Demon Internet argues to retain customer

I was with Demon Internet for something around seven years, over three years at the current address. In that time there’s never been more than two or three periods of downtime, and they’ve been rectified quickly.

Of course they are over the market price consistently, but you get a good uptime. However I was getting tired of paying over the odds and particularly tired of talking to foreign call centre staff. So I moved, and that showed the worst of Demon.

The process for moving Broadband suppliers has been made much easier this year, and it was this that prompted my move.

However the real push to move on came when I discovered Demon’s download limit of 50Gb in rolling period of thirty days. I was receiving emails on a daily basis telling me that I was over my limit and could face a forced restriction in service, this was even after I changed by downloading habits to coincide with the free download limit times as stated by Demon.

If your usage increases above your current levels you may well exceed the limits outlined above and as such we will take corrective action, in accordance with our Fair Usage Policy.Corrective action would involve limiting your download speed to 128kbps between the hours of 9am and 11pm. No limitations will apply outside these times – you would be able to use the maximum download speed that your line will support. Upstream speeds will not be limited at any time.

Having brought this matter to your attention, we hope that your bandwidth usage will not increase and restrictions in the future will not be required.

With the repeated emails warning me about this and no interaction with me what so ever, I finally decided on O2 Broadband and called Demon for my MAC code, the number used to transfer your Broadband service.

The first time I called for the MAC code I couldn’t believe how poor the customer service was. Although it was the beginning of the debacle and I didn’t think I’d need to keep a record of what happened, I do have some rough notes on timing, here’s what they say:

10m to transfer, 8m to answer, 15m to transfer, 18m no pickup – Callback in 24 hrs

Now just to clarify, “m” stands for minutes, yes, minutes. As far as I remember I didn’t receive a callback and I had to call again, and the next time I called I received the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced in my life.

This time, once my details were verified, I was passed to Neil who started the conversation politely, asking why I was leaving.

I told him it was because of the download limitation with the repeated warnings after years of customer loyalty, and the always over market price.

He ignored the market price issue and went straight for the download limit and fair usage policy. He told me that every company has one of these by law and I’ll be hit by the exact same thing if I move.

I said that the new company had told me they didn’t have one. Now I could have expanded on that and said that they did have afair usage policy but that they had told me there was no limit as yet and they don’t plan on implementing one, however I left it at that.

To this Neil replied that “they will do sir”. It’s at this point that the conversation went back and forth as I repeatedly told him that the company had informed me they did not have a limit, and he would simply repeat that they do. It became quite childish as he continually contradicted what I was telling him.

Eventually he said that the fair use policy is to prevent the downloading of high bandwidth such as video, etc.

That surprised me and I responded that this is what the Internet was meant to be used for. After all isn’t this what we are using the Internet for day in day out, and to restrict the download of these was going against the whole model of the internet and the services being offered on it.

I started to lose my temper at the constant contradiction without actually listening to what I was saying or trying to enter into a discussion. It was just a continual “no you’re wrong” attitude.

After about ten minutes I managed to get through to him that I wanted the MAC code and I was leaving. So he told me he would find the phone number to transfer me.

It sounded as though he left me hanging as he put the headset down and I could hear everything in the room around him. This went on for a minute or so and the line went quiet as I was transferred to someone new at the overseas call center.

I confirmed my details and was told that the code would be emailed out to me.

This never happened.

I called back again a few days later and verified my details again, talked through why I was leaving and was told that my details “would not come back on the system”, which sounded like my original request was not taken.

I was transferred to the overseas call center where I was told that the computer system was down and could I call back in an hour.

I left it two hours to be sure and called back and within five minutes was given the MAC code over the phone by a member of a UK call center before it was emailed to me three minutes later.

Now why couldn’t they have done that in the first place?

What really surprises me is that they couldn’t have engaged me in a rational conversation about customer loyalty, discussed the new service offering, how the existing Demon service wasn’t meeting my needs, and offered me something to stay.

Even if they hadn’t offered me something to stay with Demon, surely they could have engaged me in a decent discussion to find out why a long term customer was leaving and what the better deal on the marketplace was.

No. Instead they verbally argued with a customer, passed them from person to person. Failed to send out the MAC code and generally dragged the process out as far as possible. Then in the end it’s a simple case of pressing something on the screen and reading the code out to me, emailing it through in minutes.

The worst customer service I’ve ever experienced.

Right now I’ve moved to O2, which is turning into another complete customer satisfaction disaster, and I’m still awaiting a refund from the full month’s payment taken from my account just three days before my connection was cut, a time when they knew I was leaving in three days.

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