iBurst taught me a lesson I won't forget

donn_edwards

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
It seems that the only way to get iBurst to fix anything is to shame them on their Twitter feed or Facebook page. See my blog post "iBurst taught me a lesson I won't forget" for all the gory details.

In summary:
  • Tech support refused to tell me where the nearby base stations were
  • There is precious little setup or troubleshooting information on their web site
  • The failed to cancel my iCall service when requested to do so
  • They took another 10 days to fix the problem when I pointed it out
  • They overcharged my account via debit order
  • They refused to remove my debit order account details
  • Tech support took a week to phone me back
  • They were unable to tell me how many times my connection disconnected during the day.

Pretty useless, really. Eventually, after using the service for over 6 months, a tech support person finally told me where the base stations are. Why don't they just indicate them on their coverage map? Perhaps the Noseweek story gives a clue to why not.
 

marlboro

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Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
376
... Eventually, after using the service for over 6 months, a tech support person finally told me where the base stations are. Why don't they just indicate them on their coverage map? Perhaps the Noseweek story gives a clue to why not.

Other countries have all their cellphone/wireless operators tower locations published on the Internet, together with the engineering certificate for each tower measured power and guidelines of how long support staff is allowed to stay close to the antennae of each one of them.
 

r00igev@@r

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
6,609
It seems that the only way to get iBurst to fix anything is to shame them on their Twitter feed or Facebook page. See my blog post "iBurst taught me a lesson I won't forget" for all the gory details.

In summary:
  • Tech support refused to tell me where the nearby base stations were
  • There is precious little setup or troubleshooting information on their web site
  • The failed to cancel my iCall service when requested to do so
  • They took another 10 days to fix the problem when I pointed it out
  • They overcharged my account via debit order
  • They refused to remove my debit order account details
  • Tech support took a week to phone me back
  • They were unable to tell me how many times my connection disconnected during the day.

Pretty useless, really. Eventually, after using the service for over 6 months, a tech support person finally told me where the base stations are. Why don't they just indicate them on their coverage map? Perhaps the Noseweek story gives a clue to why not.

Donn,
Welcome to the iBurst section of the MyBB forum and I hope we can help and interact as we improve on meeting your expectations. My opinion is that twitter and Facebook are good mediums for dealing with service issues and it is becoming more common. One of the drivers of this forum is to provide assistance. I beleive it is a benefit to have a company interact on twitter?
I have requested the customer services manager to comment on your experience and will provide feedback.
 

donn_edwards

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
Thanks. Right now the best thing iBurst can do is
a) Cancel my iCall service as requested 3 months ago
b) Provide an automated reference number for each email that they receive from their web site, and then actually reply to the email instead of ignoring it.
c) Have a cheaper non-0877 number that customers can call, especially from a cell phone. I fail to see why I should stay on hold for 10 minutes at over R2 a minute just to get lousy service.
d) Publish useful setup information on their web site, and the minimum hardware requirements for the devices to actually work
e) Show the (approximate) tower locations on their coverage maps and the name/id of the tower

I am grateful that they respond to the Twitter and Facebook messages, because all other forms of communication just don't work. Perhaps these should be improved. See (b) and (c)
 

Durandal

Expert Member
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Jan 16, 2009
Messages
1,232
d) Publish useful setup information on their web site, and the minimum hardware requirements for the devices to actually work
e) Show the (approximate) tower locations on their coverage maps and the name/id of the tower

I have to strongly agree with these two points he has made. iBurst support really sucks - sorry, but with a few rare exceptions, pretty much everyone's experience has either been bad or a non-event (emails sent never acknowledged/replied to).

