Posted by: peterhact | November 28, 2015

Buying local, after paying far too much

I used to have a very large ISP, who treated my business as a number, and me as an idiot. Countless times when diagnosing why I couldn’t connect to the internet, I would phone the “help”desk and be asked to follow a series of tasks. These tasks were written down on a script at the other end, so deviation was not acceptable. It reminded me of a Douglas Adams reference in Hitchhikers Guide to the “Share and enjoy” sequence when Arthur is trying to make tea with a synthesis machine, although the ISP would tell me to restart my router. Every. single. time.

We’d go through the  script, are the lights on, is power / phone cable connected (well it better be for the lights to be on, duh), have you reset your router? Why would I reset my router? why, when looking up problems with the internet, did my router need to be reset like a magic pill? I started to get a bit jaded. “yes, I have restarted it.” oh, okay. lying to the ISP would be all right when it came to a part of the sequence in their script. (it may cause all sorts of issues for them, but I felt better) Then they would check the line and tell me that there was an outage. Really. you don’t say.

Then, there was the usage issue. I found that I was chewing through the allocated 50Gb a month far too quickly, but there was no reason to. So I paid a “little bit” extra, and they told me when I was close to quota. It turned out that they weren’t giving me my allowance of 50gb, and the monthly amount paid wasn’t making much sense. so I decided to change suppliers. The question was whether to deal with another large company or someone who wanted my business, who would treat me as a customer and make the mental leap that I wasn’t clueless.

After considering a couple of options, I chose a local supplier. The first thing I noticed was that I had been paying far too much for the internet. My allowance was increased by paying less. I received access to a faster, cheaper and more reliable service. This was a bonus, as most of my downloads were just browsing and social media, but my kids were wanting to use Minecraft on i-devices and it was getting pretty slow for everything else .DSC_0018

The little ISP I chose to use is called EveryNet. Back then, they were a small company starting out. Now, they are a larger company that can connect across Australia, including the new NBN service. (When the NBN finally arrives where I am, I can connect, but I still have TBA years to wait – wondering how long TBA will turn out to be, maybe my grandkids will enjoy it)

EveryNet have established themselves in my opinion by being contactable via social media, and a helpdesk number devoid of scripts. The immediate assumption is that the issue is at their end, not mine, even when it is patently clear that it is something that has happened to my router (a flash and a small mushroom cloud of smoke is a definite given that the router has died), but I am treated as a customer and not as a router resetting idiot.

A couple of years ago, I worked for a company that decided that they wanted to be an ISP, thinking that it was easy money. The company failed and it was determined that it was not as easy as first thought. This gave me a better understanding about the internet provision business, and that ISPs need to be Customer centric to be successful. EveryNet is.

I wrote this not because I am being paid for it (I am not) or that I am working for EveryNet (I do not), but because the more people using this company means that the pricing I have remains. Keeping local money in local business keeps the country ticking along. It also keeps local companies running local help-desks that aren’t staffed overseas, and it gives my kids a future in whatever career they choose. Right now, it appears that is going to be building a house out of cubes.



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