Saturday, February 25, 2017

Moving from StarHub to M1, meeting the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I spent Saturday morning trying to complete my broadband moveover from Starhub to M1, and to set up the half-completed fibre network.  Believe it or not, in that short period, I was able to encounter the Good, the Bad -- and the Ugly.

The first thing I did was to call Alex, a technician working for an M1 contractor, but as expected, there was no reply.   Minutes later, surprise surprise,  he returned my call.

First thing he said was, do I want to an extra router to enhance the wifi signal in my TV room.
He had the day before quoted a charge of $160 for the router plus installation.  I declined the offer.

He then told me to call M1 to fix another appointment for him to come back to complete his job.  He did not finish it yesterday (Friday) as he could not receive a signal from the OpenNet fibre network.

The OpenNet people, two very pleasant workers, came a few hours later to get the connection fixed.  A job well done. One of them was from Myanmar.

Soon after, I left a e-message for Alex to tell me when he could come to complete his job, but there was no reply.

This morning, in my eagerness to get everything sorted out, I called  M1 and told a woman called Crystal about the uncompleted setup, hoping for someone to come down to my place later in the day. 

She said she would not be able to do so as Saturday is a non-working day.   She added that there would be a charge for someone to come to my place to fix the network.  I lost my  cool and told her: "Are you mad?" 

How could M1 charge for what is a free installation job which was not completed?

In a subsequent call, Crystal said she would get a technician to help me.   The technician, Norman, rang a short while later.  He explained to me,  pleasantly and patiently, how to go about fixing the router and the modem.

And it worked -- for the internet! However,  the Asus router supplied by M1 could not be used to boost the wifi signal in my TV room.  Reason:  two routers --  Asus and my Apple routers -- were located at different places.  These, he said, had to be connected with another line before it could function fully.

Although I wasn’t  sure he understood exactly what I was trying to put across to him, I was happy that the internet fibre connection was successful.  The weak wifi signal in our TV room remains an issue.

With the fibre connection fixed, the next step was to set the ball rolling for the move -- from Starhub to M1.

After consulting M1 about the rollover, I went ahead to cancel my broadband link with Starhub.  The woman from Starhub who took my call, asked why I was terminating my broadband account.  I told her briefly that I was not happy with the service  I had received at its Plaza Singapura outlet. 

She said I could not cancel my broadband without cancelling the phone fixed line at the same time as they came as a bundle.   She said I had to go down to one of its outlets if I wanted to do so. Strange!!!

I forgot to remind her that  my contract with StarHub had expired and therefore I  should be able to give up only what I wanted.

While talking to her, suddenly my fixed line went dead.  More strange!!!.

Minutes later I called Starhub again, this time on my iphone.  I was served by a lady called Arlene.  I told her what had happened and she went to check.   She returned to tell me that the broadband account had been cancelled --  at 11.44 am precisely -- but the fixed telephone line account was still active.  Even more strange!!!

Was the first StarHub woman who attended to me, trying to pull a fast one because I was switching telcos? Pity I did not ask for her name.

I leave it to you to identify who's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly . 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Overwhelmed, UberEATS fails to deliver

Celine wanted to make sure that her guests could be fed before they started their regular Friday meeting. So she pre-ordered 30 packets of various rice sets a day earlier from Mini Wok, using her UberEATS app.

She was also afraid that her order might be too big to fulfil, especially during the Lunar New Year season. But UberEATS went ahead and accepted her order.

Confident there would not be any hitch as she had used  the same company before, she waited patiently for the delivery, scheduled between 6.45 and 7.15 pm.

When 7.15 pm came and went, she thought the delay could have been caused by a traffic jam as a result of rain.  At 7.25 pm when there was still no sign of the food courier, she called UberEATS to

"The guy who answered my call said it would arrive in 10 minutes.  But in the app the estimated time of arrival displayed increased to 7.50 pm as I continued to wait," Celine recounted.

At 7.41 pm she called the Call Centre again to ask what had happened.

"This time, a different guy told me that their couriers could cancel any delivery without giving any reason," she said.

"So I had 25 hungry guests at 8.10 pm with no food. I wonder what happened to the 30 packets of food that were already prepared, supposedly."

What upset Celine was that UberEATS failed to inform her that it might not be able to fulfil such a large order. There was also no warning about sudden cancellation.

She said: "If they did so, then there is nothing to complain about as I took the risk knowingly."

Later that evening, UberEATS messaged her to apologise, adding that "the massive influx of orders, & the lack of couriers available"  were the cause of the non-delivery.

It was not unexpected that UberEATS would be overwhelmed during this festive season,  but  inadequate management and poor communications were something else -- and inexcusable. 

For that, UberEATS deserves a big BOO-QUET.