Wed, 28 Oct 2009
Note: via Blog post (obviously different formatting) and sent by email
Lying in one, lying in all.
That is from Steve Waddington.
I find it telling that what I said in my original post, of all the things there the one you decided to fact-check was the number of emails between us.
And you got that wrong.
What was is you said again?
Falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus? Do you still stand by that statement?
If you have looked at the original complaint, no one asked for anything but information on 'what went wrong'.
It simply noted that fact that payment occurred, and we were disconnected and went on to say "We find the above experience of diconnecting [sic] our service by EXETEL a very poor customer relationship experience."
The response to that could have been: "Yes, that is a poor customer experience. We will look into it and see if we can improve."
Instead we had an accusatory email back commenting, firstly, of the amount of time of the disconnection.
As if someone paying for something and not receiving it for only 1 minute is OK.
The point being missed – we paid for something and we did not receive it.
The point being missed -- this is a poor customer experience
The second email then, falsely, accused us of not actually paying in the first place! Later the individual concerned, after the TIO complaint, clarifies that 'yes', we did indeed pay.
Very telling indeed, then, when you were pointed to my blog entry and rather than pick up on the stratgeic ("we are getting feedback, for free, on how we can improve our processes") you looked at the tactical ("he is lying! How I prove it and thus be happy in ignoring what was said").
As I said, It is easier to hear when your fingers are not in your ears.
Complain to Exetel, get your service contract summarily terminated.
Complain about Exetel, and get libelled publicly.
But I guess when you have 1/6th (163 out of 620) of your complaints related to Customer Service (from the TIO report) and 3% of your own existing customers (from your blog post) complaining, you get the reputation you earn.
Thu, 15 Oct 2009
I read this post by Steve Waddington of Exetel where he says that customers never seem to follow-up with him when he asks them about their poor customer experiences. I just had to laugh. I had actually just filled a complaint with the TIO about Exetel.
I have emailed Steve Waddington a number of times, generally outlining problems, but I am yet to ever receive a response.
Generally if you want to hear feedback from your customers, you have to take your fingers out of your ears.
Here is my (most recent) Exetel story.
To set the scene, I am synchronising a large backup of data. Think around 100Gb. In reality a small amount.
Towards the end of September, we receive an email indicating that we had used a large amount of service. Furthermore that we had 72 hours to pay an interim fee of AUD$100. The email was sent in the early hours of a Friday morning. Which effectively turned it into a single business day. Heaven help you if you had decided to take a long weekend.
At any rate, the fee was paid by that afternoon and a name and receipt were obtained. Everything should have be hunky-dorey.
Come Monday morning - the Internet service had mysteriously failed. After some remote, expensive AU to UK phones calls and diagnostics I determined that the problem was that Exetel's system had disconnected the service anyway.
I emailed them to see what the problem was, and contact was made from Australia. Around the middle of the day, service was restored.
A complaint was filed with them (reference: #1691636), that day, which was summarily responded too. I left things for a while since I was busy.
But on the 13th Oct night, I decided to file a complaint with the TIO (reference: 09/251856). Here is the full text:
Describe your complaint
On 25 Sep, roughly 07:30am, an email was received from Exetel that they required an interim payment as our usage had exceeded AUD$100. The email indicated that if payment was not received within 72 hours - the service may be suspended.
At roughly 3:15pm, on 25 Sep - i.e. the same day. A payment of AUD$100 was made and we were issued receipt number 346650646 by an employee who indicated that there name was Rukshani.
On 28 Sep at roughly 8am, the Internet ceased to function. After some investigation we determined that Exetel's automated systems believed that the payment had not occurred.
#1: I sent an email at 11am on 28 Sep to their billing department, along with their senior management, with payment and service details asking why this occurred.
#2: A complaint was sent by the payee at 11:30am on 28 Sep indicating that we were unhappy with the service -- having been customers of long standing (over 4 years) -- being disconnected for over 4 hours despite paying is annoying.
Particular when this was not through fault of our own. Nor a technical fault.
How did the service provider respond to your complaint
#1: On 30 Sep at 12:45 an email was received from James Lowe, who said "Your service is un block now [sic]". No explanation was provided for the outage and non-application of the payment made.
#2: 2 responses were received to this email.
#2a: At ~11:50am on 28 Sep we received an email from Larry Kaeto who said that the service was unavailable for 2hrs 31mins, not the 4hrs as we had claimed. Additionally he indicated that we had a residental service which is not to be relied upon for business/mission critical requirements and suggested we purchase a more expensive service which has "business grade type support".
#2b: At ~09:40am on 29 Sep we received a further email from Larry Kaeto who claimed that no payment had been received by Exetel on 25 Sep.
How would you like the service provider resolve your complaint
Exetel appears to pride itself on its automated systems. (c.f. http://johnl.blogs.exetel.com.au/index.php?/archives/2783-Automating-Key-Systems-Is-A-Never-Ending-Task.html)
However, in this case, the automated system issued a demand for money. The money was paid, but it suspended access to the service anyway.