That said...I am certain that a huge number of complaints could be stopped from ever arising in the first place if only consumers were supplied with accurate, useful information (Essentially, the Idiot's Guide To Installing iBurst). As Donn has indicted, for the non-technical, your installation guides are (or were when I first started) completely useless, and you end up installing unnecessary gunk off the CD supplied (like the Dashboard, which I took off years ago because it seemed to give more problems than anything). Also explain the technology, for goodness' sake, it's limitations and what is going to cause interference with your signal, how best to place it, etc. And yes, of course where the towers are.
 

signates

Executive Member
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Dec 8, 2009
Messages
7,150
Thanks. Right now the best thing iBurst can do is
c) Have a cheaper non-0877 number that customers can call, especially from a cell phone. I fail to see why I should stay on hold for 10 minutes at over R2 a minute just to get lousy service.

087 numbers are not premium rated numbers. They are assigned to various companies offering voip services. I have an 087 number as well as an 021 number from a voip provider. Calls to these numbers are charged at standard rates and if you have free minutes on your cellphone, then the calls should be free. If your cellular provider is not using your free minutes when connecting your call to an 087 number, you should contact them to find out why.

From Telkoms website:
http://www.telkom.co.za/common/pric...ll_charges_from_licence_operators_offnet.html
http://www.telkom.co.za/common/pricelist/prices/local/custtomer_to_automatic_exh.html

Calls from Telkom to WBS(iBurst) number range 087 720/722 are charged at R0.01786 per second during normal time and R0.01102 per second during callmore time with a minimum charge of R0.65.

Please show me where you were charged R2/min. I cannot understand the amount of misconception there is with regard to 087 numbers.

087 numbers are not automatically premium rated calls
 

donn_edwards

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Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
signates;4855800 From Telkoms website: [url said:
http://www.telkom.co.za/common/pricelist/prices/local/call_charges_from_licence_operators_offnet.html[/url]
According to this link, the cost is R1.07 per minute, PLUS the interconnect fee from MTN of R2.30, i.e. R3.37 per minute. I was kept on hold so long that I ran out of airtime, so I am painfully aware of how expensive it is.

From a land line the cost is less, but the reason why I used iBurst at the location in Emmarentia is that there is no landline present. If there was a landline I would have got ADSL. Even dealing with Telkom is better than this.
 
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signates

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Messages
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According to this link, the cost is R1.07 per minute, PLUS the interconnect fee from MTN of R2.30, i.e. R3.37 per minute. I was kept on hold so long that I ran out of airtime, so I am painfully aware of how expensive it is.

From a land line the cost is less, but the reason why I used iBurst at the location in Emmarentia is that there is no landline present. If there was a landline I would have got ADSL. Even dealing with Telkom is better than this.

The problem with the inter connect charges lies with your cellular provider and not with iBurst.

For just over R200 per year, Telkom will install a prepaid landline. Having a landline does not guarantee ADSL at the exchange. My neighbour has had a landline for 2 years and still no ADSL. He does not have a physical line running into his house. Instead, Telkom installed a box on his roof that connects him to the exchange wirelessly. I have yet to come across an area where Telkom refuse to install a landline.

Most 087 to 087 calls are free. Get a decent softphone such as Zoiper Free (www.zoiper.com), enter your SIP account details, and call them or any other 087 number for free.

The only reason I am still with iBurst is because of the lack of ADSL at my exchange. I can apply today for a Telkom landline and have it installed by the end of next week but I still would not have ADSL.
 
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donn_edwards

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Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
The problem with the inter connect charges lies with your cellular provider and not with iBurst.

The problem is with iBurst, because they don't offer a cell number I can call on, and even if I call from a landline it costs more than an 0860 or 0861 number. Since there is no landline to call from, the point is moot.

M-Web at least has an 082 16100 number, and Telkom has a toll-free number 0800-DSLDSL for ADSL faults.

I know that if my iCall number actually worked I could call their support line from there, but then they take a week or more to return my call, so what's the point? And since I cancelled my iCall "service" 3 months ago and they still haven't cancelled it, I'm not exactly going to call them via iCall, am I?

The real problem is that iBurst is incapable of listening to its customers. Their CEO should be fired.
 

signates

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Messages
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The problem is with iBurst, because they don't offer a cell number I can call on, and even if I call from a landline it costs more than an 0860 or 0861 number. Since there is no landline to call from, the point is moot.

