Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cringe-worthy customer care

The ongoing saga with telecommunications monopoly Etisalat continues. After more than a week of reduced Internet services, thousands of dirhams in lost revenue by local businesses and crippled international phone links, the company - which made a net profit of Dhs 1.7 billion in the first half of 2005 - has declared it was not their fault.

Etisalat'’s General Manager, Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, said the 40 per cent degradation of connectivity was not his company'’s fault, and was beyond its control.

The company had now established that an undersea cable which delivers telecoms services to the UAE has been damaged in two places - off Karachi,Pakistan, and off Mumbai, India. Services have been hit since August 2.

Most interestingly...

Etisalat...ruled out compensation to businesses or a reduction in monthly fees to private customers. The company had fulfilled its obligations so long as customers could access websites based within the UAE - and nothing else.

Customers had plenty to say, courtesy of the 7Days Letters Column. John Bright speaks of his experiences:

"I felt alone in my daily calls to Etisalat, trying to squeeze information out of them. The service engineers almost laughed out loud when I asked questions regarding who to speak to compensation for loss of service (let alone lost business).

They even admitted to me on two occasions that they had been told not to give details of the fault, and also seemed for a long while to refuse to believe that any business applications could be suffering."

Neil B also wrote in to say:

"The cable damage is not an excuse, why should we, the general public, Internet users, be punished, because you don'’t have a strategic plan if ever something goes wrong. We pay you much more compared to other countries, so please improve your service."

Assuming the damaged cable affects the Internet service of the whole of the UAE, why do friends living in the freehold areas (and using a different ISP) report of normal Internet speeds?

Listed on BlogShares