Service should not have been disrupted for 1 minute nor 150 minutes nor 240 minutes.
I believe the charge of AUD$100 and the monthly charge should be credited back to us for the hassle.
I've put in the headings as they are on the TIO complaint form, and made the URL a link otherwise it is exactly as I submitted it — which is also why the text is not very lengthy, as the TIO restrict how much you can submit.
This morning, at 09:10 I received an email from Exetel acknowledging receipt of the TIO complaint and asking Please detail in a point by point manner your concerns. This email was from Larry Kaeto. It also contained a copy of the most recent LNS logs. I replied with a full copy of the complaint as I submitted it to the TIO (reference: #1770435) and also indicated I would speak with the TIO to confirm what they had sent to Exetel (Exetel reference: #1771491).
By 12:56, Larry Kaeto was able to responsd, quoted here and edited to occlude privacy information:
Exetel acknowledge payment 25/9/09 was manually processed 25/9/09 but the record to remove the timer to suspend in 72 hrs was not removed.
I did not see the manual payment of the 25/9/09. Sorry for my ''incompetence'' for saying payment was not made.
The duration of suspension was 2 hours and 28 minutes (or thereabouts) as the facts show below (our session logs and your usage time logged in and out) and nto 4 hours as is claimed.
As gesture of goodwill, Exetel will provide a refund of $100
Exetel has made a commercial decision to end the relationship with you. See e-mail sent separately titled ''Ticket #1771491: XXXXXXXX5X - Notice of Termination - XXXXX XXXXXX ''
So, as you can see from John Linton's post, if there is a problem with taking payment – your service is summarily disconnected.
And, as you can see here, even if they take payment, but their automated system fails, if you complain about it, your service is summarily disconnected.
It is much easier to listen to your customers when you take your fingers out of your ears.
Mon, 15 Dec 2008
I use exetel for a number of services in Sydney.
I have always found them to be the cheapest, even if their ability to support their service is sub-optimal.
An example is right now, they are currently totally offline.
a2@eve:~$ dig +trace exetel.com.au ; <<>> DiG 9.5.0-P2 <<>> +trace exetel.com.au ;; global options: printcmd . 338458 IN NS G.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS H.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS I.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS J.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS K.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS L.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS M.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS A.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS B.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS C.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS D.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS E.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. . 338458 IN NS F.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. ;; Received 228 bytes from 192.168.1.1#53(192.168.1.1) in 58 ms au. 172800 IN NS ADNS2.BERKELEY.EDU. au. 172800 IN NS AUDNS.OPTUS.NET. au. 172800 IN NS NS1.AUDNS.NET.au. au. 172800 IN NS NS2.AUDNS.NET.au. au. 172800 IN NS DNS1.TELSTRA.NET. au. 172800 IN NS SEC1.APNIC.NET. au. 172800 IN NS SEC3.APNIC.NET. au. 172800 IN NS ADNS1.BERKELEY.EDU. ;; Received 413 bytes from 2001:503:ba3e::2:30#53(A.ROOT-SERVERS.NET) in 620 ms com.au. 259200 IN NS ns1.ausregistry.net.au. com.au. 259200 IN NS ns2.ausregistry.net.au. com.au. 259200 IN NS ns3.ausregistry.net.au. com.au. 259200 IN NS ns3.melbourneit.com. com.au. 259200 IN NS ns4.ausregistry.net.au. com.au. 259200 IN NS dns1.telstra.net. com.au. 259200 IN NS au2ld.CSIRO.au. com.au. 259200 IN NS audns.optus.net. com.au. 259200 IN NS ns1.audns.net.au. ;; Received 354 bytes from 2001:dc0:2001:a:4608::59#53(SEC1.APNIC.NET) in 1302 ms exetel.com.au. 3600 IN NS ns2.exetel.com.au. exetel.com.au. 3600 IN NS ns1.exetel.com.au. ;; Received 99 bytes from 22.214.171.124#53(ns3.ausregistry.net.au) in 193 ms dig: couldn't get address for 'ns2.exetel.com.au': not found
This is something I reported (ticket #853640) to them around Oct 2008 (when they last had a failure), that the auDA has no in-balliwick glue for their DNS. I was told by their support supervisor, Dylan Friedewald, via email:
The DNS for helpdesk.exetel.com.au is operational and valid, I do not see the point in discussing that further.
It is interesting to note that Steve Waddington has blogged many times about customers being unable to identify issues, but it is even more interesting that when a customer does – it is explicitly denied as being a problem and then ignored.
Apart from no in-ballwick DNS glue, their nameservers are also open recursive ones. Great if you would like to perform a DoS attack against some unsuspecting person.
I have raised other issues with them that warrant further investigation and corrective action, lest they affect all their customers. But I no longer have the time to continually ping them about things.
Mon, 27 Mar 2006
Sat, 07 Jan 2006In the end
Sat, 31 Dec 2005Some days are better than others
I did my usual Friday night routine, went out, had some drinks, spoke to some people, had some food and some more drinks. I actually had a pretty great night even. About 3am I decided to head home. Unfortunately I missed my bus by about 10 minutes.
