Sify subscriber beware !!!!!!!!!!!!
I became a Sify 'Broadband subscriber in July 2003 only because my local cable wallah who used to supply me 'Broadband' thru a cat 5 wire became a business associate if Sify. Before I comment on the quality of sify 'broadband' one has to understand that the biz model followed by Sify ensures that they have very little control on quality as that is totally the prerogative of ur last mile operator who is invariably ur cable wallah so be prepared to hear the wail from sify of (what can we do , we try so hard but ur cable wallah does not cooperate crap). From the time I have become a subscriber my IP address has been changed 5 times as it was assigned to some one else AFTER it was given to me. Since I was the one to complain as I got 'IP conflict' message & could not login to the internet, I was reassigned a new IP. Till Jan 2004 they had a dynamic lady in charge of customer care who always tried very hard to solve ur problem after she left no replacement seems to have been found
Their quality was good initially but after their subscriber base went up, as usual their speed decreased & I was always told 'thumara speed teek hai' so be prepared to hear that line also. :) I even had problems like I could not send mail from my VSNL (Another ISP) email id ( I am also a VSNL dial up subscriber from 1995 ) Now this company is notorious for blocking out competitors sites & products. Its only when I wrote to their MD others this was sorted out with a sheepish explanation that it was a temporary glitch !!!!!! From Oct 04 they had another brainwave they have disallowed the webpage login facility they had & everybody was forced to download a login client s/w. That by itself was not a bad idea, but what got my goat was it came packaged with a free vaccine from mcafee which everyone was forced to install AFTER uninstalling whatever other anti virus s/w they had !!!!!! What bloody cheek. What about people who had bought legal copies of vaccines of other companies these idiots never bothered about that I have kept a copy of that webpage, only when I made a stink they changed their stance saying that whoever wanted to use other anti virus s/w were welcome to do so but we had to ring up their toll free no. so that they could ensure an installation of their client without the mcafee module. But alas to my misfortune from the time I have installed their login client I am having trouble as their client clashes with zonealarm pro & many times I am unable to log out my my clock is still ticking away as the so called 'heartbeat option' where after 10 mins u r automatically logged out does not seem to work. A 'Team Leader’ from their call center called Ranjit Kumar promised to look into this matter and give the lost subscription time but that NEVER materialised & this joker told me this s/w was tested for a month at Chennai. So this clearly indicates the quality of manpower that Sify has. I just stopped complaining & switched over to the unlimited pack when it started. (My main incentive for switching over).
And another thing that bothers me is that 'Does the so called 'login client s/w' do only that or does it also collect data from ur machine & usage details??? No one from Sify can set my fears to rest. U cant be too sure nowadays. Also all the engineers & tech office staff who were looking into this problem have quit this company so I am stuck with a service which I can log in but sometimes cant logout !!!!!!!. And now after switching over to their 'unlimited' scheme and I have run into even more problems.
From 31-Oct I have not been able to access these sites
+ a lot of news media sites. When I rang up their helpdesk I was told the load factor is the problem & nothing could be done about it. When I sent an email I only got the usual auto reply & nothing more. Regarding the auto reply u will read a LOT of tall claims like 'We work 24X365 days a year to service your requests. Our stated (as per our ISO 9001:2000 Quality Plan Parameter) service level of email response is 90% in 4 Hours and our team ensures it responds well within this service timeframe.'' but take all this with a TON of salt.
And the best joke is I can access these sites using my slower VSNL dial up !!!!!!!!!!. Is this another case of Sify blocking out some sites??? The turn over of staff in this company is so high that every few months you will be talking to a new 'manager' or 'engineer'
U wonder what type of management runs this company. Another issue u should dwell on is the pricing of sify 'broadband' products considering that international bandwidth prices are dropping sharply, Sify has NO business to increase its prices every now and then. Especially when its service is NOT improving. Recently when the govt increased the service tax to 10.2% Sify has increased its prices well beyond the 2.2% difference. This is TOTALLY unjustified. Also note TATA Indicom DID NOT raise its prices beyond the differential of 2.2% So all in all the quality depends on ur last mile operator read 'cable wallah' and an indifferent sify help desk & management.
Also from about 29 of June 2005 the 'ping' command which used to return '=1ms' from the time I started using 'broadband' (This franchisee before Sify had his own brand called 'coconet') started returning any value greater than '=4ms' and this coincided with a drastic reduction in my net speed.
