Pathetic Tata Indicom Broadband service in Delhi

Seems that my blog is turning out to be a general gripe column. I don’t think I should be blamed for it though. Our country is full of technology companies who are only out to fleece people. When you use the services of a company who considers quality of customer service as a variable business decision, you know you have seen a company who is just after your money.

After my awful experience with Sify, I decided to try out Tata Indicom. I was under the naive assumption that Sify’s franchise model and lack of any quality control on their franchisees is the reasons behind their pathetic existence. But Tata Indicom proved me wrong - they showed that even owning your own network with your own people managing it, is no reason to provide a bare minimum level of service.

Here is my track record with Tata Indicom Broadband.

  1. I applied for a connection on 10th of June, and paid money for their router based connection. I finally got it installed and working on 28th or 29th. Almost three weeks to get a connection! That is pathetic by any ISPs service. However, I was happy that my connection was up at least.

  2. For about 10 days the connection went well.

  3. From the third week onwards I started seeing losses in the last mile. I started actively monitoring the line quality using smokeping. Here is the graph for those few days.

  4. I file a complaint. There was a person here next day, and for a moment i was impressed. However, the impression was shortlived. The tech support guy listened to what I had to say, looked at my graphs, didn’t believe me, and started a ping from my computer to the local DSLAM peer. He saw the losses in line and said that he will escalate it to his senior.(Couldn’t this have been checked from the NOC itself?). But what happened later was priceless. The guy sat there at the computer and logged into his company trouble ticketing system and started making notes of his assignments for the rest of his day. After 15 minutes, I decided that I have been polite enough and told him to take his personal work elsewhere. He asked for two more minutes, and left after that.

  5. On 24th July, my line went down completely. I waited for it to come up, and finally filed a complaint on 25th morning that my link was down. What happened next was surreal. I kept calling up customer care, and they kept promising to send a reminder to the tech team, and assured that the problem will be solved with 24 hours. It has been eight 24 hours since then, and connection is still down. In between I got two calls from some lady who wanted to ask me independently if it is still down, and promised to send a guy to my place. I kept myself to the house all day, but nobody appeared.

  6. Today morning I got a call from another guy who asked me if my complaint about the losses in line(filed two weeks back) has been solved. If he had been physically in front of me, I would have strangled him.

What I didn’t realize while taking the connection, was that Tata Indicom Broadband is just Dishnet DSL with a new name, and it comes with Dishnet DSL’s “renowed” or shall we say notorious service record. Right now, in my last five weeks of subscription, the line has been unusable for two - that makes it a 20% downtime!

Oh yes, for all those on a bandwidth capped plan, watch out for Tata Indicom’s totally screwed up IP accounting! Thank goodness that I have an unlimited connection. Their account system actually shows that I have downloaded 5GB in these last five weeks that I have been a subscriber(remember? that I have actually used it for about two weeks?) The only heavy downloads I do is Debian, windows and anti-virus security updates! And this is priceless - on 25th, when i filed a complaint about my line being down (which they acknowledged), I am supposed to have downloaded 150MB of data. Of course, my reporting this got me another trouble ticket number, which I am pretty sure is right down in their list of priorities. But for those on a bandwidth capped account from them, … my sympathies.

I am again in the market looking for a good DSL provider, and I see none in the capital of the country! Keeping my fingers crossed, I looked at MTNL’s plans again .. but no, they still haven’t changed their laughable download limits in their plans (256kbps with a bandwidth cap of 400MB, anyone?)

Meanwhile I am spending hundreds every day on the dialup again, for the last one week. :(

Update - 3 August 2005: Thanks to Shushubh for mirroring this experience of mine.

Interesting wxpython case study MTNL is twice as stingy as BSNL in ADSL data caps