So I decided to see if anyone was interested in sharing a cab over the bridge (it is a $40 cab ride, and if I'm sober enough to catch the bus I'd rather save my money). Anyway this group of guys decide to have an argument about it.
First I was amazed that asking someone "Do you want to share a cab going North" could even something to argue about. Then I got annoyed as they harassed me firstly by name-calling and then by throwing things at me.
Mind you this is with 5 security guards around, none of whom are particularly interested in doing anything. Then one of the group decides to "get in my face" and start hitting me himself.
Well, he tried to. I just started to beat the crap out of him and ending up destroying his shirt. Oh, then the guards decided to pull us apart.
When I was getting on the bus, this guy, in an effort to at least hit me once launched himself past all the guards and tried to land a punch on my head. He missed and got the lady in front of me — unfortunately for her — the guards closing in around me managed to bruise my neck however.
Sat, 12 Nov 2005
Taking, or attempting to take, the nightbus is an interesting experience. I've been back in Sydney for exactly six weeks and have taken the bus on Friday 5 times.
Once I met a gorgeous German girl who looked like Diane Kruger – and even though I got her phone number and email address, my phone did not save it, alias.
I met a lovely Finnish girl, who might turn out to be a great friend — this time I was totally aware of my phones limitations and I have her number.
The other night, I met a former sniper of the Australian army. We had a lengthy conversation about God and various politicians he'd like to shoot. Mainly Queenslanders as it turns out. Who can blame him?
Tonight I met a young women, 19, who mere presence is enough to cause most men to loose their minds. She was able to deal with and handle 8 different drunk guys (no, none were me) and then she had another guy step in and berate the other 8 for being crude, vulgar and unchivalrous.
She took the fact that this guy stood up for her in her stride. The bus is always interesting and nowadays, particularly as I'm not rich, it is always worth taking. Had I known the entertainment or hilarity to be had, I would have always taken it.
Wed, 02 Nov 2005
I woke, not for the first time today, and there were people all around. Dressed up and talking. And drinking.
Ahh! I'd fallen asleep at a bar. Again. Fortunately that is enough off a clue for me to realise that I should go home. Getting home, is where this adventure starts.
I started off at Cruise Bar, which has a great view of the Opera House , ,  and (somehow) staggered my way to the Ship Inn. Unable to flag down a cab in this area – lots of people going home around 23:00 – I resolved to get myself to North Sydney, where lots of cabs are.
For those of you unaware, Sydney Harbour Bridge now has security personnel stationed at all pedestrian entrances and across its length. At least six of them "patrol" the bridge.
By "patrol", I mean of course you'll be queried as to why you wish to
cross the bridge.
Mate [sic], you can't cross the bridge. You
aren't allowed here.
Mate, are you fucking deaf?. (on
radio, to pals)
Yeah the fucking wog is crossing, shall I intercept
him and hold him?
Followed while crossing the bridge. In my case I had (at one stage 3 security personnel behind and adjacent to me and 3 policemen ahead of me). And abused (I was repeatedly cursed at, racially slurred against, by the people from IVS Security) during your walk over the bridge. It amazes me that they even had police waiting to talk to me. Fortunately I know that the best thing you can do when confronted by the police is not to say anything.
In this case there is nothing they could do -- since crossing the Harbour Bridge, and not responding to the security guards who harass you is not (yet) a crime. Today, 2 Nov 2005, though the Parliament of Australia is rushing through laws which might mean that I can be "detained" and held incommunicendo indefinitely.
These laws – part of the War on Freedom – would make the rest of this entry illegal.
I've been thinking about terrorism and Australia. How would you get access to restricted locations, determine sensitive areas and generally get information not available to the ordinary public? Become a security guard.
In Australia, things like this are not uncommon. (c.f. David Hooks killed by a security guard; a female security guard shooting someone, etc.). Worse is that security guards often enjoy a fairly close relationship with the Police. Meaning that if you join up, you also get to know some of the procedures that might be applied to deter you. Bottom line: every security guard is a potential terrorist.
Terrorists, like modern-day Politicians, seek to curtail the liberty of others for their own purposes. The best way to do this is by planting fear and doubt into the hearts and mind of the general populace. In America, this was done via the September 11 plane hi-jacking; in the UK, by exploding bombs on the mass-transit system there.
How, or where, should Australia be targetted? Australians are renowned world-travellers (I believe the figure is that 10% of Australians are outside the country at any one time), so attacking transportation isn't the way to go. You need to go after the life-style.
Large community events, like Melbourne Cup day, the various Grand Finals and, of course, Cricket would be the perfect targets. High visibility (the media are already at these venues!), high impact (you are talking 30,000+ people in these stadiums), for minimal cost (a stadium has few seating area – probably 6 to 8 attackers could bring down most stadiums).
Another good location would be to pick your local Westfield shopping centre / mall. Lots of people, lots of fear instilled. Plus we'd be rid of the stupid things.
ॐ (aum) - what was, what is and what will be, wildfire's musings
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