The iiNet Mobile Broadband Order Experience (2014)

Alternative post title: The Power of Social Media. TL;DR summary of events at the bottom of the entry. This post is tagged #firstworldproblems like the other one for obvious reasons.

31 August 2014 (Sunday)

It is not possible to get a phone line at my current place and there’s no NBN access yet (boo), so I decided to order 4G mobile broadband service from iiNet in the morning — in the super early morning, 2 am. I hadn’t cancelled my naked DSL service with them at my previous place, so I still had an active account and received my confirmation email very shortly. I went to bed expecting this to be a very smooth experience. Well, my naked DSL service did take a good month and a half before it became active, but surely mobile broadband wouldn’t be so complicated, I thought.

1 September 2014 (Monday)

I logged in to Toolbox to discover this note in the task:

31 Aug 2014 10:12AM – by Customer Service Melbourne

Mobile Tasking:
– hardware order hasn’t been generated, however service has been created
– this was only submitted today, however fairly sure that this will fail because the company name in the delivery address is too long
– manual hardware orders in RUMBA appear to be working again, however not sure whether creating the installment works yet…
– deferring till tomorrow, if hardware order still hasn’t generated we will either need to order hardware manually, or delete the unactivated service and do a new signup

I was more amused than annoyed to see the comment that the company name I provided in the delivery address was too long — it wasn’t even the full thing. It seemed like the staff were working hard to get this done for me, so I shall wait patiently.

Sidenote: I also called in to support to cancel my naked DSL and to change the username for my mobile broadband service. Christopher was the staff who helped me. He initially thought it was impossible to change the username, but instead of disregarding me, he checked with another staff and found the right tool to do so. It took a while before I could use that username to log in, but I was quite impressed with his service.

2 September 2014 (Tuesday)

I logged in to find this:

01 Sep 2014 03:11PM – by Customer Service Melbourne

MOBILE TASKING
– Ordering 12 month installment hotspot in rumba as per above notes.
– Activated in rumba
– Defer 7 for delivery

“Defer 7 for delivery”? I was suitably worried, so I fired up a support ticket mentioning that I would be very happy to submit a new order with a shorter company name in the delivery address. I also mentioned the fact that I had changed the username of the service just in case it caused further complications. Shortly, I received a text from iiWarehouse that my hardware order has been dispatched and a staff wrote back to tell me the same. Hooray!

3 September 2014 (Wednesday)

I was given a tracking link and a reference number. I didn’t use the iiNet tracking site; I went straight to their courier of choice, StarTrack. I saw this:

02 Sep 2014 00:00 Freight Manifest Transmitted
02 Sep 2014 19:25 Sydney DFPC Arrived at StarTrack Location for processing
02 Sep 2014 22:58 Sydney DFPC Arrived at StarTrack Location for processing
03 Sep 2014 07:05 Sydney DFPC Onboard with driver for delivery
03 Sep 2014 13:42 [home suburb] Receiver not available Attempted Delivery Advice No [#]
03 Sep 2014 14:05 [home suburb] Delivered and ready for collection at Post Office: [PO address]

StarTrack attempted to deliver to my home address, even though I provided my work address for delivery at sign-up so that I could actually be there to sign for it. (I’ve also heard that many couriers won’t bother with residential addresses.) The iiNet staff who did the manual order must have plugged in the billing address — the wrong address. I wrote another ticket to ask what was going on while staying calm and polite.

Inside, I was getting quite annoyed because it’s been almost 3 days of what I perceived to be unnecessary delay and I was still out of internet. I posted on Twitter:

To which an iiNet staff responded within an hour:

I wrote back with a huge rant so long I had to use TwitLonger:

A couple of hours later, a CSR from Cape Town replied to my ticket:

Hello Vickie,
Thank you for your email.
I have wonderful news for you, your hardware is delivered and ready for collection at the post office: [PO address].
Thank you so much for being part of iinet family.
If you have any further questions please feel free to respond to the email or call 132258.
Kind regards,

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Later, I saw that Customer Service Perth updated the task ticket with my social media activity, with my long rant attached.

Note: I will not have access to the mailbox until Saturday, so I wasn’t able to pick up my delivery card.

4 September 2014 (Thursday)

The Cape Town CSR called me in the afternoon to apologise on behalf of iiNet, as well as to tell me they will credit me for the service I never got to use. It was… an awkward phone conversation, but I was glad to hear that the issue might finally be resolved. I told her I wouldn’t be able to pick up the router until Saturday, and she had agreed to set the service start date to that date instead.

5 September 2014 (Friday)

Nothing happened because I couldn’t pick up the router yet.

6 September 2014 (Saturday)

iiNet MobiiHotspot 4G I went to pick up my pocket wifi router in the morning, but it wouldn’t work when I tried to activate my SIM card. I tethered, logged in to Toolbox, and noticed that a CSR from Melbourne just wrote in the morning that they would call me to activate the service in 5 days if I hadn’t called already. I did that immediately. The phone call took 17 minutes before the support staff got to the mobile team to figure out what to do from there. He told me my service would be ready when I receive the confirmation text.

I waited for almost 8 hours before writing another ticket to ask politely what’s going on again. No response.

7 September 2014 (Sunday)

So I realise it’s Sunday and it’s Father’s Day in Australia, but I did expect something from support especially since iiNet outsource some of their staff to Cape Town. I was quite unhappy that it’s been over 24 hours and my SIM card still hasn’t been activated or heard back from my open ticket. That’s until I checked again in the afternoon: that new ticket has been closed and the existing task hasn’t been updated. So much for crediting me for days I never used.

8 September 2014 (Monday)

Over 48 hours and counting, I hadn’t heard a pip from iiNet since discovering that ticket being closed. I had no choice but went back to Twitter and posted a reply to the previous thread.

In about 15 minutes, a staff replied.

So I wrote back, providing the task and ETS reference numbers.

And then, magic happened. Within an hour, I received a text and a tweet reply that my service had been pre-activated and would be available in 2 hours. I went home that night to find that the service has indeed started to work and after almost 8 days from sign-up, I finally had internet to use.

2 October 2014 (Thursday)

Fast forward to today, I received my first invoice and can confirm that even though my data usage resets on the 1st of each month, they didn’t charge me for the days before successful activation as promised. I know they use Optus’ 4G network and their hardware is the Huawei E5776, so I’ll leave the performance out of this order experience.

Table Summary of Events

31 Aug 2014 (Sun) Order placed
1 Sep 2014 (Mon) Company name in delivery address too long; defer one day for manual hardware order
2 Sep 2014 (Tue) [ nothing happened ]
3 Sep 2014 (Wed) Hardware delivery attempted at wrong address due to staff error — used home address instead of work address supplied; I ranted on Twitter
4 Sep 2014 (Thu) Cape Town staff called to apologise and said I will be credited for unused days
5 Sep 2014 (Fri) [ nothing happened ]
6 Sep 2014 (Sat) Picked up router but self-activation unsuccessful; attempted to activate service through phone support
7 Sep 2014 (Sun) [ nothing happened ]
8 Sep 2014 (Mon) No news until I turned to Twitter again; within an hour, received text and email that my service would work in 2 hours; confirmed mobile broadband finally works
2 Oct 2014 (Thu) First invoice received; confirmed no charge for pre-activation days

Epilogue

Looking back, this was almost a funny experience; all of this happened because the company name I provided at sign-up was too long. Though I continue to wonder how long I would have to wait if I’d never gone to Twitter.

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