M-Web at least has an 082 16100 number, and Telkom has a toll-free number 0800-DSLDSL for ADSL faults.

I know that if my iCall number actually worked I could call their support line from there, but then they take a week or more to return my call, so what's the point? And since I cancelled my iCall "service" 3 months ago and they still haven't cancelled it, I'm not exactly going to call them via iCall, am I?

The real problem is that iBurst is incapable of listening to its customers. Their CEO should be fired.

I am no iBurst fan but ranting on about call costs is not the fault of iBurst. What will it cost me to call the 082 Mweb number from a landline. I am sure a lot more than calling an 087 number from a landline.

The cost of making calls has to be adressed with your carrier that you choose to make the call with, be it cellular, analogue, SIP, VOIP. If I am not happy with the costs charged by my cellular provider to make a certain call, I will simply use another method.

With the growing uptake in number portability and more specifically geographic number portability, you will be making a call to an 021/011 number assuming its a landline number and not realising it is a VOIP number. I have an 021 673 geographic number and every one wants to know how can I have this number if I live in Strand as the geographic number for Strand is 021 845. Any body that calls me to this 021 number will be charged the 087 call rate applicable to my VOIP provider.

This problem with having a landline number is even more problematic with the banks. I was refused finance as I did not have landline for them to confirm even though I have had my cellphone contract with VC for more then 7 years. I then applied for the 021 673 geographic number from my voip provider and the stupid banks gave me finance based on their perception that because I have a landline i therefore must have a physical address.

iBurst customer service is seriously lacking but going on about the cost of calling them on an 087 number is not their fault.

Should iBurst now have an 0800 number for Telkom clients (as its only tollfree for Telkom and not cellular), 082 number for VC clients, 083 for MTN, etc? I dont think so.

You need to bitch and moan to your call provider on their call rates and not the person or company you are trying to call.
 

davemc

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Messages
6,519
Nope, IBirst are wrong here.
Get CellC and Vodacom and MWeb and Skype and answer your emails timeously (as in within 10 minutes) IBurst.
 

signates

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Messages
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Nope, IBirst are wrong here.
Get CellC and Vodacom and MWeb and Skype and answer your emails timeously (as in within 10 minutes) IBurst.

I agree that iBurst has a serious probem when it comes to customer service. The issue I have with Donn is his complaint with regard to how much MTN charges him to call iBurst on their 087 number. How is this iBurst's problem. They cannot determin what each call provider charges to make a call to their network.

If Vodacom decides to allow free calls between 082/072/On-Net numbers, should all companies now have an 082 number to accommodate some its clients that use Vodacom as their main medium to make calls?

An 082 number already does not mean its a VC number as I know people who have ported an 082 number to MTN and an 083 number to VC.
 

r00igev@@r

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
6,609
Thanks. Right now the best thing iBurst can do is
a) Cancel my iCall service as requested 3 months ago
b) Provide an automated reference number for each email that they receive from their web site, and then actually reply to the email instead of ignoring it.
c) Have a cheaper non-0877 number that customers can call, especially from a cell phone. I fail to see why I should stay on hold for 10 minutes at over R2 a minute just to get lousy service.
d) Publish useful setup information on their web site, and the minimum hardware requirements for the devices to actually work
e) Show the (approximate) tower locations on their coverage maps and the name/id of the tower

I am grateful that they respond to the Twitter and Facebook messages, because all other forms of communication just don't work. Perhaps these should be improved. See (b) and (c)

Working on developing b) and will keep the bananas away from Bubbles until he does it. Also working on a hot new service to provde a web based call into the call centre.

If you PM me your ticket reference I'll investigate and provide feedback.
 

donn_edwards

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
If you PM me your ticket reference I'll investigate and provide feedback.

