I actually sent them this letter in a more traditional “closed” fashion yesterday, but I’m so very irritated at being repeatedly ignored that I thought I’d take the gamble of publishing it here too.
‘Gamble’ because this blog is hosted by… er… Afrihost.
And because my internet connectivity is supplied by… er… Afrihost.
But while we’re here, before diving into the misery and nonsense below, let me say that I’ve been pretty happy with their hosting. That’s why my blog has been on Afrihost for many years now. Uptime is generally very good, and thus I’ve never really had to use their customer service much.
And, again, as an ISP, they’ve done the job, and done it well. Je suis content.
See. My. Smile.
And that’s why when we decided to make the switch from ADSL to fibre, I decided upon them as the service provider, through Openserve.
It’s been a disaster. Firstly, they told me that they couldn’t do it, even though their website said they could. Then they said that they could do it, but it would take 4 weeks. That was ok. Good things come to those who wait.
Long story short, I’m due some really – really – incredible things, because I’ve been waiting more than a year now.
Hawu. Eish. Wena.
And it’s not so much that I’ve had to wait – it’s that they keep promising and then not delivering. And their customer service has all gone a bit MTN.
Here’s the email they sent me yesterday morning:
Good day I trust you are well 🙂 We apologies it took so long to give you an update. Openserve have notified us that they are still working on the fibre infrastructure in your area and they have not given an estimated date of completion. We will however change your order to a pre-order for now. As soon as your area goes live we will notify you. So in the meantime you may opt for our RAIN/LTE services whilst we wait for the activation of fibre in your area. We apologize for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Truth be told, I’ve searched my SENT ITEMS folder, and I actually have no idea what they’re feeding back from. But that last line looked so good, so inviting, so I got in touch:
“If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.”?
Well, ok: YES! I HAVE QUESTIONS! ASSIST ME!
It’s been over a year since you promised me fibre in 1 month.
Literally, I have emails from last May (already) apologising for messing up my initial request. Lolz – warning bells, much?
To cut a ridiculously long story short, though:
In January 2018, you told me I could have it on “April 31st”. Ha!
Good day I trust you are well. We receive feedback from Openserve in regards with your order and they have informed us that there is a Project scheduled for completion 2018/04/31 . Please note that I have changed the order to pre order and will follow up after the project to confirm installation. Have a great day
But there are only 30 days in April, we joked. Lolz – warning bells, much?
Then, when “April 31st” came and went (10 days ago, in fact), you said it would now be July 31st. Here’s that email, in case you have forgotten:
Good day, I trust you are well. Please note that Openserve has given us feedback that your order is linked to a project that is estimated to complete on the 31-07-2018. Once the project is done, Openserve will be in contact to schedule you for an installation. Apologies for the lack of feedback thus far. Kind Regards Afrihost Fibre Ops
Well, at least there is a July 31st, I thought.
But now you tell me that Openserve “have not given an estimated date of completion”.
How come when I go onto your Fibre Availability page (it’s here: https://www.afrihost.com/fibre/capped#fibre-availability) and check my address, I get this?
(Note: Image subtly altered to protect my home address as the neighbours don’t appreciate the hordes of fans camping outside.)
“Approx. 1 weeks”?
This is actually complete bullshit, isn’t it?
It looks deliberately inaccurate; bordering on deceitful even, I’d say.
I mean, the cynic in me wants to suggest that if you were to put the truth there, like “Openserve “have not given an estimated date of completion””, for example, instead of that 1 week nonsense, people might not go for your offering and might take their business and money elsewhere.
And your footnote:
Installation lead times are a guide based on averages and will vary. Line activation and connection times need to be added for full turnaround estimation
suggesting that that 1 week time is based on an average, means that you must be installing literally within MINUTES somewhere near here, because, as we’ve been through above, you have no estimated date of completion for Openserve in our area, so God only knows how you can suggest that 7 days timeframe as an average.
Who does this kwik maffs?
I’ve been in touch via email before. And on twitter. I’ve held for ages on your phone line before giving up.
But I’ve (quite literally in that last case) had no answer as to what’s going on with my installation and as to why you’re still punting a product that you – knowingly – simply can’t deliver.
What happens now?
You’ll blame Openserve, I guess. “It’s out of our hands”, “they need to do the infrastructure work” etc. etc. you’ll tell me.
But if you know that, and you don’t know when that work is going to be done (like you told me above), why are you falsely advertising to potential new customers that you can provide a service on that same infrastructure within a week?
I can’t wait for your reply.
I will wait though. Experience tells me this.
And when I get it, it will promise feedback, which won’t ever happen.
To be honest, I don’t know if anyone else can provide fibre to my home more quickly that Afrihost can. If they’re right and the infrastructure isn’t there (despite the fact that several neighbours have fibre and have done for over a year), then there’s nothing much anyone can do. But really, I’d much rather work with a company which is honest and open about the limitations of providing their service.
And not one which is clearly making false claims and has consistently broken promise after promise.
Things do go wrong. Any reasonable person can understand that, and I can like to be a reasonable person. It’s how you deal with the things that go wrong that makes the difference.
So, last chance, Afrihost. Let’s play the decent customer service game like you used to do, and let’s have the truth about my fibre installation, please.