Note: Contains more cursing than usual. Reader discretion is advised.
May 13, 2015 - I move to an apartment in Bangalore to start my new job and get my own high speed internet connection, or as the cool kids say - Fibernet connection. I was so happy.
I should note that I’m from Jaipur and we didn’t have these kinds of speeds there (for home use, ofcourse). The max that I could get was 4MBPS with 80GB of data and we paid INR 2200 per month for that shit. Fast forward to Bangalore, I got that speedtest connection in INR 1300 with taxes and 100GB of data. Pretty good, I say.
Honestly, I was so excited about these “blazing fast” speeds that I paid for the entire package upfront - ANNUALLY. This post is to going to discuss why that was my biggest mistake ever. I believe you get the level of frustration here, when I’m banging on my keyboard typing this post on a fucking Sunday.
Calming down in 3…2….
ACT Fibernet is the worst fucking, dog shitting cunt of an ISP. Haven’t heard of them? GOOD, you’re safe. They’re hugely popular in Karnataka and Hyderabad and like a noob, I went with the hype and got an annual connection from them.
It worked out fairly okay for the first year so I decided to continue the connection and paid annually AGAIN for the second year. Now, before you judge me I should point out that they did upgrade me from 30mbps to 60mbps and my data from 100GB to 170GB. I don’t know why, but that was enough to give me a digital hard-on.
Before we get started, I should tell you guys about how their fiber network is laid out throughout the city. It’s not underground like major ISPs like Airtel, but in the fucking air, going over trees and stuff - and because of this dumb decision, they have fiber-cuts every time it rains heavily. I swear to god, my internet used to disconnect once every week with intermittent failures multiple times during the day.
The trouble started in January 2017. One not-so fine day, as usual, the internet stopped working again in the morning. So I called up their Customer Service, waited on hold for 10 minutes and opened a support ticket. As always, I didn’t know what they did - but the issue was resolved in 2 hours. Come evening, the internet stopped working again and I reopened the same ticket. This same process went on for over a week when I finally called up the service engineer and blasted his brains off to figure out what the fuck was actually going on.
Turns out, the battery for the switch box that was routing the connection to me was dying out because of which the box would get power at random times.
Their electrician gave me a call saying that he replaced the battery for the box and all is working as expected. I got down from the roof and went to my room. All is good, for now.
Imagine a shit ton of small things like these for 2 years and we arrive at THE ONE.
Incident n - THE FINAL STRAW
Take a guess - you’re probably right. THE INTERNET WENT OFF. AGAIN. So I called their customer service again, blah blah blah, ticket opened blah.
The issue was fixed. But this time it was just over the top. I was really frustrated with everything that they had to offer - the speed was inconsistent, their customer service was shit and their backend engineers were completely useless in deciphering the actual issue.
I applied for disconnection of service.
A ticket was opened on May 23, 2017 for disconnection of service. Here’s where the meaty part begins.
The ACT Fibernet Disconnection of Service Experience
After a ticket for broadband disconnection is opened, you will get a call from their “Retention Team” who will sell you on bullshit on why you should continue with their service and give them “one last chance” to fix the issue.
You will also receive a call from their Backend LEAD engineer who will swear to make sure that you never face any service issues in the future.
If you have chosen to ignore all these people, then you will get a call from the Field Engineer who will close your ticket saying that the issue has been resolved.
THE TICKET WAS FOR DISCONNECTION, NOT SLOW SPEED OR OTHER PETTY ISSUES.
So I called him up and this guy was a piece of work. He told me that the ticket that was opened was in fact for slow speed and NOT for disconnection. Technically speaking, I had wasted about a week on a ticket that was not open for Disconnection, but for Slow speed issues.
THEN WHY THE FUCK DID THE RETENTION TEAM CALL ME TO CONTINUE THE SERVICE?
Fine. I’m still calm. I called up Customer Service again and made sure that the ticket was indeed for disconnection of service. I was convinced that it was and happily went about my day. Everything was fine. I could see beautiful flowers again, hear the birds chirping.
THE TICKET WAS FOR SLOW SPEED. AGAIN.
I lost it. You see I had already paid annually and I wanted to disconnect the service before I got charged for another month. Trust me, we’ve not even gotten to the refunds section.
I called the Field Engineer again. He ignored my call. I called him again. Ignored.
FUCK HIM. I set up a Twilio account and wrote a small script to call his number every 10 minutes.
After 163 calls, he picked up - irritated and all. How cute. I told him to disconnect my service ASAP so that I can process my refund. You see, your refund isn’t processed unless the status of your connection is set to DISCONNECTED in their system. These mindless calls from the retention team and field engineers is just to throw you off balance.
BUT I AIN’T BUDGING.
So I opened YET another ticket for disconnection and this time in the SMS that gets sent, it indeed mentioned BROADBAD-DISCONNECTION specifically.
The big vein in my head underneath the fat had almost popped until I saw that message.
Here’s another interesting thing you might want to know. Turns out that their backend team DOES NOT process the disconnection until that disconnection ticket has been closed.
WHY THE FUCK DO YOU OPEN THE TICKET THEN?
Imagine two weeks of back and forth of me opening the ticket and them closing the ticket when finally someone from the customer care called and told me about this absurd procedure.
The ticket was closed. IT’S NOT OVER YET.
I got a call from the Retention team YET again. My brain was fried in so many ways, I bet KFC would have patented it.
I finally looked up to the internet to get some help and I found all sorts of complaints from people about their shitty service. Things like:
The Consumer Court Threat
At this point, it has been 3 weeks of back and forth and regular calls to their shitty customer care and I finally decided that I wanted to take legal action. I didn’t care how much time it took, but I wanted to get this stuff over with.
So I sent an intimation email to them, as is required before filing for a Consumer Court Case. I sent the email on a Friday. I got a reply back on the same day itself.
WELL HELLO THERE.
Turns out that legal cases do scare the shit out of them. And this happened a day later.
And this happened after 3 days.
After 3 weeks of constant calling and headaches with this ISP, I finally got my money back.
I am now with Hathaway and they are doing a splendid job. I don’t have any connectivity issues with them and their speed is on point.
I hope this post has given you some insight on things to consider while choosing an ISP. DON’T CHOOSE ACT.