Published on November 13th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti21
On Wateen WiMAX CPE And Customer Service
Here’s an interesting piece from the national media about WiMAX technical issue and problems with the customer service. The title is “Customer Disservice” and it appeared in The News and in Spider magazine. According to the latest update, this particular issue got resolved. There was a huge disconnect between the billing, provisioning and customer service departments. That leaves me wondering: how many other WiMAX users are in similar situation?
The quality of service on WiMAX is said to be mediocre on average: good some days and average for most of the time. This is consistent with feedback from this blog and popular online forums such as Wired Pakistan. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Broadband was to be my salvation, and it was a joyful day when I got my connection on 17th July, provided by a company who I will not name in case they get litigious, but their name begins with a W and ends with n work it out for yourselves. For eighteen days I lived in a kind of net-heaven. YouTube, streaming radio and TV stations from around the world, email at the speed of light, no longer restricted to graphics-lite sites wonderland! Then it rained. What the franchise people who sold me the connection (and got the commission for doing so) had failed to mention was that the indoors receiver worked poorly in temperatures above 40C (it hits the high forties in Bahawalpur), the signal strength was badly affected by humidity and, the real clincher, that in reality I needed an externally-mounted receiver to get the full benefit of their incredible service. Fine, when can you come and install one? Errr, we don’t have any at the moment, Sir. Things have gone sharply downhill from there.
Having been assured that the external units would be arriving before Ramazan I waited patiently. There were several visits to the franchise, numerous visits by an engineer who at least had the sense to talk to me honestly and nothing by the way of a broadband service. The engineer called again two weeks ago, fiddled around a bit and lo and behold he managed to get a signal into the receiver and restored my connection. Delighted, I asked him if I could top up my account. Sure, no problem he said, which is when The Big Problem arrived. W wanted to bill me (3025rps) for the time I was unable to receive their service at which point there was a large explosion in downtown Bahawalpur and a very worried customer services lady on the end of a phone in Lahore. She told me that the long-promised external receivers were nowhere on the horizon, that she could understand why I was a touch irritated and promised to forward my complaint to her superiors.
As of my last correspondence with Chris Cork, the author of this article, the issue was resolved by Wateen. Getting the concerns published in the national media must have forced Wateen to act quickly to resolve the matter. Perhaps the voice of ordinary consumer in Pakistan will become more powerful with time but for now it is an uphill battle.