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Friday, September 10, 2010

A tale of Two Technical Support Desks

"I want to find a voracious, small-minded predator and name it after the IRS." - Robert Bakker, paleontologist

***

On Sunday I braved the hordes at Comex to recontract my Starhub Maxoline service. In return I got free [albeit slow] mobile broadband and a new modem

I have been using the Motorola SB3100 for what must be coming to 10 years, and it's been working reasonably with my Linksys WRT54G Router for the last 3. However, the new Motorola SBV5121 - while supporting a higher speed than the old modem - does not work with the router; directly connecting the modem to the computer works, so it is probably not a modem issue.

I tried a few things, then some friends' recommendations, and on Tuesday night ended up being put on hold by Starhub for 20 minutes before I put down in frustration (before getting to talk to a real person).

On Wednesday, I used Linksys Live Chat to get techical support for the router.

Though the technician could not solve my problem, and advised me to "try to contact your ISP and ask them if there are any settings on the router that we need to do for it to work with the router or if not ask them if there is a compatibility issue with the router". I was impressed by how fast I was attended to (I had to wait only for about a minute) and his professionalism. Unfortunately I accidentally closed the window before I could thank him, but thank you Miguel.

I am also pleased that Linksys continues to support this old product (and, by the looks of it even older ones). The only minor annoyance is that their website seems to lack a general enquiries/messages line (so I had to use Facebook).

Back to Starhub - on Wednesday they picked up after only 2 minutes, but I was told that the technicians were all busy and they would call me back later - the Service Level Agreement was 24 hours.

Naturally, they did not get back to me within 24 hours.

My experience via the @StarHubCares Twitter account was better - I DMed them my contact details yesterday and I got a call after about 22 hours (they said it was in response to my Twitter message; maybe my call to the hotline got lost). The technician was helpful (and called me on a Public Holiday!), but this doesn't change my bad experience before he got to talk to me.

If it's of any comfort, I'm told M1 and Singtel have equally bad customer service.
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