Friday, January 16, 2009

Telecom Companies

Gonna take a minute to vent about Telecom companies... 

I'm sure everyone's had a run in with them... AT&T, Comcast, Bellsouth. They're notorious for their poor customer service, unreliability, over charging,  and unwillingness to admit fault. It's a terrible business model, from a Consumer point of view; having to pay for a gauntlet of services in order to utilize less than 60%... bulk buying for a specific item, if you will. 

On an enterprise level.. where the bills are 10x higher, downtime 100x more costly than residential service, SLA and Commit Contracts exists and lawyers are involved... Telecom companies are just as bad. 

Over the past 7 days, of which only 5 were business  days, we've experienced no less than 8hours of downtime during production hours. This was related to Circuit-to-Circuit MPLS issues existing inside of our WAN Cloud (Read: our branches couldn't "talk" to each other). This creates a Customer Service Nightmare... especially given the economic period of uncertainty in relations to financial institutions. This downtime doesn't also consider downtime during off hours (11pm-3am), which goes unaccounted for by our ISP. 

After 21 phone calls to customer server, 13 emails, 4 voicemails and 11 calls directly to Network Technicians and Supervisors, we've began to resolve the issues. While 2 of the outages were related to a Network outage, we've got a SLA garunteeing 99% uptime commitment, and a Commit time on our T1's of 4 hrs... one outage was fixed at 3hrs and 57minutes. I've worked OT every day this week.. going in at 5:45 one day and not getting off till 9:15 the other... all over these stupid network related issues. 

After a bunch of calls.. because I'm the "vendor" guy of the department (AKA the guy who can make vendors bend over backwards)... we've arranged for $1,500.00 credit to this months bills, next month's PRI (phone service) free and a re-evalution of our SLA and commit times along with a dedicated NOC to generate a full network scheme for us and find was to decrease single points of failure as well as increase our overall efficiency. All of that though, still doesn't buy back the full business day that our customers were unable to reach us, check their balances, transfer funds or use any electronic services. 

Anyways... just wanted to rant. But the next time you call Cox / Comcast / RoadRunner / Windstream.. and get aweful customer service. Don't think it's just because they don't care about your "piddly" $130 a month... cause they still treat you that way at the $12,000 / month level too. 

They all just suck imo. 

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