It would be nice if I had a ticket reference number but I don't have one. It seems that my iCall cancellation problem was caused by a "back-end" issue. I was given a reference number 001-00-250964 but that was on 4-Oct-2010 but nothing for any other contacts this year. :mad:

Also, can you please explain the miniscule "Query" field on the "Contact Us" page ? :confused:

It's so small you can't type in more than a few words. Shows you how often your CEO reads the web site or fills in the contact form.
 

davemc

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Messages
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<snip>The issue I have with Donn is his complaint with regard to how much MTN charges him to call iBurst on their 087 number. How is this iBurst's problem.<snip>
Seriously?
An typical IBurst customer does not have a Telkom landline.
It simply does not make sense for IBurst to utilise a facility that provides support to their typical customers that is optimised for Telkom landlines.
I can fully understand Donn's right to complain about the costs involved obtaining support.
 

signates

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Messages
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Seriously?
An typical IBurst customer does not have a Telkom landline.

How do you come to this assumption. My neighbour has a Telkom line and uses iBurst for his internet as the exchange does not support ADSL.

If I lose my cellphone or its stolen I have to phone Vodacom to an 082 number even though I do not have a cellphone to make this call in order to block my sim and even though its free from a VC cellphone I will be charged exorbitant rates by Telkom/MTN or any other telco to call VC to block my sim. I have been through this process after my cell was stolen. I dont see VC advertising a landline number if you have problems with the network and cannot reach them using your cell.

VC offers a free number to call its call centre using their network. iBurst does the same. Calls between different 087 number providers are normally free or cheaper as they do not have the exorbitant inter connect charges.

Please explain how it is the companies problem if they choose a certain telco company to provide them with their telephone needs and the client's telco/mobile operator charges them higher rates to call the company.

Not every one wishes to be a slave to Telkom. I for one will never have a landline as I refuse to contribute to Telkom's crippling of the sector.

There is a general misconception in the broader public with regard to 087 numbers. I even noticed on Carte Blanche a few months ago that they claimed that the 087 number is a premium rated number without even investigating as to wich telco the number was assigned to as it is very easy to do on Telkom's website.
 

MickeyD

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The call cost is bit a single issue that Donn has with iBurst that you have jumped upon to push the 087 issue. Why not start a separate thread on the misconceptions regarding call costs to 087 numbers as it will get lost in the iBurst thread?
 

donn_edwards

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
Thanks. Right now the best thing iBurst can do is
a) Cancel my iCall service as requested 3 months ago
b) Provide an automated reference number for each email that they receive from their web site, and then actually reply to the email instead of ignoring it.
c) Have a cheaper non-0877 number that customers can call, especially from a cell phone. I fail to see why I should stay on hold for 10 minutes at over R2 a minute just to get lousy service.
d) Publish useful setup information on their web site, and the minimum hardware requirements for the devices to actually work
e) Show the (approximate) tower locations on their coverage maps and the name/id of the tower

a) Has been fixed. Eventually, after 3 months, countless unanswered emails, phone calls, blog posts, twitter posts, and Facebook messages. And the CEO is still blissfully unaware of the ruckus, or just couldn't be bothered to call and apologise. That's a job for minions, obviously.

b) This is "under development". Yeah right. Internet Solutions had this facility in 1996. And theirs actually worked.

c) How about just a Skype number? Or a Google Talk number? and/or a facility (like Telkom has) where they will call you back when you get to the front of the queue? Dial 0800-375375 to see how this works. I asked a support technician to call me back. He got someone else to call back a week later.

d) and e) Nothing has been done. Nothing is planned. We'll just have to wait for their CEO to do his job and visit his own web site, or read my blog. Of course he wouldn't ever admit to doing either.

f) The security problem has not been fixed. File sharing is open to all worms and viruses in the iBurst subnet, unless you specifically disabled it.
 

davemc

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Apr 8, 2009
Messages
6,519
You're right signates, IBurst made the best possible choice by deciding to use the 087 numbers.
It's just a pity that MTN borked the idea.
 
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