request/suggestion, etc
Subject: Net
Type: Technical Support"

Since I'm ready to spend money with them I was a bit disappointed by that answer, which I expressed in my reply.
" thank you for the reply. My question is: can you sell me the service that you advertise. So it is pre-sales. I'm not sure if that is a technical question for support. Anyway as a matter of customer service I would expect an answer like: "Our technical department can answer such questions, I have forwarded your enquiry to respective team, your tracking number is...". Of course throwing it back to somebody who is willing to spend money with you is cheaper, thus bearing the risk of a lost sales opportunity. So your seek for my kind understanding failed."

OK, I went back and filled in the tech support form. One item on the list is the USER.ID. Of course I don't have one. I'm a potential not a current customer. A nice JavaScript prompt tells me, that I need a valid userid. It didn't accept "n/a",  "none" or an empty entry. Since I'm very persistent if I want something, I reviewed the Javascript validation and found out that anything between 5 and 8 characters would work (This will haunt them when the customer base grows). So I got my form to validate, only to be greeted by an MS-OLE database error without any help how to continue (basically the original Microsoft error page). Stay tuned for the next instalment of this saga.  

Posted by on 11 February 2005 | Comments (1) | categories: Buying Broadband


  1. posted by JJD on Sunday 30 April 2006 AD:
    This saga is great! You can make a mini TV series out of this. I can't wait what happens next.

    I plan to subscribe to 3500 Kbps myself. Hope I can learn from your experience.