I have provided screen dumps whenever I sent a complaint email so their engineers can visualise what my problem is. In spite of all this it seems they have a 'Standard Operation Procedure'
1) You are the first person to have this complaint else,
2) Customer is always wrong. else,
3) Customer's problem is always 'normal' else,
4) There is a virus problem in customer's machine. else,
5) There is a problem with the OS on the customers machine else,
if nothing else works then it's 'under observation.' " & so it rests!
I have a P4 machine with 512 MB Ram and the OS is Win2k (legal), SP4 with the latest patches. Whatever points I have mentioned above have been proved wrong by me to their staff in the past (It seems the onus of doing so rests with the customer). Till date this problem persists. Going thru my old mail I see I had made a similar complaint 15 Jul 2004, this problem seems to have cropped up again to haunt me again, that time it was resolved. Currently Sify engineers still seem to be trying to prove its my machine that’s at fault. L
Another gripe I have is many time I cant send my mail thru Outlook Express This has happened for a long time (Jan2004 onwards), but now a days it seems to occur intermittently (thankfully). Again my machine was blamed, after spending more than 3 hrs (total) at my place, it was agreed it was a backend problem (which is what I was saying all along) it seemed to have been sorted out. But no it STILL occurs.
From 15-7-05 I have shifted to the 256 kbps of !GB limit (Even in this pack, the speed is quite poor, screen dumps enclosed) pack as the 128 kbps unlimited pack price has gone up to Rs 595 from 500, since my speed HAS DECREASED I don’t see why I should pay more for a reduced quality. Since I still cant log out this pack is already (in one day already) getting to be expensive for me. At the most I may try the 256 kbps unlimited in future.
My list of problems with my connection never seems to reduce or stop; it resembles a continuous production line. Being a Sify customer and getting my problems sorted out, is turning out to be a full time job (which I don’t want). Getting back to my main problem of poor speeds, Sify engineers have spent more than 8 hrs (on different days) at my place trying to find what is actually wrong, on 19-7-05 they finally came with their own laptop saw that they get the same speed from my a/c on their laptop at my residence AND at the switch in my colony AND FINALLY came to the conclusion that its a network problem. (I was telling them just this) As I am getting ready to post this blog I am shocked to find the data packet loss has increased even more
Then on 25th of Aug Mr Khan & Sharma came again with their laptop & found the same problem later they went tracing backwards to the cable wallah the entire network and found the problem at every switch !!!
On 29th Aug the field engineer for my area called Mr Shivji came to my house saying that some work had been done to the network. When he checked the speed at my end it showed between 25 & 26 kbps (actual download speed), So he declared that this was normal speed !!!!!!! What a load crap. True to form I was expecting this nonsense for a long time here is what I had written to Mr Ramraj the CEO of Sify of the ‘Sify SOP’ mentioned above, the third option mentioned above was used on me today. When I brought to his notice that when I had a 64 kbps scheme I used to get 7.7 kbps (actual download) constantly so what should be the speed for a 256 kbps scheme. He had no answer. His only retort was to say' OK THEN we will keep this 'under observation for some time' as if this was a bargainable issue !!!! Later he called up Mr Manoj at their Vile Parle office to whom I spoke about this issue. Who agreed that this should be 'observed' for some more time? So how come different 'engineers' from this company have different 'opinions' about what is normal & what is not. Till 25th of this month when Khan again checked with a laptop, it was a problem of low speed (which even a blind person can see). Now between 1600 hrs & 1630 hrs I check the speed & it has dropped back to 18 -19 kbps how come. I can understand that speeds can vary, but not by this much. Even the latency observed at my end was considered abnormal till the 25th of this month, today it is considered NORMAL !!!!. Was the speed increased just before the engineer came to my house? Looks like when problems cannot be solved it becomes normal. !!!!!!!!. If the reader is wondering why I am suffering such a third rate ‘service’ is only because the competition is just as good. And it’s just not worth the ‘start up costs’ for a service where I have to suffer the same problem. Maybe it’s a case of ‘Known devil better than unknown devil’. J
