Newnet – Empty Customer Service “Department”

If you don’t want to plough through the whole post, here’s the upshot:

Newnet are relying on the reputation of call centres (like NTL, Bulldog) with extreme waiting times, to disguise the fact that there isn’t actually anyone there who is going to take your call.

I have posted this on, because after today, I want everyone to know what they are getting into, when they sign up to Newnet.

Or should that be NoNet?

I have read the posts about customer support waiting times with Newnet with interest, and after today’s experience at the Newnet offices, I think I can shed some light on this.

We have been with Newnet for 9 months. For 6 months we had uninterrupted, excellent service.

On 25th June 2006 our connection went down. Our session was “stale”, and it had to be reset by customer services. Since then, we have had to call newnet 16 times, running up a total of almost 4 hours on hold. Our broadband session locks us out almost every weekend, and as those of you already with Newnet know, there is no customer support on Sundays.

We have lost 3 entire Sundays of internet usage in the last 6 weeks due to the fact that customer services can only reset our session up to 5pm on a Saturday. For two people who both work Monday to Friday, this is extremely inconvenient.

Call waiting times: Four weeks ago I spent 48 minutes on hold before someone answered.

Two weeks ago I spent 1 hour and 45 minutes on hold, at which point I gave up (no internet access at all that weekend). Interestingly, while I was still on hold, my partner called the number from his mobile and the recorded message said the office was now closed. My recorded message (which had been running for about an hour by this point) said someone would be with me “as soon as possible”.

Today I spent 20 minutes on hold, and then thought, sod this, they are only up the road, it’s quicker for me to drive over there and ask them to reset my session, than sit here running up my phone bill on a call that might never be answered.

The Newnet website says “Telephone support is available from 06:00 to 22:00 Monday to Friday and from 09.00 to 17.00 on Saturday. ”

We turned up at 12pm on Saturday, and there was one car in the car park.

I went to the door and buzzed, and a young man came out to see me. I explained that I wanted my session reset, and he got slightly flustered and invited me into the building when he realised he had nothing to write down my username with (so their security is pretty hot too).

Inside the building I was expecting at least a ringing telephone, since I had been on hold for 20 mins less than an hour ago.

It was totally silent, and totally empty.

After a very interesting conversation with this employee, it turns out that there is only one person in the office on Saturdays, and they are there primarily to run the tape backup and perform any necessary server maintenance.

I asked about the customer support, and he said there weren’t enough staff to take the phone calls. I looked at the phone on his desk, which had a flashing green light on it.

“So there are people on hold now, waiting on that line?” I asked him. “Oh yes,” he said, “but I can only do one thing at a time, and I need to deal with the server first”.

Looking at that phone, I felt for all of you out there, waiting on hold, imagining a busy call centre, hoping for a nice person to answer and sort out your problems.

The employee then had to turn on his monitor and log in to his computer to perform my reset, so I doubted he’d taken any calls in the last half hour or so at least.

Aside from the fact that Newnet have blamed our filters (we replaced them), our router firmware (we upgraded it), our BT line (BT checked it and tweaked some settings), and now our router (the employee today suggested I spend £60 on a Newnet router, as this would fix the problem), still we have no continuous service.

But most importantly, I am absolutely appalled and shocked by this single fact:

Newnet are relying on the reputation of call centres (like NTL, Bulldog) with extreme waiting times, to disguise the fact that there isn’t actually anyone there who is going to take your call.

So there’s your explanation – we all sit there on hold, paying Newnet to have an almost empty office.

They shouldn’t be allowed to display customer service opening times if there isn’t a dedicated customer services person available to take support calls.

I live just down the road from Newnet, so I guess the solution is to drive past their offices whenever I need support to see how many cars (if any), are in the car park.

We’re now trying a new router, to see if that helps our session stay open.

If this fails, we’ll be trying a new provider, in the hope that they will employ a person to answer the phone.

1 thought on “Newnet – Empty Customer Service “Department””

  1. Unfrickingbelievable. It makes me wonder about the recent customer service I’ve received and the amount of time I spent on hold. Was there one poor schlub talking on the phone with somebody else? After a while their message says, “nobody is available right now, please leave a message” – although nobody ever calls you back, so I’ve stopped leaving messages.

    I can’t believe crap like this.

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