On Friday the 3rd of October I woke up and for the first time in a while (what is two years) could not go online using my Rocket modem.On every attempt to connect I kept getting stuck with a “PPP link control protocol” was terminated error.
At first I thought this problem was from my side so I booted into my trusted Ubuntu 14.04 LTS operating system and got a similar error. I switched back to the original iWayAfrica modem and the modem got stuck during the authenticating error.
Dumb founded I picked up my phone and called the iWayAfrica sales desk and was told they were facing “challenges” but did not know when they would be resolved. I was provided with the number to their technical department.
Upon calling their department the call was picked up by a courteous lady who told me to hold on for the technical department. That never happened. She kept telling me to hold as each time she dialed the technical extension I was forced to listen to the most awful “on hold music” I have ever heard.
The following day, when I finally got through I got the same message: they were facing challenges and did not know when they would be resolved.
Being the tenacious sort I spent the entire weekend and the next three days after that trying to connect. Finally on Wednesday the following week I was able to connect to the internet using the modem; apparently the challenges had been resolved.
For 6 blissful days I was able to just plug in my modem and connect without a care in the world. As a forgiving sort of fellow I just chalked this one up to bad luck and decided to go about my business. Then on the 13th of this month disaster struck again. Starting from noon of that fateful Monday I haven’t been able to connect using the modem, I keep getting the same error.
I have only been able to connect for about 9 days this month. That is 9 days out of almost 30 days. This translates to an uptime of a mere 31%.
Now Mweb was my first ISP during the dial up era. Even their most unreliable their uptime was never ever this low. This month alone I have already spent close to $20 calling iWayAfrica’s technical department and travelling back and forth to their office bringing the total cost to $70.They never seem to know the exact nature of the problem or when it will be resolved. That seems a rather inexpedient way to run a business.
What is rather strange, and somewhat galling, is the fact that their billing and accounting seem to be well oiled and fluid in operation. As the due date for my payment approached I was bombarded with invoices and payment reminders.
It seems it is not only in the art world that people get charged and billed for nothing. Rather maddeningly my inquiries to the accounting department via emails as to why I was being billed for a service that was currently down went unanswered.
Dear iWayAfrica: they are beings called customers; you know, the ones that pay to use your services. Some of these customers rely on these services and certainly the least you can do is to inform them when you are facing problems, and inform them of your troubles because they are ultimately theirs too. Even Powertel knew enough to use bulk SMS when dealing with customers why don’t you do the same.
P.S: A problem that takes 3 weeks to solve is not a “challenge” (pre-2008 language for economic disaster); it is a catastrophe. Those usually require more urgent action than you are currently giving.
What has been your own recent experience with the iWayAfrica service?
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