Update 3-9-05 Today was the pits, had renewed my Sify broadband a/c on 31-8-05 and my a/c details showed that that my renewal was in the 'pipeline' to be used when the older subscription got over. It was displayed in the pipeline til the morning of 3-9-05 then around 12 o'clock when I logged in I got a shock as I was being asked to renew my a/c, when I checked my a/c details I was stupefied to see that what was displayed till today morning had DISAPPEARED. This company seems so technically incompetent, its mind boggling. They don’t seem satisfied by increasing the rates & decreasing the promised internet speed they seem to have stooped to outright stealing. I tried to call their Mumbai office but no one replies, same with their Chennai office then I called their toll free number & logged a complaint saying that if this is not rectified by evening I would be lodging a complaint with the police as I have a reciept for the payment I made. No response from their side. Shows their attitude. As luck would have it their engineer had come to my house for my other problem of slow speed. He made a few calls & rectified this billing issue. At 2136 hrs today when I log in again they have now displayed a notice saying that there is a problem with their billing At 2136 hrs today when I log in again they have now displayed a notice saying that there is a problem with their billing !!!!! But a little laterI find the same problem has cropped up again. I just now rung up the call center again around 2225 hrs & spoke to Karitk who tells me that he cannot help as his 'system' is down would be up in about 20 mins, I asked him if the same problem is responsible for my problem, he replied that it is not. I then asked to find out from somebody what the problem is , he replies that they are not allowed to make outgoing calls!!!. Later I called up their call center & spoke to Robert who has kindly given me a complimentary pack of 125 kbps for the 2 days. I wonder when am I going to get what I paid for. But even at 1317 hrs I no sign of rectification. Needles to say I am ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED WiTH WHAT IS HAPPENING. On 5-9-05 morning I went to the Sify office in Mumbai and spoke to Vivek Nayak, after explaining the problem to him & showing him my receipt, he did the needful.He told me they have installed a ‘new system’ & that they are having some problems with it. That means if some problem like this happens I have to spend half a day and get things sorted out. I hope Sify improves their 'system' so that this type of 'error' does not happen again. I have got the Tata Indicom brochure from R V Net & downloaded the MTNL ADSL details from the net to look at other alternatives. I have logged in now & I find my renewal is there again in the 'pipeline' I just hope it does not suddenly 'disappear' again.
Update 9-9-05: Now to add insult to injury is, I get a call from Sify today 'to find out If I had made my payment'. When in reality my cheque has already been encased by them !!!!! Wonders never seem to cease if you are a customer of Sify :)
Update 21-9-05: Engineer Mr Khan came to check the net speed today claiming to have replaced the switch & some other equipment in my colony. Had a problem with LAN card the same nite.
Update 22-9-05: Engineer from Micropoint came checked the LAN card found it faulty & took it to his workshop for further checking. (It refused to load the drivers for the Realtek LAN card.
Update 24-9-05: Got a call from Chennai to enquire about my connection, since I dont have a LAN card in my machine I cant check the net speed
Update 26-9-05: Got a call from Chennai to enquire about my connection, since I dont have a LAN card in my machine I cant check the net speed
Update 28-9-05: Engineer from Micropoint came & fitted the new LAN card, & it took the drivers with out any glitches. When I tried to ping the gateway I found to my horror that I was getting a message'timed out' a week of non use because of a blown LAN card & this. Spoke to Sify & also to R V Net about this.
R V Net got this problem sorted after an hour & a half & I find the latency has increased. I was hoping things would improve after a new LAN card was put. To cut a long story short, my complaint no. 2336768. which had not been resolved yet but has disappeared (second time this has happened) from my display on http://customercare.sify.net/access/acclogin.php . I dont think Sify is seriouos of solving my slow browsing problem. Today after logging in for the first time after a week. I find my complaint of slow browsing has disappeared. I sent the screen dumps to Mr Khan today. Incidentially I think my LAN card went bad because of a power surge thru the Sify CAT 5 wire on 21-9-05 during a thunder storm. It is my good fortune that nothing else apparently has been ruined on my computer, else I would not have bothered with this email. (My machine was switched off). This 'broadband' connection is turning out to be very expensive for me. On the same day Mr Khan had come and checked the net speed on my machine and had found it to be around 24 kbps at that time I was told that my case was under 'observation' (for a 256 kbps, 1 GB limit package). I have enclosed the screen dumps of the ping command & test downloads as well as my log sheet of Sify broadband usage for the month of sept 05. (Incidentially I have an Excel workbook in which I have kept my Sify login details from the time I became a customer in Jul 2003, seen by all field engineers). Today I am getting a speed between 14 - 23.8 kbps for a 256 kbps package. What a pain !!!!. The most shocking thing of all is when I sent this email to firstname.lastname@example.org, Vivek Nayak, Manoj Sify, Ashwin Suvarna, Ranjit Kumar, Suchint Murali & Sify Mumbai Tech Support, ALL except the email to customer care bounced !!!!!. Shows the quality of their mail servers.
