A recent survey of the telephonic support by broadband providers showed some improvement, but email support still leaves a lot to be desired.
All of these providers clearly state that they have online support and supplied either an email address or online form on their website.
A support email or online form submission was sent out on Monday just after 08:00 to all the providers, quizzing them on issues like general service performance and product description.
The best support came once again from Sentech and iBurst. These two providers also scored top marks for telephonic helpdesk assistance.
Sentech’s support was first to respond, a mere 90 minutes after the initial email was sent. Their answers were accurate and detailed, something not easily found in the broadband support arena.
iBurst’s response came around 6 hours after they were contacted, also with accurate and detailed answers.
Telkom, which previously failed to provide effective email support, came in a surprising third spot when they telephonically contacted MyADSL after receiving the online support information.
It was refreshing to hear back so quickly from the fixed-line monopoly. Stories of past experiences from users on the MyADSL forum indicated that sending an email or filling in an online support form used to be perceived as a futile exercise.
Rather late than never
Vodacom sent out an automated response after receiving the online support request, informing users that their e-mail has been forwarded to a Customer Care Consultant who will respond to them as soon as possible. “We endeavor to attend to all e-mails within a 24 hour period,” the email said.
While it is good to know that the email has been received, the provider should try to stick to its promises.
MyADSL was contacted telephonically 50 hours after sending the initial support request, far longer than their response time guideline of 24 hours.
It must be said that the feedback received from Vodacom was accurate and that the support assistant was more than willing to source in-depth technical details about their service where needed.
CellC’s email response came six days after they were contacted. The answers given in the email were accurate, but most users looking for online support will certainly not find a six-day response time acceptable.
MTN’s failure to respond at all is a sign that this mobile operator should rather be contacted telephonically for support.
MTN did not provide any feedback within a week which really renders their email or online support channel useless. It is not clear why MTN insist on having this functionality on their website if it is not operational or properly supported.
MTN and Vodacom’s email support may be lacking, but it has to be said that they have excellent online forum support for broadband users on the popular MyADSL forums.
Here questions get answered in a very timely manner, and their subscribers have become accustomed to very detailed and technically sound answers.
Many tech-savvy mobile broadband users know that the MyADSL forums are the place to get ‘real’ advice on 3G or HSDPA related issues, and it may be a good idea for these providers to rather point customers looking for online support to these forums than to an online form or email address.
Through this avenue the company representative will be able to give advice with the added advantage of knowledgeable members willing to share their knowledge and help users with problems.
Currently CellC, Sentech and iBurst only have partial support on these forums with representatives popping in sporadically to help out or give information.
Telkom is the only broadband provider without any official representation on the forum.