It was a surprise visit from Innove/Globelines broadband’s technicians that filled up the rest of my afternoon yesterday. While in the middle of installing new plugins for the The Four-eyed Journal, my father called out to me saying that there were people from Globelines who wanted to see me.
It was really puzzling because I did not request for a home visit from their technicians because my broadband connection has been normal these past few months: slightly intermittent (I have to restart the modem every three hours just to get a connection again), woefully slow during lunch time and in the prime time hours of the evening and maxing out at 350kbps out of the 512kbps advertised connection speed for my subscription package.
Was it a routine subscriber-by-subscriber line check? I hope so, but ever since I blogged about being interviewed by the Probe TV for their broadband consumer woes feature (which will be aired this coming Wednesday on ABS-CBN 2 at 11pm), it generated a renewed buzz about the quality of service we subscribers are recieving from our internet services providers, the big telcos in our country, PLDT-SMART, Globelines/Innove and Bayan DSL etc.
More so, I recieved a message from segment producer Sir Art Fuentes that he was told that Globelines would soon get in touch with me because of my not-so-good albeit unsatisfactory subscription with their broadband service. Finally things are improving eh?
The right tool
By the looks and demeanor of the two Globelines/Innove technicians that visited me yesterady, it meant that for once they were serious in providing an ordinary subscriber like me the service and support I deserve. They were so serious they sent me highly-trained technicians if not engineers, who had the proper uniforms, black leather shoes (the previous ones wore sandals) and the clincher, a handy yet powerful tool for checking and diagnosing my telephone and internet line.
The device that looked like the mother-of-all mobile phones was an Acterna HST-3000c. Which is like THE testing tool for ADSL or VoIP engineers, technicians and servicemen. I did some Googling around and here’s some uber-geek talk about the HST-3000c:
Acterna’s HST-3000 all-in-one tester delivers comprehensive copper testing including DVOM, TDR, Wideband TIMS, spectral analysis, and Resistive Fault Location. Technologies and services such as datacomms (V series interfaces, Frame relay) and E1/T1 are supported, comprehensive and easy to use interfaces mean difficult problems on premium services are identified and rectified quickly. It also supports ADSL over POTS, ADSL over ISDN, and G.SHDSL support with xTU-C/R modem emulation. 10/100BT Ethernet interface allows the HST-3000 to segment problems to the PC, CPE, and network. With its optional on-board IP and VoIP testing capabilities, the HST-3000 can validating VoIP service connectivity, feature availability and voice quality. In addition, it provides comprehensive features, including signaling, IP ping, packet statistic and trace route analysis to identify, diagnose and sectionalize VoIP network and equipment problems.
The highlighted part tells it all. The technicians came to check my line, and from what they told me, to gather some initial data or parameters regarding the state and quality of their physical facilities which is one the causes of my broadband woes. This data would then be the basis of some future actions they would undertake to improve their services here in our corner of Cavite.
Hopefully this is true, will come true and would come true. Sana lang po talaga. Instead of some gesture to pacify disgruntled subscribers and to sway us from further spreading (read: blogging) negative but actual consumer rating and feedback.
“May dalawang error” this is what I constantly heard from the two Globelines technicians as they first tested the phone line via the box inside my room. From what I glanced on the HST-3000c’s screens, they did IP ping tests, traceroute tests, even measured the distance of my residence from their facilities which were some 4 kilometers away (Probably that cabinet of circuit or switch boxes at our Town Plaza).
Afterwards, they tested the connection using my PC and used their own online bandwidth meter tool over at Globequest.com.ph Embarrassingly, the first test showed that my bandwidth speed was below 50kbps! So he did another test and it returned with a better result, it was now rated as somewhere between 390kbps to 420kbps, which is what my normal speeds should be given that my package is rated at 512kbps.
They did the same tests all over again this time around via the main telephone line coming from the street posts to the box outside my house. Again they got the same results, with the first run showing “two errors” while the other succeeding tests showing a “clean” connection. (Yeah right!)
After completing their tests, they told me to keep on monitoring the connection and standby for future calls from them to check up on the state of the connection or coordinate some future action they would be taking to improve their service. I sure hope that they will do so.
They also told me that they were making rounds, visiting each Globelines broadband subscriber from Laguna to Cavite, which is a good thing and something they should’ve done months ago. Everyone knows that connection disruptions do happen from time to time. So what’s important is to have an efficient, effective and strong customer suport that will ease subscriber woes and aggravation instead of making it more worse. If the all the telcos would do this, more and more subscribers will rant and blog about how good their ISPs are instead of bad-mouthing them in the blogosphere. And I’m sure they already know how potent and powerful the local blogosphere has become nowadays.
So is there anyone else who got the same visit from their service providers?