Update 29-9-05: Today I got a call from Jigna of Sify Mumbai office regarding the email with screen dumps I sent yesterday. She was surprised that all the emails bounced & that a ‘engineer’ would come to my house to check the net speed. When I sent the same email with the attachments to her email-id that too bounced !!!. Its as if they don’t want the customer to show them proof of the problem.
Shivji was the engineer who came to my house today was the same joker who had come to my house in the past and showed his ignorance. Today I found ANOTHER way they bullshit their customer as well as their regional office. He tried to download something from the following sites when that showed slow speeds he resorted to this trick
He started 2 downloads from www.download.com Now anyone who has done a download knows that when you start one the speeds displayed are high but they tend to settle down after some time. This joker took a screen dump of the multiple download BEFORE the speed settled done so he could show a good speed to his office & customer and hopefully close this issue !!!!!
He refused to take a screen dump when the speed had settled down and was lower. When he tried other sites it was obvious to him and his supervisor (who was on the phone) that they could not get a better speed than this. After he left I took some more dumps and sent it to the same address, which Shivji had sent his screen dump to. After this Jigna rung me up to tell me that she had seen the screen dump and found the speed to be OK as it was showing a total of around 30 kbps. I told her the method it was done, but she only tried to shield ‘her’ engineers. I told her I had sent screen dumps taken after Shivji had left & asked her to view it. I also spoke in the intrim to Mr Khan about the whole incident. Later she called me up to tell me an ‘engineer’ would come today with a laptop to my place for more checking. Another intresting thing I noticed today was when you try to call the Vile Parle office the operator picks up the phone & keeps it aside !!!!. When I mentioned this to Jigna she told me that they don’t allow incoming calls. Now HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THAT ONE FROM A COMPANY IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY.
Oct & Noc 2005
Now to cut a long story short for the month of Oct & Nov 2005 everything that could go wrong, did in fact my renewing it for the month Nov 2005 was basically an extension till I migrated to some other provider in Jan 2006 (read my article on MTNL Triband)
What went wrong in the month of Oct 2005
1) Pathetic speed (of course)
2) Very poor connectivity with a result I could not log in many times.
3) Very heavy packet loss
4) Increasing latency which became ‘normal’ for Sify tech staff (shows falling standards)
5) Very poor quality of the tech staff in providing solutions (as many of the problems were @ the back end and not with the last mile operators (cable wallahs)
6) Sify staff replacing faulty switches in the network with ‘refurbished’ switches & reporting to their offices that the replacements are in good working condition !!!
What went wrong in month of Nov 2005
Apart from the above-mentioned problems additional ones faced are
1) Triple digit latency, no browsing or anything else possible.
2) For the entire month I could not log in from around 10 am to about 1700 hrs This was faced by others in my building on the same network. (Incidentally who also gave up this service provider @ the same time as myself)
I got a three-day complimentary pack in the month of Oct as I had told them I was stopping my subscription. I had decided no matter what happened, I would not ring up or complaining to Sify in the month of Nov 2005 as I found it to be too exhausting and a waste of time & ruining my health. At the end I was relieved not being a Sify customer, for the interim period I used my tried & tested dial up connection (VSNL) also called Tata Indicom. In Jan 2006 I switched over to MTNL Triband. That story continues in another article.
In the month of Dec 2005 & Jan 2006 I have had many people from Sify coming to my house or calling up asking me to pay for the Dec subscription when I had not renewed it. (In fact I never called them up from the Oct end as I renewed for Nov 2005 subscription on 31st Oct) or wanting to know why I am not renewing my subscription. Going by the number of people from the same office calling me it’s evident and proved again that in that company ‘the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing’.