Posted by on Apr 12, 2010 in Technology, Web | 27 comments

With the good news for the South African Internet market over the last few weeks, we highlighted the many uncapped ADSL options that providers are bringing to the table.

This is my story of using uncapped ADSL so far.

I initially was very skeptical as there were previously uncapped options already available, and they were all much more expensive than the latest offerings. I wanted to know why there was such a difference and how come, all of a sudden, uncapped Internet was affordable.

Chris over at iMod had been set up with an account from Mweb, and he seemed very happy. They were an option I thought. I was currently with Afrihost and was extremely happy with their service, and therefore was seriously considering them. I had used OpenWeb in the past and therefore I decided not to rule them out.

I did the normal thing when one is about to spend a fair amount of money or change a service provider: research. This lead me to discover that Afrihost had thresholds and essentially meant that their service would not be truly uncapped. This service with its great pricing would be sufficient for someone using around 60-100GB a month. I was looking for more.

My next step was to try Mweb as Chris seemed very happy with them. I automatically assumed that a “top” company like Mweb would have a simple sign up process, and I would be online in minutes. Boy oh boy was I wrong. The sign up process after about 10 minutes lead me to a hanging server error. It appears that my request was just simply not being picked up. There was no notification to say there was an error, or if it was successful. I was left with the worst situation possible: was my money being deducted with no product, but I had no idea as there simply was no information provided.

I tweeted this problem to the MwebConnect account as it was over the long weekend, and I felt that I could wait a few days. I was very impressed when I received a reply a few days later on the Sunday giving me a bit more information about the product. The only problem was that they didn’t answer my question on whether or not there was indeed a problem with the sign up process. This really started to annoy me now and I had tried many times to sign up again, and just to try find out some more info, but to no avail.

Eventually I was told on the public holiday Monday, through the MwebConnect twitter account that it would it would take three working days for my account to become active once I had signed up. Once again there was no mention of there being a problem with the sign up process, and it just appeared to be a standard response. This was not good enough for me, and I went to investigate OpenWeb.

I then got a phone call the next day from Mweb. They wanted to know if they could help me with the sign up process as “it appeared that I did not complete the process correctly.” What the hell! If I can’t do it properly, then very limited number of people would be able to. I told them that there was an error with the process and the operator went along and just sort of ignored that.

I told them not to bother as I had already signed up with OpenWeb, and told them my reasons for not going with Mweb. They don’t bother to find out more info on the problem or try persuade me to go with them. It was simply poor salesmanship.

I thought that would be the end of them. On the Wednesday I then got a tweet from them acknowledging my problem, and that they were trying to attend to it. Too little too late. I then also got a call from their sales department asking if someone could help me with the sign up process, making it appear as if it was my fault once again. Now I was starting to get pissed. I told them not to contact me again as I was not interested in going with them after their mess, as well as I had signed up with OpenWeb. Clearly the first person I spoke with didn’t mark my name down correctly in the system, and neither did the second idiot. Neither did the third or the fourth!

Yes, I got FOUR calls from Mweb asking me the same thing, and each and every time it was made out to be that I had not filled in the form correctly. I found that kind of insulting as I work in the internet industry! I eventually got a little bit rude with the fourth guy and told him that after four calls, and me telling them EVERY TIME that I was not interested, that they could work it out that they should stop calling me?

I just can’t believe that Mweb’s service could suck so much for a company that is meant to be at the top of the Internet industry in South Africa. It appears that many people are also having connectivity issues with Mweb. I have been connected for almost two weeks solidly with OpenWeb and my line has not dropped ONCE! It took me two minutes to sign up, and I was off. Not only that, but the CEO was replying to my support email questions on a Saturday and Sunday.

Mweb take note – that is how you provide not just good, but bloody fantastic customer support!


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